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Oh No! - Not another question about ethanol?

Does anyone know what is the latest situation with ethanol? Rightly or wrongly I have been buying BP Ultimate that I understood to be ethanol free. I think that this is changing from April, so does anyone know if there a definitive statement as towhether any of the major oil companies will be providing ethanol free petrol?

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Bob, first of all Murco Super where supplied from their own refinery will remain E0. I suggest you talk to Chris Blake to find out where your nearest E0 Murcostation is. Mine is Beverley, East Yorkshire.

I'll be writing to BP very soon. Currently Ultimate is E0 except in the SW.

The problem with the standard reply is that BP will cite the government targets and renewable fuels obligation and say that the specification for Ultimate allows for 5% Ethanol. In other words the fuel can be contaminated without notice or warning. Blame our politicians for that.

Last time I bought Ultimate, the Manageress at the BP garage said I was the third person to ask about Ethanol that day. Keep asking!

If the customer is always right then BP will leave Ultimate E0.

Any update will be on 'Neil's Norton Notes' (Home page) via Google

The April fuel warning came from the Editor of 'Enjoying MG' last Month. Roch Bentley is also a Motorcyclist.

Just in case, I have filled all my tanks. If you haven't already we really do need to lobby our MP's. I believe only UKIP will rid us of these Green dreams!

4* leaded @ BS 40/40 will be E0 but not much about now.

The standard for E0 unleaded is BS 70/70 while 5% Ethanol is EN228. If you see any E10 it will come with a warning notice!

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Bob, further to my message above I can tell you that there is resistance to the whole bio fuel scam. However, the GreenLibLabCon are determined to meet their Ed Miliband targets of 20% renewables by 2020. (Currently around 5%) Even today it was announced to fill the Humber estuary with Windmills. Just remember that your Norton doesn't matter to these politicians who only care about their targets.

Please see below a recent article that may give us some hope but somehow I doubt it... The Green machine is like a Norton going down hill with no brakes! (Bit like my 16H)

'The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make âgreenâ biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, The Telegraph can disclose. A leaked draft of a UN report condemns the widespread use of biofuels made from crops as a replacement for petrol and diesel. It says that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse. The draft report represents a dramatic about-turn for the UNâs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Its previous assessment on climate change, in 2007, was widely condemned by environmentalists for giving the green light to large-scale biofuel production. The latest report instead puts pressure on world leaders to scrap policies promoting the use of biofuel for transport.' --Robert Mendick, The Sunday Telegraph, 23 March 2014

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Following a discussion at Shenstone branch last nightour Branch sec (Alan) set me on the track of Specification sheets for fuels and lo and behold a search came up with a spec sheet for BP ultimate. Unfortunately it is Australian and dated 2008 http://www.tds.bp.com.au/pdf%5C5556_M98ULv2.pdf as you will see it does specify 0% ethanol. Does anyone have any ideas how to access a currentversion and for the UK? It is a bit irritating that this sort of information is made readily available for some countries and not for others. Another example of this is tyre pressures, try as I may I can't find recommended tyre pressures for Avon tyres for our type of machines and yet not only are they made specifically for classics but quite annoyingly they do give tire pressure information on their USA website. If you aren't aware "modern" classic tyres require higher pressures than the original Norton handbooks recommend.

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Tomorrow morning I am heading from Cornwall; where all petrol apparently contains ethanol; through Devon, Dorset, and Hampshire to West Sussex, by car, and will be taking some jerry cans with me, in the hope that I can find some ethanol-free s/unleaded, from either BP or Murco sites. This is not the purpose of the journey, but while I am there etc... On Monday I emailed BP and Murco, asking them for lists of their sites which supply ethanol-free petrol, but no reply.

Does anyone know which counties do supply such fuel, and how to identify it from the pumps?Would it state E0 on the pumps?

Ian

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Ian, that's what I do. Take a can or two with me when passing BP Ultimate. I have just written to the BP CEO, asking him to save our E0 Ultimate. (Good for business) I am surprised Chris Blake of Murcohas not come back to you, he is spot on as a rule but BP can take a week via their Ultimate site. I expect they will be busy at the moment with worried riders and drivers.

