Bikes should be included in ethanol study

The American Motorcyclist Association and its partner organization the All-Terrain Vehicle Association are urging a U.S. House panel to include motorcycles and ATVs in any future studies of ethanol-blended gasoline.

The organizations sent a letter to the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee on July 11 asking for the vehicles to be considered. The subcommittee had held a hearing on July 7 about E15, which is gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol. E15 has been approved for model year 2001 and newer automobiles, however on- and off-road motorcycles and ATV are not included. At the July 7 hearing, the subcommittee discussed that it may require the Environmental Protection Agency to arrange for the National Academy of Sciences to study a full range of issues related to E15.

The AMA and ATVA wants the study to consider: E15 being put in motorcycles or ATVs mistakenly and damaging engines; the continued availability of gasoline that has no ethanol, or gasoline with only a 10 percent blend that is safe for use in motorcycles and ATVs; the possibility that “blender pumps” – which dispense multiple grades of gasoline through a single hose – could introduce enough ethanol into gasoline to be used in a motorcycle or ATV to damage the vehicle; and that ethanol absorbs water, which could be harmful to motorcycles and ATVs.

“In conclusion, to address our concerns, the AMA and ATVA urge that on- or off-highway motorcycles and ATVs be part of any scientific study by NAS,” AMA Washington representative Rick Podliska wrote in the letter. “Not only should the study focus on the short- and long-term impacts on vehicles and engines, but should consider financial implications of increased ethanol use in gasoline on consumers; fuel producers, distributors and retailers; vehicle and engine manufacturers, dealers and service facilities; and the environment.”

To read the letter, visit http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Libraries/Rights_Documents_Federal/Harris_NAS_Ethanol_7-11-2011.sflb.ashx?download=true.

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