What do Gasoline Additives do to a Motorcycle

Gasoline additives harmful to your motorcycle Gasoline additives seems to be an increasing popular subject among motorcycle restorers, builders, and racers.  With the state of the current gasoline blends it is actually scary the amount of additives like alcohol, anti-knock additives, detergents, ethanol, dye, and oxygenated blending are just some of the contents besides gasoline in your motorcycles gas tank.  What do all these additives do to a motorcycle engine?

I spoke with a couple motorcycle builder while in Arizona.  This builder restores 70′s Japanese motorcycles.  He told me that over half the work that comes in his front door is related to current state of gasoline.  He went on to tell me that the gasoline that currently comes out of the pumps corrodes the inside of gas tanks much quicker, clogs carburators all the time, and gasoline goes bad in a much shorter amount of time.  He’s not complaining as he has a line to get into his service department.

What should you do to avoid an extra trip to your motorcycle’s service department?

  1. If you plan on letting you motorcycle sit for over a month it is recommended to run the gas out of your tank and run the engine dry from gasoline.  If possible turn the gas off on you fuel tank or ride your motorcycle until empty.  Then turn the gas off on your tank and run your motorcycle until it runs out of gas.
  2. Ensure you always put the recommended minimum octane gasoline into your motorcycle.  Some manufactures will void your warranty if they prove other lower than required octane gasoline was used.
  3. Get gas from reputable gasoline stations.  It has been proven that some gasoline stations water down their gasoline with ethanol to create more.  This can be really harmful to engines.  If you search google for ethanol testers you can find a quick portable tester to test your gasoline.  You should not have more than 10% ethanol in your gasoline.
  4. Gasoline additives you often see at gasoline stations advertise the perfect solution to cleaning fuel injectors, purging your fuel systems, etc.  Do your homework on what you are buying as not all of these fuel additives actually do anything let alone increase performance.

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