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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I just watched a documentary about oil. Let's face it, then era of oil is ending. Thankfully I'm 63 years old, so when that last drop of gas gets pumped, I'll be resting in my grave (sitting on my SV, if I have my way). So I have a question: Have any of you run ethanol in your SV's? Did it do any damage? I know it doesn't remain stable for long, and can lead to tank corrosion. I also know that the AMA is against the use of ethanol fuels, but the AMA is also against helmets- and that's kind of stupid. So, anyone see any damage from the use of ethanol fuels? Damage to the injectors? Other stuff? Fill me in.
 

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In case you don't know, E0 is not available everywhere in the US anymore. I can only find it in a couple of marine yards and maybe two stations in all of NJ. It hasn't been available for quite some time. I use Sta-bil (stabilizer) for winter storage. The E10 has never given my FI Triumph any issues and that bike is 18yrs old. Same for my '01 SVS that I had for nine years. It can cause corrosion, jet clogging and for some Nylon tanks(think Ducati and Triumph) swelling that can lead to other issues. My Triumph's Nylon tank is rated at 4.75 gal, but now will hold 5gal. E10 gas has less energy per molecule than E0, so mpg may suffer a bit and possibly some power, but I didn't notice a thing with any of my bikes. However, I never tried them E0. I bought a brand new Honda lawnmower with tiny carb jets that did not like E10. One year later I sold the mower and bought an electric mower. So, E10 will not damage a modern bike's engine or fuel hoses as long as it's stated in the owner's manual which for the SV, it does. If the gov't allows E15 or E20 as the standard, then problems will arise for motorcycles that are not set up for it. My Chevy HHR has a flex fuel engine that can burn E85, which doesn't exist on the east coast. That's another scam and another thread. Ethanol will damage a fiberglass tank, so they need to be sealed and lined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. Very informative. I'm sure I've run E10 in my bike on many occasions without damaging anything ( I live in California), although if I have a choice I do go to pure gasoline. The documentary I was watching made a pretty strong case for methanol, so it got me wondering.
 

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I don't think burning any alcohol is the answer for internal combustion engines. But, I'm no fuel scientist. Gasoline is a great fuel molecule. There are also winter/summer formulations of gasoline that change the engine's performance as well. Trying to clean up emissions is tough tech, but VW has evidently found the magic wand.
 

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The same VW who is in trouble right now for putting "cheater" systems in some of their new cars to create the illusion of cleaner emissions?

E10 should be fine in most new bikes, since they should be designed to run on it. Older machines and carburetors are where you can run into issues with long term use.
 

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Thanks for the info. Very informative. I'm sure I've run E10 in my bike on many occasions without damaging anything ( I live in California), although if I have a choice I do go to pure gasoline. The documentary I was watching made a pretty strong case for methanol, so it got me wondering.
engines that can handle 10% ethanol can only handle 5% methanol, methanol is more toxic and corrosive
 

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I don't have a lot of facts about ethanol, but it seems like newer vehicles should be designed to handle it if the manufacturers know this is the future. However, I don't see gasoline dissappearing anytime soon. Though I do agree that we need to find alternative fuel solutions.
Personally, I'd like to have a nuclear powered bike. That would be way cool.
 

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No thanks.

Overall more minuses than pluses. It mostly makes sense in situations where turbos and high boost are used, but for daily use there are too many issues and complications to be practical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
engines that can handle 10% ethanol can only handle 5% methanol, methanol is more toxic and corrosive
The documentary I was watching had a portion devoted to the Pikes Peak race, and claimed that ALL the racers were using methanol. I raised my eyebrows.
 

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No thanks.

Overall more minuses than pluses. It mostly makes sense in situations where turbos and high boost are used, but for daily use there are too many issues and complications to be practical.
If you're running E85 only (rather than flex fuel), with compression to match, it can work pretty well. Flex fuel designed to work with 87 octane can't have enough compression to work that well with 110 octane E85 (or whatever it is).
 

