Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rolling Meadows, IL, USA
Re: Ethanol fuel problems
I have been watching alcohol fueled Nascar for a decade or two and they do just fine with it, but they design engines for it now.
As to Gasahol, living in Illinois, I have used it in every vehicle for a long time. The only time I see gas without 10% ethanol in it is on trips out west.
The LT gets perhaps 1 MPG more without straight unleaded fuel. Yes, that would be nice, but the LT spends most of its time within 500 miles of home and its all gasahol.
You talk about alcohol absorbing water in the fuel system like it was a bad thing. Having not had to spend a cent on gasoline deicers in 20 - 30 years. Which in northern IL means that alcohol in the gas is doing its job. Alcohol prevents ice crystal formation too.
Speaking of winter, winter gas in the US is more volatile than summer gas, and I get worse gas milage in my car in winter than when the denser, summer gas comes along. I unfortunately do not get enough riding done in December - March to really tell what the impact is on the bike.
As for alcohol gas lasting in the tank, I have never noticed. The tank on the LT has no problem with 10% alcohol, but in the fall, I put Sta-Bil in my generator, lawn mower, snow blower, LT and any other gas fueled machine. The stability of gas in carbs, fuel injectors, etc. as more to do with its tendency to carmelize in small tubes and plug them up. Of course, Sta-Bil is part alcohol, and it keeps water from corroding the metal parts in all those motors.
As to the cost of producing it, yes, ethanol from corn is expensive. But its US corn, US natural gas, US electricity versus millions of fewer dollars of imported gas, and stretches US gas reserves too.
Somehow, Brazil seems to do much better than we do, but they have sugar beets and other sources that are less costly than corn.
Plus the subsidy keeps farms going too, which is not a bad thing.
07 K1200LT Biarritz Blau
80 Yamaha XS850 Black - retired in 06