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Went out on the Spitfire today and when coming home had to call into the nearest petrol station for fuel, the station only sold the new E10 fuel and it was to far to go to the next station, put a gallon in and set off home. A couple of miles down the road the bike seemed to loose a bit of power and then started to splutter. Stopped by the side of the road and the engine just stopped. Started ok but wouldn't idle continued home with the engine spluttering and not idling when coming to a halt. Got home and checked the ignition, timing, carbs etc. Every thing looked ok. emptied the tank and put some good old non E10 in. Started the bike and the idle was ok, no spluttering and power back to normal.

The moral of the story is to ensure you don't get low on fuel and stay away from E10, it might get you home but then again it might not.

Keith.

ps. Dont have a Fibreglass tank on now, that dissolved 3 years ago with the E5 petrol,

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Good to know. It's going to become a right ball ache this E10.

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Sounds odd, maybe the additional ethanol in the E10 stirred up dirt and blocked a jet?

As far as I'm aware, the only way to avoid ethanol in petrol in the UK is to use ESSO Synergy Supreme+ 99 premium petrol which although labeled E5 has no ethanol at all (apart from Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, North England, and Scotland), see This Link.

Quite why they can't make it available UK-wide is bizarre and who knows, if enough people complain about E10, maybe they will.

Shell V Power still contains only 5% ethanol (E5) so maybe that's an option if you cant get the ESSO Supreme.

Last edited by gunner; 09/19/21 5:53 pm.

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Here in the U.S. I found a guy that has ethanol free gas. I now get mine there. Hope I never need to get ethanol crap again. Supposedly bad for AMAL carbs.

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Chevron 94 octane does not have ethanol.

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Originally Posted by Keith Miller
stay away from E10,
I'll go out on a limb and say the problem you had has nothing to do with E10.

Older fuel line is incompatible with ethanol and will develop a thick sticky coating if left in contact with it. Because of this, old lines need to be replaced with SAE 30R7, LP-1200 Tygon, or one of several other ethanol-resistant lines on the market. Also, as the E10 fuel level drops in a carburetor due to evaporation a thin varnish skin will develop that blocks the pilot jet, so any motorcycle that will sit for more than a week needs to have its float bowl drained.

The above two issues with E10 certainly are hassles, but they are the only two hassles I personally have experienced in having used E10 fuels in old and modern motorcycles over the past 20 or so years. Complaining about E10 is popular, so I don't expect anything I write will change that, but in my 20 years of experience with it, I've found it works just like "real" gasoline.

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It could be bad E10 or just that your carb is tuned a bit lean so the lower calorific value turns your slightly lean carbs into too lean. Terrible stuff regardless.

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If you google it, you will find plenty of YouTube video's on how to remove ethanol from petrol, here;s One Example, however, I don't recommend trying any of these methods for fear of burning down your house or ruining your bike.

Another site that had me fooled for a while was Petrol Direct, which purported to deliver fuel to your doorstep, see This Link, but it's all a hoax although convincing enough.


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Originally Posted by gunner
If you google it, you will find plenty of YouTube video's on how to remove ethanol from petrol,.
The ethanol is needed to to give the fuel the octane it has. Remove the ethanol and put a hole in your piston.

Just live with the E10. After changing the fuel lines, the "only" problem it has is requiring the float bowl to be drained. Other than that, it's not bad stuff, just different than Pb-free gasoline, which in turn was different than leaded gasoline. Each time the fuel changes you'd think it was the end of world.

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+1 with MMan.
I have been running E10 in most of my bikes for many years.
I use Tygon fuel line and I add Stabil (a stabiliser) in the recommended dosage rate and have had no problems.
This includes leaving the bikes over the winter without doing anything (no draining etc).
The only exceptions are a couple of bikes with fibreglass tanks where I use AVGAS.
IMHO a lot of the problems ascribed to ethanol are in fact due to other problems.

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I use ethanol free gas only because of things I've read ( part suppliers etc. ) My a65l had ethanol gas in it untill I found non ethanol gas. Still having issues with carbs (new), so it's not the gas. Dual carbs are a pain, my opinion.

