Motorcycle Engine Knocking: Here’s What You Can Do

Engine detuning to prevent knocking can lead to rough idle and poor throttle response. Here's an easy solution to motorcycle...

July 12, 2016

Some motorcycles are equipped with a knock sensor that adjusts timing to compensate for low-octane gasoline and eliminate motorcycle engine knocking. Unfortunately, when timing is adjusted, you may experience…

  • Rough idle
  • Lack of throttle response

What is motorcycle engine knocking?

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 are…

• 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 ignition 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.

Help prevent motorcycle engine knocking with octane boost.

Boost octane to maximize power

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

AMSOIL motorcycle octane boost helps eliminate engine knocking.

“This octane boost is fantastic. My 2013 Road Glide Ultra* runs so much smoother, quieter and more powerfully that it seems to be an entirely different motorcycle. With 91 octane being the highest available in my area, this octane boost has proven to be a wonderful solution to the ‘ping pang, ting tang’ that had made my rides less enjoyable. Thanks AMSOIL!”

Chris, verified buyer

Updated. Originally published July 12, 2016.

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use.

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