A brief word about E10


OK, that was probably too brief.

I like to be a good citizen. I recycle, I buy second-hand (when I’m not shopping in skips) and I don’t have children, which apparently makes a big contribution to reducing the strain on the planet.

So when the E10 announcements came out I checked my vehicles – MZ, are you having a laugh, Citroen 2CV, not listed, W650, not compatible, Triumph – compatible.

So I filled up the old girl with a tankful. Big Mistake. Huge.

I was out yesterday on a run with a few friends and I genuinely thought I had a blockage in my fuel line. Symptoms – wouldn’t pick up cleanly in any gear when rolling on; wouldn’t idle – if left without revving, would splutter to a halt in about 10 seconds.

So I started looking for E5 to start filling the tank with something more to the bike’s liking, and friends, I can tell you now that “widely available” is already a lie.

By the end of the day we’d burnt through most of the E10 and the idle is just about back to normal.

But I’m pretty devastated. That’s three motorcycles that are now on the fast track to obsolescence, and my car.

How does it benefit the planet, and its limited resources, for these four beasts to go to the scrap yard, and for me to scrape together the cash to replace them with something new?

It bloody doesn’t.


Filed under Riding

4 responses to “A brief word about E10

  1. I feel your pain! I’ve been using E10 in my 17-year-Toyota (best car in the world!) without any problems, but I don’t put it in any of my old bikes unless absolutely necessary. People here in Germany hate the stuff and refused to use it when introduced ca. 10 years ago. The result is that E5 is still readily available, but for how long nobody knows. Considering that E10 isn’t as efficient as the petrol it replaced, and that food crops shouldn’t be used for fuel (IMO), Im not a big fan, but it’s not the only factor making our old cars and bikes obsolete. The times are changing, and we will have to change with them, sooner or later, or continue to butt our heads against numerous walls!

  2. Both my rides (2018 Vauxhall Insignia and 2016 ZX10-R) are, the official sources tell me, are compatible with E10. But I’d rather not.

  3. My aging KTM Adventure requires our best and highest grade fuel. Also our dearest. And it turned out our even older car required the same. The KTM bettering the car’s economy, but not when counted as per person. Hmmm, well the old car got mashed by another much newer and much more expensive car, nobody hurt, now we are carless. We survive with daughters who live with us and nearby with cars. And there is the motorcycle and we can walk to food, grocer, druggist and dentist even. The doc requires a car ride. I can do it on the bicycle, but then they might not let me in for being too warm. It’s a 12 mile ride. So, we went car shopping. I don’t like to shop unless its motorcycles or bicycles. And even then I prefer to be left to my own entertainments. We ordered a car. Electric. Won’t be here for some time and it has been some time now. It is stupid expensive, but so is gasoline here. I won’t yet have an electric motorcycle, though I sat on a couple. I liked the Italian one that cost about as much as a house. But, it wouldn’t have got me home from work an 80 mile freeway loop it wouldn’t do. Electric bicycles are a thing I am not too happy about. Most of them are nothing more than silent killers ferrying people who expending more energy texting than paying attention to riding or driving, but I digress. Earlier this summer I rode into the midwest of the US and back. Alcohol filled fuels abound. Those fuels really like water. internal combustion engines not so much. Much popping and farting was had a time or three. Which brings me back to my very first experience with alcohol filled fuels in motorcycles.
    The summer of 1984 BMW North America supplied loaner motorcycles, K100S and K100 as support bikes for a big bicycle stage race in Colorado. I was a BMW motorcycle mechanic at the time and an engineering student. Now, the race provided fuel vouchers for free fuel at 7-11 stores. 7-11 stores sold alcohol filled fuels. Only.
    It turned out the various elastomers used in the fuel system were no compatible with alcohol fuels. And they melted. This made an incredible mess and sidelined several bikes as the race went on. There was also the problem that the fuels were not up to the task of both fuel injection and high altitudes of Colorado’s mountains. We had quite a Fall that year with a scramble to retrofit alcohol fuel happy parts to all the motorcycles within reach. Our old Audi was none to happy with these fuel choice either nor was my very, very tired old Toyota. The fuel filters would clog, fuel pump fuses would blow under the increased load. Ah, what fun progress.

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