Dirt bikes are designed to run in extreme conditions that are otherwise unsuitable for normal bikes. They run on terrains like muddy roads, dunes, etc. These terrains are quite unforgiving when it comes to the vehicles, so the dirt bikes running on them need something unique to survive in these situations, one of such things being the very gas it runs on. But what kind of gas does a dirt bike take?
The gas used in a dirt bike depends on whether it has a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine. If the engine is a 4-stroke one, then either of 82, 87, or 92 octanes will do. But for a 2-stroke engine, you have to use either 92 or 93 octane.
How can you choose the correct gas for your dirt bike? Let’s take a look.
Choosing the correct gas for a dirt bike
Since dirt bikes run on extreme terrains, you need them to run in peak conditions. The bikes need to be looked after. One way to make sure your dirt bike is at its very best is to ensure that the right fuel is being used. Otherwise, the engine will not be able to run smoothly which will cause some serious problems down the line.
So, how do you pick the best gas for your bike? As I said earlier, it will depend on the stroke of your engine.
What kind of gas is the best for a 4-stroke engine?
If your dirt bike comes with a 4-stroke engine, choosing a perfect gas for it is quite easy, at least easier than 2-stroke ones. But we will cross that bridge when we get there. When it comes to 4-stroke engines, you can choose anything between the 82, 87, and 92 octanes, and your bike will run just fine.
But this also boils down to whether you are a professional racer or a casual biker. Professional bikers prefer higher octanes which give them higher performance. These octanes cost a lot, so if you are not a professional racer, stick to lower octanes such as the 82 or the 87.
Also, some bikers tend to think that the brand of the gas makes a huge difference in the performance of the bike. But in reality, the octane quality is the thing actually matters. If you want to tinker with something, instead of tinkering with the brand of the gas, tinker with the tire pressure instead.
What octane is best for a 2-stroke bike?
Now we come to the matter which causes a lot of headaches to the dirt bike owners. Choosing the right octane for a 2-stroke bike is very important as the engine will be permanently damaged otherwise. Unlike the 4-stroke ones, the 2-stroke engines can’t run well on lower octanes.
The best octane for 2-stroke engines is the one that is free of ethanol. But the reality is, that you can barely find any gas that has no ethanol at all. So, the highest ethanol level that the octane of a 2-stroke engine should have is less than 10%.
So, using 91, 92, or 93 octane is the best way to go about it when it comes to 2-stroke engines. Using a lower octane will cause the engine to detonate. When that happens, you will hear a knocking or pinging noise. When an engine detonates, it causes the spark plug electrodes to melt. Other damages include pistons and piston rings being cracked, melted, etc.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is that for a 2-stroke engine, you can’t inject octane directly. You need to mix oil and gas in a certain ratio, unlike 4-stroke ones. The ideal gas to oil ratio is 50:1 or 32:1. For example, a 50:1 ratio means 1 gallon of gas has to be mixed with 2.6 US ounces of oil and a 32:1 ratio means 1 gallon of gas is mixed with 4 ounces of oil.
Another type of oil that suits a 2-stroke engine is injector-safe oil. The injector-safe oil isn’t prone to clogging up. The fuel injector sprays fuel directly onto the engine, so injector-safe oil doesn’t hamper this process.
Additional Read: 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke dirt bike
Is ethanol bad for the engine?
Usually, ethanol-based octanes are not bad for 4-stroke engines. But 2-stroke engines take a really bad hit when ethanol-based oils are used in them. But due to the unavailability of other options, people don’t have any choice other than using oils that are based on ethanol. These oils corrode the engine as well as the engine parts, completely damaging the engine in the process.
Is 110-octane suitable choice for dirt bikes?
You may know 110-octane as race fuel as well. Some people are adamant that this type of fuel makes the bike fly around the course. While this is partially true, only a few are skillful enough to reap the full benefits of racing fuel. So, for regular bikers, a 110-octane doesn’t have a significant effect.
Can mixed oil hurt 4-stroke engines?
Mixed oil is the right kind of fuel to be used for 2-stroke engines. But what about their 4-stroke counterparts? If used in small and insignificant quantities, premixed oil doesn’t spoil a 4-stroke engine.
But things are quite different when large amounts of mixed oil are used. Since 4-stroke engines are not designed for mixed oil, using large amounts of such oil will have some serious repercussions on them. The spark plug will be clogged up and if the trend continues, the engine will be damaged. Mixed oil shouldn’t be used for 4-stroke engines.
There is no feeling like flying around the racecourse on your dirt bike. But you need your bike to be in perfect condition to reap the full rewards. And one of the major ways to ensure this is to use the right oil for the bike.
As the owner of the bike, it is your duty to know what kind of gas your dit bike takes and use the correct oil according to the engine of your bike.
Have yourself an adrenaline-fueled and enthralling weekend.