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Branched and cycled hydrocarbons usually a higher octane number than their straight chain counterparts. This is due to a more complete and clean (no residue) combustion. In addition, there is no probability of knocking or detonation.

What are the reasons behind this?

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    $\begingroup$ Possible answer in permeakra's final comment to his answer to this question. $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Jan 5, 2016 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ @hb2py I was just about to respond with that as an answer. That is almost certainly the correct explanation. $\endgroup$
    – Zhe
    Oct 8, 2016 at 17:24

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