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E10 Fuel

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Envy-t, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. I have used the premium 98 with up to 10% etanol for a a year or so now in my modified XR6 Turbo, and it loves it.

    Can my 1992 GSF bandit run on E10 fuel? It's considerably cheaper and does a great job of keeping things clean internally.

  2. It should run fine on E10 - whether you should run E10 long term or not is on the other hand a very different story.
    None of the Japanese manufacturers recommend using ethanol blends - the potential problems include water absorption, metal corrosion and degradation of the fuel lines. Not something that's a problem with modern plastic-tanked, fuel-injected, cars - but a carburetted motorcycle engine is very different.
  3. Some mid-western states in the USA have had mandated 15% ethanol blended fuel for up to 15 years, to help keep the farming economy rolling.

    Many report no motorcycling problems, some report poor running at times.

    No one seems to claim ethanol killed their engine.

    The anti-ethanol push in australia a year or so back was a political ploy, a stunt. I doubt that any engine will suffer from using it. We use it in our EFI car.

    From reading lucid technical advice regarding its use it actually could produce an improvement for some.

    All the best

    Trevor G

    PS To the best of my knowledge none of the japanese manufacturers disapprove of its use in the US states where it is a compuslory addition to all fuel. ;-) I wonder why...
  4. So the US says ethanol is great to support corn growers and reduce dependence on foreign oil - but that's not political.
    But when the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries in this country explains why it is not suitable for steel fuel tanks, carburetted engines or engines with natural rubber fuel lines, ie any vehicle not built specifically for E10 fuels, that is political :?

    There is a political side as well, but that shouldn't be confused with the very real technical issues which have been seen in countries like Mexico where ethanol fuels have been in use for some time.

    It's use is disapproved here - and given we received a number of models that were never sold in the US (and couldn't be due to their low quality fuel) I'd be inclined to go with the manufacturers advice. Unless you suspect every single Japanese manufacturer has some sort of vested interest in reducing sales of ethanol fuel.
  6. on a 250rr i find with the 10% it effected it horroribly. runs really bad and misses beats and now that i ran it out and refilled with the normal unlead from cole's express its all fine and runs a heap better.
  7. Thanks JD. Will keep the sweet blend for the car only then.
  8. 30% is considered the line in the sand where it makes a difference how the vehicle is designed.

    The carry-on about 10% is stupid.

    I find E10 cleans up both bikes when they are running a bit rough (next normal tank), but neither run well on it, itself.

    I run e10 every 3rd or so tank, just because of my refill/petrol station cycle.
  9. Interesting subject ...Ethanol 100% is not a harsh liquid I cant understand why they say at 10-30% it may damage fuel lines etc I can understand water absorbing but rubber seals and fuel lines ..Petrol is a lot harsher on rubber than ethanol ..
    As for your engine it might make it run poorly if its not tuned to the fuel but damage over the long run I cant see it if your worried add valve saver oil to the mix...
    But keep in mind it might be cheaper but you use more to travel the same distance so in an average car/bike you may only end up saving 10cent a lt ...
    The worst fuel on the market for damage to the engines is LPG ...at 65 cent a liter people still use that everyday...
  10. :?

    Just ran Ethanol and gasoline past my preferred online 'material compatibility' website: http://www.coleparmer.com/techinfo/chemcomp.asp

    Gasoline has severe effect on: ABS plastic, EPDM, Natural rubber, NORYLr and Silicone, and is rated fair with: CPVC, Polypropylene, PVC and Tygonr

    Ethanol has a severe effect on: Polyurethane, and is rated fair with: Buna N (Nitrile), PVC, Tygonr.

    For the rest of the materials on their database, both Ethanol and Gasoline are fairly compatible. It would seem that the corrosive effect of Ethanol has been overstated.

  11. My bad - it's biodiesel that eats natural rubber (but oil based diesel won't).
    Ethanol eats elastomers (fake rubber) used for fuel lines - specifically Buna N which has a high resistance to petrol, but is not good for long-term contact with ethanol (as Rob's pointed out).

    The corrosive effect, as I've mentioned before, is due to the fact that petrol is non-conductive, whereas ethanol is not. So instead of preventing galvanic corrosion ethanol actually encourages it. This can occur not only between different metals, but also different stress areas - like the folds and bends in a steel tank.

    Oh and thanks for the link to the website Rob, definitely bookmarking that one :).
  12. JD is absolutely right.

    Galvanic cells, i.e., one spot corroding in preference to another, can be set up on the same piece of metal with different stresses at two locations. It can even be set up between parts of steel that aren't exactly identical in constituents. All they need is an electrolyte to allow the current flow... and if ethanol acts as an electrolyte, then corrosion is a possibility.

    I'd never thought about the electrolyte angle.

    For the record, I've used E10 in the car from time to time, but never continuously.

    So what to the spanish do then? They're like all about ethanol aren't they?
  13. The problem with Ethanol has been, and always will be, older fuel systems and non compatible rubber seals and lines. It will also attack some types of fuel tank seam sealer (yes, just like that fuel tank on your bike).
    Performance MAY not be affected (although I have heard many reports to teh contrary).
    Ethanol also has an affinity for water, so that lovely condensation that every fuel tank gets, will lead to lowering of octane of the fuel, as the water, now suspended in teh fuel reduces the octane rating.
    These problems are DOCUMENTED in many papers on teh subject, so do not claim it is a beat up.
    Never mind teh simple fact that it takes more energy per litre to make and transport ethanol fuels than the Ethanol ends up providing.
    It is a seriously short sighted knee jerk to make a few bandwagon greenies feel good about themselves, much like recycling newspapers.....

    Regards, Andrew.
  14. I dont disagree with you points but maybe leave the greenie comment out of it next time ..without one eyed greens what would the Oceans and Forests look like today unfortunately we need the extremes or the all mighty profit margin would rule at any cost to anything..
  15. Hmmm...so why don't the americans suffer like the mexicans??? Ethanol's use has been mandatory in some mid-western states for 15 years.

    I read about this on a US motorcycling forum, where users commented on their lack of problems over the last 15 years.

    Could there be some other factor you are choosing to ignore, if your comment about mexico is accurate?


    Trevor G

    PS Why did we see the "Guaranteed NO ethanol" signs here a while back? Where are they now? I don't seem to see them any more.

    Is this "political" or just expedient?
  16. What??? And what do you think the carbon credit trading is all about... The greenies will ruin the economy one country at a time for their beliefs. How the planet that has survived 4 billion+ years of all sorts of natural disasters and the suns solar radiation etc etc can be destroyed by humans that have only been here .00000001% of its life.. We could never kill the planet only ourselves (and thats not a bad thing in some cases). Yes we need to think about our actions for our future generations but not to the extent the "one eyed greens" want to.
  17. Because Mexico runs a much higher ethanol concentration (and even uses straight ethanol). What the "ethanol is safe" argument relies on is that the problems that are immediately noticeable on 100% ethanol, and which occur fairly soon on high ethanol blends like E85, somehow magically disappear at lower concentrations - despite nothing but anecdotal evidence to support such claims.

    As I've pointed out however the evidence against ethanol blends is quite strong. It's funny that as yet I've not seen a single pro-ethanol group do something as simple as take two identical engines and run both on the bench for the equivalent of XX,000 kms with E10 and regular unleaded - then strip both engines and compare. Be even more interesting if they used something like a simple carburetted bike or outboard engine to represent the technology of older vehicles. You'd think a Government would commission such a study prior to introducing the fuel, but then Governments didn't see a problem with okaying tetraethyl lead without any testing either (amazing what shiteloads of "political donations" from GM/Dupont/Monsanto can achieve).

    Quite simply the Australian Government doesn't give a f*&k about older vehicles or motorcycles, the introduction of ethanol simply relies on the fact that yes most NEW vehicles will run fine on it. It's much the same attitude they had when phasing out leaded fuel (ie decreasing it's octane rating to make it impossible for many older vehicles to be able to run on it forcing most to have to buy a new car). Is somewhat ironic to see that the German Government considers forcing people to use ethanol blends is unfair to a large minority.

    Since ethanol tends to be more of an issue with older engines the problems can be hard to spot given that many people wouldn't think twice if the fuel lines failed or the tank was rusted on a 15 year old bike.

    Of course since the US has had ethanol blends for so long it is quite likely vehicles sold there have been modified to run on ethanol for the same amount of time - which may explain why US distributors okay its use. We however do not live in the United States, and many vehicles sold here are most definitely not suitable for ethanol - they'd be the same ones the FCAI say are not suitable for ethanol blends.

    I know for a fact that several models exported from here to US had to be specifically modified to meet the requirements for E10 fuel in the US (metal fuel lines with nickel plated internals to the fuel system - as opposed to the synthetic rubber lines and uncoated metal used here). If it's so safe to use with any engine why would they bother? Or are automotive engineers who design and build engines just clueless idiots caught up in some anti-ethanol hysteria?
  18. I don't think anyone is denying it causes damage to fuel lines, but in e10 form we're talking about 10s of thousands of kilometers. Any lines could be changed at service and lets face it how many bikes are actually around with over 80,000 km on them?

    Fuel line damage certainly doesn't worry me. What I would be looking for is engine damage and test have shown that there is no significant damage up to 30% ethanol blend.
  19. Which test?
    Although I find the term "significant engine damage" somewhat of a worry, personally I'd prefer to avoid minor engine damage as well.

    Though really saying 30% is bad, but 10% is harmless seems a little odd to me. I mean if you filled the tank with sand the engine wouldn't run - but add just a tiny bit of fine sand (without a filter) and the engine would still run fine. Doesn't make it a good idea to add a tiny bit of sand to every tankful - even though it would help clean out the fuel system.