The problem is that Ultimate always told me that this fuel is E0 (Except in the SW) but that the specification allows for 5% Ethanol.

Further, there are no markings on BP pumps, although if E10 ever came here there would have to be a warning notice on the pump.

EN228 is the standard for 5% Ethanol. That may be kept for E10 too. Not like the old BS standards when you knew what you were putting in your tank.

The situation here is a real dogs dinner, just like our light bulbs. I was in the USA just over a year ago and there is plenty of E0 gas over there, those people have a choice. A Norton rider down under confirmed BP Ultimate as E0. A testing kit may be a good idea.

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You need to be careful about carrying excessive amounts of "canned " petrol in your car from a legal and insurance point of view. When I was a serviceman in Germany benefitting from heavily subsidised fuel, it was common to see squaddies coming home on leave in their cars with 4 or five jerrycans of petrol in the boot. Not a good idea IMHO I seem to recall there was a regulation in Germany that 10litres was the max but don't quote me on that or whether that applies in UK.

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Just done a bit of a seach and comeup with the following. Storing fuel at home ie within 6 metres of your house, 2 x 10 litre suitable metal containers and 2 X 5 litre suitable plastic containers. In your car depends on the opinion of the policeman who finds it there and whether he considers it a dangerous load. This doesn't effect what you have in your car petrol tank. A standard jerrycan is 20 litres so move it down to the bottom of your garden, (along with your calor gas cylinder from your caravan and BBQ) Makes good sense really.

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Good point re storage, although, as you say, once it is poured into the tanks of our p&j's, it no longer applies.

As I still have had no reply to my emails from either BP or Murco, whilst away I called into some Murco and BP sites in Hampshire and Sussex, and of course, no BS numbers or any other info on the pumps. Asking the attendants drew a blank, apart from, when I asked a BP attendant near Bournemouth where his deliveries come from, he said Plymouth; definitely West Country; so where is the line drawn?

A Murco attendant in a site near to the BP one gave me the Murco head office number, so I rang them, was put through to a helpful lady who said she would find the information, and ring me back. She did so about an hour later, and said that all their 95ron fuel is E5, bvut the s/unleaded is E0, when purchased in the south, the south-east, south-west, and south Wales. anywhere above Reading will contain ethanol......

Unfortunately for me, there is only one Murco site in the whole of Cornwall. I will check to see if it sells super....

Ian

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Boring! Like unleaded petrol, ethanol is not about to go away. I was using 10% ethanol fuel before many of you were born. The problems quoted are possibly due to the different composition of modern plastics. Maybe, but not certainly, fuel pipes, and floats, may need changing,as may.tank lining (unheard of in the 50's). Ethanol is here to stay, adapt or give up driving/riding!

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If you find the subject so boring, Rudolph, why bother to even read the thread; which is clearly titled with the subject; let alone make negative and offensive comments?

Sorry to rain on your parade,Mr Hucker, but what you have stated is factually incorrect. Do you think that if the same fuel was being used decades ago, that the issues which we now face with it would not have surfaced then? You said it - 'tank lining (unheard of in the '50's)'... I wonder why...?

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John, if you find this topic boring then WTF are you even bothering to comment, we all know your pro Ethanol views and I bet you wouldn't write back and tell us when you do have issues with the stuff. Not good to have disputes on here on an issue where the science is settled. I offered to send you my bag of Petseal from my model 50 tank before, you never took me up.

Ian, Interesting what you said about Murco stations. The Murco at Mill Lane, Beverley, East Yorkshire is E0. You are best to talk to Chris Blake.: chris_blake@murphyoilcorp.com

A shame but here the pump staff in general don't have a clue about Ethanol. If you see a tanker driver, ask him as the Ethanol is only added at the last point before it hits the road for delivery. This minimises the opportunity for it to collect moisture. In the USA on the other hand the Ethanol issueis very political and most staff know about it. Plenty of E0 in the US as lots of people will not touch Ethanol. There is still a big case going on with regard to boats with built in fibreglass petrol tanks. Dangerous stuff, especially when introduced by stealth.

If you go to the Ultimate site there is a 0800 (free) phone number and an e-mail address, They always respond from there. The problem is that they will tell you that although E0 (Last time I made contact in January) except the SW, what ever that means (Where do you draw the line) they will tell you that the specification allows for 5% Ethanol.

