Ethanol! Yes or No?


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Solina Dave
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Solina Dave » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:10 pm



Wingrider, you seem to have a pretty good understanding about the ethanol/octane controversy. I take it from that, that you believe fuel with an ethanol content shouldn't be used in an older Goldwing, I agree with that, and that fuel with a higher octane rating helps to prevent pre-ignition. Since I don't seem to be seeing any lower octane fuels around without ethanol at some level, rather than use the lower octane fuel available, that does contain ethanol, I'd be advised to burn premium fuel, without ethanol, and simply bite the bullet regarding the higher cost of premium fuel. Correct? Also, in doing so, I would probably gain a small increase in power output, and better fuel mileage. Correct again?
Thanks for your input, and a good write-up.

Ethanol gives me gas!..........................Dave
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Solina Dave » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:06 pm

Also everybody, just a little add-on to my previous post. Up here in Ontario we pay more for gas than you do in the U.S. However, having said that, based on gas prices up here, if I ride 10,000 miles in a season at an average of 45 mpg., at current prices it would cost me $190 more for Sunoco 94 premium, than for regular 87 octane fuel. That would work out to about $7.60 extra for a 400 mile day ride. A couple of coffees and a muffin. I'll live through it somehow!

It's all relative to the amount of fun you're having.............Dave
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by FM-USA » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:51 pm

Find Regular gas (non-ethanol) stations here...
http://www.buyrealgas.com/
"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip." W.C. Have a wonderful flat tire day while doing 99mph.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Wingrider44 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:54 pm

Solina Dave wrote:Wingrider, you seem to have a pretty good understanding about the ethanol/octane controversy. I take it from that, that you believe fuel with an ethanol content shouldn't be used in an older Goldwing, I agree with that, and that fuel with a higher octane rating helps to prevent pre-ignition. Since I don't seem to be seeing any lower octane fuels around without ethanol at some level, rather than use the lower octane fuel available, that does contain ethanol, I'd be advised to burn premium fuel, without ethanol, and simply bite the bullet regarding the higher cost of premium fuel. Correct? Also, in doing so, I would probably gain a small increase in power output, and better fuel mileage. Correct again?
Thanks for your input, and a good write-up.

Ethanol gives me gas!..........................Dave
You're right, Dave. I don't feel that it is a good idea to use ethanol in the older Wings unless your manual specifically states that it is okay.

Today I had to fill up and stopped at a BP station. The only non ethanol fuel was premium so that's what I used. I spent S1.50 more....no problem. In Iowa, more and more stations are taking the choice of Regular 87 Octane without Ethanol away for ethanol 87 Octane. But at least, there is still premium without ethanol but I wonder how long that will last.

Also, I doubt that you would notice an increase in power output or better fuel mileage with premium fuel. The increased Octane is strictly to prevent pre-ignition in higher compression engines and engines utilizing advanced timing. High compression usually translates higher performing engines. Back in the good old muscle car days, we used to plane the heads and use domed pistons to increase compression thus increasing horsepower. If you wanted to take advantage of the increase in power without retarding the spark too much you had to run high octane fuel which back then was no problem because any gas was absolutely dirt cheap at .20 to .25 a gallon depending on the gas war going on between gas stations. Ah yes, those were fun days indeed. :D :D :D
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:03 pm

I used a site like that to locate filling stations that sell ethanol-free gas, and was sorely disappointed to find that I rode 30 miles to fill up with gas with 10% ethanol in it.

I don't know if the place used to sell ethanol-free gas or if someone added the filling station to the list in an effort to increase sales. Just saying... every one of the stations at THAT site might sell ethanol free gas, but the site I used was full of inaccuracies.

I probably should have toned down my rant some, as there really isn't anything I hate. I would prefer more options at the pump, as it appears some folks have available to them.
FM-USA wrote:Find Regular gas (non-ethanol) stations here...
http://www.buyrealgas.com/
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by suvcw04 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:57 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:I used a site like that to locate filling stations that sell ethanol-free gas, and was sorely disappointed to find that I rode 30 miles to fill up with gas with 10% ethanol in it.

I don't know if the place used to sell ethanol-free gas or if someone added the filling station to the list in an effort to increase sales. Just saying... every one of the stations at THAT site might sell ethanol free gas, but the site I used was full of inaccuracies.

I probably should have toned down my rant some, as there really isn't anything I hate. I would prefer more options at the pump, as it appears some folks have available to them.
FM-USA wrote:Find Regular gas (non-ethanol) stations here...
http://www.buyrealgas.com/
Try pure-gas.org . I don't know if it is any more accurate nationwide, but it works in my area.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by FM-USA » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:41 am

suvcw04 wrote: Try pure-gas.org . I don't know if it is any more accurate nationwide, but it works in my area.
All I can say is buyrealgas.com served me well for over ten years BUT always can learn something new.
thanks
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by suvcw04 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:36 pm

FM-USA wrote:
suvcw04 wrote: Try pure-gas.org . I don't know if it is any more accurate nationwide, but it works in my area.
All I can say is buyrealgas.com served me well for over ten years BUT always can learn something new.
thanks
Buyrealgas lists ONE station in Iowa. There are HUNDREDS that sell straight gas.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by urbanmadness » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:16 pm

I'm pretty much stuck running Ethanol in Sacramento, Ca. I think it's law here. If you can find pure gas, it's probably racing fuel.

I wonder if they use it in avation fuel?

--Ray

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Solina Dave » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:07 pm

urbanmadness wrote:I'm pretty much stuck running Ethanol in Sacramento, Ca. I think it's law here. If you can find pure gas, it's probably racing fuel.

I wonder if they use it in avation fuel?

--Ray
Ray,

I live just outside Toronto, and I have always known that California has some pretty intense environment protection laws. That's not a bad idea, up to a point, but beyond that it's all politics and stupidity.
You got me wondering about ethanol in aviation fuel. Wikipedia says that in the U.S. it can only be used experimentally, but never in regular and commercial aircraft. Also it said that there are some aircraft engines, down in Brazil, that burn 100% ethanol. We should sell our ethanol to Brazil.
Your Aspencade looks cool. You should post a couple of photos of it.

Ride safe.....................Dave
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:22 am

Ethanol is NEVER used in aviation fuel (you're talking about 100LL). However it does contain lead, which can do unkind things to engines that aren't designed for it. Your plugs will likely end up fouled, and if you have a GL1800, 100LL will destroy the catalytic converter in short order.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Solina Dave » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:04 am

WingAdmin wrote:Ethanol is NEVER used in aviation fuel (you're talking about 100LL). However it does contain lead, which can do unkind things to engines that aren't designed for it. Your plugs will likely end up fouled, and if you have a GL1800, 100LL will destroy the catalytic converter in short order.
You're probably right. It does sound like an unusual statement. I often get lost in the details, not being an aircraft expert. Out of curiosity, I had simply looked up aviation fuel and ethanol in Wikipedia,(it came up "Aviation Fuel") and the highlighted statement below stood out.

Alcohol mixtures, and other alternative fuels may be used experimentally, but alcohol is not permitted in any certified aviation fuel specification.[2] In Brazil, the Embraer Ipanema EMB-202A is a version of the Ipanema agricultural aircraft with a modified Lycoming IO-540-K1J5 engine so as to be able to run on ethanol. Other aircraft engines that were modified to run on 100% etheanol were several other types of Lycoming engines (including the Lycoming 235N2C, and Lycoming IO-320[10])[11] and certain Rotax engines.[12]

I guess they meant that whatever ethanol was in there, was 100% ethanol.
I also saw that Shell, in 2013, had developed, and submitted for FAA testing, a 100 octane unleaded fuel. That'd make my old wing "gittup 'n' go!"

Lost in the details............................Dave
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:11 am

There are quite a few different manufacturers attempting to come up with a high-octane, lead-free replacement for 100LL right now - it's been worked on for years.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by urbanmadness » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:43 am

I don't think the lead would foul plugs, At least not as often as we change them in our wings, anyway, worse case is you would have to open the gap on the plugs a little to get a longer, hotter spark, but I do know it would put a hurtin on the cat's and in very short order. With cars, regualar Leaded Gas was used as both an octane boster and to lubricate valve guides, I don't ever recall it fowling plugs then again, the plugs probably had a higher heat range. Maybe one of our mechanics that has forgotton more then I'll ever know can chime in here.

The octane wouldn't help performance, and might even degrade performance a little bit (higher octane, slower burn for the fuel), but at least it wouldn't have the ethanol in it.

Of course, the TSA might have a problem with you riding your wing onto the tarmac for a fill up and I'm sure Avaition fuel is not cheap.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by buffdaddy55 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:17 pm

NO! If at all possible,Run non-e in both my 1200 and 1800 . Gained 2 mpg and has more power. also use ATF which further boosts mpg and power, keeps fuel system clean as well. My 2 cents.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by suvcw04 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:00 pm

Solina Dave wrote:I guess they meant that whatever ethanol was in there, was 100% ethanol.
I also saw that Shell, in 2013, had developed, and submitted for FAA testing, a 100 octane unleaded fuel. That'd make my old wing "gittup 'n' go!"

Lost in the details............................Dave
No, it would NOT "make my old wing "gittup 'n' go!" In the real world, the higher the octane, the LESS power FROM THE FUEL. You would have to modify the engine via compression ratio, spark timing, fuel flow or use a turbo or blower to make use of the higher octane fuel.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:38 pm

How much ATF are you adding to a tank full of fuel? I've been using 2-cycle oil in my fuel, and I like how the bike(s) run with it in the gas. I use about 4 ounce in a full tank.
buffdaddy55 wrote:NO! If at all possible,Run non-e in both my 1200 and 1800 . Gained 2 mpg and has more power. also use ATF which further boosts mpg and power, keeps fuel system clean as well. My 2 cents.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by redial » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:47 pm

You can get better fuel economy just by keeping your tyre pressures correct. I read in some places that they let some air out of their tyres when they are hot. Bad practice! You should check your tyre pressure in the mornings, and set them upto the + 2PSI when cold. The tyres have been engineered to take the heat of travelling, even in hot weather. So do not bleed off some of the air pressure when they are hot.

If you should get an "air out" of your tyre for whatever reason, and have to start afresh, put the same amount of air pressure in as you would in the morning, and do not worry about trying to compensate for heat/cold. As soon as you start to ride again, the tyre will come up to temperature and operate correctly.

Sorry if I have hijacked the thread, but if you are looking to improve your mileage out of a litre/gallon, then this is a way to assist. But ease off on the throttle, use the correct gear for going up/down hills, and do not use "angel gear" when going down hills. Remain in control, and stay safe.
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by buffdaddy55 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:32 pm

I use an ounce of ATF per gallon. I also use Seafoam, but only once a month at about the same ration. My bikes keep there power and good mpg to boot. I use Wallyworld ATF works as good as two cycle , if not better. I used it before as well , but I am cheap but my bikes run like a bat outa hades

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:21 am

Thanks for the information. I'll give it a try!
buffdaddy55 wrote:I use an ounce of ATF per gallon. I also use Seafoam, but only once a month at about the same ration. My bikes keep there power and good mpg to boot. I use Wallyworld ATF works as good as two cycle , if not better. I used it before as well , but I am cheap but my bikes run like a bat outa hades
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by f1xrupr » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:04 am

Aside from the energy used, and the pollution created in the processing of ethanol as mentioned earlier, there's also the dust factor from the cultivation of the land, the desiel fumes from the farm tractors (no regulations on "older ones"-at least), and then, there is the production, use, and "run-off" of the chemical fertilizers....also, more transport for the pre-mix (18 wheeler desiel)....I don't see how they could have came up with a more counter-productive idea!

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Solina Dave » Thu May 07, 2015 5:10 pm

Hi everybody. Some might be interested in this bit of information that I just received from customer service at Petro-Can.
I asked them which ethanol free fuels, of any octane level, were available at their pumps, and also were they available at all Petro-Can stations? Their reply to me is as follows:

"In Ontario, Petro-Canada stations that only offer 3 grades of gasoline, (RegularClean 87 Octane (E-10 Regular), Plus Clean 89 Octane (E-5 Midgrade) and SuperClean 91 Octane), the SuperClean 91 will not contain ethanol."
"At stations with 4 grades of gasoline (RegularClean 87 Octane (E-10 Regular), Plus Clean 89 Octane (E-5 Midgrade) and SuperClean 91 Octane, and Ultra 94 Octane), all grades will contain ethanol."

I wasn't ready for that last part...................................Dave
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by FM-USA » Thu May 07, 2015 6:41 pm

Solina Dave wrote:Hi everybody. Some might be interested in this bit of information that I just received from customer service at Petro-Can.
I asked them which ethanol free fuels, of any octane level, were available at their pumps, and also were they available at all Petro-Can stations? Their reply to me is as follows:

"In Ontario, Petro-Canada stations that only offer 3 grades of gasoline, (RegularClean 87 Octane (E-10 Regular), Plus Clean 89 Octane (E-5 Midgrade) and SuperClean 91 Octane), the SuperClean 91 will not contain ethanol."

"At stations with 4 grades of gasoline (RegularClean 87 Octane (E-10 Regular), Plus Clean 89 Octane (E-5 Midgrade) and SuperClean 91 Octane, and Ultra 94 Octane), all grades will contain ethanol."

I wasn't ready for that last part...................................Dave
Kinda sounds like "Gobble die-**** double-talk".
Ya, I'd write back for a definitive explanation.
No need to damage your machine cause of their ignorance at a clearly worded understandable explanation.
THEY know what they are talking about, it's just not clear.
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by buffdaddy55 » Sat May 09, 2015 9:19 am

I personally get between 2 to 4 more mpg from non ethanol as well as adding ATF to my gas in both my GL1200A and GL1800. It just works for me.In my experience, using ATF( wallyworld brand) does just as good if not better than MMO. And it cost 1/3rd as much.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by bob650 » Sun May 10, 2015 11:27 am

Those that believe ethanol is better for the environment are the same type that think you can make wind energy more affordable by making raising the costs of other energy forms.

Now back on topic. Alcohol will degrade the seals in our old bikes not designed to run it. A lot of premium non ethanol fuel can be bought for the cost of a high quality carb kit. I also prefer to spend my time riding vs. rebuilding carbs.



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