Surveyed Americans Fear E15 Fuel Damage

e15fuelThe American Petroleum Institute (API), a national trade association that represents America’s oil and natural gas industry, conducted a survey whose results show that more than three-fourths of Americans fear that E15 fuel may damage fuel system components, the American Motorcyclist Association reports. Also, more than two-thirds of those surveyed believe that using more corn for ethanol production could force up food prices.

E15 is a fuel blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved for use in 2001-and-newer passenger vehicles. Ethanol is grain alcohol produced from crops such as corn that is mixed with gasoline to produce an ethanol-gasoline blend motor fuel.

E15 is not approved for use in any motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, lawn mowers and other small engines. Since 2011, the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in use by the inadvertent use of E15, which is now becoming available at gas stations.

Some 77 percent of registered voters are concerned that ethanol blends above a 10 percent level can cause severe damage to car engines and fuel system components, according to the poll. Also, 69 percent of those surveyed said that using more corn for ethanol production could increase consumer prices for groceries due to a reduction in the corn supply for food, food products and animal feed. The survey was conducted between Sept. 19-23 by Harris Interactive.

“The bottom line is that motorcyclists want access to safe fuels for motorcycles,” said AMA Vice President for Government Relations Wayne Allard. “Given marketplace realities, wherever E15 is sold there will very likely be misfueling issues due to confusing or improper labeling at the pump. Mis-fueling could even occur if a rider selects a fuel grade other than E15 on a fuel blender pump and receives E15 leftover in the hose from a previous user.”

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26 Responses to “Surveyed Americans Fear E15 Fuel Damage”


  1. 1 Rodent Oct 23rd, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Ethanol is a scam to support corn farmers for political gains and we the motoring public get screwed.

  2. 2 takehikes Oct 23rd, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Rodent is right on the money. Word is it takes a ton of fuel to grow the corn to make the ethanol….makes no sense.

  3. 3 Chris W Oct 23rd, 2013 at 10:13 am

    So when are the factories going to produce engines that can handle E15? If its going to be everywhere then it looks like opportunity for the factories to step up to it

  4. 4 BobS Oct 23rd, 2013 at 10:34 am

    takehikes, guess how much energy it takes to extract crude oil, ship it, and refine it? The sun doesn’t make the crude grow…
    Chris W, most domestic manufactured cars already produce engines that can burn anywhere from 0 to 85% ethanol, or any mixture in between. It’s a boon to GM, Ford, and Chrysler as they’re ahead of the Japanese on flex fuel. But not to Harley or Polaris, they have no advantage here. Put it in my car? Sure, whatever. Put it in my bike…nope, it wasn’t designed for it.

  5. 5 Tobby Oct 23rd, 2013 at 11:33 am

    A gallon of base gasoline (varies slightly by winter or summer blend) has about 114,000 BTUs of energy. A gallon of ethanol has about 76,000 BTUs of energy. E85 has about 82,000 BTUs of energy.

    E85 has nearly 28% less energy than a gallon of gasoline. There is a slight increase in burning efficiency fom the higher octane ethanol of about 10%, however, the net energy difference is still about 20%. Ethanol is a ripoff, however you look at it.

  6. 6 Mike Greenwald Oct 23rd, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    The people that support ethanol are now added to the definition of cornflakes.

  7. 7 Terence Tory Oct 23rd, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Yeah,this new stuff might scare the horses.

    The reality is the corn production industry is a scandal and destructive to health,society and the environment.Ethanol production is only a small contributor to corns inherent problems.

  8. 8 Woody's Oct 23rd, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Even an engine that can run E15 (and E10 like I’m already stuck with) can’t always be stored with it as it forms varnish within 30 days. Forget to put the stabilizer in it or wait too long because you “thought you’d run it again soon” and you’re screwed. It’s tolerated much better in injected engines where you have a high fuel pressure, but how many people have lawn mowers, chain saws, edgers, shipper/shredders etc. that are fuel-injected? Then you have carbed bikes-how many of use have 4-5 older collector bikes that may only get run a few times a year, this is punishment with no value. It takes more energy to make a gallon of ethanol than straight gas, including the electricity that is often from coal-fired power plants. Rodent nailed it, short and sweet. Like the windmills, solar panels and unicorn fart energy, it’s the tax money subsidies that “make it work” even though it doesn’t work.

  9. 9 Blackmax Oct 23rd, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    America’s fuel my ass
    I didn’t vote for it or chose it !
    It’s crap & They KNOW it’s crap !!!

  10. 10 Loaf LTR Australia Oct 23rd, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Our base fuel in Australia is a 10% ethanol fuel rated at 91 RON. it’s not used by many motorcyclists though as we go for the 95 or 98 variables due to the better fuel consumption you get which in my experience can be up to and extra 30 miles per tank.
    One tech (mechanic) has told me that the Ethanol based fuels make the bike run hotter and you have to much more in to get a similar result to running straight 95. His recommendation was to use 95 octane minimum in all v-twins as it’s a cleaner fuel.
    Our ethanol is sugar cane based.

  11. 11 Wilhelm Oct 24th, 2013 at 5:54 am

    As long as people are hungry in front of empty plates, any use of grain or corn for the production of ethanol is misguided, to say the least.

  12. 12 Hungouver Oct 24th, 2013 at 6:00 am

    All great points. Ethanol is corn, corn is food, not fuel. Did everyone write their congressman via the AMA site? Go do it!

