ethanol question

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windmill
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Re: ethanol question

Post by windmill » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:14 pm

jvan1954 wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:08 am
Truth is not a flexible thing guys, only your interpretation can be flexible. Chemistry is an exact science(at least it used to be) I've come to the conclusion that there is no concise answer to my question, but I do thank you all for your input
That ethanol reduces mileage, and exhaust emissions is hard science. Beyond that its all open to interpretation.

My interpretation is that it is neither as good, or bad as claimed.......but it is what it is, I don't feel it's something to worry about, and I'm comfortable with the fact I don't have all the answers.

:)
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Re: ethanol question

Post by Pterodactyl » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:54 pm

I graduated with a minor in chemistry. As impressive as that might sound, I should note that the Periodic Table had only 8 elements when I was in school. We also spent much of our time in Alchemy lab searching for the Elixir of Immortality and converting lead into gold. So, all that expensive education leads me to believe that ethanol in Scotch = Good; ethanol in gasoline = Not So Good. Now, what are your questions?
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Re: ethanol question

Post by Who's Ur Grandaddy ? » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:09 am

Pterodactyl wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:54 pm
I graduated with a minor in chemistry. As impressive as that might sound, I should note that the Periodic Table had only 8 elements when I was in school. We also spent much of our time in Alchemy lab searching for the Elixir of Immortality and converting lead into gold. So, all that expensive education leads me to believe that ethanol in Scotch = Good; ethanol in gasoline = Not So Good. Now, what are your questions?
What brand of oil are you using in your non-ethanol two stroke Gas ?
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Re: ethanol question

Post by :FI:Igor » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:22 am

Windmill, your figures are correct. I erroneously calculated a 6% percent reduction a few years ago when I'd fuel my Harley. The Harley backed up my calculation, after reviewing my Ural logs I see that it's now closer to 4%. Yes, I keep a log of most PM's and maintenance on my machine (too many years in the Air Force and FAA). I think the bottom line of this tread is "we're pretty much stuck with ethanol blend fuel, learn to live with it." A very sick reverse philosophy, alcohol is for drinking and gasoline is for riding and don't mix the two (play on words "'don't drink and drive!" )
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Re: ethanol question

Post by Lee Pape » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:47 pm

:FI:Igor wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:22 am
Windmill, your figures are correct. I erroneously calculated a 6% percent reduction a few years ago when I'd fuel my Harley. The Harley backed up my calculation, after reviewing my Ural logs I see that it's now closer to 4%. Yes, I keep a log of most PM's and maintenance on my machine (too many years in the Air Force and FAA). I think the bottom line of this tread is "we're pretty much stuck with ethanol blend fuel, learn to live with it." A very sick reverse philosophy, alcohol is for drinking and gasoline is for riding and don't mix the two (play on words "'don't drink and drive!" )
And wind is for flying kites and not making electricity. They are running into trouble on how to dispose of the used blades when they upgrade the old ones.
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Re: ethanol question

Post by rivers » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:17 pm

:FI:Igor wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:22 am
I think the bottom line of this tread is "we're pretty much stuck with ethanol blend fuel, learn to live with it."
+1
Igor pretty much sums it up. Regardless of politics, economics etc. E10 is here to stay. I'm lucky real gas is avail near me so I avoid government gas like the plague. Only real issues I've had with E10 are bad results from storing it. Even treating it with a fuel stabilizer is a short term solution. If not stored in gas cans, gas tanks and worse...in carbs, I haven't had any problems "running it" if fresh.
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Re: ethanol question

Post by BinDerSmokDat » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:05 pm

So in 33 years of riding motorcycles, off-roading vehicles and street cars and trucks I've never had any vehicle fuel issues, let alone any related to ethanol.
In fact my Rocket hasn't been started in almost a year and it likely has gas in it approaching 3 years old. I just started it fine yesterday when I moved it in the garage.
The snow blower has gas from the summer lawn mower can in it, no Stabil or additives.
At this rate with no major snowfall, I'll likely drain the tank in a month or so and put it in the Ural.

