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 » Fri May 22, 2015 1:09 pm



FM-USA wrote:
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.

Hi, I'm back again,

I got a response, from Petro-Canada, to a request for confirmation on their initial reply to me, regarding availability of ethanol free fuel. Their initial reply was confirmed. Apparently, at their 3 octane stations (87,89, and 91), the 87 and 89 octane fuels contain ethanol, and 91 octane fuel is ethanol free.
Also, regarding all 4 octane stations (87,89,91,and 94), all octane levels contain ethanol.
Why Petro-Canada's policy is to have ethanol free 91 octane fuel available at a 3 octane station, but not available at a 4 octane station is a mystery that quite honestly is of no concern to me. The information that I wanted initially from them was, "which ethanol free fuels, of any octane level, were available at their pumps, and also were they available at all Petro-Can stations?" I believe that their response, to my request, is quite clear.
I hope this information is good for those of you riding up here in the Great White North.

Fill 'er' up, ride slow and enjoy the scenery..........................Dave


"Assume Nothing"

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by FM-USA » Fri May 22, 2015 4:11 pm

DAVE.......
That's just plain wrong.
They doing that on purpose to make it confusing?
91 at one station and not... eh, oh well, they do it here too in MEoNA (Middle Earth of N. America).
"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 Solina Dave » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:20 pm

I'm back again to add to the equation regarding ethanol free gasoline availability.
I contacted ESSO/Imperial Oil and presented them with the following question:

"Is all ESSO premium octane 91, and/or octane 93, ethanol free? Also, if they are ethanol free, is at least one or the other available at all ESSO stations throughout Ontario and Canada? And finally, is any lower octane ESSO fuel ethanol free?"

The reply to that question from their customer service dept. is:

"Our regular unleaded gasoline at selected locations contains 10% ethanol
(ERUL or E10). Our premium unleaded gasoline does not contain ethanol.
Midgrade gasoline at locations with E10 and blender pumps contain 5%
ethanol (midgrade is a blend of regular and premium).
Only some provinces offer ethanol. Pumps at stations that do offer ethanol
have stickers that clearly state, "May contain up to 10% ethanol".

So far, it looks like all Shell and Esso stations carry ethanol free premium fuel, and Petro-Can carries ethanol free premium fuel, at stations carrying 3 octane levels, but not at stations carrying 4 octane levels.

I hope this info. helps you find ethanol free gasoline, before you run out of gas!!...................Dave
"Assume Nothing"

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Solina Dave » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:33 pm

Hello again everyone,

It's looking to me like obtaining ethanol free fuel, at least on the Canadian side of the line, is quite easy providing you're willing to pay the extra cash for premium grade gasoline.
I've just received responses from Ultrmar and Canadian Tire, both of whom can provide ethanol free premium 91 octane gasoline at all stations.
That gives access, to ethanol free fuel, at ESSO, Shell, Ultramar, Canadian Tire, and also at Petrocan stations, but only at 3 octane Petrocan stations, NOT at 4 octane stations.
That's good news for me, in that I can easily fill up with ethanol free gasoline almost anywhere I'll be riding, and bad news for me, in that I must pay a premium price for that gasoline. But like anything else, it seems that it costs more to keep these old-timers running. Cost of doing business?

I prefer my corn on the cob, not in my motorcycle.............................Dave
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by FM-USA » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:00 pm

I heard there's grumblings in Congress to do away with eth'KRAP'anol.
I SURE HOPE it's true, my `91 Wing is sooooo happy with Regular fuel.
.
"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 pixel288 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:41 pm

