Ethanol 15. The American Motorcycle Association And The Renewable Fuels Association Accuse Each Other Of Misinformation.

1ethanolE15 is shorthand for gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol. E15 fuel has been certified for sale in the United States and is showing up at gas stations. The reason it’s a big deal is that ethanol is fairly corrosive to rubber and certain metals, so it can cause damage to vital components. Ethanol also attracts and bonds with water from the air, and that water can separate out inside the tank due to phase separation. If your vehicle sits for long periods between use, the moisture settles to the bottom of the tank and can potentially clog in-tank pumps and filters. Damage is also possible in fuel lines, injectors, seals, gaskets, and valve seats as well as carburetors on older engines. I publish below the point of view and arguments of both the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) and of The Renewable Fuels Association (RFS) accusing each other of misinformation.

The Accusation From AMA

“Stop the decade of E15 misinformation. The first 10 years under the Renewable Fuel Standard, established in 2005, represent a decade of misinformation from the ethanol lobby concerning safe fuel for your motorcycle. To protect your access to safe fuel, urge your representative to cosponsor the RFS Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 704). The American Motorcyclist Association needs your help to pass this bill. You can send a prewritten email to your representative immediately by following the “Take Action” option and entering your information. The AMA encourages riders to personalize their message by drawing on their own personal riding experiences.

2ethanolIn an effort to prohibit the spread of E15 fuel, which contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume, the AMA supports H.R. 704, sponsored by U.S. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Peter Welch’s (D-Vt.). The bipartisan bill would amend the Renewable Fuel Standard to recognize market conditions and realities. It also would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from allowing any station to sell gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume and require those already selling it to stop. In other words, the sale of E15 will not be permitted if this legislation becomes law.
The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle and all-terrain-vehicle fuel systems and engines from the inadvertent use of E15. Allowing the higher ethanol blends to become more readily available greatly increases the chance of misfueling.

In October 2010, the EPA approved E15 for use in model year 2007 and newer light duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles). In January 2011, it added model year 2001-2006 light duty vehicles to the approved list. Passing H.R. 704 will help protect the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles currently in use on America’s roads and trails that are not approved to use E15, and the riders who depend on safe fuel for their operation.

Preventing inadvertent misfuelings has been one of the AMA’s top priorities, because motorcycles and ATVs are not designed to run on ethanol blends higher than 10 percent, and many older machines favored by vintage enthusiasts have problems with any ethanol at all in the fuel. Using fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol can void the manufacturer’s warranty, potentially leaving motorcyclists with thousands of dollars in additional maintenance costs.”

The Reply From RFS

In response, The Renewable Fuels Association (RFS) has released the following statement. “Once again, the AMA is engaging in scare tactics and spreading misinformation about E15. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before,” said Robert White, RFA vice president of industry relations. “AMA’s claims that E15 will suddenly become available at every fuel station in the country and replace E10, so that there will no longer be any legal fuel for motorcycles to use, are patently false. E15 has been on the market for three years and no motorcycle has misfueled using the higher ethanol blend or has been denied a warranty claim. Plus, the AMA ignores the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that the fuel dispenser label clearly identify what vehicles can and cannot use E15. Does the AMA believe that motorcyclists can’t read?” White said that the availability for motorcycles to use E10, which is approved for use in motorcycle engines, increased last year, and that more E10 and E0 were sold last year than in the previous year.”


16 Responses to “Ethanol 15. The American Motorcycle Association And The Renewable Fuels Association Accuse Each Other Of Misinformation.”

  1. 1 Rodent Aug 20th, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Ethanol is a payoff to corn farmers for voting for political hacks.

  2. 2 troll Aug 20th, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Corn gas is crap, no matter what the percentage. Always was, always will be. If you’re going to run ethanol, it needs to be 100% and the engine designed from the ground up to use it. When Iowa started mandating the E10 fuels in the mid 80’s, the state had the highest number of in warranty fuel injector failures in the WORLD!!!!!

  3. 3 Roberto Aug 20th, 2015 at 10:00 am

    No need for it. Build the Keystone pipeline so north America can be energy independent.

  4. 4 Marcus Aug 20th, 2015 at 10:06 am

    These aren’t your family farmers. This is corporate agriculture and their lobbyists that give millions to politicians. The AMA is a peon in this game.

    Fortunately both sides of the aisle have constituents that want this ethanol experiment abolished. Big Oil (Republicans) want to sell more gasoline, especially with oil prices so low. Democrats want to redirect farms to producing food and not corn for ethanol (not the kind of corn you would eat).

