The American Motorcyclist Association recently expressed concern to a U.S. House subcommittee about possible damage to motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15 when the new fuel becomes widely available.
In a testimony to the House Subcommittee on the Environment during a hearing on "Mid-Level Ethanol Blends: Consumer and Technical Research Needs" on Feb. 26, Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations, said that motorcycles and ATVs should be part of any scientific study into the effects of E15 on engines to ensure that the new fuel blend won’t damage those engines.
He also cautioned that E15 could lower fuel efficiency and possibly cause premature engine failure for motorcycles and ATVs.
E15 is a new fuel blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline that the EPA has approved for use in 2001-and-newer passenger vehicles. The blend isn’t approved for use in motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, lawn mowers and other engines, and may even damage them and void warranties.
E10, which is commonly found at gas stations, contains 10 percent ethanol. Ethanol is grain alcohol produced from crops such as corn that is mixed with gasoline to produce an ethanol-gasoline blend motor fuel.