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AMA Fuel for Thought  


E15 background

The American Motorcyclist Association supports an independent and scientific test on the effects of E15 fuel (a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume) on motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines and fuel systems. However, E15 is already in the marketplace and inadvertent misfueling is a serious concern for our members. Moreover, E15 use can void manufacturers’ warranties. Because of these concerns, the AMA is opposed to E15.

Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved its use in 2001-and-newer light-duty vehicles, which include cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles, the EPA has not approved its use in any of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in operation.

“We’ve repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle and ATV engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15, which is now becoming available at gas stations,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations.

Preventing these inadvertent misfuelings has been one of the AMA’s main concerns, because motorcycles and ATVs on the road and trail in the U.S. today are not designed to run on ethanol blends higher than 10 percent, and many older machines favored by vintage enthusiasts have problems with any ethanol in the fuel.

Access to safe fuels for motorcycles remains an AMA priority, and we continue to be a watchdog for not only our members, but all motorcyclists and ATV riders, on this issue.


Learn more: Intermediate-Level Ethanol Blends Engine Durability Study

The AMA hosted an E15 Fuel for Thought rally and lobby day on June 19, 2013, which was modeled after the AMA’s highly successful Capitol Hill Climb kids’ dirtbike lobbying day held in Washington, D.C. on May 26, 2011. The lobby day helped educate lawmakers about the need to research the possible harmful effects of E15 fuel on motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines.

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced H.R. 1462, the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act. The bipartisan bill, in part, eliminates corn-based ethanol requirements and caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent. The AMA supports this common sense solution to make sure that motorcyclists have access to safe fuels.

Specifically, the bill reduces the total RFS by 79 percent in 2014 and reduces the RFS by other significant percentages each year, bringing the 2022 mandate to 21 billion gallons from 36 billion gallons.

Moreover, it rescinds the EPA’s E15 waivers and caps the amount of ethanol content in gasoline at E10.  

See below for information on what AMA and its members have done so far on this issue.