I have written to the BP CEO, ahead of the BP AGM next month to take this to another level. I am also waiting for a response from my MP, who is contacting Sir Greg Knight on the issue.

To us, this is the most important issue and failure is when you give up. What happened to choice in this country?

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Neil. I think the answer I was given was based on my request for info in the south/south-west; essentially, south of the M4. It did strike me as odd that, given they have a refinery/depot at Teale, Reading, that it doesn't supply to it's north, as well as south. They appear to have another one near Coventry, so maybe that supplies sites further north?

I will try Chris Blake for clarification.

Cheers

Ian

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OK Ian, Chris will put you right with regard to Murco. Actually, the Murco std 95 RON only went on to 5% Ethanol from 1st Oct last. Now the problem with Murco and why you have to be careful is that many stations are supplied by other oil companies. Therefore you have to be careful that Your Murco Super is only supplied from Murco's own refinery. The good news is that Murco's own Super from their own refinery will stay E0 for the foreseeable future.(Says Chris Blake)

I will update on here and my VMCC site when I hear from the BP CEO. If BP Ultimate goes Ethanol it will mean a 63 mile round trip to Beverley for me but worse still it will show that the Green politicalphobia is stronger than the Historic vehicle movement and industries, less John of course.

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PS: I was down in Gloucestershire (My birth county) a couple of years ago and spoke to a BP tanker driver, he said that Gloucestershire was not included in that South West E5 region.Is it the same today? Who knows and was the South West a testing zone for the rest of us?

I wrote last month in the VMCC Journal; expressing my disgust that the FBHVC have supported the government in trying toreach their renewable energy targets and not Support E0 for historic vehicle owners. Some legacy!

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Neil, WTF, as you politely put it, would I want with your bag of soggy petseal ? Ian, the reason tank sealer was unheard of, in the 50's, was that most bikes then were daily transport. They were not left standing, for weeks, for use only when the sun shines. Mammoths once roamed, what is now Europe, they couldn't adapt to change either.

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John, stay in your fantasy world if you wish, meanwhile, the real world will keep turning.

Talking of dinosaurs roaming Europe...?

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Previously ian_cordes wrote:

John, stay in your fantasy world if you wish, meanwhile, the real world will keep turning.

Talking of dinosaurs roaming Europe...?

Come back with some sensible comments, when you have lived a little longer. The world WILL keep turning, and, ethanol will still be in it!

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John, I wonder if you are doing this to have the plug pulled on this so importanttopic once again. I hope the moderator will see through it this time. I don't see what your problem is since most fuel in Europe is contaminated with Ethanol. You have your choice of fuel and good luck to your Norton with it.

My bag of Petseal dried out just says after it was removed from the tank in 2008. Perhaps I should have saved the fuel pipes from my commando too, and the melted plastic carb parts and the rubber O ring. No issues since using E0 and the Petseal remains in tact on my 16H due to no Ethanol.

John, if you are suggesting that we shouldn't have a choice and that Ethanol should be enforced on all petrol, despite the damage you are in denial of and lower mpg that is accepted, then I just wonder what my Grandfather and Father went to war for. Please, if you find this topic boring and you have no interest in campaigning for and finding E0 petrol then WT* are you moaning about.

This forum should be about keeping Norton's running, most will agree that is best done without Ethanol contamination. You disagree and you made your point. Amen.

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Neil.

I have found that the only Murco site in Cornwall is no more, which would mean an excursion to the other side of Exeter for any Cornish members.

My memory must be failing me, because I was sure that in the '50's and '60's we used to run our bikes on 4 and 5* leaded.....

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We did indeed Ian, finally we just had 4* leaded until 1999 in the UK,

NZ went unleaded way before us. For a few years, 4* was replaced by LRP, after that you had to add your own lead replacement.