I have had old gas sit in two-stroke yard equipment (both before ethanol and E10) that gummed things up.
Never needed more than emptying the tank, adding fresh gas and flushing/flooding it with the primer plunger to get them started.

Keep in mind that E10 is labeled that but it frequently has between 6% and 10% ethanol.
6% is the federally mandated minimum and is what refineries add when ethanol is pricier than gas.
E15 has between 10.5-15% ethanol for the same reason.

Since ethanol has an energy content of about 33% less than gasoline, and it's theoretically 10% of E10, your mileage should drop about 3.3 percent.
In other words if you are getting 30mpg on straight gasoline, you'll get 29mpg.
If your gasoline is E10 but only has the mandated 6% ethanol, it will be 29.4mpg.

I call bullshit on a 10% drop in mileage.
Unless you are keeping very detailed records of mileage and usage over long periods of time, driving thousands of miles with only E10 and then under the same exact conditions thousands of miles with only pure gasoline, any perceived change in mileage and performance is more likely experimenter bias.
Tire pressure, air temp, elevation and your grip on the throttle has the potential to affect the mileage more than the gas.

EPA and auto industry testing, under more rigorous conditions (set courses, operating and air temp monitoring, OBD fuel metering and recording) than "I keep track" has been more in line with the 3% difference.
10% is a nice round number that people like to use, and I hear it quoted all the time when ethanol is discussed but there is no proposed mechanism that explains why it would be so much less.

Some car ignition systems can change timing and ignition to prevent detonation based on fuel octane content, but that isn't in a Ural, whether carbureted or any existing FI system.
But wait! Straight ethanol has a HIGHER octane rating than straight gasoline hence E10 should reduce knocking slightly more than straight gas and allow operating at more aggressive ignition settings.

Lastly, I seem to see a pattern in anti-ethanol bias from a particular group of riders.
It seems people that live in the PNW, park outside regularly, ride a lot in the rain or let bike sit long periods seem to have more "ethanol issues."
I suspect that there is more water ingestion either at the air box or gas tank cap than from ethanol.

Garage kept bikes that get ridden and fueled regularly seem to have fewer issues.

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Re: ethanol question

Post by RC20 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:26 pm

My experience mirrors yours. But before you start calling BS on people reporting Ethanol related loss in MPG, keep a few things in mind.

First there is an amazing variability to any engine and its injection of gasoline. I got a 5.8 1 ton, long bed extended cab Pickup that got better fuel mileage than an identical Bronco with the same 5.8 and trany in it. 1500 lbs difference and the pickup did better. Same engine combo and trany and the guy I knew got worse like 8 mpg out of an F-150 than the Bronco. You could spend a few million figuring it out but the data was all good and consistent. He tried all sorts of add ons, never got it any better. The pickup clearly was the high variable luck of the draw, the Bronco was probably the Norm and his pickup was the low one on the totem pole (worst)

When one guy says he sees no affect and another one says he sees significant (and both take good data) you are seeing variably of how the FI and the Engine combination work individually. One does not care and the other is affected by ethanol. What you can't measure is the variability in the FI system and its engine cohort. You are assuming its identical and my experience and data says its not.

My job was technician/engineer. I know how to take data, I know the variability involved. I don't jump to conclusions

Prior to hitting Washington state with its Ethanol, I was running 37 mpg, tank in, tank out, steady on mountains or not, cooler temps (down there 70 was cool) or hotter (90+) . The variation was 2 mpg. I saw a 36, I saw 38 and the usual was 37. I was quite tickled as that was what was advertised and often that is not true.

First tank in Washington State and it hits 33 mpg. Hmmm, Ok, The TE (technician engineer) kicks in, I was going though a series of mountain passes, maybe more than previous though I had been through two similar, its possible the profile of climb and decent was different.