Think I'm gonna wade into the ethanol debate.
To review: Here in Canada most gas stations are 3 octane setups. 87, 89 & 91. Planted in the ground are usually 2 tanks, one being a single compartment, one being a 60/40 split. 87 in the large one (100,000+ litres) and Premium (the 91) in one side of the split, Diesel in the other side of the split. My understanding is that any station that has 94 has to have another tank, or the large tank is split with a small compartment. I was under the impression that 94 did NOT have any ethanol in it, because I have never seen it posted as having any. When Petro-can bought out the Sunoco stations some years ago, the Sunoco 94 DID NOT contain any ethanol in it. Of that fact, at that time, I am certain.
Now then, all our 87 octane is MINIMUM 10 %. It could be slightly higher, anything up to 14% is allowable before they have to post the higher percentage. 89 is less ethanol because it is mixed with 0% 91 octane to give the mid-grade 89. The mixing is done at the pump, just behind where the hose goes up into the pump itself.
So, if you want to get say 100% 91 octane, you need to take a small fuel can with you to run off the first 2-3 liters. That fuel will be whatever was pumped by the previous customer and that way you aren't diluting your high test fuel. Because our tanks are relatively small, 3 liters of 87 can really cut the quality of the fuel, and when we are paying a significantly higher price, I want to get all the bang for my buckthat I can.
The other way I used to do it (on my old Suzuki - it LOVED the 94....) was to pull into a gas station and watch to see if a sports type car (BMW, Mercedes, Corvette, Cadillac's, etc) or tuner car was at, or pulling into a pump. I would double check to see if they were pumping the good stuff and I would line up behind them. Boom! 100% good stuff going into the bike tank, none of the crap. Most of the higher performing cars specify only 91+, or it can void their warranties. So even if I had to wait, it generally wasn't too long.
Now, I told you that story to tell you this one: I have worked on small engines for over 25 years.... so I have got first hand experience of how bad ethanol blends are for older engines. It's not that they won't run, or that they are that far down on power, but the damage that the additives that are in ethanol blends to help keep the alcohol components from separating immediately are what is the real issue here. I have seen the inside entire carburetors turned into a pile of what appeared to be melted zinc (aka 'white metal'). It's these additives that are so harsh on our rubber diaphragms, needle seats, o rings, etc. in the carbs on our bikes. It's also why many owners who are casual riders have to keep adding things like sea foam to the fuel. It helps prevent the damage that this stuff causes. Ethanol based fuels also 'rot' quickly.... ever had a can of 87 gas for the push mower fresh in April and didn't get it all used up by July? Try smelling that stuff, even if it was tightly sealed up. I guarantee you will get that 'old gas' smell when you open it. Using the high test (91 octane) will make a major difference in how hard your push mower will start the next spring. It will also make a huge difference in how well your bike will run when you fire it up the following spring, after it has sat for the winter.
I only purchase the top grade stuff for my small engines (yes, that includes motorcycles!) and I have fewer problems than most with them.... I can be cutting my grass for the first time in the spring while the neighbours are trying to flag me down to fix their gummed up, fouled up equipment. I tell them all the same thing.... use good gas only, all year..... only to fix their stuff the next year. Oh well, it makes for a little extra gas money for riding :D

Phil

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by pixel288 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:52 pm

BTW, I now work for a company that builds gas stations, so I know what is under the concrete and asphalt when you pull in. You wouldn't BELIEVE what it takes to 'plant' a tank. I'm going to be planting 2 in the next couple of weeks up in central Ontario.... I'll try (no promises tho) to get some pics of the process. Might even try to do a time lapse if I can find a good spot for the camera. Let me tell you, it adds up to one intense day, if all goes well. 2 TENSE days if not. And heavy rain? I don't even want to think about 100,000 liter bobbers floating around!
:shock:
Phil

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by roadwanderer2 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:04 pm

hey pixel,

i have to agree with you about using non-ethanol fuel in small engines. case in point, last year i went and bought a brand new lawnmower, went to the gas station and got a container of regular 87 octane gas with 10% ethanol blend, put it in my brand new lawnmower, used it twice, went to fire it up to use it again and it wouldn't start, so there i was pulling on the starter cord what seemed like forever and the lawn mower wouldn't start. i brought it back to where i bought it and told them its not working and i wanted to exchange it for another one. the sales person asked me what fuel i put in it and i told him, "regular 87 octane" and he told me that's what was wrong. the fuel destroyed the brand new carburetor on the lawnmower. he told me that the ethanol blend destroys all the rubber gaskets inside the carburetor and makes it unable to start up. so now i go 10 miles each way to the station that sells non-ethanol fuel and have a container that's marked "NON-ETHANOL FOR LAWNMOWER ONLY". lesson learned.......the hard way.

