Bikes and Bio Fuel

Discussion in 'Technical' started by ray23, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. I know this is a unpopular subject, but I think we need to start thinking about it. Sometimes it can be difficult to find non bio fuels, no matter the cost. I beleive this is going o be more prevalnet in our future here.

    So my question is are there modifications that can be done to the bike to use the fuel without creating damage to the engine?
  2. older carburettor bikes will need fuel lines and rubber components in the carbs updated with Gasohol compatible parts.

    Some adjustments to ignition timing may help on some machines.

    But its not all doom and gloom, a backlash against Gasohol is already happening , Chevron /Texaco were going to stop selling regular 95 and only sell gasohol 95 but my sources tell me they have cancelled the idea and will continue to sell regular 95 as will Shell. jet has stopped selling regular 95 but Jets sales have fallen as people desert the forcourts so they may reintroduce 95

    Thai consumers have noticed up to 10% less mileage per litre on gasohol which makes it more expensive than regular also the debate about Biofuels staeling food from peoples tables is ongoing.
    Farmers have found that many types of petrol driven farm machinery ,pumps ,generators ,threshers etc do not run on Gasohol .

    Also water contamination from separation of water in gasohol is a problem and many consumers have had engine faliures and had to have fuel tanks drained . it also causes other problems as its storage life is not as long as regular fuels..

    I have traveled widely around Chonburi ,Rayong and Trat this week on the Ducati and found Regulkar 95 more available than 3 months ago. The Ducati S4 does run on gasohol but I still try to get 95 as often as possible .
  3. Thank good info, not doom and gloom but it may have to be dealt with.

    I'm lucky with the dragstar 400 it is very happy with 91. Which is certianly more available but at times even that is hard to find.

    I hope your right.

    Bikes with a fuel injection have less problems with this?
  4. Back has been a mess for months so haven't been out and about so not much to offer. Actually it was our conversation months ago that brought this topic to mind. I recall you were having good success with your bike
  5. In the original thread about this, I raised the issue of water contamination but subsequent posts lead me to believe that ethanol was good as it would take water out of the system. I felt a bit dim after reading that ;)

    FYI, seems like regular 95 is freely available at Caltex (a.k.a Texaco?) and Esso stations, at least around CNX.

    My Bonnie can take gasohol 95 and I will use it if necessary but if I know I am going to lay the bike up for a week or two, my final refill before doing so has always been 95 or just 91 if that's all that's available. My theory being that I'd rather not have ethanol based fuel sitting in the system potentially "eating" diaphragms e.t.c.

    Will be nice to have 95 possibly more freely available but have you seen the f*cking price!!! :evil:


  6. Thanks for the info Monsterman.

    Hopefully 95 and 91 will remain available and easy to find.
  7. Thai government today dropped excise rates on imported E85 cars but as yet the fuel is not generally available it is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline as used in Brazil.

    Thera are no production bikes that I know of that will run on this stuff but cars are produced that do.

    A triumph 675 was modified by Bike magazine in UK to run very well on E85 it actually developed 15% more HP but fuel consumption fell drasticly .
  8. Jerry you have to realize that we need ethyl alcohol to boost our gasoline with octane, Before and probably still today they use a little MTBE or something alike to boost the octane. That is derived from methyl alcohol or better known as methanol which have much worse corrosive side effects than ethyl alcohol ( if you know somebody racing with methanol he can tell you. You can’t even leave the fuel in the engine overnight!!) ). MTBE boosts the octane and it is like etyl alcohol an oxygenate that adds oxygen to the burning process. MTBE also reduces the unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide in the exhaust also like etyl alcohol. The problem with MTBE and it’s derivates is that it is cancer causing.

    One point that could back up your “experience” is that the better octane booster you use in the petrol the lower class gasoline
    (gasoline derived at a later stage when the crude oil is heated up) you can use. That could explain the problems Jerry have experienced . On the other hand I think that the ethyl alcohol is mixed into the petrol at a very late stage and I am quite sure that it is mixed in the gasoline used for normal 91-95. Maybe Jerry your friend at the Mathaput refineries can tell when they mix the different blends.

    You told us that Gasohol tends to leak water into your tank and petrol system Where have you got that from? You said:

    Also water contamination from separation of water in gasohol is a problem and many consumers have had engine faliures and had to have fuel tanks drained . it also causes other problems as its storage life is not as long as regular fuels..

