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Let’s talk Race Fuel with Jay Jahns, Owner of Illinois Powersports

Fuel is a subject that I think a lot of our readers would like to know more about. There are a lot of options and questions out there on this topic, so let’s get to some of the myths and truths about race gas.

If my bike is stock, what is the best fuel for my bike? Does it matter if I have a 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke?  My recommendations would be:  4 stroke – T4 if you prefer unleaded and VPR if you prefer leaded fuel.  2 Stroke – VPR or T2 (which is VPR that is already premixed), or just run your basic 110, 112, or 113 straight or  mix 50/50 with premium pump gas if cost is a concern.  4 stroke can also run the 110, 112 or 113 straight or blended with no problems.  All of the previously mentioned fuels are also the most cost effective of the race fuels.  You can get more power/throttle response if you go with say U4.4, MRPRO6, MR12, MRX02,  etc but cost goes up with each fuel as I would consider these “specialty” fuels.

Besides smelling good, does race gas make my bike faster? In layman’s terms, what is the difference between different types? Does more octane mean more power?  Yes race gas, if the right one is chosen, does make the bike “faster”.  Throttle response does go up, as well as the bike running cooler.  You basically have a few choices to make when considering running race fuel.  1. Leaded or unleaded.  2. Oxygenated or non oxygenated fuel.  3. Octane required.  4. Cost factor.  More octane does not necessarily mean more power, but more octane does not hurt a motor, it just wont necessarily see any “benefit” to running too high of an octane.  If not sure what octane your motor needs, our opinion is to go more than less octane to avoid engine damage.  The biggest drawback we see is that if you are running too high of octane for a motor and the fuel is leaded, the spark plug could accumulate some deposits on it as well as the exhaust port from lead if running a leaded fuel.

If you put a “tune” on a bike, what does it do? Will it make a stock bike run better?  There is nothing better than custom tuning a bike, stock or mod, done properly.  Performance factor per dollar we feel it is the best money you can spend on a bike.  We have tuned hundreds of bikes and relying on feedback from customers, no one has ever said that their machine hasn’t run considerably better than stock or before the tune. We can get a stock bike to run way better by tuning it than a bike that someone just throws a full exhaust on and doesn’t tune it.  The average price for a custom tune is roughly a little more than a third of the price of an exhaust (depending on selection of exhaust).  A proper tune optimizes the air fuel curve for the setup you are tuning.  The “factory” tune has to be safe, they have to tune it pretty much so no matter what “bolt ons” or fuel you run, chances are you are not going to hurt the motor.  I haven’t personally seen a custom map that will work in 2 identical bikes.  The only draw back to a tune that we tell people is that when a bike is tuned, it is not as “tolerant” of changes such as certain fuels, intake mods, cams, compression, etc but the tune can easily be touched up if need be.

What brand of Fuel do you suggest and why? What if it is cheaper to just get it from the pump?  We use VP racing fuels, we feel they are the most consistent fuel out there, offer the most selection for a particular application, and the best fuel for the money.   I would never personally buy race gas that has been underground, especially since most of the gas stations around here use the tanks for kerosene in the winter.  Even if you took the fuel we have and dumped it underground I personally wouldn’t buy it.  Drum/can fuel in our opinion if the cleanest way to go and fuel stays way “fresher” in a sealed steel container.

If I buy a 54 Gallon drum, How long will it last before going bad? How much does the most popular options cost?  Most race gas lasts at least 1 year in a sealed steel container, stored off the ground (on blocks of wood for instance).  The MR series fuels are rated for 6 months.  Most popular options range from 45.00 to 97.00 per 5 gallons, but go as high as 150.00 plus.

Does running a specialized fuel alter service intervals for top ends?  Yes, it extends it in our opinion.  Being that race gas burns more “controlled”, cooler and cleaner, it definitely adds to engine life.  Tuning also adds to engine life.  Race gas definitely prolongs components in the carbureted bikes by not attacking rubber parts like “pump” fuels do.  Approx 70 percent of the repair portion of our business is fuel related problems because our pump gas is so bad these days.

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