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Thread: Fuel and Additives for Low Compression Vintage Bikes

  1. #1
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    Fuel and Additives for Low Compression Vintage Bikes

    I'm hoping to buy a 1958 R60 soon and I'm very excited like I was a 12 yr old !
    What sort of Octane fuel and additives are best for the '55 - '60's engines ?

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    For the low compression R60, you should be able to get by with the lowest level octane...maybe bump to the mid level. My R25/2 is running with the mid level. Use what ever grade doesn't result in pinging.

    As for additives, all my bikes have had valves/seats converted to unleaded. Before doing my /7, I had been running various additives like ValvTect that became pretty scarce and then began using a lead additive that Gunk brands make. I think it's a false feeling of security. Probably just as well to not deal with additives and watch the clearances. The additives could possibly end up leaving extra deposits in the engine.

    I'm not a huge fan of using aviation fuel due to the very real restrictions and possible penalties for road use. But people have been known to work with their local community airport to buy small amounts of 100LL fuel and add a bit from time to time to the tank. In addition, you might check with your marinas...I think there are still a lot of older outboard motors that still need leaded fuel.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Curmudgeon time: If your motorcycle won't operate without the need to spew lead fumes into the air then it should be parked as a museum piece. There are enough "mad hatters" in the world without adding more.

    EDIT Added: They have run several MC Cannonball Runs with motorcycles built in the 19 teens, twenties, and thirties, fueling at gas stations along the way, so whatever modifications to valve gear are needed are certainly possible.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 03-20-2017 at 07:27 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  4. #4
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    So, are Unleaded Valve Seats available for '55 -69 Vintage BMW's ? As well as for Singles (250 cc ?), 500 cc and 600 cc engines ?

    Charlie
    Last edited by 72r60/7; 03-20-2017 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Layout

  5. #5
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Should be. Vech at Benchmark Works is the go to person for this.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  6. #6
    The "Mad Hatters" were poisoned by mercury, not lead.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    The "Mad Hatters" were poisoned by mercury, not lead.
    I knew that. I just forgot. It is the people in Flint Michigan that are being poisoned by lead.

    But my point remains. If your bike won't run without illegal lead it needs to be parked. But I think lead-free seats and valves can be obtained.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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