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On my '99 R1100RT, you could definitely hear the bike ping.   On my twin
spark, the bike doesn't audibly ping, but it runs noticably smoother with
premium.   I got a cough or backfire with mid grade pulling off a stop,
especially with a nearly cold engine.  It went away and the engine smoothed
out with premium.

I don't think it hurt anything to run 89 mid grade.   It says you can run it
right on the sticker on the tank.   It's good to know you're not going to hurt
anything if you're stuck out somewhere where there is no premium available.

Lots of 1100s seem to run mid grade OK.   My bike had mods that seemed to
require better gas.  I think racing gas would have even helped.    Never tried
it and would change the bike rather spend the money and be dependent on race

>I have never burned anything but "hi-test" in my 02 R1150RA because I am not
>sure I could hear the detonation (old age and ear plugs) so I do not chance
>it.  Hurts to pay $10 plus to fill the tank though.

>02 R1150RA, Yellow Jacket