Have you had a hard time filling up your motorcycle or ATV due to the lack of the proper fuel available? It doesn’t sound like it’s going to get better any time soon.
The American Motorcyclist Association reported this week that the EPA has released its updated Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements.
This new standard is going to require widespread availability of higher ethanol fuel blends which include E15. The higher ethanol will continue to increase the risk of misfueling motorcycles and ATVs which lead to a long list of performance issues and mechanical issues.
In 2015, the EPA set that RFS at 16.93 billion gallons and will be raising it to 18.11 billion gallons in 2016. This is in contrast to what the EPA initially recommended this past May that would have set levels of 16.3 billion and 17.4 for 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Wayne Allard, AMA VP of Government Relations says: “We are extremely disappointed that the EPA bowed to pressure from the ethanol industry and agreed to foist more ethanol onto the backs of American consumers. Any increase in the amount of ethanol required in our fuel supply, coupled with America’s decreasing demand for gasoline, is going to result in higher-ethanol blends, such as E15, at more pumps and stations. And the widespread availability of E15 and higher-ethanol fuels increases the risk that motorcyclists will inadvertently misfuel their bikes.”
E15 represents a 50% increase in the ethanol content over the current E10 that is the most common type of fuel blend available at gas stations nationwide.
The increase in higher ethanol gas blends is being supported by a $100 million matching grant program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which helps purchase and install blender pumps across 21 states.
In the current design, these blender pumps dispense several blends of fuel and are known to retain as much as a quart of fuel in the delivery system after use. The amount of E15 or higher-ethanol blends in a motorcycle’s comparatively small gas tank creates a risk for the owner.
To combat these new standards, the AMA has collected 29,379 signatures of protest of the higher mandates during the EPA’s comment period that ended in July.
What this will mean is that all riders will need to pay very close attention to what they’re fueling their bikes with or risk issues down the road.