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So...this debate came up locally and I wanted to throw it out here as I know many, many of you do all your own maintenance. We have a local motorcycle group and there was a heated discussion (let's keep ours lukewarm) about using stabilizer in your gas tank over the winter. Do you? If not, why not... If you do, does it make a noticeable difference or have you just always done it?
 

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I use a fuel stabilizer over the over the winter as I live in a very humid area, creating moisture and condensation. In addition to burning ethanol free fuel the majority of the time, I don't have any fuel related issues when it's time to bring my bike out of hibernation.
 

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I use Sta-bil in both my bikes over the winter. My garage is tempered but when I open the door to get the snowblower out (you southern folks just google snowblower to see what they are) the heat difference is just right for condensation. It doesn't hurt anything to do so and it's cheap insurance in my point of vue.
 

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I use marine sta-bil. Not sure if the marine formula is really any different than the regular but it advertised as being made especially for ethanol fuels. Ethanol is the worst thing out there for a fuel system when allowed to sit over time. As Corsair said it's cheap insurance. When using it my engines have always started in the spring.
 

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Always use it, sta-bil or seafoam. As was said, cheap insurance. I also fill up the tank at the end of the season too. Less air space for moisture.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I fill my tank too and make sure it's full if I get out for a winter ride - I never really "put away" my bike. Although, the 6 foot snowbanks we had here in Mass last year say I am lying, and that it was definitely put away last year. I kind of agree with the "cheap insurance" philosophy but my SO seems dead set against them so I thought I might find out more here. Gotta love 95 views and only 5 comments though...

No one hates the stuff?
 

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I bought my first bike in 2013 and that winter I didn't put any fuel stabilizer in the tank. It started right up the next spring with no problems. The winter of 2014 I did use a fuel stabilizer and it also fired right up with no problems in the spring. This year I haven't put any in yet because this Ohio winter so far as been fairly warm. I plan on riding tomorrow for the last time so I'll be adding some this weekend. I don't know if it makes a difference or not but I would feel better if I did use it.
 

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I have a couple of motorcycles, 4 mowers, and a snow blower. I use Stabil in all of them every winter (spring, summer, fall for the snow blower). Everything starts on the first pull/crank every season. One time my bike sat for a month and a half without Stabil, and it started hard and ran like crap until the old gas was gone.
 

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Any vehicles with gas in them should have some sort of stabilizer in the gas when not in use for extended periods.
Stabil marine I have found is the best out there. Now, the difference is that fuel injected, computer controlled
bikes may react differently then carborated when being restarted after layaway...

I've never had any problems with cars or bikes running stabil in them. And we have a bunch of stuff that sits.

I use it in my generator and once a year I start it up and run it until the gas is down a bit and refill with fresh
gas and a dose of stabil and it's ready to go until next year. starts up first pull every time.
 

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I live in MI so the winter cold storage is a concern due to possible phase separation of ethanol from the gas... So I fill er up with ethanol free recreation gas and also use stabil marine.. Maybe overkill but I don't want my baby having any issues come spring.. Note: I do the same with the 30 year old boat... no issues.
 

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Man I sure miss the Good 'Ole days. If someone would have suggested a fuel stabilizer to my father he would have thought them a idiot. I remember as a child he put away the mowers, trimmers and the cultivators every fall with what gas was in it when last used. Every spring they would start right up. NEVER seen him have fuel problems in small engines. I wouldn't dream of doing that with the crap gasoline that marketed to us these days.
 

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I use "rec" gas with stabil marine (good for 12 months in wet environments) in all my equipment and my 30 yr old boat (not designed for E10) that is used only occasionally.. no fuel related issues... before I started doing that I had fuel related issues all the freaking time with E10..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hmmm...some good points Summer and CC. I know I'm very careful about where I fill up. All gas is definitely not created equal and I won't buy gas when they are filling tanks. I always wait to go back to that station for sure but of course, if the tanker truck just left and you didn't see it...it happens.
 

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I always use Shell V-Power which here, is ethanol free, in any motorcycle I've owned. Come winter time, I put in the appropriate amount of stabilizer into the fuel tank, ride out to the Shell station, and fill it up right to the top. Take the long way home to run the stabilized gas through the fuel system, and also warm up the bike for then pending oil change. Get home, turn off petcock, change the oil and filter, wipe down the bike, jack it up, attach the optimate battery tender, cover the bike, and there she sits until March...

This year I used this Yamalube fuel stabilizer, I picked it up when I was buying some oil. It was the same price as fuel stabilizer at Canadian Tire, etc.

 

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Let me make a point here, when I say I add the stabil after filling the tank back up I run the engine
for at least 3 or 4 minutes to circulate the fresh fuel ala stabil through the carb and lines. Then shut it down.

You want to circulate the stabil additive throughout the fuel system prior to storage.
Then come spring your good to go. Battery tender is also a must have.
Tell Santa now !!!!

HO HO HO :wink::grin::smile:
 

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I have seen what happens to E10 if it sits for several months: stratification. One layer is fuel. Another layer is sludge formed from the isotropic effects of the ethanol.
If enough time occurs for significant separation, the sludge gums everything up. The result is no start and a lot of fun in your future to remove the sludge from your fuel system.
This is especially bad for any machine with a carburetor, as the sludge will clog the jets.
I run ethanol free and add sta-bil marine to anything that will sit for a season: VMax, riding tractor, snowblower.
Any time you see " won't start", "won't idle", "runs rough" in any CL ads, it is likely that the owner was ignorant on what happens if you let E10 sit.


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For years I have put every thing away as I last used it with no problems when I needed to use the equipment. The last couple of days I have been trying to get a customers generator going and ended up, after cleaning carb, it was dirty, finding out that the gas was bad. Changed the gas and it ran, but with choke partially on. One time I ran the carb dry on my logsplitter and it got plugged up. This is the first time I have had an issue with the Ethanol gas. The new carbs have no adjustments and it is really hard to get all passages cleaned. I told the customer get some Premium gas and some Seafoam to run through it, that is when he read the owners manual and it said "no additives".
 

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For years I have put every thing away as I last used it with no problems when I needed to use the equipment. The last couple of days I have been trying to get a customers generator going and ended up, after cleaning carb, it was dirty, finding out that the gas was bad. Changed the gas and it ran, but with choke partially on. One time I ran the carb dry on my logsplitter and it got plugged up. This is the first time I have had an issue with the Ethanol gas. The new carbs have no adjustments and it is really hard to get all passages cleaned. I told the customer get some Premium gas and some Seafoam to run through it, that is when he read the owners manual and it said "no additives".
Manufacturers recommend no additives in the fuel because any top tier fuel would have the required amount of cleaners and detergents, called polyetheramine or PEA. PEA is the stuff that cleans and does it very well. Shell V Power has PEA, so does Chevron's Techron.

Seafoam doesn't have PEA in it, seafoam is basically nothing more than naptha and isopropyl alcohol/acetone. I've used seafoam and it does work but a continual use product. For additives my absolute favorite stuff is Gumout Regane, which once was a Royal Dutch product. Regane is their name for PEA. I put the required amount in once a year. I have 2 used vehicles that both had a little bit of a rough idle when I bought them. A bottle of Regane in each tank and the rough idle was gone after several 100 kilometers. Same with the V Star, it was 10 years old with only 8000 miles on it when I bought it. It was a bit of a rough runner too from lack of use. Gumout fixed that too.

Yamalube Ring Free Plus fuel additive also contains PEA.

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