So, the fuel up is on the flats, no wind, steady driving at 60 mph , and next fuel up is 33 mpg. Same thing again next fill up, a bit lower speeds, country trip, little town traffic, 33 mpg.

So, heading to the ferry no fuel stations on the way, down 2/3, no big deal, I can fill up in Haines. Did so, 38 mpg despite going from sea level to 2500 feet. Then 40 mpg, then 38. What changed, Ethanol was diluted in Haines enough to factor it out.

I ran 37 mpg average until winter hit, then dropped to 33 again (and last was 30 mpb). Ok, what changed, AK shifts to a winter fuel with Ethanol in it.

So, don't tell me I have not taken my data or there were variables in it that changed that, enough runs under virtually identical conditions with significant different results that only change was introduction of Ethanol. . Flat easy cruising I get 37 mpg average, sometimes a bit better, throw in Ethanol ? 33.
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Re: ethanol question

Post by codemonkey001 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:41 pm

Who's Ur Grandaddy ? wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:09 am
What brand of oil are you using in your non-ethanol two stroke Gas ?
You joke about two stroke gas. A while back I was at a store in my old hometown and they were selling shrinkwrapped just-under-a-gallon cans of 4 cycle fuel.

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Re: ethanol question

Post by windmill » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:08 pm

BinDerSmokDat wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:05 pm
Lastly, I seem to see a pattern in anti-ethanol bias from a particular group of riders.
It seems people that live in the PNW, park outside regularly, ride a lot in the rain or let bike sit long periods seem to have more "ethanol issues."
I suspect that there is more water ingestion either at the air box or gas tank cap than from ethanol.

Garage kept bikes that get ridden and fueled regularly seem to have fewer issues.
It seems not everyone in the PNW has the same anecdotes.

I ride my M70 almost every day, and park my rig outside in all weather 10 to 12 hours a day, and have never had an issue using E10 fuel under such conditions.

My Patrol sits outside full time under a tarp and doesn't get started for many months at a time, It can be very hard if not impossible to start on aged E10 unless I drain it, and put fresh fuel.

My 1948 Earthmaster and 1950 David Bradley Tractors sit outside year round, and sometimes sit 6 months or more without running, yet always start with little effort on aged E10, but they start and run noticeably smoother with fresh fuel.

I've run non ethanol in my Urals out of curiosity and never got more than a 3% to %4 increase in mileage, and never noticed any difference in performance. (based on many weeks of running it on the same route of my daily commute, rather than a couple of fill ups on a constantly changing route.)

I'll concede the potential long term storage issue under challenging conditions, but other than that I question the claims of 10%+ differences in mileage, or performance issues.
Barry

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Re: ethanol question

Post by Desantnik-VDV » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:54 pm

codemonkey001 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:41 pm
Who's Ur Grandaddy ? wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:09 am
What brand of oil are you using in your non-ethanol two stroke Gas ?
You joke about two stroke gas. A while back I was at a store in my old hometown and they were selling shrinkwrapped just-under-a-gallon cans of 4 cycle fuel.

Image

I've noticed cans like that at the Home Depot a week ago for $19.99 I believe :D

Now let's talk about E85 :lol:
They say it give more power.
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Re: ethanol question

Post by RC20 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:53 pm

I question the claims of 10%+ differences in mileage, or performance issues.
Question all you want, you are attempting to take your single data point and then insist it applies to all machines.

Clearly it does not. Other sober and factual individuals have reported otherwise. I met one of them. No BS. If he says his machine is affected he has taken the data as well. What the breakdown is I have not a clue.

I damned well know how to take data and note operating conditions that are going to push it one way or the other (per the mountain pass despite having gone through two other similar mountain passes but noting they are not identical and climb/decent profile can be different) . Put that in a maybe. All donwstram data said no, MPG had dropped by at least 4.

You sound like the National Weather Service in Anchorage. For many years people reported temps well below -30 in the city and the NWS said it was impossible.

One of their employees decided that people don't BS about the temperatures and the reports were from accurate thermometers.

