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Discussion Starter #1
Today I rode without ear plugs, which normally I use on every ride.

As I got on the expressway I rolled the throttle on to WOT, and swore I heard the engine knock. Curious, I went WOT again several times, and confirmed that I was hearing engine knock.

I have Brentune Stage 2 loaded in the bike, and had read several were running that tune without issues on 91, which is the best we are allowed to consume here in the peoples republic of California.

Be careful if you are running Stage 2 and using 91. I will try the Stage 1 tune and see if the knock goes away.

Irks me that the throttle response on the later bikes is so neutered that an $800 tune is almost a necessity, and now the tune has me concerned about potentially harming the engine.

Interested to hear from the Brentune folks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This doesn’t surprise me. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more “issues” with the Stage 2...

The Stage 2 is playing with fire, as far as I’m concerned.
Agreed. I will not use Stage 2 again, and Stage 1 will be monitored very closely for ping. Just wanted to alert those that are made to suffer with 91 octane with stage 2.
 

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I would appreciate any other inputs from K1600 owners using Stage 2 with 91 octane. I noted on the Brentuning website that it says it is designed for 93 octane but works fine on 91 octane. I have seen owners reporting both ways and would like more inputs to help me make an informed decision for my 2018 GA before their sale expires on 12/8.

I can often find 93 but I don't want to have to carry around octane booster or change maps depending on the availability of 93 octane. I have new maps on my Rockets, Concours and ZX-14R but they are all "one and done" and I don't change them. At this point in my life I prefer to keep it relatively simple. I would like the benefits of the Brentune but not if it is going to potentially give me "hiccups".

Note: I'm not interested in going only the Stage 1 option, for me it's all or nothing. I just want to make an informed decision based on the collective experience of K1600 owners. As you are all aware, it's a great bike and I can very easily live with it as it is... Thanks in advance for any informative inputs!
 

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This doesn’t surprise me. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more “issues” with the Stage 2...

The Stage 2 is playing with fire, as far as I’m concerned.
And why is that? I love my stage 2 but I also use Lucas octane boost.
 

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I would appreciate any other inputs from K1600 owners using Stage 2 with 91 octane. I noted on the Brentuning website that it says it is designed for 93 octane but works fine on 91 octane. I have seen owners reporting both ways and would like more inputs to help me make an informed decision for my 2018 GA before their sale expires on 12/8.

I can often find 93 but I don't want to have to carry around octane booster or change maps depending on the availability of 93 octane. I have new maps on my Rockets, Concours and ZX-14R but they are all "one and done" and I don't change them. At this point in my life I prefer to keep it relatively simple. I would like the benefits of the Brentune but not if it is going to potentially give me "hiccups".

Note: I'm not interested in going only the Stage 1 option, for me it's all or nothing. I just want to make an informed decision based on the collective experience of K1600 owners. As you are all aware, it's a great bike and I can very easily live with it as it is... Thanks in advance for any informative inputs!
I would not use stage 2 with 91 ran it once that way by mistake and had a ping. I run 93 all the time in the bike anyway here on the east coast. When I travel I pack a couple of small containers of lucas motorcycle octane boost and used it twice with no problems on 91. Lucas sells the product in individual doses so it does not take up any room. I ran the stage 1 before the 2 came out and never worried about it and never had any issues running lower octane if higher not available.. My bike is an 18 B with remus pipes no cats booster plug and the Bren handheld which gives me stage 1 and 2. I never use stage 1 anymore.
 

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@lieu910 I too am stuck running 91, which as you mentioned, is the best we are allowed to consume here in the peoples republic of California. I don't run the Bren tune on my 18 GTL, but last year I experienced the "ping" on my four wheel BMW -- a 335i with a 6 cylinder twin turbo. My mechanic told me the engine was actually designed to run on 93, and that much of the 91 in California is sub-par anyway. He suggested using Chevron to see if it made a difference. Well, after the first tank it made a big improvement. Needless to say I've been using Chevron exclusively since.

I don't know if this would translate to a K16. I've never had issues on my neutered bike. :) But it might be worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would not use stage 2 with 91 ran it once that way by mistake and had a ping. I run 93 all the time in the bike anyway here on the east coast. When I travel I pack a couple of small containers of lucas motorcycle octane boost and used it twice with no problems on 91. Lucas sells the product in individual doses so it does not take up any room. I ran the stage 1 before the 2 came out and never worried about it and never had any issues running lower octane if higher not available.. My bike is an 18 B with remus pipes no cats booster plug and the Bren handheld which gives me stage 1 and 2. I never use stage 1 anymore.
That might be a good idea out in my area regardless of which tune I have in the bike. Seems like a bit of hassle to have to go through that process at fill up each time (to me). However, it sure beats doing damage to the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, so according to Amazon (1) 2 oz bottle will treat 5 gallons of fuel, and costs $7.95 ea. There is no way I am going through the cost and inconvenience of doing this ritually. That's a deal breaker as far as I am concerned.

