E15: What are Your Thoughts?

E15: What are Your Thoughts?

Guys getting gasPlenty of debate surrounds E15, an ethanol fuel blend made up of 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol.

Earlier this week, the American Motorcyclist Association took their stance against this further supporting U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) and the RFS Reform Act of 2013 via a press release. According to the release, the bipartisan bill would amend the previously approved Renewable Fuel Standard prohibiting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from allowing gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol content into the marketplace. If the amendment is approved, E15 would no longer be permitted.

Many motorcyclists and motorcycle activists, have continually expressed their concerns about possible damage to motorcycle engines by use of E15. In fact, the EPA has only approved this fuel for light duty vehicles model year 2001 and newer as well as flex-fuel vehicles. Vehicles older than 2001, small engines, boats and motorcycles have not been approved to use E15.

J&P Cycles’ own Senior Technician Scott Holton has this to say about E10 and E15: while this is an environmentally-friendly way to assist with emission controls, it does have risks and downfalls. Living in Iowa, land of rolling cornfields, E10 is readily available and pushed. He and his wife run it in their cages, but stay away from it when their motorcycles are concerned. Scott runs a SU Carb on his 2003 Bottle Camp Indian Power Plus 100. Whenever exposed to ethanol, the carb’s fuel inlet valves rubber tip swells causing the float needle not to seat allowing the carb to overflow. Additionally, he has to richen the carb’s tuning to compensate for the oxygenated fuel.

Tell us how you feel about E15 – do you support AMA’s take?

By |2015-04-14T16:17:25+00:00October 24th, 2013|Categories: Editorial/Commentary Articles, News/Events Articles|98 Comments

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  1. Jerry Wood December 30, 2015 at 6:17 am

    In Florida you can buy non ethanol right at the pump in most places. If you have a carburetor, that is the gas for you. If you have an older motorcycle that is high compression like a Triumph Bonneville TT you need to make friends at your local airport and get some 100LL. That gas never goes bad and is 100 octane, so you can run 11 to 1 in your older hot rod bike and not get detonation. As for our lawmakers, we need to vote out the folks who take the money from big business to make the rules that they want.

    • Rusty December 30, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Worked for 16 years at a motorcycle salvage shop and saw first-hand the damage ethanol does to motorcycles. I use this stuff in absolutely nothing I own by choice. I have to on occasion used it in an emergency when nothing else is available in my fuel injected vehicles. Never in my carbureted ones. Saw way too many nylon bushings & rubber diaphragms eaten up by this stuff to ever chance that. I gladly spend a little extra at the pump for real gas.

  2. Wildog November 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I always use the best gas available but I found that there is 1 station in town that has gas with no Ethanol and will buy my gas there. I have been buying at a station who’s gas is not from the Mid-East but from the US but they have Ethanol in their gas, so I will buy there for my truck and the no Ethanol gas for my Harley. I guess politicians don’t ride motorcycles. Aloha,Wildog

  3. Brenda Simpson October 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    It may be best for the environment but it will also take a toll on the bikes’ engines. It would render buying a bike useless because you can’t use it to its full capacity. It’s like buying it but knowing that it will be doomed anytime soon.

  4. Randall October 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    While travelling through Wyoming and Montana this summer on our 09 Wing, we had to run 10% fuel. Fuel mileage and performance did suffer. When we got to Sturgis I put some of the KILLER Premium in that is sold @ a gas station on Junction in Sturgis, the bike came back to life but when I got home I had to add fuel additive to 2 tanks of fuel to get things the way I knew they should be.
    Have you ever wondered why Ethanol is transported by truck or rail and not by pipeline? It’s because ethanol is to corrosive for pipeline steel!
    I have written to Grassley, Harkin and King. From their responses I would say they are all in the bag for Ethanol associated lobbys.
    I ALSO ASKED THE 3 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMEN who would help with the repair bills if my boat, pwc motorcyles or auto were harmed by E15. I never got a response so I would assume that they wouldn’t subsidize my repairs.

  5. Pete Oldenburg October 31, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Corn gas is the worst thing ever for fuel systems. It spoils in a couple of months and plugs carbs and fuel filters. Maybe the EPA should ban cows. They produce more air pollution from methane gas than anything else.

  6. Ken October 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I do not use ethanol gas in any of my small engine tools. I spend the extra 60 cents or more per gallon and get non ethanol gas. It is cheaper than replacing chain saws, lawn mowers, edgers, etc. I will avoid, if possible putting it in my bike. Personally, I would like to see ethanol gas banned.

  7. TRexSG October 30, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    The whole idea of using ethanol in gas is ludicrous. It actually costs more to make ethanol than normal gas, it makes vehicles run poorly, it causes them to get worse mileage, it causes them to produce less power, it causes mechanical problems and it takes food that should be used for human consumption and puts it into gas tanks.
    Let’s see what is wrong with this picture? Oh….GOVERNMENT!!!!

  8. Sonny Sear October 30, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Ethanol only hinders performance, I worked for 40+ years on exotic autos and since inception of Corn Fuel it’s damaged more fuel systems and components ( ask Jaguar development ), as well as motorcycles, boats and antiques.. The oil co. can produce proper fuel for America .. Also at a reasonable Price !!! Instead of shipping it out of the USA…

  9. Raul Rivera October 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I dont even use that sh*t if I didn’t have to but the matter of the fact is its already in our gas pump they should just leave where it belongs in corn oil for cooking.

  10. Darren Pynn October 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    My experiance with blended fuels in my car is that i end up with lower gas milage and less power so i end up burning more gallons regardless. meaning more carbon emmisions regardless.
    my bike ran like shit on blended fuel , my fule mileage sucked and i ended up refueling more than on raw gas. so it may save the gas produces money, we uses pay for it all in the end.

    • greek October 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      darren the gas produces don’t want it , the goverment is making them put it in the gas , pay off to the farm lobby ,

  11. george October 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I wont even use it to Start a Fire with

  12. Glen Fengstad October 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I am totally against the use of corn as a fuel. This is just wrong-headed thinking on so many levels. We have people starving, and yet each year, more acres of productive land are turned over to growing fuel for vehicles, not people! There is also the issue of the water needed to grow these crops of corn. Water is now more valuable than gasoline, yet we continue to pour it on corn by the barrel.
    There are those who have bought into the finite resource argument about oil, but we continue to find more oil every day. If the current administration would allow full on oil drilling, the United States could be totally self-sufficient and actually would be in a position to export any surplus product.
    If we really do have to have ethanol, why not make it out of the waste by-products of agriculture? There are several plants in the area that I live in, that are using these products to create ethanol, and I think that is an ethical and sane thing to do.

  13. Nick Stamis October 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Maybe this is how they plan to stimulate the economy by penalizing anyone who cannot afford to buy new or chooses not to. E-15 will create chaos. My 2008 Ford manual specifically says not to use anything over E-10. They designed the car. So for all of you who say this is not a problem. I say YOU are the problem! Yes I have experience built engines for 44 years and counting. I fail to see the logic to the increase of ethanol all it does in my eyes is make the fat cats richer at everyones expense including the rising cost of food. Follow the money.

