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Unleaded Fuel

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 Luckily I live in a farming community and they still sell non ethonal to the farmers.

 They only seal or rubber that has ever swell was the gasket for the  needle valve. For the life of me I could not get the float set correctly on a rebuild. 

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I am curious about this subject and sceptical about a lot of the internet noise.  I am sure there are issues with the tanks like the OP which was built in a different era.  However it must surely be possible to run modern unleaded fuel in nearly every bike in existence?  When you say the gasket swelled up @lineaway which bike is this?  Your profile is a 2016 Beta.  That bike should run on normal petrol.  The carb is designed and specced to run on modern unleaded petrol. If you read the manual for the 2020 Beta RR it specifies normal unleaded petrol.  The carb is suited to and set for UL direct from the pump.  Italian fuel is ethanol based as is all European fuel.

I did some research after the post about aviation petrol.  There are several articles where it is strongly recommended not to use this in any other engine as the volatile elements can attack the rubber parts in some (particularly early model) carbs.  Also the lead in 100LL can foul up engines that are not low revving.  This is the first time I have read anything about volatile compounds attacking "rubber" parts of carbs.  Of course these parts are not really "rubber" per se - I guess they mean butyl which is a common O ring material.

So now I am even more confused and curious.  Lineaway can you please give us more data on the gasket?  I wonder if changing these carburettor components will "cure" the ethanol issue?  (Assuming there is one). 

As an update I found this - https://www.efunda.com/designstandards/oring/oring_chemical.cfm?SM=none&SC=Ethanol

This suggests that ethanol is not a problem for the common O ring materials like butyl and also natural rubber.

Edited by ChrisCH
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4 hours ago, ChrisCH said:

I am curious about this subject and sceptical about a lot of the internet noise.  I am sure there are issues with the tanks like the OP which was built in a different era.  However it must surely be possible to run modern unleaded fuel in nearly every bike in existence?  When you say the gasket swelled up @lineaway which bike is this?  Your profile is a 2016 Beta.  That bike should run on normal petrol.  The carb is designed and specced to run on modern unleaded petrol. If you read the manual for the 2020 Beta RR it specifies normal unleaded petrol.  The carb is suited to and set for UL direct from the pump.  Italian fuel is ethanol based as is all European fuel.

Not related to the liquid compatibility as such, but there is an issue with modern pump petrol forming a very strong and adherent gum when it dries out.

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The gasket was on a 2004 gasser around 2014 with a del orto. It was the std gasket for the needle valve.

 Ethynol is terrible in Keihin carbs due to the passageways in the jet tower.

https://advrider.com/f/threads/keihin-death-barble.1285977/

 I recently sold my Beta. Now ride a TRS. My son just bought a left over 300rr. We do not run ethynol in anything, but our cars.

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2 hours ago, feetupfun said:

Not related to the liquid compatibility as such, but there is an issue with modern pump petrol forming a very strong and adherent gum when it dries out.

Yes, I had an old VFR750 that gummed up after being stood a bit over 18 months.  The fuel becomes a sort of jelly.  Horrible.  Ride more.

40 minutes ago, lineaway said:

The gasket was on a 2004 gasser around 2014 with a del orto. It was the std gasket for the needle valve.

 Ethynol is terrible in Keihin carbs due to the passageways in the jet tower.

https://advrider.com/f/threads/keihin-death-barble.1285977/

 I recently sold my Beta. Now ride a TRS. My son just bought a left over 300rr. We do not run ethynol in anything, but our cars.

Interesting thank you.  The advrider thread was as expected with people contradicting one another.  My TRS has a keihin as does the wife's Beta and pretty much every bike at our club.  Everyone runs E5 because that is what comes out the pump at the filling station.  No one I know has any issues at all.  I wonder if people are getting problems with bikes that have been stood up for a while?  I start the road bikes and the trials bikes every fortnight if they have not been used.  The Ducati particularly as the battery is hidden away in the bowels of the bike and a pain if you need to replace it.  (Actually the Ducati is just a pain but don't tell her as she loves it more than me)

My friend had a TRS One with the Dell'Orto I will ask him at our next trials meeting.

