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Discussion Starter #1
Hello:

Is it ok to use gasoline "spiked" with ethanol on the Monster bikes? One of the local gas stations' gas contains ethanol. Thanks.

Coqui.
 

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No one else seems to have a comment, so I'll offer what very little I know. I remember back when the "gasohol" blends were first marketed, there were some instances of the ethanol or alcohol causing premature failure of rubber fuel system parts (hoses, gaskets, etc.). I think later fuel systems use materials more tolerant of alcohols - but I wouldn't bet my Ducati on it. I would try to get some factory info, rather than ask a dealer who might just tell you whatever they believe. If you can't find the info in any owners manuals, maybe email or write Ducati NA or the factory in Bologna.
 

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why would one even consider using cheap $hit blended fuels in a monster, when there is perfectly good fuel in the adjacent bouser?

Ethanol is a "Packer" to make the fuel Cheaper , it's like putting flour in Glue in a plywood factory, it cuts the costs as it makes the glue go further.

I wouldn't even consider it.

Put it in your cage or the company car only, not the monster!
 

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Interesting how a "packer" increases octane ratings, isn't it?

I've used ethanol gas across the Midwest, doing maybe three or four thousand miles with it in the VFR with no noticable effects. It often ends up making higher octane gas sell at a price lower than regular, and that keeps the bike from pinging in the very hot sections (rolling out after a hot stop), so that's a benefit.

I have no idea if it would hurt anything specifically in a Ducati, but won't hesitate to use it if it's available and cheap.

Oh, it does reduce mileage some, just like any other higher octane fuel. But it also keeps water from puddling in the tank, if you're in a place where that could be a problem.

-Don
 
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When you live in a northern climate, you really don't have a choice in the matter. The distributon supplys the stations with the winter, ethanol blend.
I was always under the impression that the ethanol was mixed in to displace water. Water won't mix with gasoline, but it will mix with ethanol, which then mixes with the gas, which burns in the engine. Kinda crafty, if you asked me.

I'd still rather run Cam2! smells better!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Ethanol fuel

Hello:

Thanks for the input. I often don't have much of a choice in terms of gas available. Many if not all of the gas stations around add ethanol to the gasoline and other chemicals to minimize pollution. Not sure I believe it.

Coqui.
 

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Yea OK Don, it might have some benifits, but Why is there soo much hoo haa about the quality of the fuel, even in australia it a big issue, the Govt. have allowed only 10 ethanol fuels to be sold commercially.

Why is this?

Also the effect on different materials along the system from the tank to the carbs, as in one of the previous posts, seems to be a grey area.

My reasoning is, why use something that designed as the "economical" alternative when perfectly good "prooven" fuels are available. (not that we have a choice where i live, but that's why i make my own brew)

My Duc is special to me & I only give it the best!

And i'm gonna say it................ hang the consequences........................"Hi-Octane Rules"!!

($hit, this'll cause a ruckus!!!)
 

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In Colorado we don't have a choice either. It makes me wonder if those plug fouling issues that have cropped up now and again on this board have anything to do with it. I did stop at a station the other day that had a seperate 'Race Fuel' 100 octane tank over by the air compressor. I've never seen one of these before. Is anyone familiar with or used them?
 

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I'm not an advocate of ethanol. Couldn't care less, actually. Mostly in the US it's a push in Congress by the farm states in order to sell more produce.

MBTE (currently required in California but being replaced by ethanol mixes) also reduces gas mileage, but without raising octane. I figure ethanol is a step up as far as that goes. The increase in octane it produces should make the "Octane Rules!" crowd happy, and if it does on the off chance hurt rubber bits, I'll replace them when necessary.

My main objection to ethanol is that it noticably reduces the range of a tank of gas. On the Monster I'd guess something like 5 miles. Maybe important, maybe not. It's a minor thing.

-Don
 
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Mostly in the US it's a push in Congress by the farm states in order to sell more produce.
I'd run pure wheat grass juice if it would end the dependence on non-renewable fuels. :mad: Ok, I've shown all of you my "green nature" side - but that's only because we've gotten to that comfortable level in our relationship!

Peace, Love and Flowers! ;)

jb
 

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When I bought my bike my dealer told me to avoid fuels with any alcohol in it. They said Ducati STILL uses rubber seals that are not alcohol resistent. Now they could be full of $h1t or they may be right. The bike is a 2001 750 (carb).
 

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The ethanol debate is raging here in Australia. A local mag "Australian Road Rider" vol. 24 had a great article about the facts of ethanol production and use.

1) Ethanol is produced mainly from corn in the US. It takes 131000 BTU's (energy units) to make a gallon of ethanol, but that gallon has only 77000 BTU's of energy, i.e. growers and producers can't afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol.

2) Corn production in the US erodes the soil 12 time faster than the soil can be reformed, and irrigating corn draws ground water 25 times faster than the natural recharge.

3) the only reason it is economical to produce ethanol in the US is the government subsidy, a concept that the Australian government is struggling with at the moment.