  14. Ron October 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I’m on the negative side against use of ethanol as an additive for any reason. I own and ride, and ride a lot, only vintage bikes, 1932 and 1941 Harley side-valves, a 74 in and an 80 in. I’ve noticed swelling of the gas cap seal washer and unfortunately I’m going to have to strip all the sealer from inside the gas tanks because I’m starting so see some rust spots inside the fuel tanks which means a re-seal and re-paint. Not a cheap deal! Why you ask? The ethanol has a large water content which causes metal of all types, except stainless steel, to corrode or rust and in time will desolve most sealers.
    Worst part of all this is in most areas there is no alternative to ethanol.

  15. Just Me October 30, 2013 at 11:35 am

    The largest problem with any ” E ” fuel is the water ABSORPTION problem. In the old days, we all used Heat or Gas-line Antifreeze, mostly in the winter. This was to help pass the water that got in the gas tank from condensation. This condensation could enter the gasoline either at any of the storage tanks in the distribution system or through our own gas caps. It mostly happened in the fall and spring months when there was high humidity and large air temperature changes. This would suck air into the tanks as temps dropped and the moisture in the air would condense in the tanks as water. The water would sink to the bottom of the tank as it is heavier than gasoline. The water would get sucked up off from the bottom of the tank and freeze, plugging the gas lines, fuel pumps, and carbs. The gasoline antifreeze we added to our tanks combined with the water so as to keep it from freezing and pass it through the engine and ( Hopefully ) out the exhaust pipe.
    The ” E ” in gasoline is nothing more than gasoline antifreeze. It is good in the Spring and Fall but can cause problems in today’s fuel systems. New materials are being used, more plastic and other compounds, in the fuel systems. Some of these materials are affected by constant contact with “E”. But, the Industries ( ? ) are working on the problem. Now, where do we stand with our small engines? If you store ANY engine for a period of time, completely drain ALL fuel out of the system and run the carb dry. Hopefully, this will help but it also dries out the system parts before new fuel is put in next Spring or Summer. If your engine is stored inside of a dry, reasonably air tight garage, you may store it with only a small amount of gas in it. Then at least once a month, start the engine ( with plenty of ventilating ) and run it for at least 30 minutes. Adding new , fresh gas in small amounts at this time helps. As for your Harleys, leave a small amount of fuel in the tank. Start them at least once a month and go for a ride if you can. Refill the tank as soon as possible when you leave your garage with fresh gas and then run the tank low again before storage. I know, all the good books say fill the tank full before storage but think of this. A full tank still sucks in air as the fuel decreases in volume as the temperature drops. Why have a full tank of contaminated fuel when you can only have a small amount of bad gas to burn off. Leaving your tank low and filling it with fresh winter gas will be much easier on your engine. If you have to store your bike outside, just try to ride it more often or at least start it and let it run until the engine is hot but not too hot.
    Burning off bad gas, even in small amounts, is a good excuse to go for a ride and we need all of those excuses we can get even in the winter which usually has a few okay days.

  16. Webranger October 30, 2013 at 10:26 am

    The EPA probably has a mission statement from back when it was formed. Just as does the FDA and the USDA and so on. The point being, that these agencies were formed to protect the consumer, or the public at large , from corporations who wanted to pollute and or foister their bad products, drugs, eggs, hamburger meat—whatever. NOW these government agencies do nothing to protect the public, gobble up huge sums of tax dollars…even battling each other in court WITH OUR MONEY! E15 is gasoline laced with 15% non-green, unecological, has less energy density, causes reliability and maintenance issues, a poor substitute for real gasoline. It seems like with the fuel taxes we already pay that WE (the American Public) would insist that our fuel not be diluted with a compound which cheats us of the mpg we could get on the pure fuel. Someone posted that dragsters use alcohol. That is true. But the alcohol they run is methanol—- not ethanol. If they knew any chemistry they would not confuse the two….
    Sorry for the rant but I just wish the EPA and all the other government agencies would have to show proof of fulfilling their mission statements or else not be funded till they do.

  17. David Paige October 30, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Check out this web site for the good stuff!

  18. Bill Cahill October 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Sorry for the double post – got an error on the first upload

  19. Bill Cahill October 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

    First I am an auto tech for 35 years and shop owner for 26 years and I wrench my own 2005 FLHTCI (which needed valve seals at 15K miles).
    Let’s set the “E numbers” correct so we are all on the same page. E10 is 10% ethanol and 90% gas – E15 is 15 % Ethanol 85% and gas and E85 is 85% ethanol and 15% gas. So the E## is the ethanol content (E10, E15 and E85).
    As to the E15 mandate – this is not new. The EPA had set the standard and informed the manufacturers’ years ago that E85 would be the standard – they chose to ignore it. That is why we are paying for it today.
    True, it does cause corrosion issues and stability issues in the tank. But for the most part it is easily overcome with a stabilizer. The stabilizer goes in before I fill my gas can, spring, summer, winter or fall. I have had gas in my generator for over 10 months and it started right up. I then ran it drained it and refilled it for yet another year and I run it about every 10 weeks just to warm it up and charge the battery.
    Rule of thumb is no such thing as too much stabilizer. Double or triple the dose does nothing bad.
    In the northeast, boaters were forced to use E10 at marinas and it ate the fiberglass tank in older boats and the EPA didn’t blink over the complaints. Boaters with molded tanks built into the boat’s hull during construction were screwed.
    E85 is a better fuel, it is cleaner. And if the engine and fuel systems are designed to use it, it produces more power. Alcohol dragsters use it with great success. And by the way, the ketchup bottle you see them squirting in the throttle at start up is raw gas, (Hence E85 is 15% gas) because you can’t start them on straight alcohol. But there compression ratio in the 14:1 neighborhood and delivers some awesome HP.
    The biggest drawback to ethanol is it aids in creating carbon deposits.
    First we had MBTE which was an environmental nightmare and caused drivability issues back in the 90’s. But most were carburetor related and I rebuilt all of my own back then. After replacing the “worn” component and using factory adjustments, everything ran fine – so there was no need to “tune” or alter the carbs. We did see a large number of electric fuel pump failures as well. The offshoot was we started to see carbon deposits on valves.
    Now we have switched to E10 and carbon deposits are worse. All cars are injected today and carbon forms in place not imaginable back in the 70’s and 80’s. Oils must be better, seals must be better, but overall we have not seen the same drivability and component failure rates as MBTE – because the manufacturers ramped up to meet the E10 standard.
    But when it came time to meet the E15 requirements they fell short. I can hear all of them now speaking to the EPA, “Huh, you really meant E15?”
    And the fuel economy is a design issue also. If you run regular gas in an 8:1 compression vehicle and get good gas mileage and then switch to E10, you need to bump the compression to say 9:1 to get the same mileage. Sorry, but no easy way to switch compression ratios at the pump when choosing fuels.
    Lastly, Brazil is energy independent because they use primarily E85. They make their ethanol from sugar cane that yields more ethanol per unit than corn. It is cheaper than straight gasoline. Their cars are specifically designed for E85 (NOT Flex fuel vehicles with low compression that can run E85). So they have higher compression, more power, run cleaner and have comparable fuel economy as to gasoline – for less cash at the pump.
    So let’s put the blame on those who design and sell our vehicles for $$$$ rather than blame big brother for everything. If big oil, big car companies and big everyone else would stop pushing back, we could have cleaner air, energy independence and good running vehicles for less cash at the pump.

    • John Shelton October 30, 2013 at 11:37 am

      Bill Cahill I want to ask you one question. What fuel dragster uses ethanol as fuel? Give me a name, a specific and verifyable user.

  20. David Paige October 30, 2013 at 9:10 am

    E10 sucks a big one and E15 is going to be even worse.
    Any engine with a carb is going to pay the price as most carbs are made of aluminum and anyone that has ever rebuilt a carb will know what water does to a carb when it sits for a while, and E10 is nothing but a water magnet. And not only is ethanol a water magnet it is also very corrosive, if you don’t beleave me just ask someone like a truck & tractor puller or a drag racer that uses 100% ethanol as a fuel. They never leave it in the fuel system or tanks because of the corrosion and the water it will produce. Also normal fuel line is NOT compatible with E10 little less E15.
    A friend of mine found out about this the had way, he just had to replace all of the fuel lines on his wave runner. And just to show you how bad it is, Seadoo has a retro fit fuel line kit for it’s wave runners.
    So to stay away from this E10, E15 and E85 crap go to http://pure-gas.org/ and it will tell you where you can get REAL gas WITHOUT ethanol not this crap they are selling now as gas.

  21. Dennis October 30, 2013 at 8:32 am

    While i was reading about the E15 which i agree is f—ed up. I read where your senior technician said it makes the inlet valves rubber tip swell so the float can’t seat properly. My wife has a ’89 883 hugger with a keihn carb every time she shuts it off seems o.k. but when i go out to the garage the next morning there’s a small puddle of gas under it. same thing you think?

    • David Paige October 30, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Dennis go to this web site and get gas, not crap.

  22. Robert Sjostrom October 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Get over it guys our government no longer listens to us so please stop checking the “D” on the ballot

  23. Bill Cahill October 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

    First I am an auto tech for 35 years and shop owner for 26 years and I wrench my own FLHTCI.

    All of this is not new. The EPA had set the standard and informed the manufacturers years ago that E85 would be the standard – they chose to ignore it. That is why we are paying for it.

    True, it does cause corrosion issues and stability issues in the tank. But for the most part it is easily overcome with a stabilizer. The stabilizer goes in before I fill my gas can, spring, summer, winter or fall. I have had gas in my generator for over 10 months and it started right up. I then ran it, drained it and refilled it for yet another year.

    Rule of thumb is no such thing as too much stabilizer.

    In the northeast, boaters were forced to use E10 at marinas and it ate the fiberglass tank in older boats and the EPA didn’t blink. Boats with molded tanks built into the hull during construction were screwed.

    E85 is a better fuel, it is cleaner. And if the engine and fuel systems are designed to use it, it produces more power. Alcohol dragsters use it with great success. And by the way, the ketchup bottle you see them squirting in the throttle at start up is raw gas, (Hence E85 is 15% gas) because you can’t start them on straight alcohol. But there compression ratio in the 14:1 neighborhood delivers some awesome HP.

    The biggest draw back is carbon deposits.

    First we had MBTE which caused drivability issues back in the 90’s. But most were carburetor related and I rebuilt all of my own back then. After replacing the “worn” component and using factory adjustments, everything ran fine – so no need to “tune” the carbs. We did see a large number of electric fuel pump failures as well. The offshoot was we started to see carbon deposits on valves.

    Now we have switched to E10 and carbon deposits are worse. All cars are injected today and carbon forms in place not imaginable back in the 70’s and 80’s. Oils must be better, seals must be better, but overall we have not seen the same drivability and component failure rates as MBTE – because the manufacturers ramped up to meet the E10 standard.

    But when it came time to meet the E15 requirements they fell short. I can hear them now speaking to the EPA, “Huh, you really meant E15?”

    And the fuel economy is a design issue also. If you run regular gas in an 8:1 compression vehicle and get good gas mileage and then switch to E10, you need to bump the compression to say 9:1 to get the same mileage. Sorry, but no easy way to switch compression ratios at the pump when choosing fuels.

    Lastly, Brazil is energy independent because they use primarily E85. They make their ethanol from sugar cane that yields more than corn. It is cheaper than straight gasoline. Their cars are specifically designed for E85 (NOT Flex fuel vehicles that can run E85) So they have higher compression, more power and comparable fuel economy as to gasoline – for less cash at the pump.

    So lets put the blame on those who design and sell our vehicles for $$$$ rather than blame big brother for everything. If big oil, big car companies and big everything else would stop pushing back, we could have cleaner air, energy independence and good running vehicles.

  24. Casey stamper(drifter) October 30, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I had a 1989 Goldwing bur
    N because the rubber on the fuel cock was ate away

  25. Terry Yates October 30, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I have run 87 octane e 10 in my 98 Harley for years and have never had any problems. My bike has 78,000 miles on it and runs as strong today as it was when it was new.Please do not make people spend extra money on fuel that they don’t need.

    • Bob November 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Who do you think pays the billions in subsidies to the ethanol producers? We the people!

      • Bobby Lewis November 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm

        Yep and your fuel does not sit in your tank for more than 90 days either. Let it sit for much longer and watch what happens.

  26. dagman October 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

    I have been riding for 46 years,25 of it in Michigan I have not found any gas stations in that state that didn’t have 10% ethanol,now Sta-Bil puts out an additive for ethanol gas . I’ve been running that gas in my 2003 wideglide since I bought it just starting to have problems.

    • David Paige October 30, 2013 at 9:53 am

      This web site will tell you where you can get gas!

  27. James hartness October 30, 2013 at 7:38 am

    I think this is another case of the EPA not understanding the side effects of what they do. E-15 is more ethanol which in turn will attract more water, as well as lower fuel mileage even further. I believe the stoichiometric Air Fuel Ratio for Pure gasoline is 14.7 parts air to 1 part fuel. E-85 is somewhere around 8.9 parts air to 1 part fuel. I know most of the shops around here are tuning to approx. 13.7 parts air to 1 part fuel with E-10. Ethanol has a lower BTU rating, and therefore it takes more fuel to run you vehicle correctly. When I was in a GM engine performance class about e-85 they said the typical vehicle will experience approx. a 30-35 % decrease in fuel economy. To top all of that off One of the Characteristics of Ethanol is that it attracts water. There are products in the market to cam at the effect of water in you fuel as well as the water attracting effects of Ethanol, so even more cost to the consumer. Washington doesn’t care if it cost you more or destroys your personal property all they care about is getting reflected and unfortunately we the people have not been doing our job if they allow E-15 to hit the market place. It clearly states in both of the manuals of the bikes I own No more than 10% ethanol or they warranty is void.