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Hi Keith,

My A65 runs fine on Shell V Power super unleaded so you should be ok to use it as an alternative to Esso Synergy Supreme if needed.

Cheers,
Rob

Last edited by RobJP; 09/19/21 11:27 pm.

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If you remove the ethanol you'll need to either add some TEL or Toluene.
As stated, ethanol adds octane numbers to raw fuel.
I think all the 'super' (98 ron) fuels here are either ethanol free or a low count.
We even race on the stuff, normally BP98 and don't have problems, just set
the bike up to suit.

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These places still use Leaded fuel, could be worth moving there,

1 Algeria
2 Iraq
3 Yemen
4 Myanmar
5 North Korea
6 Afghanistan

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Originally Posted by NickL
These places still use Leaded fuel, could be worth moving there,
Wait, stop the moving van. That list is out of date. The last country in the world to use leaded gasoline, Algeria, used up the last of it two months ago, leaving no country where it is still available.

The actual problem most of us face is octane, not E10. The combustion chambers of modern engines have much better designs than any of our old bikes, allowing them to use relatively low octane gasoline. Confusing the situation, three systems are in use for designating the octane: 'Research', 'Motor', and the average (R+M)/2. In any case, the U.S. uses the average number and the highest available at the pump in California, Arizona, and Nevada is 91. Unfortunately, my Competition Gold Star has a 10:1 piston and anything less than 100 octane risks destruction of the piston. So, I have to use a serious, toxic, octane booster (not the kind sold in stores, that barely nudge the octane by a fraction of a point).

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The race iron we run is over 10-1 and is fine on 98.
Just need an appropriate ignition curve and work on the chamber.
A big HC single would probably be a pain without 2 plugs though

Still, you will insist on using mags eh? LOL

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It makes me chuckle.
"I'm not putting that E5/E10 [***] near my brit bike"
"I need E85 for my British race bike"
Going back to the original post, a spitfire should really be using super unleaded 97/98 RON, std E5/E10 petrol is only 95 RON


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I pay a little extra to get the ethanol-free gas that is available a few miles from my house. My bikes ran OK on E10, but I made the mistake of letting my T160 sit for several years with E10 in the tank. (It needed a small repair that I thought I would get around to sooner than I did.) When I finally got back to it, the corrosionin the gas tank was appalling. When I tried to drain the gas tank, both petcocks were frozen. When I removed them to drain the tank, I found the screens had completely dissolved, and the petcocks themselves were plugged solid with scale. The bike was garaged the whole time, and I live in a dry climate. So definitely drain the tank if the bike won't be used for awhile!


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Originally Posted by Tim Inks
The bike was garaged the whole time, and I live in a dry climate. So definitely drain the tank if the bike won't be used for awhile!
I typically go the other way: remove as much air by filling the tank to the brim, and putting fuel stabilizer in. Obviously doesn't apply to fiberglass but seems to work well in coated steel tanks.

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Originally Posted by NickL
The race iron we run is over 10-1 and is fine on 98..
As I wrote before, there are several standards for listing octane. This is one approximate conversion between your RON and our average:

RON _ US (R+M)/2
95 ___ 90.7
96 ___ 91.6
98 ___ 93.5
100 ___ 95.5

The conversion is approximate because R is determined at 600 rpm (basically, at idle) under one set of conditions while M is determined at 900 rpm (not much higher than idle) under a different set of conditions, and different gasolines have different sensitivities to those conditions. Further, under actual driving conditions it has been found that engines with old fashioned combustion chambers need US ~100 octane to avoid knocking.

Anyway, even if we take the above table at face value, your 98 is our ~94, and the highest available at the pump is 91. If I were racing I'd buy appropriate racing gasoline from a hot rod shop, but that isn't practical for everyday use if I'm on rides that are longer than one tankful. Hence, the need for a serious octane booster for my Competition Gold Star

Originally Posted by NickL
Just need an appropriate ignition curve and work on the chamber.
Still, you will insist on using mags eh? LOL
Racing is a quite different situation than everyday use on the road. I haven't worked on the chamber (and don't plan to), but yes, I still use magnetos.

