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AMA Wants Motorcycles Included in Study of Ethanol-Blended Fuel

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is asking a key U.S. House panel to include motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in any future study of ethanol-blended gasoline.

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The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is asking a key U.S. House panel to include motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in any future study of ethanol-blended gasoline.

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In a letter sent July 11 to the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, the AMA, along with its partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), urged subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-Md.) "that on- or off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) be part of any scientific study by the NAS" related to ethanol-blended gasoline. NAS stands for the National Academy of Sciences.

The subcommittee held a hearing on July 7 entitled "Hitting the Ethanol Blend Wall: Examining the Science on E15." The hearing focused on E15, a new gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in January 2011 added model year 2001-2006 light-duty vehicles to the approved list. No on- or off-highway motorcycles or ATVs are currently approved.

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In the letter, AMA Washington Representative Rick Podliska said the AMA and ATVA have concerns about: E15 being put in motorcycles or ATVs mistakenly and damaging engines; the continued availability of gasoline that has no ethanol, or gasoline with only a 10 percent blend that is safe for use in motorcycles and ATVs; the possibility that "blender pumps" – which dispense multiple grades of gasoline through a single hose – could introduce enough ethanol into gasoline to be used in a motorcycle or ATV to damage the vehicle; and that ethanol absorbs water, which could be harmful to motorcycles and ATVs.

"In conclusion, to address our concerns, the AMA and ATVA urge that on- or off-highway motorcycles and ATVs be part of any scientific study by NAS," Podliska wrote. "Not only should the study focus on the short- and long-term impacts on vehicles and engines, but should consider financial implications of increased ethanol use in gasoline on consumers; fuel producers, distributors and retailers; vehicle and engine manufacturers, dealers and service facilities; and the environment."

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For more information about AMA, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

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