3) if all cars in the US were fuelled purely with ethanol, a total of 97% of the US land area would be needed for corn production, there would be nothing left but corn fields and roads.

4) it is electrically conductive, promoting corrosion of many metals, it reacts with and weakens polymers and plastics.

5) when in petrol, it increases the solubility of petrol constituents in water, esp. the more hazardous compounds such as benzene. Good if the fuel stays in your tank, but once spilt, the fuel mixture has the ability to spread more widely, the area of a fuel spill (ethanol mix complete with benzene and related compounds) can be twice as large as a 'normal' fuel spill.

6) once spilt thou, ethanol has a half life of only six hours once in the ground (not so for the other chemicals).


Food for thought.
 

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It's been a long time since I used ethenal laced fuels, but I remember that they tended to clean everthing in the fuel system, clogging the filter at first. I still add rubbing alcohol sometimes to absorb any water in the tank.
To the high octane freaks - you want to run the lowest octane that your engine will tolerate. If you have a stock Monster, that means 87 regular. Use of higher than required fuel leads to too cold of a burn & lots of deposit on pistons, valves, etc.
 

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A local mag "Australian Road Rider" vol. 24 had a great article about the facts of ethanol production and use.
131,000 BTU... ahh, the taint of Pimintel.

I just got off a long thread on this, so I won't get too technical, but it looks like your article is a cut-and-paste job.

-The negative energy balance claim (takes more energy to produce ethanol than you get out of it) comes from David Pimintel, a retired professor. His writing has been discredited by several authorities worldwide- several US government agencies and research groups, an Australian research group, and the Canadian ministry of agriculture. Note that the Canadian ministry is not biased, since Canada is a corn importer, and a Canadian ethanol industry would swell corn imports to many millions of tonnes per year.

Personally, I admit ethanol from corn had a negative energy balance back in 1980, when Pimintel was in his prime. But the farming and ethanol industries have come a long way in twenty years, like, oh, every other industry. Pimintel even lowered his 131,000 figure recently, though as a professor emeritus he has absolutely no desire to contradict his life's work.

As far as Australia is concerned, ethanol is made from both corn and sugarcane. If the corn still has a negative energy balance, the sugarcane can easily compensate.

-Ethanol facilities don't burn ethanol to make ethanol because they shouldn't, not because it violates physics. Ethanol is a motor fuel, because it's dense and high-octane. Ethanol facilities use natural gas or coal because these are not motor fuels, they're boiler fuels. They are difficult to use in vehicles, and should be saved for large, stationary plants, or at least buses. I can explain this better if anyone needs me to.

-The reason subsidies are required to produce ethanol in the US is because petroleum is subsidized. The US oil companies get billions of dollars in direct tax relief, plus indirect support. This keeps the US prices low. (US$1.48 a gallon last I checked.) Australian companies don't get this, so Australian gas is much more expensive. I imagine you're paying closer to US$1.48 a liter. Hence Australian ethanol can compete without running subsidies.

-Ethanol is corrosive to some fuel systems because gasoline allows lazy design. From its inception in 1908, Henry Ford designed the Model T to be a flex-fuel vehicle- you could switch from pure ethanol to pure gasoline in mid-tank. This is because he picked the right materials in the fuel system. So did the Indianapolis 500 teams, which ran straight ethanol from the race's inception until the late '60s. Then they specc'ed their fuel systems to handle methanol, which is way more corrosive.

Millions of flex-fuel vehicles- mostly Fords, some GMs- are driving around the US with fuel systems that can take E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). It's a no-cost feature; it's even standard on some vehicle/engine combinations. All late-model domestics, and most imports, can easily handle E10, the maximum concentration you'll find at a "standard" pump. This is because they also have to handle MTBE, which isn't that nice either, and goes up to 15% without a disclaimer. The fact that Ducati hasn't specc'ed a modern fuel system is because they haven't done their homework, not because it's some radical new technology. The Model T would run E10 without adjustment.

-Straight ethanol would have higher octane; 99 MON, and over 110 RON. Most people fudge it to 103 pump octane to be on the safe side. E85 is 99 octane. Any difference with E10 is negligible; many refineries lower the octane of the 90% gasoline to compensate, a practice called "sub-octane blending." They do it because [drum roll...] it's cheaper.

The flex-fuel vehicles (at least, in the US) have compensation maps. A sensor tells the computer how much ethanol is in the blend. The computer then adjusts spark timing based on the higher octane, and drivers notice more power. Our Ducatis don't have fuel sensors, or even antiknock sensors, so no amount of octane will shift the engine maps. On paper, ethanol engines run cooler, but the Monster temperature sensor is behind the headlight (at least, mine is) where it can't pick up any difference.

-Mileage loss of E10 is 2-3%, if the computer doesn't adjust. Enough to detect in a controlled experiment, not enough to detect on the street. My odometer isn't even close to 3% accurate.

I could go on. Upshot: ethanol is no better or worse than gasoline, just different. Ideally we would retune depending on what's in the pump, but we (Ducatisti) can't. If I had bought my Ford pickup one year later, it would retune itself without even notifying me.
Rene Carlos
 
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