Ethanol ?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by Billbo, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

    Ok I have yet another question regarding ethanol gasolines. I did "search" for ethanol posts but didnt find this information.
    It seems to me that the octane numbers for pure gas and ethanol gas are a little bit different. Pure looks like 87-89-91 and 10% eth 87-91. Here around Baton Rouge and surrounding areas, getting the 91 octane pure gas is becoming more and more difficult.
    QUESTION 1 - IF I mix, lets say, half and half -- 10% ethanol with non ethanol gas - do I in essence dilute the ethanol down to 5%?
    QUESTION 2 - IF an octane was 93 and I mix an octane of 87 at 50/50 - do I get an octane of around 89-90??
    QUESTION 3 - I know the ethanol is bad for fuel systems, especially in 2-cycle engines, but, am I needlessly overconcerned with the motorcycle - 2011 FLHR??

    I will use the non-ethanol pre-canned gas/oil mix found on hardware store shelves for my chain saws and weedeaters etc. since I only use a relatively small amount of gasoline in them year to year. BUT, I HATE Ethanol gas and dont like it in the motorcycle. Just trying to figure out another way to skin the cat and try to keep from having fuel related problems in the future.

  2. Harttoo

    Harttoo Senior Member

  3. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Thanks Harttoo, quite a large list just for Fl. Here is another question. Most of the stations listed carry 89 octane NE. Is this sufficient for our Harleys? I know some of the motors that have extensive mods might not run well but for the guys that have done mild stage one or two is it OK to run 89 octane? Thanks in advance.
  4. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    Around here we have stations with non ethanol. It cost a bit more than regular unleaded. And talking with station owners they will run it only in lawn equipment. With the fuel perks at some of the larger gas stations the owner see no sense in not saving money and use regular gasoline.
    I would think the risk involved in trying to mix fuels and the large amount needed I would bet it is more hassle than worth. Find a station with non ethanol or go with the flow... Its all good.
  5. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

    I run around south Texas, non-ethanol fuel is extremely hard to find. Can't answer your questions about mixing ethanol with non-ethanol or 87 octane with 93 octane but can tell you that your bike will run more efficiently and cooler with the lowest octane fuel you can run without detonation. I agree with dbmb that all that mixing is more trouble than it's worth.

    Both my bikes run hi-po motors. My all bore 107" '02 FLHT runs ported heads, 10.4 static CR, 190psi CCP, .600" lift cams, carbureted and makes 120TQ from 2600rpms to 5200rpms. She runs on 87octane. If ambient temps pass 100*, I may have to upgrade to 89 octane if she starts to ping a little.

    If a bike is tune properly there should be no need to run 91-93 octane fuel; a waste of money IMHO.

    The biggest issue with ethanol is letting it sit in a tank for an extended period without a stabilizer like Star or Stabil. If one takes that precaution, one should not have any issues with ethanol fuel.
  6. glimmerman

    glimmerman Active Member

    I ran up to Nova Scotia in June. all we could get was 91 octane straight gas. some of the gas gave ok mileage while with other stations we were down 6-7 mpg per tank. when we finally were able to get a good full tank of 93 with ethanol, our mpg went back up. last year we did run about a half tank of 87 in there but it was all we could get at a husky on the trans Canada. yes the mileage was horrible until we could get 91. don't know if this answers the question but on a good day of highway my ultra can do 45 mpg 2 up on cruise. in Canada I was down to high 30's.
  7. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

    So, are you saying that mileage improved with ethanol fuel over non-enthanol fuel? Or are you saying that mileage improved with 91 octane fuel over 87 octane fuel?
  8. PA 58

    PA 58 Active Member

    don't know about all the ups and downs of burning corn oil,but i do know that it EATS fuel lines. just had to replace mine. had to keep taking of the carb because it would flood after you shut it off. and when you open it up , there is yet another piece of rubber keeping the needle valve from seating. started getting expensive having to change the oil at the same time as not to run contaminated oil and take a chance on burning up the motor. SO my vote is to eat corn instead of trying to burn it
  9. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

    OK - its me and I apologize for not searching this out more before I posted it here - I did think someone here would have known.... but, this is what I did find out -- (can NOT verify source of information other than "the internet on some boating forum" and other sources.

    All examples mixed 50/50 and using 10 gals and 10 gals for simplicity.

    1- 87 octane mixed with 93 octane will give you 20 gals of 90 octane gas.
    2- 10% ethanol mixed with non-ethanol will give you 20 gals of 5% ethanol gas.

    My question was about mixing. Here, I can find low octane non-ethanol fairly easily, but ALL are "no brand" fuel stations. HD is supposed to have higher octane fuels. While out on a trip -- 2-3-4 hundred miles from home, NO - I can not find non-ethanol gas -- seems ALL major gas stations ONLY have 10% ethanol gas so I must use it. Hopefully I will burn it out pretty quickly. When I do get home, I like to keep a 5 gal can of hi octane NON ethanol to top off the tank with (I agree with most here - do not let ethanol sit in the tank for extended times - especially when tank is NOT full)

    WHEW!!! Thus, if my bike has a half tank of 10 % ethanol (91-93 octane) and I fill it (top off) with the NON ethanol - I will end up with a tank of 5% ethanol and IMHO, 5% has got to be better than 10%.

  10. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    I think you need a cold one.:cheers
    That's a lot of brain power being used Billbo. Just go out and ride and just forgitaboutit. It is what it is and is all good...........:s