    One of the advantages with Gasohol is the blend’s ability to absorb water which may help to clean up the petrol system. Pure gasoline can not be mixed with water so the water is left all over the systems as small “rain drops”. Ethyl alcohol absorbs water, especially 99,5 pure alcohol. (everybody who has done “moonshine” alcohol knows how difficult it is to get the last water out when distilling the “moonshine”.)

    An other advantage of the gasohol blend is that the ethanol’s corrosive power helps clean up the petrol system (fuel injection as well as carburetor system). Off course that can cause a problem when you change to Gasoline because all the rubbish is mixed with the gasoline and can be stacked in carburetor.

    And Jerry you have a tendency to say “ consumers have that and that experience” Where do you take the information from since I can not find it…Pls don’t say that “ my neighbor….”

    From where have you heard that gasohol “gets bad” more quickly than traditional gasoline. Pls remember that the only no gasoline item in Gasohol is pure 99.5% alcohol. Do you think that get “sour” when get old…..I think it is the other way around. Traditional gasoline have MTBE or it’s derivates which “gets old more quickly”.

    I try to believe you Jerry when you say that you get 10% less mileage on Gasohol. But are you sure that you really checked it up or did it just feel like that. How many kilometers did you do to check it up. Same weather condition, same road conditions etc ?

    The reason I ask you is because you have posted some posts before that are not so accurate:

    When i run my non EFI Honda 125 wave on gasohol95 the fuel consumption is 25% worse so no savings for me , the bike is not as smooth either.

    I put a few litres of gasohol 95 in the Ducati yesterday and the bike ran OK but there was more vibration and a bit less power and response the exhaust note was a bit flatter too.When i refilled with regular 95 the machine was better a little smoother and harder edge to the sound and a bit more power

    Since the 10% blend is very lean it is quite questionable if you can detect the increase in power or mileage. The energy value in pure gasoline is 18.000 (BTU/LBS) and in ethyl alcohol 13,000 (BTU/LBS) and thus Gasohol has 17,500 (BTU/LBS) . That indicates a loss of mileage at approx 2,8 %. Then we also have to take into account that the stoichio-metric air-fuel ratio (which means the chemically optimal air/fuel ration) which is about 9 for ethanol and 14 for gasoline and thus 13,5 for Gasohol. This means that that ethanol can accommodate more fuel than gasoline, thus producing more power but worse mileage The ability to take use of the better air/fuel ratios is easier on fuel injected vehicles than carburetor models. Still we are talking about an 1-3% increase in power and about the same decrease in mileage.

    Anyhow all talks about huge decrease in power and mileage are bullshit.

    But we are lucky to have our own “Jerrymeter” on this board. He and only he can test and give accurate information about power, mileage and sound, taking into account altitude, temperature and different fuels only using his left side of the brains.

    I find it strange that many people do not notice subtle changes in how their bikes run due to fuel, altitude, temperature , I have been working on bikes for 35 years and can hear and feel differences in running on many machines that indicate faults or poor fuel etc.

    May be it is because i started on primitive old Brit bikes and Hds .


    The rubber deterioration is a more serious problem. Anyhow I don’t believe in any immediate problems when changing to gasohol except that the gasohol may clean up old rubbish in the fuel system. The ethanol blend is still quite lean and it will take time before problems can occur because of Gasohol. Also most of us have bikes newer than 10-15 years and they already have E10 resistant rubber parts .

    Some older carburetor bikes may need fuel lines and rubber components in the carbs updated with Gasohol compatible parts.
    I can believe that farmers have had problems with their machines. Have you ever seen a farmer who doesn’t complain. Anyhow I would like to know what is your source of information. How many farmers complain? How representative is that group etc. Or did you just thought that they must have problems…….