  5. 5 Mike fagan Aug 20th, 2015 at 11:19 am

    People forget that ethanol was added as a octane boost when they took out some real nasty crap that was doing it before and was showing up in drinking water.

  6. 6 Dante Aug 20th, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I am not sure why you would think letting someone else build a pipeline across our country is going to help our country at all. You seem to be misinformed on the very few benefits the Keystone pipeline would provide to the United States, eh?

  7. 7 Steal Your Face Aug 20th, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Marcus, calling Big Oil (Republicans) makes you look stupid. So there are no (ZERO) Dumbocraps who have any interest in oil?

  8. 8 domino Aug 20th, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I am rebuilding the CV carb on my FXR … AGAIN …

    Can you guess why???

    Domino Dave

  9. 9 VForce Aug 20th, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Ethanol has shown no benefit to the environment. It’s a fact.

    Another Fact- It has however wreaked havoc in our industry with thousands of hours spent rebuilding carbs/ FI systems, with even more money spent. Just ask any powersports service dept manager how many carb/ FI system cleans or rebuilds they have to do every year.

    Another Fact- The market for ethanol fighting additives has gone insane. Bel Ray, Liquid Performance, Star Tron, Stabil, just about everyone has an ethanol treatment now and they are selling. They would not be selling if ethanol wasn’t destroying our engines!

    Another Fact- Ethanol fuel has also driven up the price of corn. So we have to pay more for basic food because of it.

    Another Fact- The only people that are benefiting from ethanol are the politicians supporting it and the corn farmers. Have you seen what these corn farmers are making? They get to buy a new F350 every couple of years. Have you seen their lavish houses? These corn farmers are making BANK.

    Everyone else has to deal with the BS caused by ethanol.

    Just follow the money people its not that difficult.

  10. 10 Chris Aug 20th, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Former corn farmer here. As the price for corn has increased, the cost of the inputs increases commensurately. The companies that buy the corn are also the same ones who sell most of the inputs. Big Ag is making out like bandits.

    That’s not to say that some farmers aren’t doing well off of this, but it isn’t the family farm of yesteryear. In the 1980’s, our 1000 acre farm was a big operation. Today, that 1000 acres isn’t sustainable. Tough times, but keep your eye on who is making out. Don’t blame the farmer, blame Cargil, Monsanto, ADM, etc. and the politicians (on both sides of the isle) whose pockets they line.

  11. 11 JW Aug 20th, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    So what do we do then when we need fuel? Is this going to be all we can buy in the future? Should we be using additives to combat the effects?

  12. 12 Chris Aug 21st, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I don’t foresee E15 being the only fuel option available. E10 which is pretty well standard in most places and is probably in most of our bikes now will continue to be available. Not that E10 isn’t without its issues, but I don’t believe we’ll be scrambling to find gasoline.

    One nice thing about ethanol is that it does do a nice job of keeping the metal parts of the carb clean assuming you don’t end up with bits of fuel hose packed in your jets, a real and present issue.

    That being said, I was able to find some non-ethanol gasoline on my way home from Sturgis. My fuel mileage improved as did the power of the bike, two factors I think we can all agree on.

  13. 13 shanedrive Aug 21st, 2015 at 9:39 am

    shop owner here:
    Ethanol sux, no if’s, and’s or but’s. Heck, I’ve seen blistering paint jobs that I blame ethanol for but then again I’ve seen crappy paint jobs that gasoline can reek havoc with too. bottom line, I see plenty of ethanol “damage”. Mostly corrosion within the tank(s) if not kept full during storage. Carbs and EFI have had issues too during extended storage.

    A little piece of advice when looking for fuel. Try to find filling station pumps that have two hoses. Usually one of those hoses are dedicated to non ethanol fuel. You won’t even get a “hose full” shot of ethanol if you’re fortunate enough to find stations like this. At least here in Wi we have these. Not sure about elsewhere.

  14. 14 John Aug 22nd, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Corn is for the whiskey that makes my girl frisky.
    What doesn’t the government understand about that ?

  15. 15 Blackmax Aug 24th, 2015 at 6:51 am

    John has the best answer, Good One !!
    Eat the corn, feed the corn to the animals
    Drink the Corn, but do not try to put it in my gas tank

  16. 16 george Aug 25th, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    As for keeping your tank full. Bob Adler does old truck and car work out east and writes a column for a mag.He did a simple bench test, two jars, one with E10, Both had metal strips in it. After a couple of days the unleaded showed signs of corrosion above the gas but the E10 showed corrosion in the gas, The E10 was eating the metal. This is what it does to your gas tank. Thats why a lot of late model cars have plastic tanks.

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