Fuel Your Knowledge

FROM THE AUGUST ISSUE: Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen talks about the custom ethanol motorcycle built by Paul Jr. Designs and commissioned by RFA that will be featured at the Sturgis Motorcycle rally in South Dakota
By Bob Dinneen | July 16, 2018

For the 10th consecutive year, the Renewable Fuels Association will be partnering with the Buffalo Chip Campground to host this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, scheduled for Aug. 3 to 12 in Sturgis, South Dakota. The motorcycle event always offers a unique opportunity to educate consumers and promote the benefits of homegrown, low-carbon, high-octane ethanol. This year, RFA plans to not only continue its educational outreach, but will have a custom bike on display to help dispel misinformation about ethanol.

In mid-June, the custom ethanol motorcycle by Paul Jr. Designs and commissioned by RFA was featured on the hit reality TV show “American Chopper,” which aired on The Discovery Channel. The episode showed the design and build of the E85 bike, with the big reveal filmed at East Kansas Agri-Energy, an RFA member company in Garnett, Kansas. See a photo of the bike on page 39.

The episode not only showed viewers how the custom bike was built, but also helped address misinformation in the motorcycle community about ethanol. During the show, Paul Teutul Jr. said he initially thought using ethanol would cause problems to the motorcycle. “That’s simply because I was uneducated about the process,” he told viewers. “This was really about educating people the same way I got educated about ethanol through the process of building a bike for RFA. … It’s about public awareness and letting them know it’s a good product. Actually, it’s a very good product and it works very well in motorcycles.”

Paul Jr. was the perfect partner for this project because he understands engines and now sees the numerous benefits of using ethanol. He also has an implicit understanding of farmers and ethanol, designing a bike that reflects the work ethic, patriotism and rebel spirit of rural America.

The TV show, which is broadcast to 230 countries in 90 different languages, will be a great educational tool to reach a broader audience. That’s exactly what the Fuel Your Knowledge education campaign is about: correcting the record on the use of ethanol blends in small and off-road engines, educating the owners of these engines on what fuels they can legally and safely use, and highlighting the benefits of choosing ethanol blends.

Specifically, on motorcycles, E10 has been used as a safe and cost-saving alternative to straight gasoline for decades. In fact, every motorcycle manufacturer endorses the use of E10, while some approve the use of even higher blends. Motorcycle advocacy groups have declared opposition to E15 a top policy priority and falsely argue that EPA is not taking proper steps to educate consumers or prevent purported misfuelling.

With efforts such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the “American Chopper” episode, and the Fuel Your Knowledge campaign, RFA will continue to demonstrate our industry’s commitment to consumer education about ethanol’s numerous benefits.

Author: Bob Dinneen
President and CEO
Renewable Fuels Association