From 2006, without warning the public (BecauseDfT put it in law that they could add Ethanol and bio diesel to a certain level without telling anyone and without fear of prosecution. We the people voted them in remember) Ethanol was added and gradually spread until virtually all UK petrol was contaminated by 5% Ethanol. (Whether you want it or not)

Now, during this period of 50's and 60's there was a brand of petrol called Cleveland Discol that contained around 5% Ethanol. But, it was only one brand and so there was every chance that it was not always in your tank. And, as John said, which is generallytrue, back then we used our bikes as work horses etc and were out most days, hence little chance of phase separation and Ethanol stagnant in your carbs and fuel pipes etc.

But what John fails to understand is that finding none Ethanol contaminated petrol is more difficult as most has been contaminated and that these days enthusiasts enjoy more than one bike or car even and therefore impossible to take out most weeks, never mind daily.

Even in the South West, at the end of 2010 for six weeks it would have been impossible to take a treasured classicbike out as the whole UK was white over. (Global Warming indeed)

What are we expected to do over winter, drain our tanks (Classic cars too) and put it in the modern car? To hell with that, old bikes were around before Ethanol. Ethanol is enforced to help meet Govt renewable targets and for no other reason.Nothing Green about it.

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It may not be practical to tip the fuel in the car anyway, as we may have added lead-substitute additives, and I have no idea what effect that may have on catalytic converters, for which leaded petrol is a no-no.

I agree that there is nothing green about it, as food production is being sidelined in order to grow the crops from which this stuff is made, potentially adding to food shortages and higher prices.

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Sorry Ian, I didn't mean put it all in the modern car in one go but rather a couple of pints with every fill up, until all gone.

On the other hand there would be no need for all this mess if we had E0 petrol to hand. Anyway, if Ethanol was so good then why do you have to test for it before take off in a petrol drivenlight aircraft? And then consider a lower MPG !!!

No, Ethanol is not Green. It has to be tankered to the depot and is added to the petroltanker, which is then sealed directly before setting off for delivery. Why I always say 'Ask the tanker driver.' So there is no reason, other than Ed Miliband's renewable targets as to why some petrol can't remain E0.

A vented tank will causemoisture absorption. The MG club recommend leaving the tank full when laid up and putting cling film inside the filler cap. Same could apply to bikes using contaminated petrol. At least we can turn off the fuel to drain the carb!

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Just wondering if it is worth contacting Bayford Thrust to ask where their nearest 4* leaded is? To be BS40/40 they have to make that from E0.

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Previously ian_cordes wrote:

It may not be practical to tip the fuel in the car anyway, as we may have added lead-substitute additives, and I have no idea what effect that may have on catalytic converters, for which leaded petrol is a no-no.

I agree that there is nothing green about it, as food production is being sidelined in order to grow the crops from which this stuff is made, potentially adding to food shortages and higher prices.

Also, don't forget that as the adittion of ethanol slightly reduces the amount of miles a vehicle does to the gallon/litre. Using this stuff will mean filling up more often than before and consequently we will be paying more in fuel duty and VAT.

Cheers Alan

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Around the Somerset Levels many, many acres of sheep pasture have been ploughed and replaced with maize for bio-ethanol production. When it rains, water and soil streams off these fields into the low-lying ground and the soil silts up the drainage channels and rivers. So super green ecological bio fuelswere a major contributor to the disasterous flooding - and how much did that cost?It has been pointed out the the UK's renewables policy was designed by politicians and accountants, not engineers. What a surprise.

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So ethanol in petrol caused the extinction of the wooly mammoth, highlights the futility of war and caused the Somerset flooding then? (whereas the Thames flooding Was just caused by all that rain?)

As well as all this it caused a rubber diaphragm on the petrol pump of my Yammy XT600 to perish after a mere 28 years and 80,000 miles.

It really has been a while since I heard so much rubbish talked as this thread.

You lot are like in the film Life Of Brian, when they all sit around to form the Popular Peoples Front of Judea, or was it the People's Popular Front of Judea, or the Judean People's Popular Front or was it the Front of Judean Popular People?

What I am saying is that you can rant on amongst yourselves all the you want on web sites, and then irritate bored uninterested petrol station workers and tanker drivers, fire off emails to CEOs and politicians, but nobody is listening or cares a jot about your Norton or MG. They could not be less interested.

The ethanol in petrol giant is moving and you ain't going to stop it, there are millions of ££££s tied up in the industry, so all you can do is as John Shorter said is be pragmatic and work around it.

