Honda Shadow Forums banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Since I moved to Virginia all the gas stations around here have the 10% ethanol. My bike has not run the same since I have had to start using it. Today it quit running and I had to run the starter and shake the tank to get it started and to keep it going. I finally got whatever it was out of its system and I made it to work OK. I ride all year round so maybe it was just some bad gas. I had it rejetted for aftermarket pipes and it has always run great in all kinds of weather. Is it time for a tune up, an additive, use a different grade other than mid-octane level gasoline or just get use to it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
865 Posts
It's my understanding that 10% ethanol won't have any effect of your bike. The one thing I can think of is that ethanol will absorb water, so if there may have been some water and dirt laying in the bottom of your tank when the ethanol got in there it may now be in your fuel filter or carbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,761 Posts
Right, ethanol will not have any adverse effects on it.

However, ethanol doesn't produce the amount of power per quanity
as pure gasoline.

It also does not ignite and burn with the same air/fuel mixture as gasoline.

Alcohol and alcohol blends can be run leaner than gasoline.
You might have to lean the carbs out a little bit to make it happy, if you
plan on using the stuff on a regular basis.
If you don't and it's just an occasional thing, don't worry about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,454 Posts
+1 for all the above. When it first came out we had a rash of “spiked ethanol” where by it was more then 10%. I don’t think that happens anymore but when it did, it was reputed to dry out some of the rubber in the fuel system. I know of three companies that got heavily fined (I am talking 10 years ago) so I have been hesitant to use it, plus it is just becoming available here in the one stae that needs it most, California.

Ride on (that so corny, hah, a pun) :D :lol:
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
You have to love the State of Virginia for forcing us to use 10% ethanol :roll:

I haven't noticed much difference in the way my vehicles run. It is harmful to older vehicle's carburetors and it eats fiberglass tanks. It sounds like maybe you have a bit of water or maybe a little sludge in your carb. Add 3 ounces of Seafoam carb cleaner to a full tank of gas and you should see an improvement. You don't need to run midgrade gas. Lowtest will do just fine in your Honda. I run 87 octane.

Are you enjoying the traffic ? :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,115 Posts
ethanol

Ride Metric Roadbike just had a little article on this a few issues back. Seems ethanol "absorbes"(?) extra moisture which can stimulate corrosion in the fuel system. Anyway.....the moisture thing was a legit concern. Nothing a little "gas dry" or stabil couldn't take care of though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
As it happens for the last year I have been doing consutling work with a group of ethanol producers so there is a small mountain of reports sitting in my office right now.

Ethanol blend fuel of E-10, shouldn't have any specific effects in your engine. However due to its hydroscopic properties you shouldn't let partially full tanks sit around for longish periods. Historically ethanol blends are nothing new. Farmers in particular began using it during the 30's and forties in much higher ratios than 10%. Hoewver most farmer added water seperators to their fuel systems.

Ethanol itself produces roughly 60% of the power per unit of volume that gasoline does and it ignites at a different temperature and burns optimally at a different fuel/air ratio, but will completely burn in a normally adjusted engine.

None of the engine mfrs that I have seen reports from are giving any indication that E-10 is causing problems and they are approaching 10 years of study on this. That said though, there is a political move by some folks in the Senate for an E-15 blending (if a little is good, more is better attitude) and quite a number of engine mfrs are reporting issues or potential issues such as rough engine operation, flash rusting etc. One mfr of small engines that I'm not a liberty to disclose stated flatly that their engines wouldn't run or last a typical year of operation using E-15. Going to an E-15 blending could end up costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars and mfrs billions in what is clearly nothing more than a political move with minimal impact on fuel usage.

Right now in the US, let alone globally no one knows how many people are ramping up to produce ethanol. I probably know as much as anyone on the planet and I don't know. But some of my fellow economists along with people in the Agriculture Dept are concerned that the demand for grain products could severly impact food prices based on what we do know. I'm not there yet but it is possible. Some alarmists, who make their livings making dire predictions are saying ethanol production will cause people in third would nations to starve.

The interesting thing is that ethanol blending makes very little economic sense, ethanol costs more than gasoline per unit of measure and it does a worse job and cost more to blend in than gasoline. So we are spending billions to eliminate something like 1.2% of the oil used if E10 was used across the US and right now the figure is closer to 0.0012%. A classic example of bad science and economics begats bad public policy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
RMW, maybe you can tell me if this is true. Heard it on the news. Right now a lot of ethanol is being prouced from corn and the corn farmers are being heavily subsidized by the government. Those subsidies are necessary because it is more expensive to produce ethanol from corn than to produce gasonline from oil. Ipso facto, if the government stops subsidizing corn, the price of ethaline (gasanol?) is gonna go up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,761 Posts
rmw said:
One mfr of small engines that I'm not a liberty to disclose stated flatly that their engines wouldn't run or last a typical year of operation using E-15.
Are their initials B&S?
If so, their stuff doesn't last a season anyways, so no need to worry there. :lol: :lol:
Buy Honda small engines, if you want it to last.

rmw said:
Going to an E-15 blending could end up costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars and mfrs billions in what is clearly nothing more than a political move with minimal impact on fuel usage.

The interesting thing is that ethanol blending makes very little economic sense, ethanol costs more than gasoline per unit of measure and it does a worse job and cost more to blend in than gasoline. So we are spending billions to eliminate something like 1.2% of the oil used if E10 was used across the US and right now the figure is closer to 0.0012%. A classic example of bad science and economics begats bad public policy.
It's not about economic sense. It's about emissions.
Alcohol does not produce hydrocarbons when it burns and alcohol blends
do not produce as many hydrocarbons as regular gasoline.
Also alcohol has reduced NOx emissions and carbon monoxide emissions.
It's a much more 'earth friendly' fuel than regular gasoline and
the EPA is all over it.


gonefishin said:
Right now a lot of ethanol is being prouced from corn and the corn farmers are being heavily subsidized by the government. Those subsidies are necessary because it is more expensive to produce ethanol from corn than to produce gasonline from oil. Ipso facto, if the government stops subsidizing corn, the price of ethaline (gasanol?) is gonna go up.
I keep hearing that, but I find the complete opposite is true.
We buy alochol buy the drum (55 gal) and go through about 2 drums
per race. Needless to say, I buy a lot of alcohol.
When gasoline was down around $1.30/gal, I was paying about
$2.00/gal for alcohol. Now that gasoline has reached $2.50 /gal and up,
alcohol has only gone up 20 - 30 cents per gallon in the last couple of years.
Gasoline MAY be cheaper to produce, simply because we produce more of it.
If we produced alocohol on the scale that gasoline is produced,
I'm certain the cost and retail price of it would diminish as well.
Keep in mind also that we can make alcohol from just about any
organic food or vegtable. It doesn't have to be corn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,520 Posts
Ethanol's biggest problem is that we are trying to make it out of corn grain.

There are many, many other plants that make more ethanol per pound of plant than corn, many more.

That's why it does not make economic sense, because we aren't making it based on economics, we are making it based purely on political reasons. And we will never get any useable fuel improvement as long as thats the sole driving force behind ethanol in gas.