  13. 13 JackS Oct 24th, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Doing a little research, I found that the EPA is beginning to hint around at standardizing on E30. Higher compression and hotter head temps (aka more thigh burn) would have to be addressed by the MC industry just to retain the horse power ratings we have today. Although turbos would gain in popularity. naturally aspirated carbs would become a thing of the past. The AMA has done a good job of fighting E15; they should also be looking at the potential industry ramifications of E30.

    On a side note, has anyone else ridden through Iowa and had difficulty finding 91+ octane gas with 10% or less ethanol?

  14. 14 tim himes Oct 24th, 2013 at 11:19 am

    i went out and bought stablizer and not sure if it works on premium fuel. my nieghbor and i had to clean our mowers and other small engine s and that is not cheap. what happens to your large investment motorcycle. i know that in the midwest they run all different kinds of fuel mixes. just another scam by obama to ruin a retired guys life style and investment. they pass laws and don’t take into consideration that motorcycleists have huge investments. one example is the new light bulbs. they don’t fit anything. are we supposed to just throw out our furnishings. another job well done by the washington foreskins

  15. 15 Woody's Oct 24th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    To be fair, this didn’t start with Obama. To be more fair, this won’t go away as long a we keep electing people like Obama.

  16. 16 Terence Tory Oct 24th, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Wilhelm.Nobody in the world is going hungry due to corn/ethanol production.The world food supply has never been more reliable and stable.Human nature and the profit motive over humanity and regional food politics dictate food supply and prices.

    Corn is the problem regardless of ethanol production.

  17. 17 Bill Oct 24th, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    It would be great if the Motorcycle, ATV, Lawn Mower, etc. etc. manufactures would help their customers by using their lobbyist’s in Washington DC to help our cause. Bill

  18. 18 BobS Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Hungouver come to Iowa sometime. 99% of the corn grown is NOT food. The farmers are very busy right now harvesting this brown, dried, crusty product that once resembled corn. No human eats this. It’s harvested and sent to mega agri-businesses like Archer-Danils-Midland or Conagra. It’s a raw material that is refined and converted into hundreds or thousands of products. Kinda like crude oil when you think about it.

  19. 19 Terence Tory Oct 25th, 2013 at 3:03 am

    This is a strange finding by a lobby effort called: “The American Petroleum Institute (API), a national trade association that represents America’s oil and natural gas industry”.

    I doubt they would ask questions about cornathol that would give a favourable perspective anyhow.

    That wasn’t too cynical a comment was it?

  20. 20 nicker Oct 27th, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Ethanol seems to have been the cause of my scooters fuel system failures.
    Right after a rip through Canada stuff started to fail.
    - filter totally plug up with brown stuff.
    - partially dissolved chunks of plastic in the tank.
    - multiple fuel hose leaks.
    - stuck pressure regulator.

    Guess i Should-a paid more attention to the fuel i was pumping……. :-(

    -nicker-

  21. 21 Wilhelm Oct 27th, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Terence Tory: the acreage used for fuel production can’t be used for the growing of food. The grain you want to eat must be bought somewhere else. Food prices go up accordingly, people who can’t afford to pay them go hungry. Period.

  22. 22 Terence Tory Oct 27th, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Wilhelm.No,nup.There is rarely any shortage of corn,or acreage for corn,like ever.The corn industry virtually ruins everything it touches.Corn is bad for human health and worse for cows.Cows should only be fed grass and humans should find something else to eat.Corn is not a real food,it is a nutritional disaster that resembles a food product.

    To reiterate:The world food supply has never been more reliable and stable.Human nature and the profit motive over humanity and regional food politics dictate food supply and prices.

    No doubt you can use your market knowledge at the CBOT and reap the benefit.

  23. 23 BobS Oct 27th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Wilhelm, the notion that ethanol is somehow related to loss of food supply and therefore an increase in cost is simply false propaganda perpetuated by interests that stand to gain if we burn more of their product and less of anything else. As mentioned, all those miles and miles of corn you see planted throughout the midwest is not planted for food. Why do you think it’s not harvested until the plant is dead and dried? It’s because when ADM or Conagra breaks it down into chemical components they don’t need any water. Corn used in ethanol production comes from the cow food supply. They distill the sugars out and return the protein to the cow feed. The protein is what makes the cow grow, the sugars just make it shit, so no “food” period is used in ethanol production.
    However, if you really are concerned about acres being available to grow human food on, then practice and promote vegetarianism. You have to feed cows 8-10 lbs of food to make 1 lb of beef. So quit eating cows and you increase the acres you can devote to human food by a factor of 8-10 times.
    I’m guessing that giving up beef is out of the question so concern over the food supply is really just an excuse right?

  24. 24 Jim Oct 31st, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Wondering where some of you get your info ? Corn is bad for cows? Been feeding for 40 years and cattle prefer it 100 to 1. Also corn is left in the field to die and dry down to about 15 percent moisture or it will spoil in the storage bin. We must have different ethanol in S.D. ,I have been using it for over 10 years with no problems. I use it in Harley ,mowers, trucks, or whatever. I prefer premium in my bikes but don,t ride station to station looking for it. The world is not coming to an end because of corn blended fuel.

  25. 25 burnout Oct 31st, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Jim I hear you , maybe your e10 IS better than ours? We also only have 87 octane as our lowest octane fuel and I believe you guys have 85? It’s good news to me that you have no problems. Here in the south however, we are plagued with problems from e10 use. peace

  26. 26 AX Nov 4th, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Ethanol doesn’t exist to help farmers. Farmers have no political power nationally. Ethanol is subsidized to help mega-corporations like Cargill, ADM and the Koch(sucker) brothers’ companies.

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