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Does a higher octane fuel even matter? Or should I be using 89 or 93 instead of the regular 87? Any comments would be appreciated?
 

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I run regular 87 I don't think there any point in running higher octane on a stock machine unless it's required by the manufacturer you won't see a difference in performance

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I didn't see it anywhere in the manual where it called for a higher octane fuel. I just wondered if anyone did use a higher octane and if they saw a difference.
 

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This has been covered before. There is absolutely no benefit to using higher octane fuel unless you have an engine that is designed to take advantage of it, i.e. high compression engines. Maybe some of the high performance sport/racing quads may need it, but most ATVs don't. You'd be wasting your money.
 

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Your engine will perform slightly better on 89, no benefit to higher than that for your motor. It won't hurt to run 87, but 89 is recommended for the compression ratio of your motor.
 

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The 850 is around 11:1 CR IIRC. i run 93. less No ethanlo durring the summer up here, and it will last longer in the tank in the winter. i feel better about it with that high of a compression ratio. to me its worth the extra $$$ to know im not hurting the motor. and i feel that its the best option at those specs.
 

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Yeah I have always run the regular 87 out of the pump (with 10% ethanol), but recently switched to ethanol free which only comes in I think the 91 octane, I have no idea if it has added to the performance but I plan on having this for a long time and I hear the Ethanol over years can cause some damage to fuel lines etc, but I am probably just wasting my money, but really it is maybe a buck more each time I fill the tank, so not a big deal!
 

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I run either 87 or 89 octane & a spash of seafoam..... nothing higher is recommended by the manufacturer, and doesn't help performance, so why bother other then the ethonal factor.
 

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Yeah I have always run the regular 87 out of the pump (with 10% ethanol), but recently switched to ethanol free which only comes in I think the 91 octane, I have no idea if it has added to the performance but I plan on having this for a long time and I hear the Ethanol over years can cause some damage to fuel lines etc, but I am probably just wasting my money, but really it is maybe a buck more each time I fill the tank, so not a big deal!
You are correct...here in MN our ethanol free stuff is only 91 or 93 as I've seen it. The ethanol damage issue (not the phase separation from sitting issue) is very debatable as well except for vintage vehicles where it is prudent.
 

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Yeah I was kinda talked into it by, cough, cough, my Can am buddies, but they also use the Ethanol free stuff in all their small engines and boats, so they talked me into it on my small engines and also on the ATV, Again I have never had any fuel issues in 10 years of ATV ownership using the regular stuff but just switched due to some of the stuff they told me, but theirs sit all winter too, mine doesn't... Just a little extra piece of mind I guess...
 

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The 850 is around 11:1 CR IIRC. i run 93. less No ethanlo durring the summer up here, and it will last longer in the tank in the winter. i feel better about it with that high of a compression ratio. to me its worth the extra $$$ to know im not hurting the motor. and i feel that its the best option at those specs.
x2 I agree with this.
 

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Yeah I was kinda talked into it by, cough, cough, my Can am buddies, but they also use the Ethanol free stuff in all their small engines and boats, so they talked me into it on my small engines and also on the ATV, Again I have never had any fuel issues in 10 years of ATV ownership using the regular stuff but just switched due to some of the stuff they told me, but theirs sit all winter too, mine doesn't... Just a little extra piece of mind I guess...
I see ethanol as a detriment in every respect from soup to nuts but the nonoxygenated is not easy to come by since only limited stations carry it. As it turns out, I just discovered that the station right by our cabin has the 93 octane, ethanol free stuff which again is not broadly available like you would expect. Generally when I get gas I burn through it so only in my boat with a 33 gallon tank is it common to have some left over at winter storage time since you can't just time an empty tank. I suppose my sleds some years have some gas in the tanks as well. I can see using non ethanol in those machines but I use fuel treatment for storage anyway.
 

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The 850 is around 11:1 CR IIRC. i run 93. less No ethanlo durring the summer up here, and it will last longer in the tank in the winter. i feel better about it with that high of a compression ratio. to me its worth the extra $$$ to know im not hurting the motor. and i feel that its the best option at those specs.
x2 I agree with this.
It's your money. the 850 XP owners manual says 87 minimum. Oil companies love this argument. It also says up to 10% ethanol is okay. Gasoline has a higher BTU value than ethanol, so theoretically 100% gasoline should provide slightly better performance. Probably not noticable though. Ethanol can do a number on small engines and older equipment, but late model stuff should not have a problem.
 

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It's hard to find an unbiased discussion of octane ratings in ATVs, but there's plenty of info on octane in cars. Not a single one indicates any benefits of using higher octante fuel in an engine designed for 87 octane.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0210-paying-premium-high-octane-gasoline
Premium vs. Regular | Car Talk
Save Money and Stop Buying Premium Gas
Which Gasoline Should You Buy - Gasoline Chemistry

If somebody can point me to any information that indicates high octane fuel has benefits for engines rated for 87 octane I'd be happy to read it.
 

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It's hard to find an unbiased discussion of octane ratings in ATVs, but there's plenty of info on octane in cars. Not a single one indicates any benefits of using higher octante fuel in an engine designed for 87 octane.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0210-paying-premium-high-octane-gasoline
Premium vs. Regular | Car Talk
Save Money and Stop Buying Premium Gas
Which Gasoline Should You Buy - Gasoline Chemistry

If somebody can point me to any information that indicates high octane fuel has benefits for engines rated for 87 octane I'd be happy to read it.
It's not a challenging concept to understand. I think people just haven't either had the need to or haven't had time to pay attention until they have a reason. You get this same discussion from the other side with cars that because of forced induction, etc require high octane as a matter of fact. I used to have a supercharged car that required it and people would chime in on a particular forum asking what if I use 87...this was back when gas prices skyrocketed back several years. I once crossed Iowa years back for business in a mid 90's Lexus that required high octane and there was literally no high octane gas anywhere to be found. The engine didn't explode.
 

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^ fact is the Compression Ratio of the 850CC Motor is 11:1. No Where, NO WHERE will an auto manufacturer suggest you use 87 octane with 11:1 compression. Also newer cars can detect these sort of things and adjust timing/ phase cam angles to compensate, our ATV's dont. We might have a knock sensor, but it cant phase the cam to optimize timing to reduce or eliminate it.

You can say i waste my money, but ill guarantee im not hurting the machine running 91/93 in mine. and for me. i feel its cheap insurance compared to what Detonation can do to an engine.
 

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No argument you're not hurting anything. However, I would argue if Polaris thought for a minute that it would cause damage they wouldn't say 87 octane is acceptable. Why would they do that? It just opens them up to a lawsuit. My guess is that that Polaris specifically engineered the engine to accept 87 octane through careful design of the intake, exhaust, and combustion chamber. The potential for an engine to detonate is influenced by more than just the compression ratio. However, like I said it's your money.
 

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^ fact is the Compression Ratio of the 850CC Motor is 11:1. No Where, NO WHERE will an auto manufacturer suggest you use 87 octane with 11:1 compression. Also newer cars can detect these sort of things and adjust timing/ phase cam angles to compensate, our ATV's dont. We might have a knock sensor, but it cant phase the cam to optimize timing to reduce or eliminate it.

You can say i waste my money, but ill guarantee im not hurting the machine running 91/93 in mine. and for me. i feel its cheap insurance compared to what Detonation can do to an engine.
End of the day, to each their own. I say people waste their money on cable tv and that I've saved $25k over the years by forgoing it and they quickly tell me I wasted my money on a $45,000 boat (which is nearly entry level these days). If you believe it helps you and you sleep better at night, then I say have at it.
 

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The 850 is around 11:1 CR IIRC. i run 93. less No ethanlo durring the summer up here, and it will last longer in the tank in the winter. i feel better about it with that high of a compression ratio. to me its worth the extra $$$ to know im not hurting the motor. and i feel that its the best option at those specs.
x2 I agree with this.
I'm right there with you guys. 11:1 is a high compression engine.
It's my opinion that the high octane is the proper fuel.
It's others opinion that it isn't necessary.
If spending an extra $1 when I fuel up is wasting my money, so be it. Don't think I will go broke from it. :veryhappy:
 

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The Canadian Tire gas stations have "ZERO" ethanol in every grade of fuel, being it 91 octane, 89 or the 87octane!!! I buy all My fuel there for my quad, sled, boat, truck, etc, from there!
The problem with living in a small town like I live in, the premium fuel tanks don't have a quick turn around, the fuel can sit in the tanks for a month or so before getting refilled with fresh stuff. So how much octane can fuel lose after a month of sitting in the tank? End up paying premium price for not so premium fuel, lol! Probably better off sticking with "always fresh" 87 octane :veryhappy:
 
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