So he "borrowed" a certified thermometer and on his own time ran temp lines around the city.

He in fact found that -40 or lower was true.

We now have a science center at the coldest spot in Anchorage.

https://www.weather.gov/afc/alaskaObs
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Re: ethanol question

Post by RC20 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:54 pm

codemonkey001 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:41 pm
Who's Ur Grandaddy ? wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:09 am
What brand of oil are you using in your non-ethanol two stroke Gas ?
You joke about two stroke gas. A while back I was at a store in my old hometown and they were selling shrinkwrapped just-under-a-gallon cans of 4 cycle fuel.

Image
You know they sell bottles of water in containers in the store as well?
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
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Re: ethanol question

Post by windmill » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:25 pm

RC20 wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:53 pm
I question the claims of 10%+ differences in mileage, or performance issues.
Question all you want, you are attempting to take your single data point and then insist it applies to all machines.

Clearly it does not. Other sober and factual individuals have reported otherwise. I met one of them. No BS. If he says his machine is affected he has taken the data as well. What the breakdown is I have not a clue.

I damned well know how to take data and note operating conditions that are going to push it one way or the other (per the mountain pass despite having gone through two other similar mountain passes but noting they are not identical and climb/decent profile can be different) . Put that in a maybe. All donwstram data said no, MPG had dropped by at least 4.
The only way an exact result can be obtained is when every possible parameter is exactly the same. When a manufacturer gets their EPA certification, the test vehicle must complete 10,000 miles on a closed course within a certain time period. before its considered conclusive.

Which is closer to that ideal?
A couple of fill ups from different sources, on a single A to B route over various terrain and conditions.
Many fill ups from the same source, with dozens of repetitions of the same 16 mile route.

The difference between the 2 will certainly produce different results, and the greater the inconsistency, the greater the variation will be. Even in my highly repetitive situation, I got a wide range of results, therefore my results are an average, rather than individual results.

I typically put little faith in anecdotal results including my own, unless they are in line with well established and recognized standards backed by hard science. I don't question your results, I got from 32 to 39 MPG on non ethanol (22% variation), I just question your conclusion there's a 10% difference between E10 and non ethanol alone.
Barry

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".

2007 Patrol 100k km and counting,
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RC20
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Re: ethanol question

Post by RC20 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:17 pm

When the only real world variable under multiple test conditions including ideal back country 55 mph with no wind returns a consistent result, then yes I look seriously hard at Ethanol.

When even harder test (climbing and no corresponding descending) and non ethanol results in a return to the previous norm, that virtually confirms it.

When subsequent runs in as close to identical no wind conditions that exist maintains the 37 mpg and then the introduction of winter fuel with Ethanol reverts to 33 mpg, that is becomes concrete for a certainty.

Frankly your claim to adhere to science its highly puzzling. Auto mfgs ensure that they come in significantly below emissions because they know there is a variance in components that can stack to an occasional vehicle pushing the limits.

The aspect with the most effort is emissions, mpg is not the legal issue and as important to the mfg, the financially issue that mpg is.
Just ask VW how emissions cheating worked out. But we got great mpg! Right, pay the Judge.

And personally I have seen too many instances where the engineers could come up with not only no explanation , but would come up with compelty implausible ones.

Your basis of assumption is that the only variable that counts is Ethanol and its energy content when in fact its how individual entire machine (FI and the engine) respond to Ethanol . Clearly some are significantly affected and others not.

If there was anything unexpected, was how constant regardless of other variable the Ural was to MPG with a very low variably. The only time I saw it affected was severe headwinds.

Your very claim to scientific in fact is not. Real world trumps assumptions at all times. That is why you have to test.

The bottom line is if your 2019 (and reported on 2018) does not have the mpg expected, then trying non ethanol might bring it up. It may or may not be worth the trouble if finding or getting non ethanol.

You may or may not find it is ethanol and its a variability in the FI/Engine.

Tell me I don't know how to take data or assess something like this and I call BS on you.
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Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
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