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The gas crisis

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mikenixon
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The gas crisis

#1

Post by mikenixon »

Elsewhere I have discussed the reality of today's gas going bad in a very short time. OEMs have documented three weeks. Three weeks! Before varnish starts forming. (Remember, this has nothing to do with ethanol, so get that out of your head). On motorcycles whose carbs are a job to remove--the Honda CBX1000 comes to mind, and several other Honda models such as most of the V4s--this stark fact is a wake up call for proactively preserving your gas with a preservative such as Sta-Bil. Sta-Bil works, which is not a given with things in its category, making it the hands-down champion.

However, while it will preserve fuel for up to 18 months in some conditions (the label says one year), Sta-Bil makes no claims to be an after-the-fact restorative. So proactive is the word. Something else I have observed, and an important variable, is heat. Just as CBX carbs evaporate their fuel in warm weather very quickly, similarly, gasoline goes bad faster in hot environments. The bike in a summer garage, for example. Or gas stored in a gas can in a shed. So the worst time is the warm season, and the best the colder months, which incidentally is why you can experience the 18 months mentioned earlier--low temps add to the protection of the gas.

Something else I have witnessed. Using premium fuel adds another twist: it goes bad even faster, even more aggressively. Maybe it is already going bad in the gas station's storage tank. And maybe this is because extremely few vehicles require it today, so it is replaced a lot less often. I am cogitating about this because this past year I have twice observed premium gas going bad very rapidly, even with Sta-Bil added, which tells me it was already bad when it was used and the Sta-Bil therefore was no help. I am fairly certain this is what happened.

Food for thought?
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Re: The gas crisis

#2

Post by Rat »

People have recommended using premium gas as a way to avoid ethanol ... I’ve never bothered, just use regular ... but my bike doesn’t sit much ...

Gord crossy.gif
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Re: The gas crisis

#3

Post by mikenixon »

:)
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Re: The gas crisis

#4

Post by CYBORG »

Rat wrote: Sat May 22, 2021 8:50 am People have recommended using premium gas as a way to avoid ethanol ... I’ve never bothered, just use regular ... but my bike doesn’t sit much ...

Gord crossy.gif

in my are, recently, a lot of stations have started selling what they call recreational fuel. No ethanol, 90 octane, for motorcycles, lawn mowers, etc. More expense, ofcourse, but seem to work well in my bikes. Thoughts?
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Re: The gas crisis

#5

Post by Whiskerfish »

Due to my neglect In the last 6 months I have had 2 full tanks go bad. I got away with a flush on one but the other required removal and cleaning. Of course both fouled their associated Carb racks. Had I taken both to a shop I could easily have seen well over a grand in expenses. Years ago I always carried Sta Bil in one of the bags and have started again. Every gas stop will get dosed on my Carburated bikes. My nearest Eth free gas is over 40 miles away at a farm co op. I have seen very few stations staring to carry Non-eth premium but none locally. I generally keep 10-15 gallons on hand but that is for small engines and such.

I am amazed that you do not hear about it in more public area's. I guess so long as the cars go down the road nobody cares what you feed them. I know my buddy in SC had to have his carbs done on his little boat motor (9.9 hp) That was over 500 dollars and almost a month of waiting on the shop to find the time to get to it. The situation is horrid and not going to improve.
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Re: The gas crisis

#6

Post by mikenixon »

Good comments, both. But a reminder. Ethanol is not the issue, or even *an* issue. It's not what is *in* the gas that makes it deteriorate faster than it used to, but what is *left out* of it. And as for premium, on top of it never being good for Hondas due to the carbon issue, now there is one more thing against it, the fact that because only fairly rare engines use it, it's not selling comparatively speaking and thus is actually going bad while under the ground at the gas station.
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Re: The gas crisis

#7

Post by delling3 »

Premium fuels still contain ethanol (maybe with some exceptions), so anyone who is routinely buying premium fuel thinking that they are avoiding ethanol is misinformed, and wasting money. Ethanol-free fuel (AKA REC GAS) is available from some outlets. Here in Michigan, it carries a octane rating equal to "mid-grade" fuel (89-ish), and is typically only available in areas that cater to boaters, or other "off-highway" uses.
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Re: The gas crisis

#8

Post by CYBORG »

delling3 wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 11:20 am Premium fuels still contain ethanol (maybe with some exceptions), so anyone who is routinely buying premium fuel thinking that they are avoiding ethanol is misinformed, and wasting money. Ethanol-free fuel (AKA REC GAS) is available from some outlets. Here in Michigan, it carries a octane rating equal to "mid-grade" fuel (89-ish), and is typically only available in areas that cater to boaters, or other "off-highway" uses.
They carry it a lot of places, here on the lake, and claim a 90 octane rating.
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Re: The gas crisis

#9

Post by Sidecar Bob »

FWIW, I have used E10 fuel in my bikes for decades and I agree with Mike that it is NOT an issue.

I have also seen bike fuel tanks that have rusted out from the inside during un-planned long storage (you never know what will happen to prevent you from taking it out of storage in the spring) so any moisture inside couldn't evaporate; Because of that I have long been a proponent of draining the tank for storage, especially on a 'Wing where removing the tank to clean it out isn't exactly easy.
But I am also what I refer to as "constructively lazy", that is, finding the way to get the result desired with the least effort (as opposed to "dumb lazy" which usually ends up spending more effort avoiding the job than doing it would have taken). Years ago I decided that since my auxiliary tank A) is plastic so it can't rust and B) would be a lot easier to remove for cleaning if necessary it was worth the risk of leaving it full during storage (I still drain the bike's tank and the carbs).
I do add fuel stabilizer before storage and even with that I have noticed that the level in the tank is usually almost 10% lower after by spring (this is easy to judge in a rectangular tank) but the engine runs just fine with it.
In fact, when I moved the 'Wing from the storage shed to the garage in late April of this year I drew fuel from the aux tank to pre-fill the carbs, then drove it about 2 or 3 hundred feet and parked it in the garage where it sat for 5 weeks while I worked on other projects (the sequential turn signal project, repairing the fuel tank selector valve, getting the garden ready and starting planting). When I finally got around to starting it again enough fuel had evaporated that I had to pre-fill the carbs again (this time I used fresh stuff from the gas can in the garage but only because it was easier).

It is running as nicely as ever with no ill effects from the 6 month old fuel or from letting the fuel in the carbs evaporate.
Conclusion: Sta-Bil works and should be added to any fuel you expect won't be used up quickly.
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Re: The gas crisis

#10

Post by julimike54 »

mikenixon wrote: Sat May 22, 2021 7:16 pm Good comments, both. But a reminder. Ethanol is not the issue, or even *an* issue. It's not what is *in* the gas that makes it deteriorate faster than it used to, but what is *left out* of it. SNIP
Do you know what is "left out"?
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Re: The gas crisis

#11

Post by mikenixon »

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=69205

Toluene, benzene and xylene. See link above.
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Re: The gas crisis

#12

Post by julimike54 »

Thanks!
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