I'll reload stage 1 into the bike and see how it goes. Unfortunately, now I am always going to be concerned about on some level even with Stage 1.
 

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LONG story short. It might say it’s fine to run Stage 2 with 91 octane on the Bren site. It also says Ironbutt riders should maintain Stage 1 for less than optimal gas choices across the country.

Chris at Bren told me in an email do not run Stage 2 in CA. Even the best quality gas out here is suspect. I inquired with other forum members much smarter than me re Stage 2 for a CA bike. Answer, don’t do it, possible engine damage at stake.

I only run Stage 1. The risk for Stage 2 is not worth the reward for me. I had a ‘12 and ‘15 GT, I know what I am missing even with Stage 1. The ‘18 with Stage 1 is improved but still not like the bikes of old.


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Discussion Starter #12
LONG story short. It might say it’s fine to run Stage 2 with 91 octane on the Bren site. It also says Ironbutt riders should maintain Stage 1 for less than optimal gas choices across the country.

Chris at Bren told me in an email do not run Stage 2 in CA. Even the best quality gas out here is suspect. I inquired with other forum members much smarter than me re Stage 2 for a CA bike. Answer, don’t do it, possible engine damage at stake.

I only run Stage 1. The risk for Stage 2 is not worth the reward for me. I had a ‘12 and ‘15 GT, I know what I am missing even with Stage 1. The ‘18 with Stage 1 is improved but still not like the bikes of old.


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That would have been good to know right from the beginning. I have had Stage 2 in the bike for over 1K miles. Oh, and I am coming out of factory warranty, bonus.
 

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I only recently (about a month and a half ago) got the Bren tune for my ‘18, and have been running the stage 1 with 91 because I’m also in Cali and I didn’t want to have any of the issues already stated here. Stage 2 is tempting, but I don’t want to deal with octane boosters at every fill up. One thing to note though, is that Bren recommends Shell gas for their tune. Evidently, their take is that Shell premium has the highest octane rating on average compared to other brands. Not sure if I buy that or not, but the internet said so, so it must be true, lol.
 

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You guys are bumming me out. I've been running the Stage 2 tune (and loving it) since shortly after the group buy. Ive never noticed any knocking or pinging as I always wear hearing protection but I do trust the hive mind of this forum. Generally, I put 93 octane in my bike but, when out on the road and it's not available, I've settled for 91. I have octane booster but haven't bothered with it lately. I guess I should get back in the habit.
 

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FWIW, I think the hard line re Stage 1 v. Stage 2 gas quality issue definitely applies to us here in CA. Unless someone out here in CA can provide a real life experience to the contrary...?

The hybrid (93/91) scenarios I guess time will tell. I remember this coming up in other threads, it just wasn’t heavily scrutinized. Again, no expert here.

Just an educated guess but it would not surprise me for a second if 91 octane quality in other parts of the country exceeded 91 here in CA.


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Discussion Starter #17
I just reloaded Stage 1 and went for a ride. Rolled onto WOT and did not hear any pinging with Stage 1. I'll try to stick with Shell or Chevron out here going forward. I can live without Stage 2. The bike makes plenty of snort even without a tune, I just wanted to get rid of the lazy throttle response.

As has been stated, if you only have access to 91 in your area, you might want to seriously reconsider running stage 2. Had I not gone for a ride without ear plugs, I may have never noticed that my bike was pinging under load, which is a little distressing.

I think going forward, I will most likely pass on tunes just for the peace of mind.
 

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Something else to consider with a premium gas fill on a motorcycle. Unless the pump has a dedicated hose for premium, when you fill a motorcycle (maybe 4 gallons), the first nearly gallon or so will likely be what was left in the hose from the last vehicle that filled up which is most likely to be regular fuel. One way to ensure you get the best premium fill possible is to fill up right after someone else just used premium which can make you look like you are creeping on others unless you get lucky and follow a high end car that you know uses premium. Alternatively, if you have another vehicle that uses premium, when you fill that vehicle, fill a 5 gallon can for your bike right after.
 

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Yep good way to crack a piston. Bren tune and pinging. Ask me how I know.
You know there's the right way and the short cut to more power. The right way is bigger pistons, higher lift longer duration cams and larger valves and throttle body to match. The short cut is to tune the motor right at the ragged edge by pushing the timing and adding more fuel aka the Bren tune. So keep thinking Bren is the answer. My GT with a booster plug walks away from a B with the Bren and we both have full Remus systems. He's spotting me about 50 lbs in rider weight so you tell me....................
 

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