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EPA Acknowledges Ethanol Damages Engines

Monday, April 21, 2014
American Motorcyclist Association
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has publicly acknowledged that ethanol in gasoline can damage internal combustion engines by increasing exhaust temperatures and indirectly causing component failures, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

The EPA statements are found in a rule proposal issued by the Federal Trade Commission regarding a new label for pumps that supply fuel blends high in ethanol.

According to the EPA, "[e]thanol impacts motor vehicles in two primary ways. First ... ethanol enleans the [air/fuel] ratio (increases the proportion of oxygen relative to hydrocarbons) which can lead to increased exhaust gas temperatures and potentially increase incremental deterioration of emission control hardware and performance over time, possibly causing catalyst failure. Second, ethanol can cause materials compatibility issues, which may lead to other component failures.

"In motorcycles and nonroad products [using E15 and higher ethanol blends], EPA raised engine-failure concerns from overheating."

These EPA statements, contained in the FTC document, back the long-held position of the AMA.

"The American Motorcyclist Association has fought the distribution of E15 fuel blends in an effort to protect motorcycle and all-terrain vehicles from the damage that ethanol causes," said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. "Now the EPA acknowledges that ethanol itself is harmful to emissions hardware and other components on all motor vehicles. It is time for the federal government to pause, take a hard look at this product and change its entire approach to ethanol in fuels."

E15 is a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume.

None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in operation can use fuels with blends higher than 10 percent ethanol. Doing so could void the manufacturer's warranty, in addition to causing damage to the vehicle.

The AMA applauded the EPA's decision in its proposed rule to roll back the requirement for wider distribution and use of E15 under its Renewable Fuel Standard.

The AMA also is concerned about the continued availability of E10 blends and E0 fuels -- gasoline with zero ethanol content -- if E15 is allowed to permeate the marketplace.

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

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JSH   April 23, 2014 10:49 AM
I actually break my own advice. I have three motorcycles not designed to use E10 that I run E10 in with no problems. (2 from the 70's and 1 from the 80's)What I have done: -- 1. Adjusted the carbs so the fuel mixture is correct for E10 -- 2. Changed the fuel lines and petcock to ethanol compatible items. -- 3. Use fuel stabilizer in every tank. -- 4. Run the fuel out of the float bowls after every ride.
Brian426v   April 22, 2014 08:35 AM
File that one under "No S*** Dick Tracey"!
priceactionguru   April 21, 2014 11:40 AM
@JSH "BREAKING NEWS: Ethanol damages engines not designed to run on ethanol!!!! Solution: Don't use ethanol in engines not designed for ethanol." You are so smart. Now try finding a gas station that sells gasoline that does _not_ contain ethanol. There are not many and they are generally not in major metropolitan areas. Which means many motorcyclists have no choice but to use the garbage ethanol-containing gasoline that is being pushed on us via commercial interests (corn farming PAC's). Even if a motorcyclist purchases additives to add to the gas to reduce the harmful effects of Ethanol, that then gives motorcyclists an added unnecessary expense.
JSH   April 21, 2014 10:42 AM
BREAKING NEWS: Ethanol damages engines not designed to run on ethanol!!!! Solution: Don't use ethanol in engines not designed for ethanol.