stuart.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by wingman12 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:59 pm

Good evening, for those who wish to put ethanol free fuel in their lawnmower etc, go to the "how to do articles on this form" I found articles in the gl1000 and gl1100, " how to make your own ethanol free gasoline" it is really quite simple. :D :D

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:32 pm

I just pulled the carb from my push mower (this morning) because it wouldn't run for more than a few minutes. It's a few years old, has a Honda engine on it, and has always been reliable. My son was cutting grass yesterday, and the mower just started stalling on him... I emptied the bowl a few times, thinking some water may have got into the fuel, and that helped for a while, but it eventually just wouldn't run..

After pulling the carb off, I took the bowl off and found what looked like small white pellets in the bowl... about the same size as balancing beads. In addition to the white "beads" there was a LOT of corroded aluminum in there... enough so that I've ordered a brand new carb to put on the mower. I can only guess that these bead-looking things are the result of water in the fuel. Maybe one of you have seen similar looking trash in a small engine. I can't complain all that much because I've virtually done nothing to this mower except put gas in it and change the oil once a season (aside from changing mower blades, I mean) since I bought it... it has run so well that I can't remember how long I've had it or how much I spent when I bought it, unlike the Murray mowers I've bought in the past that don't last very long.

I suspect the water-loving ethanol in the fuel it likely the culprit in the formation of these strange looking "pellets" or "beads" of water or whatever they are. Once I fix the machine, I'll probably stop using ethanol gas in it. I have run the carb bowl out of gas each end of season, to try to prevent this kind of thing, but I guess it didn't help all that much.

Maybe ethanol had nothing to do with it.
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 Solina Dave » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:32 am

Here's your math quiz for the weekend, after your ride of course,
It was sparked by the comment that the pump's hose remains filled with the previous customer's 87 octane/10% ethanol fuel fill, and would therefore contaminate a premium fuel fill with ethanol.
I worked it out, and I believe that a 1" x 12' hose would still hold 1.86 litres of the regular fuel. Less for a shorter hose of course.
I have a 19 litre tank on my '78 GL1000. Therefore, if I fill the tank with 91 octane/0% ethanol premium, I would end up with 17.14 litres of premium, and 1.86 litres of regular, that was still left in the hose. That's about as far as I got, and hence the quiz.
What would the fuel's resultant octane level, and the resultant ethanol % level be, in my 19 litre fill? An example that we all know is, that if you mix regular 87 with premium 91, you end up with an 89 octane/5% ethanol mix. In the answer, the figures will be less than the 91 octane/0% ethanol fuel I thought I was buying, but how much less, is the question....Good luck!
Detailing how the answer was calculated would be a bonus, for me at least.

I think I need a life!!................................Dave

PS........How do you attach a photo without it showing the word "attachments"
Attachments


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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by pixel288 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:04 pm

The octane level will be only marginally lower than 91. That's not a huge problem.
But as a guess on the total amount of ethanol, it will be about .95% (less than 1!) total in a 19 liter fill. The problem as I see it however, is the LONG TERM exposure of the rubber and metal parts to ANY ethanol, and to those additives like MTBE and so on, that are used as agents to keep the ethanol (which is water based) mixed with the petrol (oil based). The other part of the problem is the older materials in older carbs of any sort. The chemistry of the metals and rubbers is significantly different today. Our Goldwings were not built with carbs that will be undamaged by today's ethanol fuels. We may or may not get more or less power out of high test vs lower, but my personal take is that I will ultimately have less carb maintenance, and fuel related issues by using the purest gasoline I can, so that I can spend less money on that part of the upkeep, and have more time to ride.
Just my take on a very muddy topic.

Phil :geek:

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by pixel288 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:19 pm

Let me try the math....
19/1.86= 10.21% of the total fuel would be 87 grade/10% ethanol
91-87=4 difference in octane
Therefore 4/10.21%= .4084
91-.4084=90.5916 effective octane

Total ethanol is 10% of 10.21%
10.21/10%=1.021%
Therefore the total ethanol content of the 19 liter fill up would be 1.021% or .1939 liters or 193 ml.
193 ml is slightly more than 3/4 cup of ethanol in your tank.

Now, if there is anybody out there that can actually do math, can they check this to see if I am completely out to lunch? :D :D :D :D

Phil

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Solina Dave » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:39 pm

pixel288 wrote:Let me try the math....
19/1.86= 10.21% of the total fuel would be 87 grade/10% ethanol
91-87=4 difference in octane
Therefore 4/10.21%= .4084
91-.4084=90.5916 effective octane

Total ethanol is 10% of 10.21%
10.21/10%=1.021%
Therefore the total ethanol content of the 19 liter fill up would be 1.021% or .1939 liters or 193 ml.
193 ml is slightly more than 3/4 cup of ethanol in your tank.

Now, if there is anybody out there that can actually do math, can they check this to see if I am completely out to lunch? :D :D :D :D

Phil
I think you're bang on Phil. Good job! It's just about what I figured regarding the minimal reduction in the octane level. On the other hand however, I was having a very difficult time wading through the calculations relating to the ethanol content issue. Just reading through your calculations, they seem to make sense. The ethanol content point is really driven home. when you see 3/4 of a cup of the crap in a 19 litre tank, that being based on a 91 octane fuel fill, and a pump hose full of 87/10% regular. And the point seems to further emphasize the fact, that a 19 litre tank of 87/10% fuel would have over 8 cups of ethanol dumped in there with all the rest of the good stuff. That's disturbing!
Good stuff Phil. You deserve a nice easy ride down to the Glenora ferry, and along the Loyalist Parkway to Kingston and back.

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

Post by pixel288 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:52 pm

We will do that ride together some time. I know where Solina is, I used to live in Bowmanville back when GM was in its heyday! Seemed like I was the only one who didn't work there. I gotta get Baby Blue tore down and put right. 5 PO's, so there should be all kinds of surprises before its maiden (to me) voyage. Good to "meet" you Dave!

Phil

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by bigbugshurt » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:20 pm

Wow...you guys confuse a simple man....I like easy questions like-what do you call a grizzly bear with no teeth?...a gummy bear.
Ok....I guess I forgot...must be a great reason...why did they put that stuff in gas?....you don't have to answer that.
What are some USA stations that carry non-ethanol gas?

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by FM-USA » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:59 pm

bigbugshurt wrote:Wow...you guys confuse a simple man....I like easy questions like-what do you call a grizzly bear with no teeth?...a gummy bear.
Ok....I guess I forgot...must be a great reason...why did they put that stuff in gas?....you don't have to answer that.
What are some USA stations that carry non-ethanol gas?
Couple search places....

http://www.buyrealgas.com/

http://www.pure-gas.org/
"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 HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:58 pm

Just a word of caution, based on personal experience, regarding those "real gas" web sites. I checked one for local ethanol-free gas stations... rode 30 miles to fill up on some Shell, ethanol free, gas... only to discover when I got there that all their fuel has ethanol in it. I don't know if the stations update those sites, or if anyone can... but you might want to phone first before riding to get gas that the station(s) may or may not sell.
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 pixel288 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:20 pm

Hey bigbugshurt... the usual answer to why is almost always MONEY!
Ethanol 'waters' down gasoline... thus making a barrel of oil go further. Big oil will do anything to cut costs.... If they can cut gasoline with a cheaper product that will still burn, that works to their advantage. No matter if the energy input/output of ethanol creation is unbalanced... in the long run they win.
We burn more fuel to go the same distance because of the ethanol; ask any drag racer that does the quarter mile with alcohol..... it takes a LOT more to go as far and as fast as gasoline drag cars. Lower btus per gallon of ethanol.
So big oil has a win-win-win situation (for them that is): They win by getting more 'gasoline' out of a barrel of oil.... we burn more to go the same distance so we buy more and they win... and they get to cut it with a cheap dilutant. Their costs are lower so they win there too. They still get to charge the same for a cheaper product that is constantly going up in volume. We as consumers lose no matter what happens.
All this is done under what I like to call 'Green washing' They want to tell us that the ethanol is better for the environment. It would be if we were burning pure ethanol, instead we burn more petrol than ever because of the dilution factor. No wonder they want to up the percentages to 15 or even 20. The only pollution that ethanol makes is heat and water vapor. If we could find a plant or combination of plant material that would let us brew ethanol in the same quantities as we can distill gasoline, our planet would clean up in 20 years.
The only thing big oil ever did for the environment was remove tetra-ethyl lead from gasoline. And that was because of the original green (hippy) movement started back in the 60's.

Again, just my nickel's worth. I ain't paranoid, but I think long and hard on this kinda stuff. When it seems to make sense, I throw it out there for the conversation factor. I don't hate big oil, but I DO hate the thought that they think that every person on the face of the planet is too stupid and caught up in their own little world to figure anything out. I may not be right, but I'm not uncertain.

Phil :ugeek:
btw, as of today (july 20th 2015) I just watched the price of fuel go from $1.069 per liter to $1.199. NO WAY the barrel price jumped like that today on the markets. :x

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by FM-USA » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:51 pm

Top OIL and FUEL over the past year.
Around Feb 1 2015 fuel started moving higher than normal. No reason, just excuses.
All the usual's were happening, leaks, breakdowns, spills, maintenance, etc., nothing to explain the crawl upwards.
Oil is stockpiling up, more in the States than the rest of the world.
Only probability is something big maybe on the horizon where our military needs lots of fuel.


JUST my observations.

.
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Solina Dave » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:02 pm

Just an interesting update folks.

Last year I rode 5,187 miles, an unusually low number of miles for a season. I filled my tank 37 times, and averaged 43.36 mpg. on an imperial gallon. That would be 36.13 mpg. on a U.S. gallon.
This year, so far, I've ridden 4,485 miles, filling my tank 31 times, and I've averaged 49.18 mpg. on an imperial gallon, which would be 40.98 mpg. on a U.S. gallon.
The only difference between last year, and this year, is a new set of plugs last May, and the exclusive use, this year, of ethanol free 91 octane premium fuel at each fill.
If my math is correct, that's a 13.42% improvement in my gas mileage. Right now, where I live, ethanol free 91 octane fuel costs 15.8% more than 87 octane regular which has up to a 10% ethanol content. Again, if my math is correct, that boils down to me paying only 2.38% more for ethanol free gasoline for my GL1000..............I can live with that!
Also, I think we all realize that ethanol free, lower octane fuels are almost completely unavailable everywhere. Can anyone tell me if obtaining ethanol free premium fuel is a problem in the U.S., or is it readily available?

Ride-on............................Dave


Last edited by Solina Dave on Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by FM-USA » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:24 pm

Cross reference these two sites for Regular gas (non-ethKRAPanol)

buyrealgas.com
pure-gas.org

Some swear by one, others the other and a few neither. (go fig'r) :lol:
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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by Joe_ » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:42 am

There is one time when it makes sense to go seek out a ethanol free gas source and that is when it is time to store the bike for the winter. If I can find it I use ethanol free gas and seafoam to put my vehicles in storage. No problems in the spring that way.

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Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by redeyerebel » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:46 am

well hear in western new york i can get 91 non ethanol gas at shell. and i would run it all the time if i could in my 84 gl1200 in a pinch just burn it but i will not enless i have to. why, you ask rebuild the carbs on your gl and you will never run ethanol again :lol: its bad for the rubber o rings and lines it pulls water into your fuel system rusts your tank ages fast and turns to piss colored lacker that dont come off stay away from it on older cars trucks bikes and boat motors and lawn mowers and definally if you are store
ing it .

branson0319@att.net
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:02 pm
Location: Janesville ,Wisconsin
Motorcycle: 2004 1800 GW

Re: Ethanol! Yes or No?

Post by branson0319@att.net » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:48 pm

I have been using 87 octane with 10% ethanol for years in my 1500 and now my 1800 have never seen the difference in the way the bike operates using 91 octane VS 87 octane gas mileage the same and runs as strong in my mind .. Do use a stabilizer in the winter when the bike is stored.. .. Guess it is more preference than anything else



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