Engine Detuning Kills Performance: Here’s What You Can Do

Hubspot_600x210_MOBThough many motorcycle owners don’t realize it, their bikes may be equipped with electronics that detect engine knock. When the computer adjusts ignition timing to eliminate knock, performance suffers.

What is engine knock?
Understanding engine knock, also known as “detonation” or “pre-ignition”, requires an understanding of octane. Octane is a standard measure of gasoline performance. The three most common octane ratings include…

• Anti-Knock Index (AKI)
• Research Octane Number (RON)
• Motor Octane Number (MON)

AKI is the rating most motorists are familiar with. It’s typically displayed on gas pumps as the average of the fuel’s RON and MON. RON, however, is the most common industry rating. AMSOIL, therefore, uses RON when conducting performance tests and product validation. Gasoline’s RON generally is a few numbers higher than the AKI posted on the gas pump (e.g. 87 octane fuel, or regular pump gas, has a RON of about 91-92).

The higher the octane, the more compression the fuel can withstand before igniting. Low-octane gas is susceptible to uncontrolled and early MOB_Graphignition in the combustion chamber. It causes a knocking or pinging sound, robs the engine of power and, left unchecked, can cause catastrophic piston damage.

Engine detuning reduces performance
Some modern bikes are equipped with a knock sensor that adjusts timing to compensate for low-octane gasoline and eliminate engine knock. Unfortunately, when timing is adjusted a decrease in performance results. Rough idling and lack of throttle response are the most common side-effects of the engine saving itself from low-octane gasoline. Many people don’t even know this is occurring. Engine knock may be eliminated by raising the fuel’s octane number.

Boost octane to maximize power
By increasing octane up to three numbers, which helps eliminate knock or ping and maximizes power and efficiency, AMSOIL Motorcycle Octane Boost offers a low-cost solution to engine detuning and helps increase bike power and performance.

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