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Feb 09

Posts: 4605

philehidiot says:

Shell V power letter

I've e-mailed Shell the below to see if they have any comments as to why my motorcycle performed worse on V Power Nitro + than on normal Shell. If I get a reply I'll post it:


I ride a single cylinder motorcycle which revs up to about 8000 rpm (a BMW G650 X country) with fuel injection from 2007. I tried the new V Power Nitro for about a month and then switched back to the standard Shell fuel and my findings were quite odd. I found the bike much more responsive at lower revs on the normal fuel and it even stalled a few times when cold when using the V power. The fuel economy remained broadly the same (trended towards a slight improvement with V power but I'd have to do a longer test to ensure it wasn't down to chance / weather / me getting angry at car drivers and thrashing it occasionally. It certainly was not enough of an improvement to justify the increased cost.

I wonder if you have any idea why this would happen? In the manual for the bike it does specify 95 octane fuel and so I wonder if it would need setting up to make the most of 99 octane / use it correctly? Or could it suggest a potential engine issue?


Phil Smith

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  • Posted 242 days ago (18 August 2013 21:53)

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Mar 09

Posts: 8584

jaffa90 says:


It`s all about different fuels needing a certain/different amount of air (oxygen) and a certain/different time when to set fire to it,(ignition timing).

In the early 70`s I could buy 5* leaded petrol (101 octane) and increase performance by advancing the ignition timing by a couple of degrees manually (not electronic).

It sounds like your bike (on the wrong fuel) is detecting unburnt fuel in the exhaust system (same ignition timing) and is electronicly shutting down the amount of fuel thus causing stalling.Also the quality of the spark (fire) is essential.

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Jun 08

Posts: 185


I can say that it does make a noticable difference to my hayabusa feels more raw and responsive.

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Aug 09

Posts: 2696

MarcusMarsh says:

V Power

I would imagine that this fuel was developed for multi-cylinder engines and probably car engines at that - which have very different characteristics to motorcycle engines.  Although some bikes may benefit from it I doubt very much that a 650 single will.  Also, if the recommended fuel for your machine is 95 octane, it would be wrong to assume that 99 is better just because of the higher octane content.  Interestingly, the recommended fuel for my 1200RT is 98 octane although I can't comment on the effects of using 95 as I haven't tried it.  The general opinion is that the bike is not as smooth or economical of the lower octane stuff but I have no clue as to whether the additional MPG makes up for the higher cost - probably not.

I have used both 95 and 98 octane in my FZS1000 and there is no noticeable difference in either performance or economy. 

The reply from Shell should be interesting though.  Make sure you post it for us to see.            

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Feb 09

Posts: 4605

philehidiot says:

Yeh I've

considered some of this and am very interested in if they'll be honest and outright say it's not suited for my bike or give me marketing crap.

As you say, it'll be interesting. I have my doubts that they'll respond.

If an engine is set up for 95 octane then surely that will be better for it whereas if it's set up for super then it's better to use that. Shell makes out their higher octane stuff is always better. Honesty however, would go a long way.

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Sep 07

Posts: 2659

James600zx says:

Shell V power letter.

I think BMW have the smartest sensors/ECU which react to different qualities of petrol. It's something to do with their "adventure bike" philosophy, meaning you you could happily buy crappy fuel from an African boy clutching a jerry can at the roadside. For most of us though, I think "Super" is a waste.

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Nov 07

Posts: 2307

smidget says:


what maps are in the ECU that count, all the sensors do is sense the changes.

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