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Construction of ethanol plants have pretty much ceased. Without gov. Subsidies production of it has very little economical or even environmental positive impact for planet earth in general. Good riddance to bad rubbish. JMO and I worked as a consultant for ICM, one trip to a "state of the art" operating facility and holy cow this is not viable. Let alone what the POS co. Abingoa was building in the US.
 

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Most everybody runs E10 these days. It's hard to find places that have pure gas.
E10 is safe to run in anything, although, small engines tend to not run very well with it.

However, get above E10 and you'll start having issues. Many automakers will void your warranty if you run higher than E10. IIRC, the Ethanol requires special rubber parts as it breaks down standard stuff in higher concentrations.... Again, IIRC.

Aside from that, IMO, [Corn based] Ethanol is bad for us. To make ethanol you grow corn, which uses energy, fertilizer, etc to grow and harvest. It uses more energy to process into Ethanol. It reduces mileage, it costs more, and it causes our food to cost more, because the corn is now going into Ethanol production rather than the food supply. And it is unstable, and gas goes bad quickly, causing my lawn mower to not run. I just hate the stuff.
 

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The documentary I was watching had a portion devoted to the Pikes Peak race, and claimed that ALL the racers were using methanol. I raised my eyebrows.
iirc, methanol is what is run in Indy cars as well, gasoline is a combination of several volatile compounds, each with its own ignition temperature @ pressure, we try to stablize the flame front as much as possible with octane

pure methanol is one compound, one ignition point, it is much easier to tune the timing for highest performance, there are no other compounds in the flame front fighting against your peak tune
 

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iirc, methanol is what is run in Indy cars as well, gasoline is a combination of several volatile compounds, each with its own ignition temperature @ pressure, we try to stablize the flame front as much as possible with octane
Last I heard, that's what was being used in Indy cars.

Ethanol/Methanol isn't bad for certain applications, but the entire engine and fuel system need to be designed to maximize its characteristics.

As far as blending it with gasoline, it's a bad idea IMO. It makes gas go bad quicker (Phase Separation), contains and holds water, reduces mileage, is corrosive and can attack seals that are not compatible (older engines), promotes rust in a steel tank, and it will make an engine with a carb run leaner.

I'm lucky that in this area there is ethanol-free gas available in all grades. I run ethanol-free in my cycles and small engines, but run E10 in the cars.
 

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bad government idea,

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2...on-consumes-six-units-energy-produce-just-one

Due to the high affinity for the absorption of water, ethanol is not very stable. It takes special tanks at the gas stations (which most don't have) for the higher concentrate. Current pipelines cannot handle pure ethanol, so it must be transported by truck or rail.

the list goes on and on.

besides that it raises the price of certain beverages.
 

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Many high performance engines will make more power once they're switched over to ethanol (or methanol) and properly tuned for it. I'd imagine my SV would respond pretty favorably to E85 if the ECU could be adjusted enough seeing as it's running 12.5:1 CR. The injectors would need upgraded to higher flow versions as the stockers are getting close to maxed out now on gasoline, and I'm not sure how the ECU would respond to the tuning needed...but there IS more power to be had with E85 on a high CR motor.

Back in the early '90's we were building some airplanes using Chevy engines with a mechanical FI system. Swapping over to methanol was as easy as changing the pill and they responded with about 80 HP increase...this on a normal 420 horse motor IIRC.

The reason methanol can make more power is tied to the octane being high enough to tolerate (or even demand) high CR's and the fact that you must dump in around 30% more fuel volume creates a much cooler and more dense intake charge.

We've played with a 2014 Chrysler Flex-Fuel V-6 van that seems to tolerate the E85 just fine and maintains about the same mileage with it too! This was surprising, but they must be altering the tune significantly when using the alcohol which mostly makes up for the lesser btu content of the fuel.
 
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