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R1150GSA 11-14-2005 10:35 AM

Is it worthwhile putting high-octane fuel in a scooter? Is it any better or worse for the motor? Any performance change?

Photog 11-14-2005 01:28 PM

Your stock Stella will be just fine on low octane during break-in. Some folks run high octane for the quality, not necessarily for the octane boost. People who have modded engines often opt for the octane increase. If the extra buck makes you feel good about the gas you're putting in it, good--but don't feel obligated to put hi-test in it.

Go to and do a search on "octane" and you'll get a ton of responses...mostly along those lines.

R1150GSA 11-14-2005 03:50 PM

Thanks, Photog. Now I just have to figure out which "hot-up" mod to make first. I sure would like to go a little faster. Though I suppose I should wait until it's broken in first, huh?

Photog 11-14-2005 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by R1150GSA
Thanks, Photog. Now I just have to figure out which "hot-up" mod to make first. I sure would like to go a little faster. Though I suppose I should wait until it's broken in first, huh?

The mods on mine were done at 116 miles by the PO. He couldn't get it dialed in, got transferred to Ireland, and so I got the bike and completed the work.

As long as you're happy with the performance, I'd say just break it in, get to konw it, and enjoy it. You can then decide what kind of improvements you want--midrange, top end, whatever--based on your typical riding. It will gain some speed as it breaks in, the brakes will feel better, and the Bitubos will break in a bit so that they're not quite as harsh (you may want to play with the adjustability a bit).

There are some fairly inexpensive mods you can do that won't compromise reliability. Usually the first thing people do is go for a Sito Plus exhaust ($99) and then help the intake with a Uni filter and maybe a larger carb. That way you retain the stock barrel and just help it inhale/exhale better.

Another common mod is to do something about the seat. The rest are the neato things you can do--racks, cosmetics, lighting, and so forth. SIP has an outrageous collection of performance mods and scooterworks has all the stock parts and common upgrades.

I ran some errands today and the bike was just perfect--post office, bank, grocery store, and just cruising around. It's a timeless design, perfectly suited for both knocking around and getting stuff done. :thumb is an ugly site but full of good info on service procedures including the 500 mile service in case you're curious. Check out the LML Star 125 link. Star = Stella (get it?) here in the US. Over in NZ the LML Star 150 is known as the Belladonna -- their site is actually a bit more informative than the Stella site IMHO.

jcolombo 11-14-2005 08:28 PM


Originally Posted by Photog is an ugly site <clip>

You're not kidding - my eyes still hurt! Might be good information in there, but you have to be dedicated to getting it (especially in comparision with something like Scooter Help, which is amazing in content and form).

BTW, my blue Stella arrived last week - first trip to work tomorrow!


Joe Dirt 11-15-2005 05:33 AM

In my experience with 2-strokes there are two mods that demand octane: higher compression and ignition advance. In fact, these mods are why most modern cars require higher octane but I digress...... The goal of higher octane fuel is to prevent "detonation". I'm sure that detonation is discussed in more scientific terms that I can manage this early in the morning but the result of detonation is that your piston errodes. Typically the crown becomes curved at the edges but however the damage occurs this errossion causes a loss in compression and performance. If you're unlucky you can get cylinder damage from big chunks of piston coming off and I suppose a catastrophic piston failure is possible (although I think this would have to be acompanied by a lean condition). Whew, this is getting long winded!

If you stay stock with your bike there is no need for higher octane. If you change compression or ignition advance you most certainly should run a higher octane.

Personally I run premium pump fuel.....even though I conceed it isn't necessary. I'm so accustomed to running higher octane than necessary that I no longer think of it as an extra expense.

My last advice is to use a fuel stabilizer if you are not running a tank of fuel through the system every month. As much as I ride my scooter I only fill up about every two months. :D

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