Venazuala is now 100% energy independent, because they have fewer cars, more oil, and they make their ethanol from sugar beets and switch grass, not corn. And most of their newer cars have to be able to burn E85.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
rickbb said:
Venazuala is now 100% energy independent, because they have fewer cars, more oil, and they make their ethanol from sugar beets and switch grass, not corn. And most of their newer cars have to be able to burn E85.
Venauala? I thought it was Brazil, Venazuala is one of the most oil rich countries in the world.
Oh well, I saw some interesting things on that issue. The movement was heavily subsidized by the gov't, I'm sure at a huge cost to taxpayers. At gas stations the consumer has a choice as to what fuel to buy, so if the prices are real and not based on gov't regulations or subsidies the consumer can decide what to do and also not be forced to buy a new car which can burn E-85. Lastly they are facing serious de-forestation issues as more and more land is cleared for growing ethanol base crops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
My only problem with ethanol is the lack of performance. I've noticed a significant difference in my mileage. Ethanol seems to lower my mileage by between 2 and 4 mpg. With the EPA trying to force auto manufacturers to produce vehicles that get higher fuel mileage the move towards ethanol seems counter productive. Just my $.02. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,520 Posts
It's not really about mileage, it's about emmisions. Ethanol polutes less, so lower mileage is ok. Increasing mileage in gas burning will reduce polution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Being a chemical engineering student at a school with a big agricultural heritage we get inundated with ethanol talks. One of my professors is a major leader in the field. His take is basically the same as you guys are saying. Yes, you lose a bit of fuel efficiency but the emmissions are much less harmful to the environment. Ethanol IS actually more expensive to produce and thus subsidies are essential, but if you consider that the petroleum industry is so mature that the US hasn't built a new refinery in over 30 years, it's no wonder that a relatively new industry such as ethanol production wouldn't be as streamlined yet. Give it a few years though, and our processes will be such that subsidies won't be necessary.

And it's actually much better to use plants other than corn to make ethanol from. There are some grasses which can grow to be 20 feet tall and are perennials to boot (corn is an annual and msut be plpanted yearly). They allow you to grow much more fermentable biomass per acre than with corn. They also are less detrimental and many cases beneficial to the soil quality. The major problem is that the processing of grass vs. corn is more involved and needs even more work to be economically viable.

I'm starting to be convinced that gas is on it's way out faster each year. I'm interested to see how it affects older engines too. I've done some research and came across some material that said that older cars could be converted to run on E85 with some carb and timing work and new hoses, but rmw would seem to have more of the story than me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
E85 will eat the rubber parts out of the fuel system in a 2000 GM machine, and pack it tightly in gummy little bits into the fuel injector nozzles. After just one tank.
Don't ask me how I know or how much it cost to fix. :evil:
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
beowulf said:
At gas stations the consumer has a choice as to what fuel to buy
Not in Northern Virginia, DC, and the Maryland suburbs of DC. You buy E10 or you walk. Given time, you will not have a choice either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
That was my point exactly. In Brazil IIRC, you could chose numerous blends. I hate government mandates on what I may buy, esp on newer tech like this. There are still some concerns as to the viability of this product. Now if it were optional and say $0.10 cheaper per gallon we could choose. This all reminds me of the air bag fiasco. Air bags were pretty new and far from fully tested and the gov't decides all cars must have them. Then we find out they can actually kill some ppl. So, not only do we as consumers have the cost of the airbags shoved upon us then we also got the cost of redesigning them to be safer thrown at us.
Let the market decide. If the ppl of this country are all buying up cars with airbags or now that can use ethonol then the suppliers are going to make those products and everyone wins. We get what we want and the mfgrs make money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,761 Posts
beowulf said:
This all reminds me of the air bag fiasco. Air bags were pretty new and far from fully tested and the gov't decides all cars must have them. Then we find out they can actually kill some ppl. So, not only do we as consumers have the cost of the airbags shoved upon us then we also got the cost of redesigning them to be safer thrown at us.
Huh? Air bags have been around since the 60's.

Chrysler was experimenting with them in 1967.
Ford had a fleet of experimental cars in the mid 70's and GM
started producing cars with airbags in 1974 in the Buick, Cadillac, and
Olds vehicles.
Mercedes started using them in the early 80's and Porche and Acura
in '87.
They started becoming very common in the late 80's....

It wasn't until '89 when they mandated driver side air bags, which weren't
required if the vehicle had automatic seat belts (I hated those damn things!).

They weren't mandated for all vehicles, no matter what seat belt configuration until 1996 and weren't mandated for passenger side until 1998.

The "we found out they hurt people" is because people were NOT wearing their seat belts. Airbags are "supplemental" restraint and without the seat
belt as the primary means of protection, yeah, the air bag caused some problems. That's not the air bags or the governments fault.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top