Fuel quality and 850's query

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May 22, 2004
I guess this query is more 'pointed' to Nortonfan/ Reg, as his/ your being in the same state , QLD Australia, or even other Australian residents regarding fuel quality.

I know for example that the QLD government, even maybe in conjunction with the Federal government are conducting tests with Ethynol in the fuel around Cairns and its satellites, which includes us.

I have found that if I leave my bike standing or do not use up the tank within a 2 week period.. the bike turns into right DOG!! Even to the point of being bailed up on the side of the road!!!

The only remedy is drain the fuel out and refill with fresh fuel.

I have found BP including the Premium grade the WORST offender..

I have played around with fuel boosters as well (Nulon) and even contacted Nulon on the 1800 number.

I spoke with "Phil" at Union Jack and he made his own suggestions as well.

A work mate replaced the unleaded engine in his Ford 4.1 with a leaded engine and ran in to similar problems with the vehicle running like a Chaff cutter on steroids..

Anyway if I replace the fuel all runs fine.

I have found that Caltex Vortex is the best and Portsmith fuel (Cairns ) are the best..

Many of the boys on classicbike.net , in Australia have not found this problem ~ but most are Strympet riders.. This why I wonder if this is a problem confined to this area. ( I might add this is a tropical area, and temp run around 25-30 deg C as a standard, an high humidity obviously!)

Comments appreciated ~
I have not noticed any problems with fuel in Brisbane SSS.
Maybe just a bit of luck though, the shonky sellers are still out there no doubt.
Norton and fuel

I have a 850 commando to which I had a Mikuni carby fitted about the same time they stopped supplying leaded petrol here in Western Australia, Since then I have nothing but trouble, once the bike is started I need to pull away at once or turn the choke of and keep the revs up, in traffic it is murder as the plugs
Foul up giving the indication that it is running rich. Making any adjustment to the carby and we get the jump jump effect as I call it and indication that it is running weak. On longish runs where the rpm is over 4000 Rpm its good until the next time you come to start it.
The bike is fitted with Boyer ignition, I don’t think this helps.

Hi hows arid WA.. ?

With your being an Ozzie, I can offer the thought that I have over the last six months had horrible troubles as suggested above.

If I left the fuel sit in the bike for two weeks or more I was better off just draining it ALL out and refilling with fresh Go juice.

My Commando also had the dramas of going ~ well ~ OK but if I stopped the restart could be a big drama!

I replaced the plug leads with coppers and fitted NGK iridium plugs which also made a dramatic difference!

(Local classic bike specialist reckoned I was going to have huge problems and would never have any resolution while I had Boyer ignition. Proved that theory is load of BS! )

That is now resolved as the local Caltex has just started supplying Caltex Vortex premium.

This fuel has been in the bike for some three weeks as I have not been out and about much and the bike will still start first kick..
This tells me that this stuff is retaining its potency much more effectively than other fuels.

The local BP bloke was teling me that his fuel is not even BP as there is no local depot. he local BP is in fact Mobil fuel. His is among the worst ~ performers of all

Phil at Union Jack in Melbourne advised me to never use Shell in the Classic bike egines.
850 fuel

Stuart S.S.

Hi Stuart
Thanks for the advice, I have tried the Iridiam Plugs without any luck they were o.k. first time out but the same problem the Second time (Fouled).
I have tried so many Combinations I’m not sure what to try next
As for Caltex Vortex premium I’m not sure we get that over here I will have to check it out, I do know that most of the fuel over here is supplied by B.P. but I’m not sure who puts the additives in it.
Oh, As for W.A. Gods country mate.

Used to have 'digs' in Perth for about 12 months.. bought my Trident over there.. lived in Forrestfield.. Has it's good points.. but have to debate.. THIS is God's own here.. well ~ must be "his/ her " holiday house..

I do know that "Gus" on Classic bike.net, who lives in Gladstone QLD, also a fello Commando owner and with Mikuni fittment, sorted his bike, maybe he has an answer regarding Ozzie content fuel, Mikunis, Commandos and reliabilty.

Maybe there is another Ozzie ~ As Ron says he has not encountered any dramas in Brisbane.
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