Gasohol beware!

Discussion in 'Technical' started by monsterman, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    I have been worrying about gasohol for a few months, and have been carrying out some research and experimentation.

    My wife put gasohol in her 1997 250 Honda rebel and it died , we had to do a total carb rebuild.

    I bought several different types of fuel line and left them to soak in gasohol, some fuel line dissolved, as it reacted with the ethyl alcohol in Gasohol. Imagine what that will do to your carbs or fuel injectors.

    Harley model post 1999 will run fine on gasohol.Harley says it is OK as they have prepared the fuel system to use it.

    Ducati and Triumph say never use it .
    Honda, yamaha Kawasaki and suzuki say do not use it.

    I dont know about BMW.

    If no premium 95 octane is available for my ducati i use 91 it runs OK but may require an octane booster.

    Gasohol is not being promoted in europe , in fact higher octane fuels of 97 ,98 and even 99 octane are now available. In UK the lowest octane fuel is 95 octane . No 91 octane is sold.

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  3. Rigger

    Rigger Member

    I have used gasohol a few times in my honda shadow 1100 with no probes and seen other guys use it in a Fazers 1000 and dragstar 400 and never had any problems but I guess I will be sticking to 91 if there is no 95 avilable.
    Anyone know where to buy Octane booster in Udon or Kho kaen
  4. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

    BKKriders have been worrying this subject to death for a while. You will have to surf for their website.
    What I got from my Auto Engineering Proffesor friend at U of A is that the rubber bits in older flue systems are designed to swell in contact with hydrocarbons and they tend to absorb the alcohol , turn brittle and in some cases disintegrate. Alcohol also needs bigger jets so will tend to run slightly leaner/hotter if bike isn't rejetted. That is not usually a problem in the real world.

    Gas station octane boosters are a total waste of money and will boost octane less than 0.5. Really expensive racing ones may do something but they are not available from retail outlets and are VERY expensive. Sorry did I repeat that? If you live near an airport and know the fuel guy!!!!

    If you must play with octane boosting , still a waste of time, most are simply Toluene which is a main ingredient in paint thinner so available at paint shops in bulk. You have to add lots 30% to do anything.
  5. axax

    axax Member

    91 is ok for old bike. it's better than sohol 95
  6. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    Nissan told me that if i put Gasohol or 91 octane fuel in my new car it will void warranty 95 premium only, Honda told my mate the same for his Accord.And Mercedes Benz Pattaya have had a whole load of damaged engines from clowns putting gasohol in.

  7. dotcom

    dotcom Ol'Timer

    Get used to it. From Jan 1 2007 - gasohol is all you will be able to buy. That is total crap about Honda cars. They won't notice any difference.
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    If you take a look at
    you will see that there is supposedly going to be a review / delay.
    Personally I will believe it when it happens and to be honest I dont think it will, just like many of the proposed mega (no brain) projects.
  9. irv327

    irv327 Active Member

    Another little secret about gasohol they don't tell you: it causes pressurization in fuel tanks with negative vented gas caps and consequently carb problems. Alcohol evaporates at room temperature and since a gas occupies more volume than a liquid pressurization occurs. Also, I wonder what good the ethanol is doing if it evaporates before reaching the combustion chamber.
  10. sinclair1969

    sinclair1969 Ol'Timer

    It seems difficult to get any real information about what gasohol does and does not do to a motorcycle engine. But I believe the OP when he says it destroys or damages some kinds of seals, O-rings and fuel lines. If this proves to be a scientific fact, then why have the oil companies not put out warnings to customers? Very strange.
  11. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    we ere lucky in malaysia no gasohol.... :happy3:
  12. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    I have 10.1:1 compression with an old style combustion chamber design so there is no choice but to use E-10/95 fuel. It ate the rubber seal in my 2000 Harley petcock last week, causing it to leak.
    I replaced the fuel line as a precaution at the same time using "fuel and oil" rated hose.

    Mukini have not responded re E-10 compatibility with my flat slide carb.

    Up until now I had discounted the negative effects of E-10 as HD claims their bikes are compatible and in fact goes so far as to recommend its use presumable in a feel good green policy. Given my personal experience I question the compatibility. I wonder however, if fuel separation from sitting for a total of 9 weeks this year due to broken feet had anything to do with it?

    Others have questioned the amount of ethanol in the fuel and that it may exceed 10%. Oil is currently cheaper than ethanol and the pump price is distorted due to a subsidy to the ethanol producers. Given that oil is more expensive I doubt that the ethanol content is in excess of 10%, however should the price of oil change, I would not be surprised to see the ethanol content increase unbeknown to the user and to the detriment of fuel system components.

    In the end the government and their vested interests will make sure that we have no choice to buy good old petrol so we must live with ethanol in our fuels.

    While E-10 does not cut it from a performance viewpoint, bring on E-85 and make it widely available. I then will up the compression and burn even more of it to make more power and have a cooler running engine.
  13. sinclair1969

    sinclair1969 Ol'Timer

    I just got my Honda Magna back from a first class motorcycle garage here in the suburbs of Bangkok. It stalled and would not restart last week, so I had it looked at by professional mechanics. The problem turned out to be this: A lot of water in the gas tank, and the carburettors full of water. The fuel cap locks perfectly so the water does not get in that way I think, besides I used a heavy cover over the bike most of the time. How could all that water get into the tank? I think there is no doubt that as I was using gasohol, the alcohol combined with atmospheric humidity over time. As we all know, there is extreme humidity in many places in Thailand. As the water gradually built up in the tank, it finally reached a level where it could flow into the carburettors. Cost of cleaning the carburettors and tank, tuning and four new spark plugs: 1.800 baht. Not bad, although the cost for a similar job for my Honda CBR 150 would only have been a fraction of this as I well know. By the way, the CBR 150 is notorious for getting rain water into the fuel tank, as the rubber seal around the cap deteriorates and shrivels with age. I bought my CBR new in March 2004, and it started having this problem in 2008. I have driven that bike 54.000 km and it is still going strong, very little repair.

