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AMA Fuel for Thought  

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Inadvertent misfueling with E15 (15 percent ethanol by volume) fuel is a significant concern to AMA members. E15 use can void manufacturers’ warranties, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that E15 can damage engines.  Although the EPA 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 the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in operation

“We’ve repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about damage to motorcycle and ATV fuel systems and engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15, which is now becoming more readily 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 a vast majority of motorcycles and ATVs on the road and trail in the United States today are not designed to run on ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. And many older machines favored by vintage motorcycle 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 our members and for 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 in Washington, D.C. on May 26, 2011. The 2013 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. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced H.R. 704, 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.  

Read the following AMA press releases on this issue: