Refuelling in Germany: does the new SUPER E10 damage your Harley-Davidson?

Sometimes the Teutonic mind goes into overdrive, specially when it tries to demonstrate to be the most environmental friendly place on earth.


The green party is a established political force, their most prominent politician, Joschka Fischer, was for many years foreign minister, after a more turbulent youth in 70s of throwing stones at police officers during demonstrations.


Today this strong green movement motivates politicians of all colours to jump on every environment-friendly idea, stupid or not, but mainly stupid, while selling it as their personal achievement and the only hope in saving mankind, and of course expecting to to be re-elected.

Germans love their German cars, and the industry is a important economical factor, so every chance to give this addiction and dependency a green touch is used, they now even sell a Porsche Hybrid these days.

The latest politically motivated idea and its eager implementation however is backfiring. Following the rule that BIO is good, more BIO must be better. Until now 5% of Bioethanol was added to the fuel, but from this year on a 10% fuel has to be offered, called E10 SUPER, and has a ROZ of 95. As not all cars and bikes digest the E10 well, as they actually can break down as Bioethanol is aggressive to certain metals, the old E5 mix is still offered, however only in the more expensive SuperPlus with a ROZ of 98.

E10 and other blends of ethanol are considered to be useful in decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and can reduce carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 20 to 30% under the right conditions. Although E10 does decrease emissions of CO and green house gases such as CO2 by an estimated 2% over regular gasoline it can cause increases in evaporative emissions and some pollutants depending on factors like the age of the vehicle and weather conditions

Back in 2009, in a article by the Telegraph, it is boldly written (I quote) :


… The biofuel sits alongside the commonly used and similarly named unleaded Euro 95 in many garages across France and while a public awareness campaign in the country has avoided confusion amongst the French, British holidaymakers face the prospect of unwittingly picking the wrong pump.

Motoring associations, including the RAC, yesterday warned those preparing to travel to France to be aware of the biofuel which is 90 per cent regular unleaded and 10 per cent ethanol.

Ethanol is highly corrosive and wears away the metal fuel tanks common in cars registered before 2000, leading to leaks. Most new cars have plastic tanks and are therefore not be affected by corrosion.

Now the funny thing is: few Germans actually buy the E10 stuff, they boycott it in masses, although it is cheaper, and there are 2 reasons to this.

First of all they are afraid their car/bike may break down and suffocate on E10, although actually only very few get sick. The German AA or RAC, there called it ADAC, publishes long lists on their website, showing that 90% of all cars should have no problem. The entry for Harley-Davidson is short and simple:


No Problem for bikes after 1980. Older bikes should use SuperPlus (ROZ98).

But there is another reason the Germans do not like E10, although it costs less, it is not really cheaper. The E10 has a lower energy content then E5 gasoline, and fuel consumption increases by about 3-5%, nearly neutralising the price advantage.

So, on your next visit, if your Harley is not 30 years old, it should be safe to refill with the new E10 stuff.

But if you like the real smell of gasoline, and do not want to loose power, stick with SuperPlus, aka Super 98.

Because all this BIO-hype has absolutely nothing to do with the environment, its a European initiative to promote the agricultural sector, or better said: reduce the money they have to pump into it. Yes, its about money, not your health, not our earth.

Read Part 2 of the Super E10 sage, including a official statement by Harley-Davidson, here >>

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2 Responses to “Refuelling in Germany: does the new SUPER E10 damage your Harley-Davidson?”

  1. Our fuels here are often cut with up to 10% ethanol, and from my experience I’ve had no problems with the blend.
    You raise a good point about fuel efficiency though, and one I should look into. Perhaps run a couple of test tanks using blends/no blends.

  2. MacDuff Says:

    You just SCIENCED the hell out of me…

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