    Don't use gasohol, that's what the guys here keep telling me. Use 91 or 95 gasoline, nothing else if you care about your bike.
  14. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    Very well and good to not use gasohol, and use 91 regular only but with my compression and state of tune it will not run on 91.
    There is no 95 regular petrol. I suspect that the vested interests in the overbuilt ethanol industry will see to it that regular 91 is dropped as well.

    I have no choice but to tune it for E10/95 or import copious quantities of octane booster.
    I am on the retuning path now
  15. thaicbr

    thaicbr Ol'Timer

    sinclair.....Where is this 1st class motorcycle shop? I'm still trying to find one in BKK!
  16. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Just today spent several hours cleaning out the jets in the carburetor on my KTM525 after the fuel line went " mushy" and mostly dissolved after being parked for a few months with gasohol. The bike itself runs fine on gasohol and I have never had this problem before. I just forgot to turn off the tap and drain the carb before extended parking. :happy1:
  17. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    12000km on my Ninja 250R using gasohol. No problems.

    18000km on my ER6n using gasohol. No problems.

    20000km on my Ninja 650R using gasohol. No problems.

    I've put about 6000 km on my recently acquired GSX-R 1000 K6 using 95 gasohol and it's running great. Previous owner used 95 gasohol too.

    I don't really understand the fuss- the United States has been adding ethanol to gasoline for many years now. Introduction of 10% ethanol gasohol started in the 1990's in the US as part of the Clean Air Act and continues today. Pretty much any vehicle built in the last 10-15 years should be gasohol compliant.

    Only really old vehicles, built before gasohol because common may experience problems due to incompatibility with gasohol.

    A separate issue here in Thailand is fuel quality. Without a doubt the quality of fuel can vary from one station to the next. I remember a few months ago on a group ride we all filled up at a Shell station near Khao Yai and ALL of the guys who filled up with benzene 95 ended up with bikes running like crap. Those of us who filled up with 91 and 95 gasohol didn't have any problems. I worry more about fuel quality than I do about the ethanol content.

    Ride On!

  18. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    The only thing that dissolved was the fuel line from the tank to carb, the crap from this went in the jets and bowl. Like I said the bike runs fine on gasohol.
    For me the problems seem to come with long term storage. Not when the bikes are ridden. I also run my other bikes on gasohol, VFR800, XR650R, XL600M and also would run the AJS on it if I could get the engine assembled expertly to keep the combustion inside the cylinders.

    Any AJS engine experts out there?? :take-that:
  19. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Hi Harri!

    What model year is your KTM that had the fuel line problem?

    I don't even know what an "AJS" is- google gives me the "Association for Jewish Studies" so good luck with that! :lol-sign:

    Happy Trails!

  20. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Tony it is a original fuel hose on a 2005 model. Unless I got a bad batch of fuel before I parked it, I would say the gasohol made it "soggy", it turned it into a licorice twist basically.

    AJS 500cc Model 20 twin.1957. The tank badge is on my avatar. Might just have been made before either of us were born. Try British motorcycles in google.
  21. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    I must be getting old! Had an AJS 350 single in 1971. Fired every lampost & never needed an oil change - total loss lubrication system!! Typical of most British bikes in those days. Think it was a late 1950's model. Cost me UK25. A strange beast indeed - sometimes it would start second kick & other times you could kick it from here to eternity & it wouldn't even fire - but just push it a few yards & let clutch out & away it went! :) I would be suprised if such a beast could be adapted for gasahol.
  22. LeoViotti

    LeoViotti New Member

    Any bike/car can use gasohol, no issues. Problem is, you might have to adjust the fuel mix, make it richer (not sure if that's the word), as ethanol has less "power per unit".

    The main problem in older systems is that they don't have a layer of protection against corrosion - not really corrosion, more like "strange dust deposits" that over time, "eat" some materials. The engine itself, being forget aluminum and drop iron, suffers nothing, but older carburetors might need a more thorough clean-up, as well as more frequent replacement of spare parts. Hoses as well, should be not a problem, as long as they are new.

    Back in Brazil, where "we" (not me, as I'm only 28) use gasohol since late '70s/early '80s, my last car still had a carburetor, and with me driving between 2 and 3k km every month, I was doing the proper maintenance on my own, every month or so, dissembling it completely and replacing the small gaskets, rubber parts, as well as cleaning the fuel-air mix parts (not sure how they are called in English... in Portuguese we say "caneta" (pen) and "flauta" (flute)).

    But no worries... gasohol is also great. Even though it gives you less km/L in comparison with pure gasoline, it enables you to "tune up" your engine, extracting more power out of it - be that by advancing the spark timing, or more deep, increasing the compression ratio of the engine. Down there, we have regular small cars using 12:1 compression ratio on gasohol 25% (mandatory, only one we have, in different octane-specs, from 91 to 98), and we had 100% alcohol engines back in the 80s and 90s with up to 14:1 compression ratio, stock, daily drivers, small and "cheap" ones.


    (I was a 15-day motorcycle driver in Thailand, didn't end well... back to cars now, but driving and traveling is "my life", I just love it)

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