Super E10 – Harley-Davidson’s home made fuel

In my latest post I raised the question about safe usage of the new SUPER E10 fuel now offered in Germany as the main mix, replacing the previous Super E5 ROZ 95.

In a sometimes emotional and very confusing discussion in the German press, the best advise was a simple one: avoid it and tank your bike with the more expensive SuperPlus E5 ROZ 98.

But a reply to this post by Canajun stirred my interest, as he claimed that E10 is old news in the USA, and how right he is.

See this map of E5, E10 and E25 usage worldwide.

I cut away China and Australia, also E10 user.

This map somewhat reassured me, as it clearly shows that Super E10 is used by the mothership country of Harley-Davidson, our motorcycles are born with E10 in their veins, so it should not damage them at all.

But… there was still a doubt, so I went a step further and wrote to Harley-Davidson for a official statement. Here their answer:

I did not yet go to my dealership to get the final reassurance, strange I am even asked to do so, as this is a international issue, not a national one. For now, the statements by the German ADAC and HOG Europe, coupled with the knowledge that E10 is widely used in the USA, is enough peace of mind not to worry to refill with Super E10.

But… is Super E10 really what we want? ROZ 95 is sufficient for our Twin Cam engines, they do not need the more stable and more expensive ROZ 98 stuff. My concern is however the fact that  the higher percentage of Ethanol used in E10 fuel is reducing the energy content of the mix. This leads to a higher fuel consumption, and a lower mileage, bad for long trips, specially if you ride a FortyEight’er.

One question remains: does the lower energy content of E10 just increase the fuel consumption, or does it also reduce the engine’s power. Our Harley-Davidson may have plenty of torque, but modest horsepower. Filling it up with biologically castrated fuels, my worry is that it will further loose agility. So as long as my banker does not complain about my overdraft, I will continue to fill my Road King with the more expensive E5.

Let me tell you why Brazil use E25, there are 2 reasons: for one they have a large sugar beet agriculture that needs support, 7lbs of sugar beets yield 18oz of ethanol. Similar situation in the USA. But more scary is that northern Europe would come to a standstill if we would use E25, because the engines do not start well in cold temperatures using high levels of ethanol. Again this is for me a clear hint that Ethanol is stuff that we do not really should be putting into our fuel.

Note to environmentalist wannabes and governments: please stop to treat the consumer as dumb stupid grumpy bastards, and trick them into filling up their motorcycles and cars with castrated fuels. Specially not, when the environmental positive impact is questionable, the efficiency reduced and the real reason for introducing E10 only monetary, to support the agricultural industry.

Because we have at the end to pay more for our cars and motorcycles, due to the higher research and development costs by the manufacturers, who are struggling to keep our engines running on politically diluted fuels.

My conclusion on Super E10: it is not damaging, but boringly stupid.

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One Response to “Super E10 – Harley-Davidson’s home made fuel”

  1. the same problem is also with vans! do you know how the new eco fuel E10 affects you and your van? http://www.myvan.com/2011/03/16/10-percent-ethanol-in-petrol/

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