    • Gene Hoffmeyer October 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Rick got it right. Had raced karts in the past. We burned straight methanol in our 4 stroke Briggs motors. It was not uncommon to have to buy new fuel between races because Methanol attracts moisture, becomes cloudy and burns poorly. Not to mention most engines don’t care for water. It was my understanding that the new fuel will have to be mixed at the pump because over a short period of time it will separate. Got to think this will not be good for metal tanks over the long run especially ones that sit for periods of time.
      I have used additives to compensate for reduced power. In all my equipment Chainsaws, lawn mowers, bikes I have installed (If they did not have one) shutoff valves. I do my best to run the fuel out of carbureted motors. Chainsaws tanks are emptied then run till they are dry. Clear fuel lines can turn to mush over the winter.

      • richard Freudenberger October 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

        Gene, good points but methanol has a different molecular structure than ethanol. It is toxic and very corrosive, while ethanol (grain alcohol) is only mildly corrosive by comparison. Both are hygroscopic–they attarct water over time. Methanol is the kind of fuel that one should have training for to store and use–best for a racing environment. Ethanol doesn’t have the toxins or public liability issues. By the way, the Indy cars use ethanol fuel now as a fire safety precaution, for all those out there that think it is dangerous — just sayin’.

  28. Rick brooks October 30, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Probably can’t stop it . But would like to see more non- enthanol gas available at more gas stations thank u

    • rick October 30, 2013 at 8:35 am

      You can stop it. Stop voting for politicians (Democrats) who stop our way of life through fiat via EPA or by a single Judge because they cannot get it passed through law. The more ethanol you put in gasoline, the less stable it is. People with engines (supposedly) built to run E85, who used it exclusively, ruined their engines. Regular gasoline has lubricating properties that diminish with the more ethanol you put in it. Ethanol is a welfare payment to farmers. There are studies that say we burn as much energy making it as we get from it.

  29. ottosear October 30, 2013 at 5:50 am

    I lost an early Arctic Cat F.I. motor to reformulated gas. I didn’t have the jumper wire with me. And I was riding on a trail in lower Wisconsin. It cost $1200 to repair the top end. That, plus the price Of food has doubled. Because everything has high fructose. CORN syrup in it. Thanks, Obama. But I want my gas back.

  30. dennis guglielmi October 30, 2013 at 5:36 am

    i have been using E10 in Nj in my 07 Road King and without an additive it runs rough like crap. It has messed up the carbs on all my Ecco lawn tools. I use an additive most of the time its corrected.I guess it depends how old the gas is at the gas station but I would love to see all pure petro.

  31. T October 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    The EPA is another commie group that wants to destroy our way of life. Time has come to abolish this criminal group and return to our lives!

  32. rick breiner October 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I wish they’d mandate 25 30 percent maybe more I’m tired of this country sending its wealth overseas

  33. John Valentine October 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I know there are some of you(my friends) out there that have already been ticked off for years about ‘things'(helmets, etc.) and I’m not looking to throw extra bombs out – but unless someone’s already brought it up – there’s a nasty truth out there about this whole alcohol crapper. In the real world, you have to make a profit – and gasohol doesn’t: it’s not even a zero-sum game. It costs more to make than producing decent gasoline, and is one of the main things causing the galloping jump in food prices you’ve seen(unless, of course, you’ve LIKED the price of food lately). So why the push? Well, the treehuggers don’t even want you to have gas in the first place, so they don’t care what alcohol costs. The EPA is also a witches’ coven full of them, and they are some nasty little true believers, so don’t expect any sympathy from those unelected busybodies. And, finally, the godlet in the White House hates your guts because you’re a white European(his words, and his socialist raisers), or worse, if you ride and you’re not white, you’re not black enough or Red enough and he hates you even worse than ‘white imperialists’ he’s going to punish. And domestic gas is just another one of 20 or 30-some points to attack us with. And, hate us, he does. Hates anything to do with additional personal freedom – if you think I’m dreaming, check out what his little cop gestapos are doing to private pilots and general aviation: armed SWAT teams ordering you out of the air to be met with automatic weapons on the airfield. After trailing you in aircraft all the way across the country. Knowing that you are not a drug smuggler. And pilots’ version of the EPA nightmare clowns on their case, is trying to do away with aviation gasoline . . . You, and I, are next. Even though producing E-anything gasoline makes no economic or business sense. Any solution possible? Well, folks, ya better comb yer hair, put on a suit, and ALL of you better start camping on your Congresscritters'(both flavors) doorsteps continuously, ’cause they’re the only ones that can stop him, his Feds, and this. And, lately, have you noticed there are only about three or four of them in Congress with the ‘nads to refuse to roll over for this bunch? (Rant over, hope I didn’t take too much time, but I’ll remind everyone that it’s all factual – and I really don’t find people under my bed . . .) (Check out the AOPA website for the relevant videos about CBP vs. pilot incidents) All the best

    • John Shelton October 30, 2013 at 11:57 am

      So, it costs as much to produce ethanol as it sells for?? That would make a gallon of gasoline/alcohol blend more expensive than pure gasoline. Why do stations in my area of the country who have pure gasoline and E10 available at the same pump, just as regular and premium grades, charge 10 and 15 cents a gallon premium price for the pure gasoline?

      • Bob November 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

        Because the government subsidies ethanol producers to keep the cost lower!!! Don’t people even check these things out??
        In 2009 alone, biofuels received $6 billion of federal subsidies via tax credits according to the Congressional Budget Office, and if existing policies continue, taxpayers’ support for corn-based ethanol biofuels will total more than $30 billion in the next five years.

        • Tomas Stillings November 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

          Because the government subsidies ethanol producers to keep the cost lower!!! Don’t people even check these things out??
          In 2009 alone, biofuels received $6 billion of federal subsidies via tax credits according to the Congressional Budget Office, and if existing policies continue, taxpayers’ support for corn-based ethanol biofuels will total more than $30 billion in the next five years.

          I have a better idea what we can do with the 30 billion dollars that will be spent subsidizing AMERICAN farmers and ethanol producers. Let’s spend it on social and welfare programs that will be needed to support the farmers and ethanol plant workers who lost their source of income due to the decrease in demand for corn and other products made from corn. Better yet, let’s send another billion dollars to the Syrian rebels who are trying to over-throw Asaad. The Syrian rebels are a brach of Al Qaeda, the same terrorist network who destroyed the World Trade Center. The reason the United States is trying to ween ourselves from the dependance on middle east oil imports and promoting the use of domestic made, renewable sources of energy, such as ethanol. You can bitch all you want about eliminating ethanol blended gasoline, but nobody in Washington is listening. It is here to stay, get used to it.

          • richard freudenberger November 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

            Tomas Stillings: Thanks for your comments. Very few people connect the dots like you have done. Instead, they want everything to stay the same, comfortable at any cost. By the way, how many taxpayers realize to what an incredible extent we subsidize the petroleum industry. It pales in comparison to ethanol subsidies.

    • richrd December 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Ha Ha– this guy’s a riot!

  34. Steve Massy October 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Selling ethanol as better for the environment is a misrepresentation. Because ethanol has a lower fuel efficiency, ethanol produces 54% more CO2 than gasoline.

  35. Steve Massy October 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Whenever possible I use ethanol free fuel. You can locate gas stations with pure gas at

  36. John Glover October 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Ethanol is the worst fraud ever played on the American public. Endorsed by midwest corn growing politicians, it has ruined more engines and fuel economy than any other substance. When mixed with 2 cycle oil, it turns to gum, the cause of all the broken chainsaws, leaf blowers, and and weed whackers you see in small engine repair shops across the country. Has anyone ever seen a story in the news or other media stating not to use this stuff in your 2 cycle engines? Ever wonder why not? It’s the worst kept secret in the country.
    Put it in your car and use it within a month, no problem. Put it in your bike and store it for the winter, come spring you will have water in your tank and damage to rubber fuel lines.
    Here is the kicker: It takes 2 gallons of gasoline to plant, fertilize, spray insecticide and herbicide on the corn plants, combine it, haul it to a distillery, and cook the corn into one gallon of ethanol. So we save a tenth of a gallon of gas, and burn 2 gallons. Then we put it in our tanks, and lose about 10 percent of our fuel mileage. I feel like I’ve been raped by a 7 dick walrus!

  37. Randy Jones October 29, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I’ve seen the damage firsthand that gasohol does to carbureted engines and personnally will only run it in a few of my fuel injected ones. I’ve seen carburetors so damaged that they could not be repaired due to nylon bushings being ate up. It is only good economically for the farmers that raise the product due to government subsidies and should have been stopped back in the 70’s. There is no benefit in producing it at all. I’m sure the utility companies & Oil companies love it though.

  38. Don Crain October 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I have a 2006 Honda VTX1800N and only run Premium with no moon shine (ethanol) added. If that’s all I can find, I always carry a can of Sea Foam with me to mix with the E10 crap the government makes us use. I would never run E15.
    BTW, why doesn’t “Pro-Choice” apply to gasoline??

  39. Shvlhead68 October 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Can’t get anything but E10 where I live. Didn’t know you could get anything else. I ride my 1980 Harley year round and will start buying racing fuel at more cost from now on, after reading these posts!

    • David Paige October 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

      This web site tells where you can get gas and not crap.

  40. knobby55 October 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Live in Canada and our 91 & 94 octane does not contain ethanol. Use it in my ’74 Sportster, lawn equipment with no problems. Prior to that, using low test with ethanol, meant a visit to the small engine guy to have repairs done in the spring. I do put stabilizer in my gas containers for my equipment because according to the “gas guys” small containers ( 2-5 gals) of gas deteriorates much faster than 20+ gals. Hope it works out for you guys…….

  41. Chapmaheiney October 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Most metro areas on east cost don’t have anything but methanol blended gas. To get non-blended gas you can drive to places like Norfolk or Bristol va but not anywhere near dc metro area. Would like to have had options but nope. Had to reline tank and replace all parts inside tank of Harley after sitting for 6 months due to this crap. Dealer said tank should have been fine however they simply replace the tanks now that the problem is so common. Yes the gas not only caused rust inside the tank but ate the factory liner that Harley said should have been fine. As for cars, ok I don’t mind replacing my rubber fuel line in my 40 Plymouth because they just get soft with ptfe line but being forced to rebuild the carbs once a year or be forced to move to efi because of this junk is not right. My new cars same thing, even though I own a 09 car the manufacturer has stated that the car was ment to run streight gas not blended but nothing higher then 10% or warranty is null and void. Can’t afford to buy racing fuels for a daily driver, wait racing fuels were alcohol based in the 90s, and pure gas no options anywhere even remotely close. Yea ok dump the fuel when ridding season comes to a close or generator not in use. Folks next door going to love the sounds of the hot rod, Harley, generator and lawnmower just running till the tanks run dry. So much for keeping gas on hand for the snowblower.

  42. Lynn Vandevander October 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Ever since I have been running E-10 gasoline in any of our vehicles, the mileage per gallon has dropped considerably.I don’t see the point that the government mandates us to use this “CRAP”. I say… run gasoline without any ethanol and save gasoline by allowing more M.P.G. Its just like Obama care, it sucks and will not work for the American people. What an “against the people” government we have. So, now we get less M.P.G., and more damaged vehicles and equiptment. Make the U.S. of Russa stop this nonsense!!!!

    • Ira October 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      I agree Lynn. Anyway you look at this government and oil companies, they change things for one reason and one reason only, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      This has nothing to do cleaner air from exhaust fumes. Companies and the feds develop other products to put more money in their greedy little pockets. Disgusting! I will just E-10 fuel. From what I understand we will have a choice. I will pay more for E-10 fuel, no problem!!

  43. Greg Griffin October 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    This really irritates me! They call it e85 and tell us that it’s 85% gas and 15% ethanol which it is not. I haul fuel for a living and we have to blend these products when we load. The blend is actually 70/30 and that is 70% ethanol and 30% gas. Yes you read that right. They’re are lying to us! Surprise surprise! They are crocks and need to be thrown in jail!

    • T October 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      I agree. They are nothing but liars!

    • Wes Solberg October 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Check your info. E85 is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline (Wikipedia). I always thought the high performance guys liked alcohol for it’s power and cleanliness. Been in the car business a long time and haven’t seen proof ethanol is bad. Use it in everything from 57 Pontiac to weedeater….. I believe all E85 we use comes from the US. I know all our gas doesn’t. I think E85 is good for US. I don’t think the major oil companies agree.

      • Tom Stillings October 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm

        I read your blog concerning the use of ethanol blended gasoline. I use 10% ethanol blended gasoline in every gas engine I have owned and currently own. I have never had any problems with it’s use. I had a 1989 Pontiac Bonneville SSE with a 3.8 liter engine with 480,000 miles on it. I have always run 10% ethanol blended gasoline in it and never had any fuel system failures from using it. I replaced the in tank fuel pump at 290,000 miles, which failed from usage, not ethanol related problems. I have never replaced or cleaned any of the fuel injectors. I service everything I own myself. I sold the car to a couple in dire need of a good car and they drove it for another 2 1/2 years. The car was finally sent to it’s grave because of body corrosion issues which made the car unsafe to drive. The engine and transmission could have been salvaged from the car and used in another. I started mixing 2 cycle oil with 10% ethanol blended gasoline at a 32:1 ratio and use it in all my two stroke lawn equipment and never had any issues with using ethanol blended gasoline. When I blended 2 cycle oil with 100% gasoline at a 32:1 ratio, I was constantly adjusting the carburetor mixture screws to keep the engine idling. Since I started mixing 2 stroke oil with 10% ethanol blended gasoline, I have never touched the idle mixture screws on any of my two stroke engines again. It is true that you do not get the horsepower or gas mileage from ethanol blended gasoline. I find this especially true when I use it in my class A motorhome with a Ford V-10. It costs me about 3 mpg. My RV has a 80 gallon tank, so 80 gallons X 3 mpg loss = 240 miles per tank lost from using E10 gasoline. I would rather pay the extra 10 cents per gallon and buy 100% gasoline for my RV. It saves me money when I calculate the cost per mile when it comes to filling it up.

  44. Ron D Hoover October 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I most definitly oppose E15. Just like tha FEDS. What ever is good for them is usually bad for us.

  45. Joe House October 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I recently visited my local lawn mower/small engine shop. When I walked in, I was surprised to see chain saws covering the floor! My dealer told me that probably 90% of them were broke down due to Ethanol. What a surprise; not realy because I’ve been in the same boat with a saw, weed wacker and leaf blower. I now use additive in every can of gas that I purchase. I recently bought a 2013 Nissan Frontier and when browsing through the manual, came across a paragraph that stated “no ethanol gas above 10%, or warranty would be voided. I use additive in every tank of gas in both my Superglide and my wifes Honda Shadow. They should do away with all the ethanol crap. We’re all paying dearly for this in repairs and additives.

    • Raymond HR Fleischman Jr. October 29, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Hey I got an idea, instead of buying additives or getting this or that how about pressuring your congressman and senators to GET RID OF THE “F”in mandate. If you have not noticed FOOD costs a lot more than it did 6 years ago, know why? Corn mandated for fuel, the oil companies get fined if they do not add cellulose alcohol to the blend, commercial quantities do not exist but it is mandated so the EPA levies fines. The arguments here come down to one thing PRESSURE DC TO GET RID OF THE RFS!!! More central planning from you know who!

      • richard freudenberger October 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm

        A bit of clarification: First, humans do not eat the feed or dent corn that is used to make ethanol. The food industry’s practice of using high-fructose corn syrup in everything was at their bidding, for their profit. It’s a terrible health practice that is not doing any of us any good, healthwise (Diabetes comes to mind). Secondly, when ethanol is manufactured,only the starch is extracted and conveerted to sugar for alcohol production. The protein is harvested from the process and used as a supplement to livestock feed, in the form of Distillers Dried Grains and related supplements. The petroleum industry spends a lot of time promoting the idea that ethanol is stealing our food supply.

        • Ray Fleischman October 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm

          Your comment about the profit mongering oil companies (my satire, not yours) is the “Tell.” While there is some truth in your statement the fact is that ethanol runs you mileage into the ground, it does take gobs and gobs of water to make and still takes lots of conventional energy products to make it and the difference in C02 or so called green house gas emitted overall? Negligent. And if you wanna talk about petroleum self protecting BS how about the “Renewable Fuel Industry” that only exists because of government mandates and subsidies. Cheep energy is what got us where we are and we’ve already picked up most of the mess it caused quite a while ago. This has been a very unenlightened path, it needs to end, there is no rainbow after this storm, IE ACA is collapsing under its own weight, this one should have gone first.

        • Tom Stillings October 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm

          Richard Freudenberger, your article is dead on. Oil companies are trying to eliminate ethanol blended gasoline. They hate it! They are in the business of selling petroleum made products for big profits and can care less about conserving oil reserves or reducing the consumption of gasoline by blending it with ethanol. The government forces the use of ethanol production because it supports our farmers. U.S. farmers produce more corn than what we can consume. We export millions of tons of over produced corn to other countries and still have a surplus. The laws of supply and demand tells us that with all the surplus of corn available, the price will hit rock bottom and the farmer will lose money and be forced to quit farming. This will also cause the price of food to skyrocket. Less corn on the market will cause the price of feed corn for cattle , chickens, and ect. to climb which costs are passed on to the consumer.There are many more negatives that are resulted from a farmer not making a profit, but that can be discussed in a different forum. I was always told, ” if the farmers don’t make money, no one does.” Think of John Deere and all the other agricultural based industries and the jobs they support who rely on farmers’ making a profit. The reason the boys in Washington want to increase the ethanol blended gasoline from 10% to 15% is because the ethanol industry reached the production capacity needed to blend the gasoline consumed in the U.S. at a 90/10 ratio. If the government forces the ratio of gasoline to ethanol to be blended at 85/15, it will create a demand of 50% more ethanol to be produced and less ethanol plants being shut down because of lack of demand for it. Also, when more ethanol is demanded, so is more corn, which keeps the price up and the farmers happy, which makes the taxpayers happy because of less government farm subsidies.

          • Richard Freudenberger October 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm

            Tom Stillings: Very astute comments. And accurate. Not trying to be uncharitable about some of the posts here, but it would be so beneficial for all citizens if people would take some time to educate themselves properly on these issues. Two take-home points: [1] We are using up petroleum resources faster than we are replenishing them at sustainable cost levels. [2] We need to be open-minded about petroleum alternatives (like ethanol and biodiesel)…and yes, it may cause some inconvenience.

    • David Paige October 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Joe check out….

  46. Nels October 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Personally I don’t even use E10 when I can avoid it. It costs a little more to buy real gasoline, but the gains in mileage make up most of the difference.

  47. Raymond HR Fleischman Jr. October 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Gasahol did not work out in the late 70’s and NOTHING has changed since then so it is not working out today. RFS was a BAD idea whose time has come to be gone. E-85 is not better for emissions as it drastically reduces mileage in the use vehicle, it takes gobs of water and oil to produce, no ecological benefit here and I would rather be referred to as a skilled mechanic than a tech.

  48. BR October 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    They magic of america is that for every down turn there will be money to be made. I’m sure every gas station will start selling additives (which some already do) to reduce the effects of ethanol and increase the octane content of our corn fed gas. So I’m not worried just like you can still buy lead additives at your auto shop for your vintage car or hotrod. I’m sure the same will be for motorcycles and small engines

    • Raymond HR Fleischman Jr. October 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      So you do not mind your tax dollars subsidizing this foolishness while being forced to use it?

    • Stagger October 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      If you would buy only 100% gasoline then you wouldn’t have all these problems. Shell, Mobil and others offer 100% pure gasoline. Of course it costs bit more but how much is your bike worth? Why spend $23,000 on a Harley Tractor and worry about the price of gas? You’re not buying 200 gallons at a time, are you? 4 to 5 gallons, maybe? A couple more cents per gallon and that bothers you? What the hell is this country coming to? That’s as bad as listening to riders whine about “illegal search and seizure at motorcycle stops. Define “illegal search and seizure/”

  49. Richard McKinley October 29, 2013 at 11:49 am

    By all means lets allow E15 for low and mid grade but require stations to provide a ethanol free premium fuel. Most engines that are sensitive to the ethanol will run just fine on premium. We will pay a “premium” for 100% gas, Hopefully the reduction in emissions from increasing the ethanol in low and mid grade will offset the relatively small group that drives vehicles that require premium or ethanol free fuel.

    • richard freudenberger October 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Richard, that’s a very practical solution that should keep most people happy. . Trouble is, it’s the ethanol that’s bumping up the octane levels and providing oxygenation for the EPA. Maybe a return to MTBE?

      • Richard McKinley October 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm

        While I am not a petroleum engineer, I do believe that a 91 octane gasoline
        can be produced without MTBE, ethanol or TEL for that matter.

  50. Dick Bassett October 29, 2013 at 11:47 am

    We took a trip to east coast this summer to the Carolinas, Tn, and Ky . We had the hardest time finding gas that didn’t have ethanol in it. All grades had 10% at every station we stopped at. I was concerned so I called my service tech at the local Harley store and he said as long as it is not left in the tank over the winter season it would be fine. So it is not only in the midwest it is starting to be in all parts of the U.S. Hopefully we can get our Congress people to to listen to its constiuents.

  51. richard freudenberger October 29, 2013 at 11:37 am

    This might help with a bit of background. I wrote an article for BackHome magazine Sept/Oct 2013, posted below here. I’ve run alcohol at varying mixtures in many vehicles including ironhead Sportster. Ethyl alcohol is hygroscopic and will absorb water over time and with temperature change. Best solution is to maintain fresh fuel — do not let fuel sit in tank for weeks. I understand the mechanics’ viewpoints. I have manufactured ethanol fuel and worked on many, many conversions over the years. Much of the problem is the lack of manufacturers’ enthusiasm for making their components ethanol-friendly. It is not rocket science, and yes it may increase cost slightly. But like it or not, we need to be looking at domestic alternatives to gasoline. I’d also like to add that there is some technical misinformation in some of the posts here, that’s why research is so important.

    Small Engine Woes–Is Ethanol to Blame?
    Most of today’s pump gas contains 10 percent ethanol, with 15 on the horizon. Is it the beginning of the end for your power equipment?
    By Richard Freudenberger

    A few years ago, returning to North Carolina from Wisconsin, I stopped for gas off Interstate 75 to be greeted by a banner reading: “We Have Ethanol-Free Gas.” After I’d filled up, I asked the attendant what the sign was all about. She said the station owner had seen a report on ABC’s 20/20 in which the host had vilified the widespread use of corn ethanol in motor fuels and had taken the commentator’s message to heart.
    Having just driven six hours through corn country in an American-made Flex-Fuel truck, the irony was striking. For years we’ve been advocating domestically produced home-grown fuel and now that it’s a reality there are multitudes of people showing up to reject it.
    Most of us know that just about every gallon of gasoline sold domestically contains ethanol; it is technically labeled E-10, a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethyl alcohol made from U.S.-grown corn. The grain-based ethanol is blended in by gasoline refiners who, up until the end of 2011, were offered a blender’s tax credit to encourage investment in ethanol-production infrastructure, as well as to develop an additional market for corn and help reduce the nation’s dependence on imported petroleum.

    So Far So Good

    The ethanol story is a long one that dates back to the earliest days of the automobile and the development of higher-octane motor fuels in the 1920s. In recent history, it has been the silver bullet that replaced methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), an oxygen-bearing petro-based chemical first added to pump gasoline in 1979 to reduce carbon monoxide emissions and increase its octane rating, which suffered with the removal of toxic tetraethyl lead from gasoline in the mid-1970s.
    When MTBE started showing up in groundwater supplies and affecting the taste and odor of drinking water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency orchestrated legislation to phase out its use over several years; by 2003, California, followed by a number of other states, acted to ban the additive from pump fuel altogether.
    The blending of 10 percent ethanol neatly and immediately resolved concerns over both CO emissions and octane ratings. Like MTBE, ethanol contains oxygen in its molecular structure, which reduces carbon monoxide emissions in vehicles without closed-loop fuel injection systems (which includes most vehicles built before the mid-1980s and motorcycles, mowers, chainsaws, outboards, and small engines) and provides an effective octane boost without the toxicity of lead or MTBE.
    In 2006, President Bush initiated a mandate to offset our dependence on imported oil with domestically produced ethanol, and the corn lobby worked to make that happen. Investment in large-scale ethanol plants nationwide took off, and U.S. production swelled from 3.9 billion gallons in 2005 to over 13.3 billion gallons in 2012.

    The Nature of Straight Ethanol

    By itself, ethanol is an excellent motor fuel. Distilled to nearly pure levels—190-plus proof, or 96 percent pure—the clean-burning, high-octane product functions exceptionally well in engines optimized for its use. And there’s the rub. An engine built to run at top efficiency on straight ethanol will likely have problems running on regular gasoline, due to its lower octane rating, among other factors. And without reliable dual-fuel capability, vehicles and power equipment are impractical, save for a few specific applications.
    But wait—what about the Flex Fuel truck I spoke of earlier? Yes, domestic and foreign automakers have been offering Flex Fuel options (at little or no additional cost, by the way) since 1995. These are cars, trucks, and vans designed to run on E-85, a pump blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. And they will run on regular unleaded gas. And they’ll even run on straight ethanol if you have access to it (though not endorsed by manufacturers). Fact is, the main reason gasoline is even a component of E-85 is to assist in cold-starting in winter climates. It makes more sense, at least to the industry, to blend in a bit of volatile gasoline than to equip vehicles with auxiliary cold-starting systems.
    Unfortunately, the infrastructure for E-85 availability isn’t nearly as widespread as it is for regular unleaded, and even the Flex Fuel vehicles aren’t truly optimized for multi-fuel use. They’re essentially modified to perform as well as they can within reasonable cost limits. Though cars and trucks could be engineered to handle hybrid fuels quite a bit more efficiently than they do now—and with existing technology—the market would likely not support the additional expense.

    The Shortcomings of Blending

    One key characteristic of ethanol is that it is hygroscopic—it tends to absorb water. This is the reason that “neat” ethanol—a 200-proof, 100 percent pure product—will not stay that way for long in an atmospheric environment, and is also the reason why alcohol-based fuel additive de-icers work in removing water from fuel tanks and lines when needed.
    Normally, the ethanol in E-10 is uniformly dissolved in the gasoline, and any minute amounts of water present remains in solution. But when the temperature of the fuel changes, expanding or contracting in the tank, air has to exit or enter to keep the tank from stressing and possibly rupturing. Air introduced during this process includes moisture, and when the fuel reaches its saturation point, the water precipitates in a process known as phase separation. Water and ethanol then drops to the lowest part of the tank, no longer mixed in a uniform blend.
    Ambient temperature also affects this condition. When the temperature drops, fuel near its precipitation point becomes saturated, causing water and ethanol to fall out. The problems arise when the precipitated mix gets drawn into the fuel lines and filter.
    This condition, by the way, isn’t limited to your fuel tank. Storage tanks, carriers, and fuel-delivery systems are all candidates for venting and moisture issues, which are resolvable but often not fully recognized or dealt with properly.
    Ethanol is also an effective solvent, which can, over time, decompose rubber, plastic, composite, and metal components that weren’t designed for even a partial diet of alcohol. Vintage engines and particularly two-cycle and outboard marine engines are ripe candidates for damage, which typically involves seals, pump diaphragms, non-metallic carburetor floats, flexible fuel lines, fuel tanks or linings, and assorted plastic parts.
    In the fuel system and combustion chamber, extended use of E-10 can scrub varnish and accumulated residues off of component surfaces, which can lead to clogged carbs and damaged cylinders. And outside the engine itself, ethanol in the blend can begin to oxidize in the fuel tank or in a fuel storage container within a month or two of being introduced; the warning sign is a light brown sludge floating in the fuel.

    What Can You Do About It?

    First, I’d like to say that I‘ve used E-10 in my truck, tractor, motorcycle, chainsaw, mower, and string trimmer for years without doing any damage I can attribute to ethanol. Having said that, I’ll also say that I don’t store fuel for extended periods of time; I use it as I go, and for the seasonal equipment, I run the tanks dry before putting away the machine for the season.
    Let’s look at some “best practices” that will help in resolving any current, or future, E-10 fuel issues.
    {i}Avoid extended fuel storage{i}. This seems to work for me. Buy a smaller volume of fuel and use it up as quickly as you can. Also try to keep the container full or close to it. If these means purchasing a smaller gas can, do it. Less air in the container generally translates to less moisture. By the way, some plastic gas canisters will degrade over time, adding vinyl chlorides and plasticizers to your fuel. Do yourself a favor and replace your container if necessary.
    {i}Buy your fuel where business is booming{i}. An up-to-date, busy gas station is more likely to have fresh gasoline and more importantly, properly vented, leak-free storage tanks than the solo operator at the edge of town. Fuel rotation and top-notch equipment maintenance are crucial to a good E-10 product.
    {i}Consider fuel stabilzers{i} Over-the-counter fuel stabilizers such as Sta-Bil, SeaFoam, Amsoil Stabilizer, or Star Tron are not designed to prevent fuel separation, but they will condition fuel for longer-term storage and are useful for the seasonal equipment I mentioned earlier. Do {i}not{i} fall for the urban legends that advise adding lacquer thinner, turpentine, or some other chemical solvent to your fuel to “dissolve” or dissipate the alcohol. It will do far more damage than good.
    {i}Seek out ethanol-free gasoline{i}. Some gas stations sell pump gas with no ethanol, but it is difficult to find. It’s also a premium-grade fuel, so it does not come cheaply. Personally, I see this as solution looking for a problem, but market forces seem to be driving it nonetheless.
    {i}Consider specialized fuels.{i} Speaking of expensive, you might try the specialized, pre-packaged ethanol-free gasoline marketed under the names SEF (VP Racing), MotoMix (Stihl USA) or TrueFuel (TruSouth Oil, LLC); there are others too. Retailing between $5.50 and $8 per quart, the products are made in straight unleaded for 4-cycle engines and blended with oil for two-strokes. Volume purchases will sometimes save you money.
    Like it or not, we are looking at 15 percent ethanol in our fuel in the years to come, triggered by congresses’ mandate to blend 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol into the U.S. gasoline supply by 2015. Most of the problems associated with E-10 are related to fuel storage and dispensing; with the exception of antique and vintage equipment, manufacturer’s products are by now for the most part ethanol-friendly. (Those that aren’t had better get with the program.)
    One might argue with the use of corn to make fuel (and many have, especially considering that so many other crops would make viable regional candidates) but renewables are likely here to stay.

  52. ray haagen jr October 29, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I’m all for it if the EPA wants to buy my non E15 vehicles (two motorcycles, 3 cars and a boat) at full replacement value of newer e15 compliant vehicles. Those would be my ONLY TERMS of accepting the E15 mandate. I too pay a premium when I do find non-ethanol gas, and I’m happy to do it.

  53. ray haagen jr October 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

    E10 is bad enough. E15 will be ridiculous. Ethanol attracts water. Water does not burn. It combines with fuel content and creates an acid that corrodes fuel tanks, fuel lines and engine internals. The boating industry has seen numerous seized engines and a significant increase in sea tow business due to bad fuel, water ingestion, fouled carbs and injection systems, lower octane once phase separation has occurred. And there is no warning. Similar problems occur in current on road and off road vehicles that see inconsistent usage. Ethanol should be discontinued altogether.

  54. Paul Aiken October 28, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I try to stay away from all ethanol. I had a project bike that had fuel left over for a while in the tank, too long. The tank was ruined and the brand new fuel cap was rusted and unusable. Ethanol is corn based, corn is food, not fuel! Special interests in Washington are driving the process. Demand action from politicians!

  55. mike sproull October 25, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I have a “pure gas” app for my IPHONE for this reason.very hard to find in my area but I noticed the marinas in the area sell ethanol-free gas but what a hassle that is…………pretty soon all the scooters will be grinding to a halt. 🙁

  56. Carey October 25, 2013 at 5:57 am

    I have been an auto tech since 1973. Most cars and motorcycles and small engines used carb,s. I have worked on all of these fuel systems. All have been affected, anything on these motors fuel systems that were not fitted with modified parts saw
    problems with hoses,fuel pumps, and carb,s. Ethanol caused fuel tanks to rust. Vapor locking was common. Performance issues go without saying. When you store the bike over the winter ethanol changes state and gets thick and cloudy in tank and carb. It is wrong to mandate the use of any percent. Regarding tailpipe emissions I can go on about that but it space will not permit. There is no benefit except maybe farmers and ethanol plants and political kick backs !

    • Bobby Lewis October 25, 2013 at 8:16 am

      Yep ! I agree. Carey

  57. Bobby Lewis October 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Go ahead Buck. See you on the side of the road someday too.

  58. Scooter Trash October 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Alcohol forms an azeotrope with water. That 15% of alcohol could be as much as 50% water. Not only bad for combustion, but also bad for older carburetor seals and can promote rust on the inside of your gas tank.

  59. Lws3312 October 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    It wish they would quit trying to push this. Does not burn as well and causes carb. problems.

  60. Mike Schampers October 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I run any fuel i can find that says Ethanol free.

  61. Robert Robb October 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    WTF we going to do when that’s all they sell in the future?

  62. Bob Keim October 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    My 2013 Ducati is gas quality sensitive because of a high compression ratio. I buy most of my gas at a alcohol free station.

    E15 would end up ruining my motor.

  63. Lorena Swift October 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    My own personal experience is e10 or 15 is detrimental to any motorcycle engine and equipment. I am second owner of a 2003 Ultra-glide, and when I look down in the tank, I see the corrosion that has taken place. I have worked on bikes for years and have never seen such aggressive corrosion. I am concerned about the amount of pitting and corrosion of carburetors that I have worked on.
    I hope they ban e15! I also recommend everyone dump their fuel for the winter!

  64. Bobby Lewis October 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I am a mechanic not bikes yet only mine. E10 is my biggest money maker. I tell my customers to stay away from the regular pump crap. Use only eth. free in their engines but know they still use the cheap shit.
    Bikes large and small period.

  65. Buck Hiltebeitel October 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Not likely! My Ultra 103 manual says “10% max” and I’m sticking to that advice.

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