Author Topic: Ethanol fuel compatible?  (Read 926 times)

guest1130

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Ethanol fuel compatible?
« on: March 30, 2011, 10:38:45 PM »
Just wondering, don't know that mixture they have in different countries, but in Finland, they've just recently switched to selling only E10 95 and E5 98 fuel. The E-number of course represents the amount of ethanol in the fuel and the latter number represents octane.

I read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_ethanol_fuel_mixtures , that vehicles using a carburettor might need modifications to cope with 5-10% ethanol mixtures in fuel.

Do anyone here have any practical experience on how these work on honda RFVC engines - especially on the XBR?

welland99

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2021, 07:21:31 PM »
Interesting that this issue was raised here 10 years ago, and the UK is only now switching to E10 fuel.  In fact, I noticed just last week that the garage I was at sold only E10 95 and E10 98. 

So, where do we stand with E10 95 with our XBRs?

themoudie

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2021, 10:44:30 PM »
Aye Welland99,

Any 'Nitrile', rubber, PVC hoses, seals, diaphrams, washers and some brass alloys are also etched by the ethanol in the fuel. The paint/lacquer on the petrol tank, if not a quality ethanol resistant formula, will be pickled by the E5 and E10 fuels. So far as I am aware, only 'Viton' rubber and 'Tygon' plastic fuel lines are resistant to E10 ethanol. I found 1 year old 'Nitrile' fuel lines cracked and perished on both the Ducati and the SRX. The latter's fuel lines are tucked up under the fuel tank above the cylinder head, so any leaks are potentialy catastrophic! :( I am also aware that brass jets can be etched if left immersed in E5 or E10 fuels.

So far as I am aware, as long as the octane rating is 95, then Japanese engines should run OK with the fuel, but it is the ancilliary parts and finishes that may suffer from the solvent effects of the ethanol. And, the hygroscopic potential of ethanol doesn't help, if it is left sitting in receptacles open to the atmosphere.

I have been using E5 95 and E10 95 in my Ducati single and add Castrol 'ValveMaster' to the fuel every time I refuel, at a rate of 1ml to 1litre of fuel. I am also using the same fuels in the Yamaha SRX 600ES engine and my wife's Honda Bros 400 and have added Castrol 'ValveMaster' during the autumn and spring periods when the bikes might be used less frequently. When laying the bikes up for more than 4-6 weeks, I drain the fuel tank, fuel lines and the carburettors, leaving them ventilated, so that condensation is less likely to form.

I use the Castrol 'ValveMaster' additive as it doesn't boost the octane of the fuel, but prevents the erosion of potentially 'soft' valve seats (Ducati) and stabilises the fuel to prevent the separation of ethanol into water in the fuel tank, all in the one product. It also has a very economical dosing rate. Most other products of this type only stabilise the fuel, or prevent valve seat erosion.

So, check your fuel lines, possibly use a fuel stabiliser and or drain the fuel system if the bike is not going to be used for more than 4-6 weeks and ride the bike, because you might no be able to in a few years!  :(

If you have bikes with fibreglass tanks then you are in trouble, I have seen tanks disintergrate overnight, when left with fuel in them at classic bike race meetings. The fuel lines become clogged with glass fibres, as the E5 fuel disolved the resin and turned the whole tank in contact with the E5 fuel to a mushy, porous mess. I believe that there are resins which resist ethanol, but I am not sure if they are durable for any length of time. More modern bikes, with moulded plastic fuel tanks are also being affected by E5 fuels and this will only be exacerbated by the E10 fuels. I know that more modern Triumphs with moulded fuel tanks are having problems as are Ducatis. This following posting was made on the Morini Riders Club GB by a correspondent from the Netherlands, his first machine is a modern Morini and I quote it in full.

Quote
Most manufacturers now switched to tanks that resist ethanol, either by material or coating on the inside. Many tanks before 2015 (?) soften when exposed to higher ethanol levels and deform. Usually this results in mounting points not lining up when reassembling the tank. This effect worsens when you have a long project and leave the tank filled with fuel on the shelf not supported on the original mounts...
Seen it both on my 9 1/2 2006 and Ducati GT1000 2006. Have not removed the tank of my Guzzi V7 café classic 2012 lately so that may also have softened by now.

Others may have other advice or more detailed knowledge and if you want to get the screaming abdabs read the Wikipedia entry for ethanol!

Good health, Bill
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 11:18:08 PM by themoudie »

Ian

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2021, 10:54:39 PM »
Don't know if this will be of any help.
 


