In the US, the number of households with motorcycles rose from 6.9% to 8.02% in 2018. Although that’s just a fraction of the approximately 1.2 billion functional vehicles that exist on our planet, it still contributes to carbon emissions. The type of gas you use can have an impact on that.
A dirt bike appears like a regular bike, but one has to follow special protocols for its upkeep and maintenance. As a biker, you might be eager to know what is the best gas for dirt bikes. With the help of this information, you can explore appropriate fuel options available in the market.
In this post, I will share the best gas types for dirt bikes. As a bonus, I will be tips on choosing the right type of gas for your particular dirt bike.
Gas Dirt Bikes
The era of 1800 is credited for introducing the concept of gas-fueled motorbikes. Later on, these regular gas-fueled bikes underwent a series of changes and came out as gas dirt bikes. What had changed? Everything.
The newly invented gas dirt bikes were lightweight and had improved shock absorption ability. Consequently, the overall performance, speed, and power had increased. The best part was that people could finally use these bikes for off-roading.
The Engine of Gas Dirt Bikes
Gas dirt bikes operate with a two-stroke engine or a four-stroke engine. Bikes with a two-stroke engine are lightweight and use less fuel. However, these don’t perform very well and produce a lot of back-end smoke.
A four-stroke gas dirt bike has a larger engine and is expensive. These bikes operate by consuming more fuel. More importantly, they offer a better biking experience with faster speed.
Fuel Requirements of Gas Dirt Bikes
Dirt bikes with a two-stroke engine are designed to combine oil and fuel. These bikes require fuel pre-mixed with oil.
Similarly, it can also work with oil that is inserted in a reservoir, which is then mixed with the fuel. A four-stroke dirt bike takes in oil directly from the reservoir without mixing any fuel.
Advantages of Gas Dirt Bikes
Following are some of the benefits that you will get with every model of gas dirt bike:
- They function with simple engines, which makes them easy to manage
- You can use these bikes anywhere as long as the fuel tank is full
- These bikes are available at cheaper price rates
- Unlike electric dirt bikes, these are suitable for riding in remote areas
Disadvantages of Gas Dirt Bikes
Despite having multiple benefits, gas dirt bikes do come with a fair share of disadvantages:
- The engines of these bikes tend to create a lot of noise. This factor can distract the driver while riding
- These bikes are time-consuming because of their maintenance routine, like cleaning the air filter, changing the oil, and checking leaks
- The combustion process performed by its engine releases fumes that are harmful to the environment
- Users face difficulty in using these bikes in quiet neighborhoods
How To Maintain a Gas Dirt Bike?
This section will cover some critical maintenance steps that you must follow to keep your dirt bike up and running:
- Use new oil after 8-10 riding hours
- Check regularly for oil leaks
- If possible, then carefully wash your bike after every ride
- Do check the chains and make sure there are no weak points or tension issues
- Check the air filter to ensure it is clean and coated with oil
- Inspect the tires and tire pressure after every ride
- Ensure there are no leaks in the coolant and brake fluids with regular checkups
Types of Gas For Dirt bikes
Before we pass our final verdict regarding what kind of gas you should use for your dirt bike, let’s take a close look at the types of gases available in the market.
As you can understand by the name, this type of gasoline has ethanol mixed in it. Since this product is a combination of both ethanol and gasoline, hence its octane ranking is high. The higher octane ranking makes it a suitable fuel source for motorbikes.
Additionally, this gas also does not generate any dangerous chemicals during the process of burning. It is produced from sustainable resources. However, it can cause corrosion over time.
87 Octane Gasoline
The 87 octane gasoline works with a balanced amount of N-heptane and octane. Hence they do not cause any damage to the engine of motorbikes. Experts explain that this gas is not highly refined and also has a high amount of unstable hydrocarbons.
Over time, it forms varnishes and lower octane hydrocarbons, especially when it is stored in unsuitable conditions. Some professionals have estimated that one can notice these side effects within a period of three months.
Keep in mind that this gas is cheaper than the other options. Also, this type of gasoline is listed as the mid-grade fuel.
90+ Octane Gasoline
90+ octane gasoline is mainly for heavy-duty and high-performance bikes. Why? Basically, high-performance bikes have a higher compression ratio, hence they require 90+ octane to perform better. This gasoline is graded as the premium fuel.
This low octane fuel is usually available at gas stations located in places of high altitude. Fuel with low octane assists vehicles at higher locations to run smoothly. However, the low octane levels and higher ethanol levels have made the use of this gas debatable.
A lot of automobile experts and fuel companies do not endorse the use of this gas on a regular basis.
What is Octane?
It is worthwhile to discuss what octane really is, and it will affect the performance of your dirt bike. Octane is used to measure the performance capacity of any type of gasoline. The primary function of octane is to facilitate the performance of a motorcycle’s engine.
Moreover, it also makes the fuel resistant to knocking. Knocking refers to the sound a vehicle’s engine produces when it is operating with higher levels of RPM.
This sound happens because of two reasons, either the piston is touching a valve, or the bottom of the engine is touching the cylinder’s wall. Higher octane levels protect your bikes from knocking.
Another reason to consider higher octane gasoline for your bike is that most motorcycles have high compression ratios. As a result, such bikes can perform best only with high octane gasoline.
What is the Best Gas for Dirt Bikes?
If you are still wondering what the best gas for dirt bikes is, then let me share some detail which will solve this dilemma for you. Generally, the regular 87 octane pump gas works well with a four-stroke dirt bike. This gas is most commonly used because it’s budget-friendly.
Subsequently, a two-stroke dirt bike will also function with a regular 87 octane gas. However, experts recommend using ethanol-free 92 or 93 octane gas.
Do keep in mind that if your bike’s engine has been remodified with advanced timing or increased compression feature, then it should be fueled up with high octane gas. Not only will this drastically improve the performance of the bike, but it will also prevent it from knocking.
Whichever option you prefer, make sure it is a non-ethanol blend.
The biggest problem that ethanol blend gasoline creates is that of corrosion. Ethanol becomes the main source of adding moisture to a bike’s engine which eventually weakens it. Similarly, ethanol blend gasoline thickens up overtime and clogs vital engine parts.
However, if you do have an ethanol-based fuel in the tank and that also for a long period of time, then you should add a fuel stabilizer to it or just drain it from the tank.
Lastly, avoid riding with a fuel that has more than 10 percent of ethanol.
A word of caution: if you are an experienced rider, only then consider getting race gas for your vehicle. A lot of people are charmed by race gas because of its unique smell and high performance.
Unfortunately, only super skilled drivers can manage to get the best out of this super expensive gas.
Gas dirt bikes have long dominated the biking field. All in all, these bikes have good performance along with many other benefits. More importantly, they are affordable and a reliable option for long off-riding adventures.
Even though your bike can survive with regular 87 octane gas, it is better that you keep your bike filled up with high-quality gas. I hope this post turns out to be helpful for you!