    But its not all doom and gloom, a backlash against Gasohol is already happening

    It may be true but I haven’t seen such an information in the newspapers, internet or on tv. I am very impressed that you have sources inside Chevron/Texaco, Shell and Jet giving you secret figures. The thing I had read is that Gasohol is moving faster than planned in Thailand and now they are introducing E85 gasoline earlier than planned. Gasohol has already 50% of the market. (my source Bangkok Post and Nation)

    Thai consumers have noticed up to 10% less mileage per litre on gasohol which makes it more expensive than regular

    Again this statement could be correct and if you make it in England, it can go like that, as everybody in England know ,or at least think you know, because you live in Thailand and know most of everything in Thailand. But now you are in Thailand so please give your source. I haven’t read about it any place. Is it only what you hear from Thai consumers then how many Thai consumers you know (the sample) and how many Thai consumers are there (the whole population) (I don’t remember anymore if this is the right mathematical vocabulary in English) Or maybe it is as usual that you think Thai consumers must have noticed 10% less mileage, because Jeff has…..

    And then we have ongoing debate of Biofuels staeling food from peoples tables.I will try to make it short and simple despite that it is a complicated issue.

    You need a Kubota to go to rice field many times. You need a Kubota to pump the water into the field. You need a Kubota to prepare the field (that is when you put the metal wheels on ) You need a Kubota when harvesting. You need a Kubota when you are bringing the rice sacks to the rice dealer. A very very high portion of the cost to produce rice is gasoline. It is so high that for example the extra gasoline cost for pumping water into the fields for a second season a year is higher than what you get for the rise. So under normal circumstances a price increase of gasoline must be reflected in the price of rice otherwise the fields would be idle. Nobody wants to produce rice when cost is higher than the selling price. If that happens and the selling/buying price is still lower than the cost to produce rice the Government steps in and buy the “extra” rice at a higher price and put the rice in government warehouses all over the country. Normally this happens when the rice harvest is good and plenty of rice is produced keeping the price down. These government bond warehouses are a continuous story of scams and frauds. Rice of a certain quality grade should be found but no….Rice of quality A was put in but quality C came out etc. The stocks in the warehouses can also be collateral for bank loans and hups!! what has happened to the collateral…..There is also a lot of politics in this rice stocking, before the elections the ruling party buys up rice at a high price to get the votes and leave the rice stock “bomb” to next government. Thai style but all over the world subsidies fuels corruption. If somebody living permanently in Isahn or somebody else with inside information pls correct if I tell lies. I would be happy to know more.

    That is the easy side of this problem but why have rice increased at the most 3-fold and anyhow much more than the price of crude oil. Some people try to explain that with claims that the Ethyl alcohol business needs the crops. That is partly correct but agriculture business is quite slow to change. If you grow rice now on a small land you cannot convert alone to another crop and your land may not be suitable for another crop. In agriculture all changes are slow and all price changes should be slow.

    This time however everything went fast and maybe to fast. The world realized once again that the globe must produce more food and we need more idle land to grow food. That is mainly Africa that has that. Anyhow this together with the rising cost of everything caused land price to increase making it even more expensive to produce food.

    At this stage the most greedy Capitalists moved in buying future crops for delivery year++ at price xx and when the price situation changed they sold this paper again with a profit. And this business boomed causing prices to spiral up. Now lately the most greedy and well informed have left the market and the prices are coming down. It is a little questionable how moral these futures markets for food are and the futures markets have far outgrown their agricultural origins. Now it is plain business and most agricultural stables are bought and sold on these markets.

    So the prices will start to come down again but everything will be more expensive than before because oil prices will not come down in the long run. But for Thailand this can be good. A high rice price will benefit the farmers since Thailand is the world’s biggest exporter of rice. A high rice price will enable the Thai government to sell out their huge rice stocks at a good profit. Higher prices for land will help the debt situation for farmers with high debts.The bad thing is that all Thai people have to pay more for their daily rice and that can be a tough thing to swallow.

    Anyhow Gasohol is not staeling anything.

    I am happy that you have driven widely around the eastern seaboard last week. Sorry we didn’t see each other. Anyhow you need some km:s in your meter. When you tried to sell your Ducati about 6 months ago it had 12.000 km on it. When you bought it a little used in 2002? it had a few thousand already so you have done 10.000 km in 5 year that is about 2 Eastern Seaboards tour a year….Or maybe the meter had made a turn so it is 110.000 km…. I think that Captain Slash can have a laugh.

    Still Your Friend and Criticizer

  9. Dear Hiko,

    Thanks for this very detail explanation, but in simple words I could better understand will my DUCATI 1000 Monster 2006 S2R and/or/or SUZUKI DRZ 400 run well with what we could easily find in LOS and which qualty you'll advise. We such bike I would avoid to "experiment" but better to be knowledgeably advised.