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I use a magneto on my race bike albeit an electronic triggered one running at crank speed.
It fires methanol in a 500cc single cylinder with a 15.5 : 1 compression ratio at up to 13,500 RPM (I actually saw 14,500 RPM this weekend when I forgot to turn my air shifter on)


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Fortunately, there are a lot of places near me that sell ethanol-free. That is all I use in my British bikes and in my 73 Triumph TR6 car, and all of my small engines. If anyone needs higher octane with lead, they can always buy 100LL avgas at their local airport, albeit it is very expensive compared to auto fuel. I see a lot of guys at our local airport in trucks with 55-gallon barrels loading up with 100LL.


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Having about 15 small engines, from 40cc weedeaters to 1200cc bike engines that I need to keep running, I've learned to run from E10 for those devices like it has a stinger in its tail. Short term, you never know what rubber/plastic components in older engines are compatible with it; E10 just eats them up. Long term, it corrodes anything it comes in contact with. Our local small engine shop won't even work on engines that have had E10 put in them; just too much of a mess.

And on the bikes where I can measure fuel mileage accurately, I find about a 10% drop in fuel mileage on a trip when I can't get hold of actual gasoline, so the alcohol, although needed to control the octane rating, is about the same in terms of burnability as putting water in there.

Since the big agri-businesses are making billions of dollars off of burning diesel to harvest corn that uses fossil-powered electricity to distill ethanol, it's not likely to stop any time soon (see "Follow Da Money"), I've come up with a pretty good solution.

I keep a 55 gallon drum full of ethanol free 91 octane, which I can acquire locally. I dope it with "Marine Sta-Bil", which adds about $.15 a gallon to the cost. But this stuff keeps the fuel "good" for years. Even if you leave your steel motorcycle tank half-full of it for a year, the anti-rust ingredient in the vapor over the fuel keeps the tank clean and rust free.

Whenever I leave home on a bike, it's got a tank full of clean, stable fuel. If I'm gone for days, I gradually dilute that with E10 non-fuel. I try to end up back home with a close-to-empty fuel tank, drain the E10 out, and fill it back with proper gasoline. Bit of a pain, but I'm THAT sick and tired of taking AMAL carbs apart and rodding them out ... ! Not any more.

Lannis


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Originally Posted by Gary Caines
If anyone needs higher octane with lead, they can always buy 100LL avgas at their local airport, albeit it is very expensive compared to auto fuel. I see a lot of guys at our local airport in trucks with 55-gallon barrels loading up with 100LL.

Not really legal though, since Avgas is normally not road-taxed, and it's like filling your tank with the wrong-colored off-road diesel and burning it in your road pickup. Our local airport guys won't sell it to anyone they suspect is going to use it on the road .... THEY'D be the ones in trouble with the revenuers if someone dimed them out.

Just mentioning to keep your head down, be like Dad and keep Mum .... !

Lannis


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A lot of you know Dick Harris from upstate New York. He is a rider. He has three rides. Two Bonnevilles, one with a 270 crankshaft, and Daytona. Since he retired some 20 years ago he put lots of miles on these bikes. He would routinely put 50 to 100 miles on one of teh bikes nearly every day.

He also crossed the country several times to attend the TIOC rally near Santa Barbara, looped back through through Salt lake to attend the Speed Trials and would visit Big D in Dallas on the trip back to New York. One year I left him at the edge of Death Valley on a mid-day 100°F.

This using the gasoline that was available where he was. Those that are friendly with Dick know him for having a very dry demeanor. He is short on embellishing adverbs. A couple years ago when the subject of gasoline came up at a seminar at the National Triumph Rally in Pennsylvania what he did when faced with E10. His answer was short and to the point, "I use it!"

Yes, Dick was an accomplished rider, and tuner. You can be sure the bikw was in proper tune, and he never lugged the engine.

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