Motorcycles and Ethanol Don't Mix, So Let's Tell The EPA.
Two Senators Are Proposing a New Bill to Limit Ethanol Blend to 10 Percent
On Feb. 14, U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and David Witter (R-La.) introduced S.344, a bill that would overturn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency waivers that have allowed gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) to be used for many passenger cars and light trucks.
“EPA’s flawed waivers allowing E15 amount to government bureaucrats issuing short-sighted regulations that negatively impact families and businesses across the country,” said Wicker, a member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. “The concerns surrounding E15 that existed prior to the waivers have increased instead of diminishing.”
“Whether you drive a car, truck, boat, or tractor, misfueling with E15 could result in engine failure, increased emissions, and the voiding of warranty coverage,” said Vitter. “It is irresponsible for EPA to allow E15 without sufficient testing. I support an all-inclusive energy strategy, but experimenting before understanding the consequences and potential cost of using E15 is unfair to consumers.”
The American Motorcyclist Association has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15 when the new fuel becomes widely available, and has asked that motorcycles and ATVs be part of any scientific study into the effects of E15.
But the new E15 gasoline formulation may soon appear at your local gas station (we've already encountered it) and you need to be careful where you use this new fuel blend. Back in October 2010 the EPA approved E15 for use in 2007 and newer light duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles), but in January 2011, it added model year 2001-2006 light duty vehicles to the approved list. But get this: No motorcycles or ATVs are on the list.
Since many light-duty vehicles in use are on the list, refineries and fueling stations can opt to offer primarily E15 gas, which concern all motorcyclists -- we could get limited access to E10 or E0 gas.
The AMA needs our help to pass S. 344. Send a prewritten email to your senators from the AMA website (www.americanmotorcyclist.com), and send federal lawmakers a letter urging them to back an independent study to determine whether E15 is safe for motorcycle and ATV engines.