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E85 motorcycle leaves critics in the dust

You've heard of racecars running on E15, E85 or even E100. Recently, I talked to a record-breaking motorcycle team that uses E85.
By Holly Jessen | August 19, 2013

Can you imagine getting on a motorcycle and going from a dead stop to a speed of more than 200 miles per hour, all within one mile? Jean-Pierre Trzebiatowski and Thomas Cronan, two motorcycle racers on the No Regret Performance racing and fabrication team, know exactly what that’s like. Trzebiatowski, also the owner of No Regret Performance, first broke the 200 mph mark in a standing mile in East Coast Timing Association motorcycle racing at a precisely calculated speed of 202.254 mph in September 2012. That record was broken later, when current record-holder Cronan reached 209.89 mph in a standing mile. “It’s pretty nuts,” said Tyler Wallace, crew chief and lead assistant fabricator at No Regret Performance.

The motorcycle they broke the record with is a 2006 Suzuki GSX-R750 motorcycle with a 100 percent stock motor with 12.5 to 1 compression ratio and a turbo system designed and built by Trzebiatowski. The racing class is MPS-BF-750-4, which Wallace explained was a modified body-blown fuel racing class for a 750 cc 4 stroke engine motorcycle. 

Oh, and, you might be interested to learn the motorcycle runs on E85. As part of the team’s efforts to dispel the false negative rumors about ethanol, the bike has flex-fuel badges clearly displayed on the bike’s tank. “Everyone thinks it’s a joke till they hear the turbo and see the bike disappear,” Trzebiatowski said with a laugh.

In order to take full advantage of ethanol’s high octane content, the team upgraded the bike’s fuel system, replaced the secondary injectors with larger, higher flowing injectors and reprogramed its engine computer to “deliver more fuel for ethanol and boost,” he told me. This is the part where I get into a bit of unfamiliar engine speak. Trzebiatowski  told me in an email that the bike reaches 240 rear wheel horsepower (rwhp) and 104 foot pounds of torque on 8 pounds on E85 and 200 rwhp and 89 foot pounds of torque on 5 pounds of boost. I followed up with Wallace for some more explanation and he said it was about measuring foot pounds of torque, the feeling of being pushed back in your seat when reaching high speeds.

The bike is filled up with garden variety E85 from a local gas station pump, Trzebiatowski said. He considers E85 plus the turbo he designed and built, a perfect combination because it gives him plenty of power from an inexpensive fuel. “If you know how to tune you can release power and run a renewable fuel,” he said, adding that he thinks ethanol is a great fuel for motorcycle racing, road driving and performance cars. In fact, he’s not going to stop at one E85 racing bike—he plans to optimize another stock bike for E85 in the future. “I love it,” he said.

The team has some big goals for the future. For one thing, they are looking for additional sponsors. They now have a third racer, Patrick Malphus, who will race the E85 bike for the first time in September. Malphus will attempt to break another record in the same ECTA racing class. The team doesn’t plan to stop at 200 mph, either. They’d like to reach 220 mph and even 250 mph in a standing mile. Now that’s fast.

If you’d like more information or to watch videos and see pictures of the bike getting built, check out No Regret Performance’s Facebook page

Of course, it’s important to mention that I’m not advocating filling up your personal motorcycle with anything other than E10. That fuel can be safely used by motorcycles and has been for decades. When the E15 waiver was approved by the U.S. EPA, small engines, such as motorcycles, were not part of the list of approved vehicles. And the same goes for other higher ethanol blends, like E30 or E85. The Renewable Fuel Association published a fact sheet on this subject, which provides more details.

The difference between the No Regret Performance racing team and the average consumer is that they are experienced mechanics, racers and engineers. The Suzuki  bike they race has been fully optimized and tuned to take advantage of ethanol’s high-octane content. And the result is pretty impressive!