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Old 01-03-2009, 08:05 AM   #1
Jaqhammar OP
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Running motorcycles on ethanol fuel?

I saw on the news that the Oz Gov wants to get rid of unleaded fuel in a few years time.

So I checked the Caltex ethanol blended fuel website; to see what the deal is using 10% ethanol based fuel in motorcycles...and was kinda surprised to see that BMW and Harley's manufactured after 1986 can run on 10% ethanol fuel (EF)...and all the Japanese bikes are listed as not being suitable?
I find that hard to believe?
How can EF be ok to use in a 1986 BMW or Harley...but not in my KLR 250 or Lin's Sherpa? They were both manufactured in 1999.

But here's the website link:

http://www.caltex.com.au/biofuels/carcompatibility.aspx

http://www.fcai.com.au/publications/...l-blend-petrol

Carburettor Equipped Engines
Vehicles made before 1986 vehicles were predominantly equipped with carburettors and steel fuel tanks.
The use of ethanol blended petrol in engines impacts the air/fuel ratio because of the additional oxygen molecules within the ethanol's chemical structure.
Vehicles with carburettor fuel systems may experience hot fuel handling concerns. This is because the vapour pressure of fuel with ethanol will be greater (if the base fuel is not chemically adjusted) and probability of vapour lock or hot restartability problems will be increased.
As a solvent, ethanol attacks both the metallic and rubber based fuels lines, and other fuel system components.
Ethanol also has an affinity to water that can result in corrosion of fuel tanks and fuel lines. Rust resulting from this corrosion can ultimately block the fuel supply rendering the engine inoperable. Water in the fuel system can also result in the engine hesitating and running roughly

Now if the Gov is going to phase out normal petrol and bring in EF...and EF isn't suitable for motorcycles...?

I don't know much about EF...so look forward to getting some feedback from people who do.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been wondering about using EF in my bike(s).

Cheers: Jaq.
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Jaqhammar screwed with this post 01-03-2009 at 08:14 AM
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:02 PM   #2
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DRZ400's will run it, its in my handbook & ive been running it for a while. Can feel the diff in power though.
Time for all you lads & lasses to get some luxury beneath you and trade up to a DRZ
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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AFAIK it also changes the octane rating which might be an issue with some fuel injected machines with especially high compression ratios and cause detonation in hot weather, and at altitude.

The new Power Commander V that is on the way is reported to have switcheable mapping on the go, which might allow different fuels to be used without fuelling issues. Won't help with component compatability though.



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Mike.C screwed with this post 01-03-2009 at 02:24 PM
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:20 PM   #4
L0cky
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I think that ethanol is a false economy initiated by the US Govt to appease the powerful Sugar Farmers in S.E USA (google US political donations + sugar - you'll be surprised). The Australian Sugar industry is not far behind their US counterparts, frequently getting meetings directly with the PM (liberal & labour versions) - I bet you couldn't get a meeting with them..

Whilst Ethanol has a higher R.O.N figure than our basic Unleaded fuels, it also is not as efficient as standard unleaded fuel. This drives up the consumption which means its eventually more polluting and more expensive to the consumer. Don't let anyone tell you that when ethanol burns, it burns cleanly - it doesn't - the marketers of ethanol usually say its carbon neutral, because as the cane grows before harvest, it is absorbing CO2.

Here's an Australian Comparison - Aussie Roads and Aussie Built Cars:
http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/Ar...eID=59627&vf=2

So what do we end up with:
  • Third World countries using their only arable land to grow ethanol crops, instead of food crops.
  • First world countries growing ethanol crops instead of exportable food stuffs (i.e. wheat/maize) and in the US's case, subsidised to do so.
  • This drives up the cost of food for all.
  • Results in probably famine throughout the 3rd world over the next 15 years.
  • Good possibility that emissions as a whole from fuels are not reduced one iota.
  • Because big Oil will get carbon offsets for selling blended fuels and also sell more because consumption will increase 10-20% they will get more and more billions to influence the free world.
  • The list goes on.
I think we have been sold a scam, unfortunately I don't think there is much we can do about it. The contracts have already been signed, by 2015 it will be mandated to have blended fuels in Australia, you won't have a choice which means Jaq, that we'll have to purchase additives to add to each tank on the bike to reduce the oxygen content of the blend...

$$$$ and its not going in our pockets...
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:36 PM   #5
Phil_Fong
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What I am seeing is, is things are changing quickly.

