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Archive for October 13th, 2008

Ethanol Producer Magazine

Ethanol Producer Magazine

An interesting article in Ethanol Producer Magazine about the conversion and tuning process of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to run E85 fuel (85% ethanol and 15% ordinary gas). 

The use of E10 Unleaded is approved under warranty by major motorcycle manufactures including Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.  In fact, Harley goes so far to actually promote/recommend the use of renewable, clean air fuels such as E10 because of their environmental benefits.  Their stance is on E85 is bit less clear.  However,  Ronald M. Hutchinson (Sr. VP Product Development; bio) recently provided some insight in an interview with QuickThrottle.com (October 2008 edition):

Question: Is Harley doing any initial research on alternative fuels and energy sources?  Answer: I can’t really talk about future products.  But I can tell you that we are looking at and have run and currently have motorcycles that run on a much higher level of ethanol because we sell a lot of motorcycles in Brazil.  Fuels there are sugar-based ethanol that have slightly higher energy content than stuff we get here.  But regardless we already hve the capability of providing products that do just that – that run on a higher percentage of ethanol and we are also looking at a variety of different alternatives.

More than 40 percent of the gasoline sold across the U.S. contains oxygenates such as ethanol.  There has been an dramatic increase in the availability of E85 as well as the number of automobiles that can operate on E85 (called Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV’s)).  It will be interesting to watch how this progresses for motorcycles.  For a current list of E85 station visit E85.

Photo courtesy of Ethanol Producer Magazine web site.

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White Flag

White Flag

Just two months after the “Ride Home” and a couple weeks after Street Vibrations – it was starting to feel like the world was coming to an end.  Two major hurricanes (Ike, Gustav) scattered riders and dealer personnel from Texas to Tennessee to Florida…all being affected in some way by the hurricanes.  Then as if all those wind “jabs” were not enough along comes this right-handed wallop of a punch with the financial/stock market implosion. People tried to shake off the fear, but it seemed hell-bent to keep stumbling down.

To make matters even worse were the stories of people at the end of their ropes and talk of a plan to see martial law declared with certain scenarios or “trigger” points anticipated!  Those triggers include a continuing economic collapse, bank closures, social unrest, financial institutions shuttered due to withdrawal of cash or a fraudulent presidential election which entices outrage and violence.

So, over the weekend I vowed to eliminate all the talking-heads or any negative hyperbole and nurse my pessimistic ‘tude back from the abyss.  I learned a couple of things…first was that the mint leaves (in Mohito’s) are not a vegetable.  Second I learned more than 20 nifty things you can do with Alka-Seltzer boxes while making a “surrender flag”.  And lastly I learned that getting out and enjoying the fall weather, ride the motorcycle or do a little wrenching or [your choice here] is about seizing the opportunity, keep a clear head and to enjoy life.

I doubt today’s rally means the worst has passed, but it feels good to have a day that isn’t so grim.  That’s my $0.02 cents (a.k.a. my 401K balance!)

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