Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 16911
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:51 am

I had a look, and the 88 and 89 owner's manuals definitely recommend 91 octane or higher be used. My 2000 owner's manual specifies 86 octane or higher.

I don't have GL1500 owners manuals for any other years - so GL1500 owners, what octane does your manual recommend? I wonder at what model year it changed back from 91 to 86?

User avatar
Posts: 383
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:10 am
Location: Napa, CA
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE 86k
1986 GL1200A (SOLD) 81K
1985 GL1200A (SOLD) 85K
1986 BMW K75c 24K

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby Mooseman » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:35 pm

The frame label under the right side cover shows 91 octane for my 1996 SE California model.
I have run Regular or 86/87 octane since I bought the bike used in July 2014 with 63k. The bike now has 72k and runs like a fine tuned clock. I have never heard a ping or a knock and the plugs look great. Maybe if I towed a trailer and climbing a long grade on a hot day, might make a difference.
I will look in the book and see what it says.
In fact I just saw the 91 octane fuel rating the other day. The print is small and I just never read it except for idle speed adjustment.
AHH! the book "1996" SE, ASP, INT says 86 or higher for octane.
Enjoy the ride. They are all good, just some better than others.

User avatar
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 pm
Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE
Pearl Bermuda Green

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby bellboy40 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:34 pm

I just checked my owners manual for my 1994 and it says 86 or higher octane also.

User avatar
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:33 pm
Location: Crossville Alabama
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade trike

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby deepsix777 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:11 pm

I have a 92aspy my owners manual say's 86 or higher.

Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:30 pm
Location: columbia tennessee
Motorcycle: 1998 gl1500 se

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby billbob » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:42 pm

I run 89 octane in my 98 SE and add seafoam about eery 5th tank. :idea:

User avatar
Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:09 pm
Location: Glastonbury,CT
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby ct1500 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:07 pm

My 88 owners manual has both the 86 and 91 numbers. As it is exported to all points of the globe I think there are two different ways to calculate octane.

I took a picture of the page but apparently I can no longer upload images. :?: At least in FF
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

User avatar
Posts: 399
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:39 am
Location: San Jacinto, Calif
Motorcycle: 1997 Gold Wing SE

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby joeincalif » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:22 pm

All 7 of my Gold Wings called for 86 or higher, that's what I run and never had a problem. And I never use a fuel additive. I run Chevron fuel with techron.

User avatar
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:56 pm
Location: Oregon
Motorcycle: 2013 F6B

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby CMReynolds1 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:08 pm

My 2013 F6B says 86 or higher. Seems to be the standard.
Ride Safe,

TF 116, RivRon 512, Can Tho, S. Vietnam, 8/66-/9/68, GM(G)2

User avatar
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby redial » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:43 am

In the land of Oz, the lowest available at fuel outlets is 91. Yes I believe that there are two ways of calculating the octane.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

User avatar
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 pm
Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE
Pearl Bermuda Green

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby bellboy40 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:25 am

Ok, I think we have uncovered the reason for the differences in octane ratings for the earlier years. The research octane number (RON) is a higher number than the motor octane number (MON). In some countries, such as Australia, the pump has the higher RON number posted. In the US, Canada and several others it is posted as the average between the RON and MON ratings, which is 4 to 6 octane numbers lower than the RON rating.
So all the 1500s are rated for the same gasoline, it is just that the posted numbers on the pump are from different ratings.

User avatar
Posts: 921
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby Mh434 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:58 pm

Nailed it! This had me fooled for a couple of years on my Concours - fuel rating was 91 in the manual, so I ran on premium. One day, a mechanic I trust told me that 87 regular was all the bike required. I pulled out the owner's manual, and when I looked at the fine print, at the bottom of the page, I saw he was right...91 in Europe (RON rating) alright, but only 87 in North America.

Sigh. Id been paying full freight for premium (a big hit, here in Canada) when I could (should) have been using regular. I was careful to check the manual for my 'Wing when I got it - same thing. Regular 87 should be used here.

User avatar
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:23 pm
Location: Yucca Valley, California
Motorcycle: 2012 GL 1800
1988 GL 1500
1977 GL 1000
1988 NX 650

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby Snowmoer » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:01 pm

I run 87 in my 1988. Never a problem.

Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:42 am
Location: Cleveland,Ohio
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200A
1988 GL1500A

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby jdtetoit » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:48 am

I just recently did a run from Cleveland down to Boone NC,as I did several fill ups I tried different octanes at different fill ups. Never noticed any difference in performance and maybe 3 mpg from the top grade down to 87.

Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:59 pm
Location: Campbellville, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby fnickel » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:22 am

I don't have an owner's manual for my '92SE, but the label under the RH side cover calls for 91 minimum. All is not lost if you have been paying extra for premium fuel, as all our local small engine repair shops are recommending that their customers use only premium fuel (I think because of the lower or non-existent ethanol levels). Especially for running before storage before winter, and also using a fuel conditioner for storage. I know the GW is not a "small engine" like a lawnmower, but………….. it might still be good advice. This is a message from Canada, so conditions could be different elsewhere in this fine world we live in.

User avatar
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:31 pm
Location: Sacramento, California
Motorcycle: 1982 Gl1100A Aspencade *sold
1989 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby urbanmadness » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:15 am

In my state, all the fuel contains methanol, except for Diesel and aviation fuel and it's pretty much the same amount for all grades unless you have a flex fuel vehicle and can run the e85 stuff.

I run 87 in my 1500, and I'm careful not to let my bikes sit. It's new to me, so that's not much of a chore, but I only ran 87 in the 1100 and seafoam every second fill (and I wasn't stingy with the seafoam, either)

I''ll probably use 1/4 can of seafoam every few tanks. That's what I did with the 1100 and I never had a problem with the carbs.

I'm lucky tho, I live in California where I can pretty much ride year round. No snow, it just gets hot in the summer.

User avatar
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:46 am
Location: Del Rey CA
Motorcycle: 1997 Honda GL1500se
1968 Honda CL350 Scramble,
1970Honda 750k,1976 Suzuki GT550,
1979 Kawasaki 1000st, 1983 Suzuki GS1150se
1986 Kawasaki Ninja 1000R
1981 Honda CBX (not for sale)
1982 Honda GL1100 Aspencade

Re: Recommended octane rating for GL1500's

Postby TAZZ » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:54 am

My 97se say only Unleaded i run 87 regular unleaded no problem,here in So. Cal,

Return to “GL1500 Information & Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests