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How Ethanol Is Killing your Motorcycle

Updated: Feb 10

Nowadays, most gas stations have chosen to include ethanol as a supplement in their gasoline. Ethanol, an alcohol derived from plants like corn, provides a cheap and renewable fuel option. However, there are significant concerns about its impact on motorcycle engines. Here are the key reasons why opting out of using fuels that contain ethanol should be considered:

- Ethanol burns differently than traditional petroleum-based gasoline, causing engines to overheat and leading to the drying out and cracking of rubbers inside the fuel system, carburetor, and engine.

- Ethanol attracts water and can lead to the accumulation of water at the bottom of the tank, which can be siphoned into the engine, potentially causing damage.

- Ethanol can cause corrosion and blockage in carburetors, leading to significant issues with their materials.

- Ethanol evaporates differently, necessitating modified tuning for the engine.

Here are some tips to avoid issues related to ethanol:


- Shell V-Power 91, Canadian Tire 91, Esso 91 (all regions)

- Irving Fuels premium (Atlantic Canada)

- CO-OP premium (Western Canada)

- Unleaded gas (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)

- Costco 91 (Ontario)

- Chevron 94 (British Columbia)

Consider the sound of the engine running differently when using these specific gas types compared to fuels from other stations.

When at the gas station:

- Look for pumps that only dispense Ethanol-free gas to avoid any mixing with inferior gasoline.

- If possible, line up behind a luxury car and ask the driver if they will be pumping premium gasoline to ensure no ethanol residue remains in the pump lines.

- Consider purchasing ethanol-free gasoline from marinas, though be aware that there may be a premium cost associated with it.

- For newer model bikes, be aware that most modern engines are designed to run on ethanol, and always follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

It's important to be mindful when choosing the right fuel for your motorcycle. Consider sharing your experiences or thoughts in the comments below.

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Feb 02, 2020

All Canada: Shell V-Power 91, Canadian Tire 91, Esso 91 Atlantic Canada: Irving Fuels premium Western Canada: CO-OP premium Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island: all unleaded gas Ontario: Costco 91 British Columbia: Chevron 94


Michelle Bindle
Michelle Bindle
Feb 02, 2020

The flame temperature for ethanol is lower, 1920°C compared to 2030°C for gasoline. Because it contains less heat energy than gasoline per volume, less total heat is released with ethanol when burning a given volume of fuel. So right off the bat you post incorrect info that casts doubt on all that follows. I have used ethanol off and on in my Road King for 20 years and I have not had any of the problems you list here. I WAS told by the repair guy at the small engine shop that ethanol is hard on small engines such as lawn mowers and snow blowers. To be fair my Harley seldom has 10% in it at any time. I don't let t…

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