Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

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Tiger110
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Tiger110 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:01 pm

I've dropped the carb needle two notches hoping that this will reduce the amount of petrol going into the engine and possibly prevent flooding! Amal informed me that the air screw needs to be turned anti-clockwise to weaken the mixture and clockwise to richen it. Trial and error and LOTS of patience, the latter I'm running out of!

Triton Thrasher
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Triton Thrasher » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:09 pm

Moving the throttle needle is not connected with flooding. It's for mixture while running at over 1/4 throttle, up to 3/4.

If the bike runs well on the road, do not drop the needle, or you seriously risk seizure.

Flooding while trying to start can only be caused by you tickling too much or using too much choke.

You should probably have read the manual before phoning Amal.

Looper
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Looper » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:06 pm

In my experience every bike has it's own special starting routine. Some love it when you keep throwing fuel at it, others flood at the drop of a hat. Some will need a bit of throttle, others need the throttle closed. There are lots of things to try before you find what a bike wants. Could be there's nothing wrong with your bike, just that you're not getting the right combination. Or it could be the condenser, or a long list of other things. Check valve clearances, point and plug gaps ect. Then maybe start replacing ignition parts, HT lead, plug, points, condenser and so on. Fuel shouldn't have a huge effect if everything is working as it should.

DAVE M2
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by DAVE M2 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:44 am

my car won't run properly unless on shell vv power or equivalent, and i tend to shift fuel from the bike to the car, then refill a can and top up the car with fresh V [power.

so i run all my bikes on V power or super unleaded. On a bike, it is hardly a massive cost

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SMIFFY R
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by SMIFFY R » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:28 pm

Just looking at your original post and it's very similar to one last year,after a thread lasting 11 pages with all kinds of advice given it turned out it was a faulty condenser that was the problem!..if you've checked timing,plugs connections etc. maybe the condendser could be the culprit. :o
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Pete R
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Pete R » Fri May 01, 2015 10:57 am

SMIFFY R wrote: If you've checked timing,plugs connections etc. maybe the condensor could be the culprit.
I suggested that 2 days ago, and an easy test to check it. I'm just a Pete, so it gets ignored.

Triton Thrasher
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Triton Thrasher » Fri May 01, 2015 1:25 pm

Pete R wrote:
SMIFFY R wrote: If you've checked timing,plugs connections etc. maybe the condensor could be the culprit.
I suggested that 2 days ago, and an easy test to check it. I'm just a Pete, so it gets ignored.
You forgot Rule 1.

Tell people what they want to hear.

Pete R
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Pete R » Fri May 01, 2015 11:57 pm

Triton Thrasher wrote: You forgot Rule 1.

Tell people what they want to hear.
Yes, 5% ethanol will lean the mixture by 2%. Who would notice?

Coxy
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by Coxy » Wed May 06, 2015 10:11 pm

At a place of previous employ we sold Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha Bikes and Quads as well as Honda Power equipment, What stood out was the Technical bulletins from the Honda Power Equipment side of things.

Now with both Cars and bikes there was no mention of this, But with the Honda Power Equipment side of things there was a TSB on the Shelf life of Unleaded Fuels, Note just normal unleaded fuels not ethanol mixed fuels,Well the place was in the NSW Southern Highlands so we sold lots of Quads and Honda Engines that powered Fire Fighting Pumps so reliable starting was a necessity with the later especially.

Now we had a lot of customers known in NSW as "Pitt Street Farmers" these were basically Rich Sydneysiders who had a farm just a couple of hours from Sydney and came down every couple of months or so and often they would turn up complaining they had just had their Bikes or Quads serviced last time they were down and now it would not start.
The first thing I would do was drain some fuel from the Carburettor and then attempt to set it alight on the Cement Forecourt with a Cigarette lighter, When it failed to ignite with a naked flame I would then point out do you expect that to start your engine then give them the service bulletin from Honda's Power product division where they went into the Shelf life of unleaded fuels.

The shelf life of unleaded fuels can be as little as two weeks, Basically when removing the lead content to boost the octane rating they added highly volatile aromatics that evaporate out of the fuel leaving something more akin to Turpentine as far as it's suitability goes for a Motor Fuel, Remember the whole fuel system on a bike is vented to atmosphere so these aromatics soon flash off leaving a very poor quality fuel and it goes off quicker in the carburettor than the tank due to the smaller volume of fuel, Sometimes just draining the carburettor to allow fresher fuel from the tank to fill the float bowl would work other times the carburettor would need an Ultrasonic clean as the Unleaded fuels left a gummy varnish buildup.

With the Power products engines the jet sizes were so small it would totally block them and sometimes be impossible to clean out requiring a new carburettor hence the feedback Honda got was the reason for their investigations and the subsequent Service Bulletin, There was never an equivalent for either Cars or Bikes because manufacturers assume these are used daily and hence always have fresh fuel added keeping the Fuel Volatile enough to start the engine, However in the Northern States of the USA where Bikes can be in storage for half the year Yamaha among others sold a Fuel Stabiliser to extend the shelf life of Unleaded fuels with the Yamaha product giving treatment of 96 Litres of fuel to stabilise it for up to twelve months from 16 Fluid ounce (US) bottles so it was quite economical.

I would get the bike Genset or pump motor or quad running and then sell the customer a Bottle of fuel stabiliser and usually next time I saw them they bought even more bottles of the stuff having decided other Engines such as Lawn Mowers etc they had needed the same treatment.

So the problem sounds like exactly the same issues we have here with Unleaded fuels let alone Ethanol mixes, The problems are the additives used in Unleaded fuels have been changing as Authorities go ever more green and new problems such as this are cropping up, The only real solution for long fuel life was Fuel using Lead based octane boosting.

As an example of shelf life of Leaded fuels about twenty odd years ago a group of WW2 Aviation enthusiasts got wind that during the WW2 campaign in the Aleutian Islands running between Alaska and the Japanese archipeligo a number of Curtiss P 40 Fighters were abandoned, after a few weeks work they actually flew these aircraft back to the mainland, with the chemist they took with them testing the Fuel and Oils left in the Aircraft since WW2 and after checking for water in the Fuel one of the Aircraft was test flown on WW2 vintage fuel with no issues whatsoever then flown to another of the Islands where they had a modern Airstrip and refuelled and flown back to the mainland.

Unleaded Fuels are the problem not just Ethanol mixes which have gained notoriety because of how it attacks tank Liners and Fibreglass fuel tanks, Try some Fuel stabiliser it actually does work and the problem in this area is obviously growing, Why I say this is that when this happened some Six years back only Yamaha had a fuel stabiliser available in Australia, Now there are at least four brands available so Commerce has sniffed out a new market where they can make money due to a demand not previously known.

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hondapartsman
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Re: Does ethanol in petrol make it harder to start bike

Unread post by hondapartsman » Thu May 07, 2015 8:29 am

So the answer is probably yes then, if fuel is stored a while. The superdream I still have a mums has old fuel in it, I'm not sure when I last drained a jug full from my RS and mixed with it but it'd be a while. I always turn the tap to off and run the system dry, so when in starts some fresh fuel is in the carbs, it takes a while to get going but will and then pops and bangs a bit but is okay. I had the same problem with my Ascot and CL after they stood a few months. But my wife's MP3 started first time and ran fine. Maybe fuel injection makes a difference there.
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