    Again many thanks for your answer.
  10. HI.

    The DR400 I have personal experience. All my 5 DR400 runs well on Gasohol The Ducati I don't know but I think that even our Gasohol hater and Ducati expert Monsterman confesses that Gasohol can be used.

  11. Hi Hiko,

    And thanks for your answer, experience talks for the Suzi, didn't you modify anything ?

    For the DUCATI, Jerry said it works but the fact is that he has a previous carburator version of the Monster and I have the injection one with injectors ????
  12. HI

    Suzuki no modification. Some of the bikes have modifications for other reasons from before.

    Jerry had got an answer from the Ducati factory stating that all (?) Ducatis with Fuel injections are OK. I have been driven my Aprillia made BMW Carver with fuel injection without problem. Captain Slash have also good experience with Gasohol.

    So just put all your self confidence to work and drive happily to your gasoline station and fill the Ducati up with pure clean fuel from the orange meter and enjoy clean kilometers

    Cet la Vie!!!!

  13. Hey I finally got to old Git, undertand the old defienlty accurate the git I will have to work on :wink:

    Everything I'm seeing points to fuel injection for the next bike in my case that's probably the Roadstar, since the 1100 has carbs. If I could only get the Yamaha dealer in Chaing Mai to respond
  14. Thanks, Hiko...for the informative post
  15. Thanks Hiko,

    I will follow your advise and try on the Ducati, anyway what to do else.

    Maybe at the begining, as the Ducati tank has only a very little autonomy, I will proceed to observation trials and start at 25, 50, 75 and 100 % of gasohol mixed with 95. I should succeed to do it with the same gasohol and the same 95 (coming from the same place) and observe if any change of behaviour (power -only feeling measurement-, engine noise, couple flexibility...and other parameters I could have in mind.

    Thanks again and have great fun, I'll will be in LOS on the 22/06, is there still this meeting at Tawandan or Gulliver in BKK ?
  16. Hi Azoulay,

    To be honest, I wouldn't mess about with 95 & gasohol ratios - seems a bit paranoid to me :?

    As Hiko pointed out, modern bike fuel systems are tolerant to what's currently available here in Thai so I would just fill her up with 95 gasohol and enjoy the ride, as I do on my carb'd 2007 Bonnie.

    Again, as Hiko mentioned, long term effects are as yet unknown, therefore I'll stick to my lay-up method of using non-gasohol for my final tankful before turning off the ignition for an extended period of time. If you think following this is a good idea, maybe you need an octane booster if you put in 91 (benzine not gasohol)?

    I've had a couple of 916 based Dukes but that was back in the UK and they ran fine on whatever came out of the "unleaded" pump. But if your engine is high compression, it might "pink" (pre-detonate) on straight 91 and therefore need the octane booster.


  17. Facts being Facts i am at a Loss as to Why anyone still waves a Flag for Gasohol :roll: The Stuff is Shit and has been Tried and Failed in other Countries and after all the Facts have been Posted on this Very Web Site People still have the Audacity to Praise it :shock: Scientific Research has Proven it is Environmentally More Damaging and Less Economical than Normal Fuel. The Farm Land Wasted to Grow Crops for the Shit is Partly responsible for the Current World Food Shortage!!! The ONLY reason it is Being Pursued in Thailand is because of Plantations in Question are owned by You Guessed it Politicians!!! :twisted: Normal 91 is the Only other Viable Choice so if you can get it Take It. It is also a Proven Fallacy that Vehicles Run Better on it :!: Scientific Facts State: Less Power and Less Fuel economy and Dirtier Running!!! This May explain why Your Bike Sounds Like a Diesel Slash? We have to Put up with this Shit Fuel till the A-Holes have Lined their Pockets and then they will change back again once sufficient Time is Passed to Save Their Lovely Face so till then we have to put up with it So Use Normal 95 (Yellow Label) if you see it or Normal 91 (Red Label) Beware as some Stations are Pumping Gasohol out of the Old Pumps!!! Petronas here in Mae Rim the Last Bastion of Real 95 Stopped Sales Yesterday, Bugger :x
  18. er wrong ! Azoulay ....the S4 in Thailand is a fuel injection model , the M750 in UK is carburettor model...Ducati themselves told me that the fuel injected models will work on gasohol but with a 5-10% power loss and 10% less fuel economy.