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It could be just our fuel over here, but when it sits for awhile you get just a little bit of a gel like residue that messes up the slow jet circuit.

 

 

 

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Gums form in petrol due to oxidisation.  Newer fuels should be less inclined to do this than the older ones.  (My VFR gummed up about 17 years ago IIRC)  Petrol should have anti-oxidants added to prevent this happening.  I think there are different levels of additives in fuels depending on where you are in the world and whether or not it is "cheap" fuel.  Since all fuel is too cheap to even get stressed about in the US it could be anything.  Here in the real world fuel is (relativity) expensive so we have discounted fuel at supermarkets.  Even with European tax levels petrol is still cheaper than water so it is not a big issue, although the endless complaining suggests it is.

For trials bike fuel consumption and cost is unimportant.  Using a litre for a meeting is about average.  The fuel consumption of my panel van is much more important to drive to the event.

Logically - well to me anyway - if fuel was an issue trials would use Aspen or something similar.  You can buy it and "race fuel" if you look hard in pretty much all of the UK.  Everyone I know buys standard pump fuel.  The Beta runs fine on cheap supermarket fuel (97) but I find the TRS runs better on Shell V Power which is a sort of boy-racer petrol at 99 octane and probably one of the most expensive petrols in the UK (at the pump anyway).  So I buy the Shell petrol for both bikes (and the lawn mower) a 5L can is about £7 or $9 US.  The road bikes run on UL95 from the supermarket.

I wonder if a lot of the problems may be due to contamination and not the actual petrol? Lots of opportunities for the supply chain to contaminate fuels, particularly if under very high cost pressures.  (A local supermarket here once dispensed petrol from a diesel pump - that cost them a lot of money in claims)

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  • Avgas is a good idea, best cut it 50/50 with V power or similar.
  • You can remove ethanol  from petrol, the American light aircraft crowd do it. Not hard to do, a bit of a faff. Google it.
  • Old skool O rings will swell  with ethanol contact, I 've had then completely seal off a pet cock.
  • Alloy tanks should fine with ethanol.
  • Fibreglass tanks can be sealed, but the drill (for me ) is  :
  1. use a good tank sealant.
  2. Drain after every use & leave cap off.
  3. Fill tank AT the meeting.
  4. Drain out as soon as you get home.
  5. Buy a mini workshop fuel dispenser to allow engine to be run in the workshop without resorting to filling tank.
  6. V Power or BP cut 50:0 with Avgas.
  7. Castrol lead replacement additive if running an old 4 stroke. (keeps valves/ guide in good order)
  8. a shot of Castor based race oil if running an old 4 stroke (upper cylinder lubricant)
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I have had four UK Petrol related problems in my motorcycles...

A fibreglass seat/tank unit for a ty175 had the pet-cock fall off after about 4 months of use.

The paint surface on the tanks of a Bultaco and a Greeves bubbled after just a week each.

The Bing Carburettor on the Bultaco had it's cold start plunger rubber perish into a gooey mess.

The Mikuni Carbs on my ty175s all seem to be Ok, but I should check their plungers soon.

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On 7/28/2020 at 5:26 PM, section swept said:

The proportion of ethanol in fuel depends on location, some Shell and Esso fuels have no ethanol content...yet?‍♀️! Whilst in other parts of UK there is at least 5% ethanol present. There will be issues when 10% ethanol is used and there is a list of vehicles that will not be able to use this particular fuel, but they may be able to use the super type of fuel eg V-Power etc. All info available on Google look for Octane magazine. Old aluminium tanks may be brittle and may crack when subject to regular use...usually around any mountings and areas of chafing. Aspen 4 professional will be your best bet but its about £20 per 5 litres or £6 a litre...at least it is where I buy it but on e-bay its £33+ and then p&p!!! There are ways to isolate the ethanol shown on youtube...but I am not convinced...yet?‍♂️??

The Montesa tanks were prone to cracking at the rear weld back in the day, I don't suppose age will have improved the chances.

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