It took me a few hours to make and fit a new diaphragm for my Yammy, but Neil will probably tell me I deserved that breakdown because I was on Japanese bike, and as we are told they are all rubbish. But Iv already done over a 1,000 problem free miles this year on my Nortons and BSA while burning ethanol contaminated petrol.

My advice is go Tescos, fill your bike up with their cheapest, then ride it somewhere, because it really is a lot of fun on the road.

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John, I suspect your Ya**y's diaphram whould still be OK but for Ethanol. I'm not sure where Wooly Mammoths' come into it? Yes, Ethanol is big business and even bigger in the USA, but they still manage to have a choice.

It is true that most MP's don't give a Sh*t about your Norton or my MG but you know we can vote them out. There is one party that will put the brakes on the Green hysteria and the 18.3 Billion a year until 2050 it is costing us, instead of paying off the national debt.. Less thantwo months till the Euro elections and less 14 months to our General election.

Us lot are campaigning on for some decent fuel, not a lot to ask for. Better than throwing the towel in, John to some ill thought out scam that even reduces your MPG, let alone melt your Petseal , strip your paint anddamage other bits.

Failure is when you give up !

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Gosh Peter, you really do have a rather low opinion of other contributors. Admittedly we will have to live with ethanol in our petrol but there is no reason why we shouldn't air our opinions. You have been fortunate to have suffered no ill effects from added ethanol but I and others most certainly have. It's as well to warn others what could happen to them. Bikes have burnt out through fuel pipes dissolving - not something you would want to happen to anyone. I had to face a Land Rover spraying petrol all over the engine compartment and plug leads when a new - supposedly ethanol proof - fuel pipe disintegrated. So close to horrific disaster. So let people add their experiences, opinions and warnings and respect them for that.

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Previously neil_wyatt wrote:

John, I suspect your Ya**y's diaphram whould still be OK but for Ethanol. I'm not sure where Wooly Mammoths' come into it? Yes, Ethanol is big business and even bigger in the USA, but they still manage to have a choice.

It is true that most MP's don't give a Sh*t about your Norton or my MG but you know we can vote them out. There is one party that will put the brakes on the Green hysteria and the 18.3 Billion a year until 2050 it is costing us, instead of paying off the national debt.. Less thantwo months till the Euro elections and less 14 months to our General election.

Us lot are campaigning on for some decent fuel, not a lot to ask for. Better than throwing the towel in, John to some ill thought out scam that even reduces your MPG, let alone melt your Petseal , strip your paint anddamage other bits.

Failure is when you give up !

Er, I think you mean Peter, although I agree with him. I remember when the compulsory wearing of crash helmets, and speed limits, on previously unrestricted roads, were brought in. Everyone screamed about the restriction of freedom. What good old that do? You are not going to make ethanol go away, so, as Peter says, work round it.

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John, I remember Fred Hill's campaign against the wearing of helmets, I even wrote to him when he was in Prison in 1975. But the Late Fred's campaign was about equality. Speed limits are mostly about safety. As Gordon implies, there is nothing safe about Ethanol and therefore we need a choice when using unsuitable vehicles. You'd make a good dictator, John!

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Fuel containing ethanol is clearly not fit for the purpose for which it is sold and must therefore be in breech of the sales of goods act. If nobody says anything then nothing will be done.

It attracts water, it corrodes, it damages paint finishes and it removes lubricant from valves and guides.

Despite assistance from several experts in the field, I'm now on my third set of (grease-lubricated) valves and guides in the 16H in four years. It may be that ethanol or the additives package is not to blame but it has introduced an unverifiable variable that I would rather not have to deal with.

These engines ran for years without problems and existing engines seem to carry on but those newly rebuilt have no residues to provide continuing lubrication.

I'm now using expensive and inconvenient additives and only time will tell if it provides a solution.

If any single thing brings about the end of the hobby of riding old motorcycles, it will be the inability to source a suitable fuel. We can't make it ourselves.

I fail to understand why those who don't care should have a problem with others being worried and constantly feel the need to shout down anyone looking for alternative suppliers.

'Ethanol' might not go away but consumer pressure might just lead to changes in the additive package that reduce the problems. Goodness knows, we pay enough for it.

 

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