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Dave#22

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2021, 04:36:29 PM »
I've also been concerned with the increase in Ethanol in our fuel...my old Guzzi has a fuel tank made by Acerbis from Nylon #6 and I read on an American forum that the tank was taken off the bike to do so work and when tried to refit a few days later, that the mounting holes would not line up...the tank had expanded?
I also have a more modern Derbi with what looks like an ABS tank, so I don't know how that will react.
Not taking any chances, I've been using Lucas Fuel Flex E10-E85....E85 which I believe is available in the US...so far so good.
I had an issue with my DR750 last year, I use it as a Winter bike, so pulled it out of the garage (with 7 month old fuel) and was hard to start, so when running, went out for a ride and overtaking a car, it coughed, which is most unusual, so drained the carbs and found droplets of water >:( in the float bowls, so rigged up an SU fuel pump on two lengths of 6mm steel tube to drain every ledge and crevice in both tanks, to be sure of no water to cause corrosion, so I started using the Lucas treatment with no further running issues, in fact it runs well. When I took the bike off the road this year, I drained the tanks and carbs and put 1/2 gall of paraffin in each side and filled the carbs...a bit of a faff I know, but should work.
Dave.

themoudie

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2021, 05:14:34 PM »
Quote
When I took the bike off the road this year, I drained the tanks and carbs and put 1/2 gall of paraffin in each side and filled the carbs...a bit of a faff I know, but should work.
  :)

Agreed Dave. A faff, but better than rolling 5 gallon drums of fuel/water mix about your lawn/drive, then standing it to settle, afore syphoning off the resulting "fuel" that is probably below 90 octane, having removed the ethanol; will detonate like mad in top gear and stuff a hole in your piston! ::)

A friend has multiple Guzzi' and he too reports this problem, with the 'Nylon' tank.

Good health, Bill

Moto63

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2021, 06:21:38 PM »
Interesting to read what Dave#22 put about his nylon tank as the spitfire also has a nylon Petrol tank, think I’ll be emailing CCM just to clarify that it’s ethanol friendly 🤞🤞

Steve Lake

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2021, 11:31:33 AM »
took #1 srx in for MOT yesterday ... all good, but got an advisory on what looked like perished fuel pipes .... 2 miles from home bike stopped, looked down, fuel pissing out of broken plastic filter,
looks like during the mot he must haf fiddled about with the pipes whilst checking them and cracked this filter. thankfully i had a few zip ties in my pocket (even better to carry with you than the hard to find baler twine ;-) ), so clamped off the offending pipe, set tap to prime, and got home.
on further investigation i found that the filters had become VERY fragile, and the pipe very stiff and perished ... ok, they had been in place for a couple of years, even so, i consider that a very early failure and that is when using predominantly E5 , god knows what will happen when its all E10!!

themoudie

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2021, 06:44:32 PM »
Aye Steve,

I had similar problems with the small squareish, clear plastic fuel filters. Not only does the outer casing become weak, but the internal gauze filter collapses and either blocks the fuel flow or doesn't filter the fuel! :(

Now using Honda lawnmower filters. Will post part number when I have dug it out!  :-[

Good health, Bill

Steve Lake

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2021, 09:07:28 AM »
thanks Bill, i was working along those lines myself and have ordered some lawnmower filters from my local garden machinery shop.
bloody 'summer' weather is crap here ....
rear wheel out of #1, off for a new tyre .... now called a Bridgestone BT46, i called bridgestone uk, and checked with them for compatibility with the nearly new BT45 i have on the front .... all perfectly ok according to them.
pip pip

themoudie

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2021, 08:15:40 PM »
Aye Steve,

Going "off topic"! ::)

The SRX Mono is getting aired, but the 450 MKIII has been out most of the time and now has 2,500 miles on the clock. The Hiedenau rear now only has 3mm left up the centre, so I will be going down the Avon RoadRider MKII route. Having read from the Morini Riders Club that at a very skaty Cadwell trackday this year, due to rain plus a car track day the previous day, laying a thick layer of rubber down that Avon MKII's performed as well as AM22 and AM23 race compound tyres on the day! We already use RoadRider tyres on the SRX's and the Bros. Conti radials have been suggested by some other 450 owners, but I'm uncertain about Conti's.

Good health, Bill

Steve Lake

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2021, 06:23:59 AM »
Bill... what size avon's do you fit on your twinshock srx?  i can't see they do 120/80-18 or 100/80-18 which are the reccommended sizes for the twinshock.

themoudie

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2021, 08:36:32 AM »
Steve,

I have the 1987 SRX400 wheels fitted to the 1986 SRX600 twin shock (Sally), so a single front disc on a 17" wheel, with a 18" rear.

Tyre sizes I fit are 100/80 x 17" to the front and 120/80 x 18" to the rear.

I see that they do not make a 100/80 x 18", but a front 100/90 x 18" and a front or rear 100/90 x 18", also they list a 120/80 x 18".

So, either a bit of wheel swopping or use the higher profile for the front of #1?

Here is the link to the Avon tyres RoadRunner II tyre sizes listing. (N.B. there are two pages):

Avon_tyres_RoadRunner_II_tyre_sizes

Your health, Bill

CrazyFrog

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2021, 06:30:32 PM »
I have now run two tanks full of petrol labelled as E10, one on the Himmo, one the Jawa. They both ran absolutely fine, though in truth I suspect the Jawa would probably run on paraffin! Obviously I can't comment on any long term issues.

Let's keep this thread alive and see what, if any, problems we all get. 👍
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Steve Lake

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Re: Ethanol fuel compatible?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2021, 07:32:36 PM »
hi Bill, thanks for the info.... i have run 100/90-18 on the front of #1, (1986 1JK) ... at 80 mph + the tyre was touching the underside of the mudguard... in fact , on the way back from the thumperclub rally at baskerville hall, it actually wore right through on the front tip of the guard. .... after a few more miles it was ok as the tyre got worn. so, i will be sticking with the bridgestones for the correct size i think.
pip pip