A servo here that I like to patronize, in the country area I live, has something like 10 or 12 pumps on its driveway. Every blend of fuel, be it normal unleaded, 95 or 98 octane, now has a sticker proclaiming 10% ethanol added ..........whether you like it or not.

Then last weekend on a ride with some of the ADV riders on this forum, just finding 98 octane on the New England Hwy was a real effort.

There is only one ethanol manufacturer here in Qld, its located at Sarina and using cane. The other plant somewhere near Dalby is still being constructed (allegedly!) and apparently will be sourcing sorghum.

The amount of Semi tankers I see carrying the stuff on the Hwy has increased dramatically
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:45 PM   #6
miyata610
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hmmmmm....

What's the difference between a 1985 k100 and a 1986 k100? Nothing.
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:55 PM   #7
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I tried E10 in my 1994 R100 once. I noticed a big difference. There was a lack of go compared to the 98 octane I run normally. Plus wont ethanol eat away at the plastic bits in the carb???
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:06 PM   #8
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I use the E95 sometimes and i haven't noticed any difference.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L0cky
I think we have been sold a scam, unfortunately I don't think there is much we can do about it. The contracts have already been signed, by 2015 it will be mandated to have blended fuels in Australia, you won't have a choice which means Jaq, that we'll have to purchase additives to add to each tank on the bike to reduce the oxygen content of the blend...

$$$$ and its not going in our pockets...
You're absolutely right we've been sold a scam. A select few are going to make a packet out of this. People pushing this alternative take aspects of it in isolation and sing its praises and ignore the process as a whole. When you look at the energy input, verses energy output, you end up with a net loss, especially when you consider the process uses established fossil fuel processes. So you're using a high energy producing fuel to make a lower energy producing fuel. If you were to use ethanol to make ethanol the loss is even greater. Hybrid vehicles are a bit of a furphy in this regard as well.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:42 PM   #10
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Regular (91 octane) with ethanol is 2-3 percent cheaper per litre than without.

Your mileage will be 5-8 percent less with the E10 fuel. So your cost per km is higher.
Power is also reduced.

What I would like to see is pollution PER KM; this could really turn the argument on its head.
Wouldn't it be 'interesting' if pollution PER KM was higher ?

PS most Jap bikes should run ok on E10
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:40 PM   #11
Peka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miyata610
What's the difference between a 1985 k100 and a 1986 k100? Nothing.
Maybe the 1986 line in the sand has been drawn as that was when it became mandatory for new petrol vehicles to run unleaded, and it is assumed that one that runs unleaded is ok with Ethanol?

I've been asked quite a few times by other motorists while I'm filling the bike what the deal is with Ethanol? I always tell them it's a scam that Johnnie's mates in the sugar industry started, and not to use. They always go for the non Ethanol pump

Wonder why they assume a rider knows what the difference is?
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:26 PM   #12
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Cost per km

I run my DR650 and 2.5 litre v6 car on 95 octane
Also ran my recently sold SV1000 on the same

I use 95 octane purely on a cost per km basis.
I get more km than 91 octane.
98 octane gives me a few more km again but it does not match the extra cost.

I don't use E10 at all.
Forget about the extra wear and tear in your fuel system and its 'ability' to absorb water; on a purely cost basis E10 does not make sense.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUTURE
Plus wont ethanol eat away at the plastic bits in the carb???
No...that's why they agreed to using 10%. Basically, most OEM's have agreed 10% wont cause any harm.

Hey guys...why are some using 98 in lower compression engines...it serves no purpose whatsoever and only costs more and it will not make your bike run better or give it more power. Plus if you have your bike tuned in a shop (especially for EFI bikes) the shop will tune the bike to the recommended octane for that model, so running higher octane can actually hurt the engine as it makes it run hotter, etc.

Lots of info out there...just google it.
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:34 PM   #14
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:15 PM   #15
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I have tried E10 in my VR Crummodore three times and each time has had the same results: Won't idle when engine is hot, especially when coming to a stop; rev's its ringer out on start-up; and tends to misfire and run warmer on E10 - a tankful of regular unleaded and the problems go away...

As for E90-95, I make my own and it tends to make me a little pissy when I drink too much of the stuff - the good news is that with the meths removed, it doesn't leave one with a hangover...
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