Ethanol: Gasoline on Steroids for Motorcycles

FROM THE OCTOBER ISSUE: The RFA supports the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally every year. This was the first year motorists had access to a permanent E10 fueling station at the event.
By Bob Dinneen | September 20, 2017

Ask motorcyclists to describe a perfect ride and they’ll likely say a beautiful day, an open road and lots of engine power. Ethanol might not bring the sun, but it can bring the power. Automotive engineers describe ethanol-blended fuel as gasoline on steroids.

Every motorcycle manufacturer endorses the use of 10 percent ethanol and consumers are keen for choices at the pump beyond conventional gasoline. Consumer choice at the pump and the numerous benefits of fueling with ethanol are the crux of why RFA continues to participate every year in the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. For the ninth consecutive year, RFA partnered with the Buffalo Chip Campground to host the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held in August and now in its 77th year. It was the first Sturgis rally for all motorists to take advantage of a permanent fueling station, installed earlier this year at the Buffalo Chip Campground. The station was donated by RFA and offers 93 octane, 10 percent ethanol.

As Buffalo Chip Owner Rod Woodruff said during the Sturgis event this year, using ethanol is “like jet fuel for your bike. … Personally, I have used ethanol in all my bikes and cars ever since it started being sold and never had any issues. I was happy when they came out and started to get people aware that the rumors were not true. The truth of the matter is ethanol is plum good.”

Indeed, ethanol truly is “plum good,” helping reduce our nation’s reliance on petroleum, clean our air and boost local economies. But there continues to be a lot of misinformation about ethanol, perpetuated by Big Oil, which loses market share if consumers have a choice at the pump. They claim ethanol is responsible for everything under the sun, except the truth. Here are some key facts for motorcyclists to know:

Ethanol is cheaper: Ethanol continues to be a discount to gasoline, providing the least expensive octane on the market, along with serving as a gasoline extender.

E10 is available: Ten percent ethanol is not being replaced with 15 percent ethanol at retail stations. E15 is an option at retail stations that choose to offer it. E10 is available at all stations offering E15.

E15 is not approved for use in motorcycles: E15 is clearly identified by an orange and black label on the pump. The label specifies approved users and there has not been a single reported case of consumer misfueling since E15 was approved more than five years ago.

Consumers benefit from being able to choose the cleanest, lowest-cost and highest source of octane on the planet, and motorcyclists especially like the extra power ethanol provides. So enjoy the open road with 10 percent ethanol for your motorcycle.


Author: Bob Dinneen
President and CEO
Renewable Fuels Association
202.289.3835
bobd@ethanolrfa.org