    when no 95 available it will work on gasohol but not as well.
  19. Hear Hear,,,,well said Ian.. the failings of gasohol are so well documented it beggars belief ...,even Thai media mentioned last week in Nation paper and the BKK Post that consumers had found that lower price of gasohol was offset by the inferior gas mileage which actually increased cost of fuel, as well as the problems with water separation.
  20. Hear Hear Mr. Ambassador

    Now the Govt is promoting E-85 as the solution to our cost woes and their ethanol surplus. E-85 is to be priced 25% less than petrol 95, but yields 30% less distance/km - tell me how this is to save me money at the pump.
    If the govt is serious about E-85, make the price attractive VS petrol.

    Maybe petrol is too cheap, and once they remove petrol from the market all together, we will have no yardstick to compare costs or economy. Perhaps this is the hidden agenda.

    The ONLY vehicle in the local market cable of using E-85 is an expensive Volvo and the local manufacturers will take 12-18 months to produce an E-85 engine. Local manufacture may never jump on the E-85 bandwagon if the Govt does not produce a clear alternative fuel policy and stick to it.

    Another chicken and egg question just like E-20. IF E-85 is the fuel of the future, Mr Samak - get your nose out of the trough and drop the 80% import duty so that E-85 cars can be here now. Reinstate it if you wish when Thai made cars can use the stuff.

    Why is the rate of excise tax on E-85 only sightly less than petrol. If it is to be taxed at all, should it not be taxed only on the 15% petrol component?
  21. Some of the big refiners in Thailand PTT and Bangchak say they will stop all refining of regular 91 & 95 by 2011 and a pressing politicians for all non compotible vehicles to be banned .Even by 2011 million of local vehicles and machine will be non gasoline friendly.

    Then the shit really will hit the fan , its all about big money in Thailand being greedy ,the environmental issue is just smoke screen.
  22. Gasohol in Thailand ....
    Fact report from a friend with Honda BLACHBIRD 1300 cc. Year 2003.
    Big problem with Gasohol. No power. Maximum speed 190 Km/h instead of 260 Km/h. Use only one time.... never again. 91 Gasoline , no problem.
    Thats a fact ..No bullshit.. Name , adress telefone etc.etc on request.

    Drive sfety during the rain season in the south
  23. Some More Facts about Fuel in Australia supplied By Gus. All about the Money at the End of the Day isn't it! :roll:

    Fuel: The Mass Debate
    Or How to Knock About 50c a Litre Off the Price Of Fuel
    First and foremost this debate should be centred on Diesel NOT Unleaded. Why? You may ask. Just look at the increase in supermarket prices for your answer. While it may cost you $5 or $10 extra to fill your tank everything that is transported (which is everything) rises as Diesel rises. My average basket at the supermarket per week has increased on average $30 and that’s for one person. Australia’s whole economy is tied to Diesel and therefore it should be afforded the same priority and status as water i.e. an essential commodity.
    I own a small transport company and I have had to significantly raise my prices twice in the past year just to maintain profit margins. This cost you money too.
    I am compelled to write this letter because I am sick of all the namby-pamby pussyfooting around everyone seems to be doing about the current fuel debate. I have spent considerable time researching this area because it affects my income. Contained herein is the WHOLE truth about the debate, the WHOLE big picture, if you will. NO-ONE till now has had the testicular fortitude to stick their necks out and present the WHOLE argument about just how much we are being RIPPED OFF. If you want the truth and the WHOLE truth read on.
    DON’T – Listen to spin doctors from the oil companies. THEY HAVE A VESTED INTREST TO KEEP FUEL PRICES HIGH.
    DON’T – Listen to the government – state or federal. THEY HAVE A VESTED INTREST TO KEEP FUEL PRICES HIGH.
    DON’T – pay too much attention to news or current affairs programs. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDAS.
    So here we go, how to make fuel cheaper!
    Parity, for those that don’t know, is government sanctioned price fixing (simple as that). Parity allows fuel companies to sell their products for the highest current price they find in the Asia Pacific region. It completely disregards supply and demand economics and eliminates any need for competition amongst themselves.
    Don’t believe me? Just look at the price of Diesel. If you remember growing up when Diesel was always 10-15c p/l cheaper than Petrol you might understand this more.
    How can a product that costs far less to produce (partially a by-product of producing Unleaded as well) and a product that Australia uses more of than any other fuel be MORE EXPENSIVE than Unleaded? Simple, ring Singapore, where they don’t use a lot of Diesel and import all their fuel, find out how much it’s selling for there and charge the same here – sound fair? NOT!
    Any other industry who tried this one would be hauled of to the High Court quick smart and prosecuted for price fixing! Oh but hang on, our government ALLOWS them to do this
    That price the news loves to show us each night is the PREMIUM GRADE crude oil price. Australian oil companies DO NOT buy PREMIUM GRADE crude oil! In fact Australia produces around 70% of its own oil and imports about 30%. The cost of production per litre produced here is cheaper than that of imported fuel, but in no way is this factored into the pump price, because they don’t need to (SEE PARITY ABOVE) we pay a pump price based on PREMIUM GRADE crude oil price the same as if we imported all of it, say somewhere like Singapore! Starting to get the picture?
    Everyone knows that both State and Federal Governments take a large slice of the cost of a litre of fuel. This equates in total to about 46% of the price per litre. This money is used for infrastructure, road trauma etc. etc. so fair enough right? WRONG!
    What is wrong is that it is a PERCENATGE! Look at this. If a litre of fuel costs $1.00 then the Government gets 46c p/l, right? A week later fuel rises to $1.10 p/l; the Government gets 50.6c p/l, bingo! Something tells me that in one week, their costs, IN NO WAY have gone up 9%!
    As I stated previously – THE GOVERNMENT HAS A VESTED INTREST TO KEEP FUEL PRICES HIGH. THEY MAKE LOTS MORE FREE MONEY! Why else do they allow fuel companies to maintain PARITY?
    If they changed the tax (sorry, levy) to a flat rate tied to the GDP then the fuel price would drop drastically and immediately!
    Now this one is outright “THIEVERY” and also applies to cigarettes and alcohol.
    GST = Goods and Services Tax, correct?
    46% or 46c in every dollar in the price of a litre of fuel is TAX (sorry; again, LEVY).
    What part of LEVY is a good or a service? YOU CANNOT TAX, TAX RIGHT? WRONG!
    You do the math.
    Say fuel costs $1.00 p/l – the GST component = 9c
    But hang on a minute 46% or 46c of this is TAX!
    i.e., 4.14c of the GST is ILLEGALLY CHARGED ON THE TAX COMPONENT! Not much you say?
    That equates to millions of free dollars for the Government! I’ll say it one more time - THE GOVERNMENT HAS A VESTED INTREST TO KEEP FUEL PRICES HIGH. THEY MAKE LOTS MORE FREE MONEY!
    The GST on fuel should be 5.4% not 10%. At $1.75 p/l this would drop the current price by around 8c p/l.
    Feeling a little annoyed? You should be!
    Even without disbanding parity and introducing real competition among fuel companies, you should be paying about 40c less per litre!
    My name is Graeme Strempel, ([email [email protected]][email protected][/email]) and I run a small transport business, I happily welcome anyone, Government and fuel companies included to prove me wrong.
    If you feel strongly about this issue then pass this missive on to everyone in your address book. Eventually someone might take notice.
  24. Dear Ian .... one of the best reports , I ever seen. Totally correct. Its a big business for the governement and oil companies. They do look a shit of your bike , car , or others. They look only for the big profit. Reports from the oil companies its only a piece of paper where you can write everything. True , or untrue. See PTT... makes a profit -net- as a state owned company from around 200 billion THB this year. But cry, same as bankrupt, if they need to help the bus operators, means the normal people etc. for about THB 40 billion. Thats only 25 % from their net prof. Means this reduce also their tax... But the owner is the finance ministry with 51 % of shares... Thats social way in the social country..... Help yourselve first , second , third, thats the rule from all governements and oil companies. If we cant avoid, or is a election near by, we need to help , a little bit for the people........., But not to much , please.
    Avoid Gasohol , as long as can be.

    Drive carefully..... Eddy , Surat

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