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Old 10-25-2008, 08:40 PM   #1
stephenws OP
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Activating Low Octane Ignition Curve

After putting 2100 miles on my new 2007 990 Adventure (all of them with 91-93 octane), I decided to put some 89 octane fuel in the tank and try the low octane ignition curve. After disconnecting the wires under the seat, I started up the bike. Right away, I noticed the idle rpm dropped from it's normal steady 1500rpm to a variable 1200 to 1300rpm. After about five minutes of idling, the FI light came on and indicated a 18 blink code (lambda probe for front cylinder). I then shut down the engine and reconnected the ignition curve wires. Upon restarting, everything was back to normal.

Has anyone else experienced this? One of the reasons I bought the bike was because of it's ability to adapt to various octane levels. In rural Iowa, most gas stations don't offer premium 91 to 93 octane gas - 89 octane with 10% ethanol is everywhere though

Any thoughts on what might be happening? I'd really like to be able to use the 89 octane fuel.

Thank you.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:48 PM   #2
Agave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenws
After putting 2100 miles on my new 2007 990 Adventure (all of them with 91-93 octane), I decided to put some 89 octane fuel in the tank and try the low octane ignition curve. After disconnecting the wires under the seat, I started up the bike. Right away, I noticed the idle rpm dropped from it's normal steady 1500rpm to a variable 1200 to 1300rpm. After about five minutes of idling, the FI light came on and indicated a 18 blink code (lambda probe for front cylinder). I then shut down the engine and reconnected the ignition curve wires. Upon restarting, everything was back to normal.

Has anyone else experienced this? One of the reasons I bought the bike was because of it's ability to adapt to various octane levels. In rural Iowa, most gas stations don't offer premium 91 to 93 octane gas - 89 octane with 10% ethanol is everywhere though

Any thoughts on what might be happening? I'd really like to be able to use the 89 octane fuel.

Thank you.
Did you make sure the connector ends weren't making contact with any metal? Try taping them up...
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
Englishmatt
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no,

I purchased the low octane switch from KTM hutt and it works great, just a switch on the handle bars and I don't have to mess with the connector under the seat.

now, i've run 89 in it from time to time without making the switch and noticed no real change.

before I got my switch I did disconnect the connector under the seat, but no FI light warnings....

just my .2c.
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:04 PM   #4
stephenws OP
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Thanks for the input. Yes, I did have the connectors insulated from contact with any metal. I temporarily used some short sections of plastic tubing.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:27 AM   #5
sheikyabooty
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Silly Noob question I know, but why?

As I am taking this puppy (990 adv s) around the world and am sure to encounter some less than favourable fuel is it wise that I look into this?
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:52 AM   #6
Pom
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It's a con - don't worry about it.

I live in outback Oz and the fuel out here is crap - but if I mess with the low octane switch the bike plays up, apparently they all do.
A friend out here has brought a new LC8 each year (he has way too much money) and has never bothered with the switch, he hasn't had any problems.
I have covered 21,000km from new in Nov last year with various fuel grades always set to high octane with no problems.
My advice would be just ride it and don't worry about it.
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:00 AM   #7
Agave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pom
I live in outback Oz and the fuel out here is crap - but if I mess with the low octane switch the bike plays up, apparently they all do.
A friend out here has brought a new LC8 each year (he has way too much money) and has never bothered with the switch, he hasn't had any problems.
I have covered 21,000km from new in Nov last year with various fuel grades always set to high octane with no problems.
My advice would be just ride it and don't worry about it.
Pom
I am far from a mechanic but it was my understanding that without a knock sensor which the LC8's dont have, the engine can't compensate when pinging occurs. Changing the ignition curve for lower octane fuel would be essential to avoid engine damage... Not true??
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:09 AM   #8
irelage
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Can you run the 990 strickly on 87 octane gas?

Is it possible to just run 87 octane in the 990 without causing damage? Is anyone doing that? It sure would be great if you could.
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:24 PM   #9
tahoeacr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irelage
Is it possible to just run 87 octane in the 990 without causing damage? Is anyone doing that? It sure would be great if you could.
I know some poeple that have, but I don't know for sure if they where at sea level like you. I have installed a knock sensor on my bike and I can read the ignition timing. Only problem is I haven't figured out how to ride WFO with my lap top in my hand . Next dyno session I will report back as to how much that wire retards the timing. My personal feeling is the ignition map can't be that advanced without a knock sensor. The stock ignition map does have 55 degrees advanced in areas like 5K with 20% throttle.
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:34 PM   #10
gerbois
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STEPHENWS,

I had the same "adventure" with my 990 2007, when 2500 km in the meter. The witness FI began to flash when i disconnect wires, and stop when I re-linked it. I had no time to understand code...

But everything seems normal since this time...

But, now, I always add octane booster, even in 93 gas. KTM ask 95. The engine seems to work more gently, maybe this is just in my head?
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:30 PM   #11
stephenws OP
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Thanks for all the information.

I put about 100 miles on the bike today using the 89 octane, with the ignition curve wires connected, with no apparent problems.

If I don't hear any pinging does that mean no damage is being done, or isn't it that obvious?

I think I'll check into carrying some octane booster with me, just in case.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:38 PM   #12
gerbois
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I dont think it's easy to discern problem by running. It is when you try with the good indication of octane it is possible to identify a little more suppleness.

Its just my perceptions...
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:08 AM   #13
KatoomDownUnder
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Pinging / knocking can be easily noticed especially when the motor is under load with crap fuel, it really does make a knocking sound. My old 05 Dakar used to do it all the time when I ran low octane fuel, as most fuel is Australia is.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:52 AM   #14
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while on a 3,000+ kms ride, i came across situations where i had to tankup with non 95 Octane gas. First few times i disconnected the under-seat connector to change the ignition curve. We were riding 2-up, fully loaded with Gobis n stuff. I found absolutely no change at all, in the idle speed and the performance.

The last 2 tank fulls of low octane gas, i didn;t even bother disconnecting the thing and she ran as usual. Bike has done 6,000kms and i have been commuting for approx 500kms since then, with no abnormalities.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:11 AM   #15
LC8TY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheikyabooty
Silly Noob question I know, but why?

As I am taking this puppy (990 adv s) around the world and am sure to encounter some less than favourable fuel is it wise that I look into this?
I'd be more worried about not getting replacement fuel pump filters for the 990 than the low octain switch on a RTW trip. Cary some spares!

My 950 did over 20,000 ks on crappy outback fuel and I didn't activate the low octain once. I did eventually install a switch for it but still didn't use it much for almost another 10,000 ks. No knocking, no problems.
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