  • Mar. 5, 2014-AMA action alert "Missouri: Governor allows sale of E15 by administrative decree"
  • Jan. 28, 2014-The AMA submits comments to the EPA on rule proposal that could slow the introduction of E15 fuel into the marketplace.
  • Jan. 8, 2014-AMA action alert "The EPA needs to hear from you on E15"
  • Dec. 5, 2013-The U.S. EPA held a regulatory hearing on a rule proposal to reduce the total amount of ethanol in transportation fuel nationwide in 2014. This could slow the introduction of E15 fuel into the marketplace.
  • Dec. 3, 2013-AMA action alert "EPA to hold regulatory hearing on E15 issue"
  • Oct. 30, 2013-Congressional letter sent to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Administrator Gina McCarthy urging the Renewable Fuel Standard be amended.
  • Oct. 24, 2013-AMA action alert "Congressional letter aims to adjust ethanol mandate to prevent possible E15-related engine damage"
  • Oct. 23, 2013-The AMA sent a thank you letter to Illinois State Sen. Mike Jacobs for introducing S.R. 634. The resolution states, in part, "Not one motorcycle, on-road, or off-highway vehicle has ever been tested for E-15 usage; no motorcycle manufacturer presently advocates the use of any fuel higher than E-10."
  • Oct. 22, 2013-The AMA sent a letter of support to Chairman Fred Upton and Ranking Member Henry Waxman for H.R. 1462.
  • Oct. 22, 2013-AMA sent a letter of support to U.S. Rep. Robert Goodlatte for introducing H.R. 1462, the RFS Reform Act.
  • Oct. 22, 2013-AMA action alert "AMA shifts into higher gear to prohibit E15" issued.
  • Oct. 16, 2013-AMA action alert "Stop taxpayer-funded ethanol blender pumps" issued.
  • Sept. 5, 2013-AMA action alert "A federal study supports further testing of E15" issued.
  • August 21, 2013-AMA Rights Blog>DC Insider: E15 boosters attempt to mischaracterize the AMA's ethanol position
  • August 15, 2013-AMA Rights Blog>DC Insider: Federal agency offers grants that may increase E15 availability and subsequent misfueling
  • August 14, 2013-AMA Rights Blog>DC Insider: Another dynamic may contribute to inadvertent E15 misfueling
  • August 14, 2013-The AMA sent a letter to Wisconsin's Department of Safety and Professional Services' secretary concerning E15 use during the Reid Vapor Pressure season.
  • July 24, 2013-The AMA sent a thank you letter to Illinois State Rep. Kay Hatcher for introducing H.R. 524. The resolution states, in part, "Not one motorcycle, on-road, or off-highway vehicle has ever been tested for E-15 usage; no motorcycle manufacturer presently advocates the use of any fuel higher than E-10."
  • July 22, 2013-The AMA submitted comments to Chairman Ed Whitfield and Ranking Member Bobby Rush for a hearing entitled "Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Stakeholder perspectives."
  • July 18, 2013-The AMA was invited by U.S. Sen. David Vitter to submit comments on the E15 issue.
  • June 24, 2013-AMA Rights Blog>DC Insider: Pro-ethanol groups calls E15 misfueling concerns absurd
  • June 24, 2013-The AMA sent thank you letters to the U.S. representatives that spoke at the AMA's E15 Lobby Day.
  • E15 and Motorcycles Q&A
  • June 19, 2013-The AMA hosted the E15 Lobby Day in Washington, D.C.
  • June 12, 2013-AMA Rights Blog>DC Insider: Is E30 fuel coming to a pump near you?
  • On May 15, 2013-The AMA issued an alert to all subscribers of our alert system who have a representative that serves on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture to prevent an amendment from passing to allow Rural Energy for America Program funds to be used to purchase ethanol blender pumps. The amendment was not considered.
  • On April 24, 2013-The AMA submitted comments regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program's grant and loan program for renewable energy systems (e.g., special ethanol blender pumps).
  • On April 17, 2013-The AMA sent a thank you letter to every lawmaker on the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee that supported H.R. 875
  • On April 8, 2013-The AMA signed onto a coalition letter of support for U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's (R-Wis.) H.R. 875.
  • On April 8, 2013-The AMA sent Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson a letter of support for H.R. 875.
  • On April 3, 2013-The AMA sent Chairman Fred Upton and Ranking Member Henry Waxman a response to its White Paper on E15.
  • On March 22, 2013-The AMA response to Chairman Chris Stewart (R-Utah) concerning follow up questions stemming from the Feb. 26 hearing.
  • On February 26, 2013-The AMA signed onto a coalition letter of support for S.344.
  • On February 26, 2013-The AMA testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Environment on a hearing on "Mid-Level Ethanol Blends: Consumer and Technical Research Needs"
  • On February 18, 2013-The AMA sent U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) a letter of support for introducing S. 344.
  • On February 18, 2013-The AMA sent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) a letter of support for introducing S. 344.
  • On January 10, 2013-The AMA sent EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a follow up letter seeking additional clarification on its new approach to its Misfueling Mitigation Plans.
  • On November 6, 2012-The CARB responds to the AMA's letter regarding our E15 concerns.
  • On October 16, 2012-The AMA sent Chairman Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board, a letter urging it not to approve E15 until our concerns are adequately addressed.
  • On August 1, 2012-The EPA responds to the AMA's letter regarding our concerns regarding its Misfueling Mitigation Plans. This is the letter that mentions the EPA's plans to require a minimum fuel purchase.
  • On June 20, 2012-The AMA sent EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a letter regarding its Misfueling Mitigation Plans concerning E15 and motorcycles.
  • On February 7, 2012-The AMA sent Chairman Ralph Hall and other U.S. House Science, Space and Technology members a thank letter for supporting H.R. 3199.
  • On November 17, 2011-33 bipartisan lawmakers sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson concerning E15.
  • On October 14, 2011-The AMA sent U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) a letter thanking him for introducing H.R. 3199.
  • August 2011-American Motorcyclist column "Alcohol and Motorcycles Don't Mix."
  • On July 11, 2011-The AMA and ATVA sent Chairman Andy Harris (R-Md.) a letter to convey our concerns with E15.
  • On July 6, 2011-The AMA and ATVA sent Chairman Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Ranking Member Brad Miller (D-N.C.) a letter urging for a scientific study concerning E15.
  • On June 20, 2011-The AMA sent U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) a thank you letter for introducing H.R. 748.
  • United States Coast Guard's comments concerning E15.

Read the following AMA press releases on this issue: