What is the Best Gas for a Dirt Bike? (Pump, Ethanol-Free, or Race)

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Choosing the best gas to run in a dirt bike isn’t as tough as you might think. When looking at our options, we have a few things to consider.

  • Octane level
  • Ethanol or Ethanol-free
  • Race fuel VS Pump gas (basically octane level)

Normally, I would opt for the “best” option since the price difference isn’t exactly astronomical… considering we’re talking about filling a 2-3 gallon dirt bike gas tank. However, I basically never (very rarely) buy “racing fuel” for my bikes or quads.

The best gas to run in a dirt bike is ethanol-free, or “clear” gas. However, if you aren’t filling up a 2-stroke (details below) you can get away with using 87, 89, 91, or 92 octane that you can pump from a gas station.

Why would I choose regular pump gas and not racing fuel? Because I’m not good enough to notice a difference, and I’m SORRY… but you probably aren’t either. Okay, stick around to hear me out.

Gas Station for Dirt Bikes

Who Needs Race Fuel?

Racers. And that’s almost it. In fact, I’d go as far as to say only professional racers are going to notice and be able to squeeze that immeasurable amount of extra power out of their bike.

In addition to professional racers, those who have done decent mods to their motors may need to opt for racing fuel.

You will know because you’ll hear a pinging noise from your motor. This means you simply need to run a higher octane. If that’s the case, here is a great (pre-mixed) race fuel for 2-strokes… and here is a race fuel for 4-strokes to check out.

How to Know What Gas to Use?

As mentioned already once, if you hear a pinging or knocking sound coming from your engine, you need better gas. And in this case, by “better” I mean higher octane.

Other than that, you can get away with almost any regular pump fuel. However, there are a few things to look out for.

  1. Never use gasoline with more than 10% Ethanol
  2. Non-ethanol is ALWAYS better… but not always necessary
  3. It’s safe to start with “regular” (87 octane) and go up from there
  4. If you don’t get paid to race, you probably don’t need racing fuel
  5. NEVER use gasoline with Ethanol in a 2 stroke

Having said all of that… I always use Ethanol-free (clear) gas for my dirt bikes and ATVs.

Best Pump Gas for Dirt Bikes?

I’m not going to get into the weeds and discuss whose gas is the best. As in, I couldn’t tell you (and just DON’T CARE) whether Chevron with Techron is better than BP, or if Conoco is the best for dirt bikes.

I really don’t think it matters!

Premium. That’s what you’re looking for. And in my opinion, you should look for clear (non-ethanol) gas.

What Kind of Fuel Does a 4-Stroke Dirt Bike Take?

As alluded to, if you’ve got a 4-stroke then you’ve got a lot less to worry about. No pre-mixing, and no need to ONLY use Ethanol-free gas (even though I do).

Can you put ethanol gas in a 4 stroke? Yes.

As always, you should always check out your owner’s manual.

What’s the Best Gas to Run in a 2-Stroke Dirt Bike?


Can you put Ethanol gas in a 2 stroke dirt bike? No. The Ethanol additive in gas will eventually destroy your engine. It eats away at the oil you’re putting in. Not cool man. Not cool.

Do some scouting and look around for gas stations that pump “clear” gas. This gas will only be available in higher octanes (92+) but that’s a good thing.

Oh, and while you’re at it… make sure to pump that good gas into a good gas can, like these.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, they do. Don’t skimp. We’re talking about a couple dollars difference per tank to save yourself hundreds (maybe more).

  • There is no correct answer. Lame, I know!

    Basically, the gas comes from the same place and then it’s up to the different companies to add their own additives that make theirs “the best”gas available.

    Long-story-short… just get whatever is convenient to you.