I don't normally put additives in my gas tank or crankcase. Growing up in an era of worthless additives like STP has left me a bit jaded about such products, and I have always gotten along just fine without them thank you.
As some of you know, my bike has pinged badly off and on for a few years now. I would run a tank of premium, do some wide open throttle, and generally ride aggressively on that tank, and the pinging would go away for about 3 or 4 tanks. And the bike had much more power with premium because the ECM wasn't sensing pinging and excessively retarding the timing.
On a recent trip into the Pennsylvania mountains, things got real bad. I had to stop at an ancient gas station in the middle of the mountains that was directly out of a scene from the movie Deliverance, complete with the mumbling hillbilly standing at fuel pumps that still had old style mechanical readouts and no credit card reader.
I am convinced that I got a bad tank of gas, but the pinging was really bad. I couldn't even maintain speed up a steep hill without it pinging terribly, even if I took the rpms up to 4500.
I knew that I had carbon building up in my combustion chamber, and possibly also had injectors that weren't firing correctly, but it was at this point that I decided it was time to try some fuel additive before I destroyed my engine.
After the guy at the local auto parts store told me that both the Techron and SeaFoam were popular, but that the GM dealerships swore by the Techron, I decided to try some. I added half a bottle to a fill up, and within 100 miles, the pinging was almost completely gone. The stuff really did work, and it verified my suspicion about carbon buildup or fuel system varnish.
After thinking about this for awhile, I may add this to my normal maintenance routine on the Wing based simply on a theory.
90% of my riding is commuting and running errands around town, which means that most of my riding is rather sedate. When you have an engine with this much torque compared to the weight it is pulling, it never really gets stressed in that kind of riding, and carbon never gets a chance to be burned off. Based on that theory, I am going to start using the Techron at least once a month on the bike.
I do still have a very slight ping going up steep hills if I really get on it, so there may still be some buildup that needs to be removed. Maybe I will try some SeaFoam on the next tank to see if it takes care of the rest of the problem.
For what it's worth, I still think that Honda was a bit too optimistic in recommending 87 octane for this bike. There are a lot of people that complain about pinging, and my 02 has had slight pinging since it was new. So 89 octane may also become part of my regular routine. An extra 50 cents a tank won't kill me, especially if the bike runs better on it.
Hope this helps someone.