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Discussion Starter #1
Now that I have your attention, the title is a little bit of an exageration of my opinion of ethanol in gasoline. BUT, I just this week got out my GL650I from a careless storage period of 2 years (my hip failures and subsequent replacements over two years made riding too painful) and discovered that I had left the battery in, not drained the carbs or even put any stabilizer in the partially full gas tank. Had I done any of that I surely would have removed the battery too. With a different used but freshly charged battery in, 30 seconds of sucking on the vacuum fuel tap, choke on and after 4-5 revolutions she came back to life, even running well! Being still in the basement garage I shut down after about 10 seconds and went to bed smiling. The removed battery is toast btw. Next evening I took it outside, washed her, added some Seafoam to the fuel tank, topped up the tire pressure, checked the front brakes for any dragging (none), and she fired up on one revolution. No draining of old gas, no new gas added. I then headed off for the nearest gas station a few miles distant. From there a 12 mile evening ride, so sweet after two years! Today I rode to work (total so far about 30 miles and she is running just entirely satisfactorily. I have to say I'm no fan of ethanol in the gas, BUT to me this is strong evidence it's not the boogey man it is often made out to be. One mitigating factor is that my basement garage is heated, I'm sure that helps, but still, two years? My lucky day I would be the first to admit.
 
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Have you read this?

I don't like to leave fuel of any kind in a steel gas tank during storage (only because water trapped at the bottom of the tank can cause rust) so I will be draining Eccles' tank in the next few days and leaving the cap off for a few days so any water can dry out. But my GoldWing is running happily on the E10 fuel that has been in its plastic auxiliary tank since last fall (I added stabilizer to it before storage but I'd do that even if it didn't have ethanol).
 

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Yes, my normal layover is 6 mos (MCs) to 9 mos (snowmobiles) and I generally drain the carbs (not just run them half empty), dose the tank with stabilizer and remove the battery. I've never gone to the incovnvenience or expense of buying ethanol free gas, but have friends who do. Can't remember the last time I had difficulty with a restart after that procedure. Your mileage may vary! :)
 

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So you never drain the tank to let the water at the bottom evaporate? I guess some people are luckier than I am.....
I guess I should start doing this. I haven't taken the AGM batteries out and haven't trickle charged them either.
 

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I've never drained my tanks either. I fill them up, put Sta-bil in and run it through. Then rotate the battery tender among the herd for the winter. My garage doesn't freeze, even in MN winters, so batteries typically stay healthy for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Correct, I have never drained a gas tank for layover, or any other time unless I was taking it off the machine for some other reason. Lots of years, lots of tanks. Tanks I have removed for parts I of course empty completely, and I have seen tank "tails" rusted to holes in parts bikes I have procured but never on a bike that I was running periodically, even if infrequently. Not questioning anyone else's experience, but doesn't steel corrosion need water AND oxygen? How does oxygen get to steel under some water with fuel above it? Just wondering. In an operating bike I suppose sloshing around with a low fuel level could allow it, hmmm. I'm thinking layover that is heated, or at least not subject to extreme temperature variations may make all the difference to water buildup. My old tractors that live in unheated sheds year round ARE subject to water collecting in the glass sediment bowl beneath the tank. We do see sub freezing temps fairly often here in Connecticut in the winter. Those tractor tanks are designed to collect from the bottom of the tank (on reserve). Most bike tanks in my experience have a location lower than the fuel tap to (in my opinion) deliberately collect water and keep it from the carburetors. And I would only rarely fuel up in the rain, and when I need to most fuel stations these days have canopies over the pumps. I'm sure winter riding introduces it's own set of fuel challenges too. Icicles falling off one's beard into the open tank and all that kind of thing :unsure: I remove batteries to make it more convenient to trickle charge them once in a while, and some go into snowmobiles for winter duty. Even so, 4 years is about all I expect to get from a battery. SC Bob does much better with batteries, but rumor has it he whispers encouragement to them. I think that's cheating.
 

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I had to look that up. We all know that water consists of hydrogen and oxygen. Apparently the hydrogen atoms combine with other elements to form acids while the oxygen atoms combine with the steel to form rust. I would imagine that this would mostly occur at the top of the water where the atoms in the fuel are available for hydrogen to combine with.

As for filling up under a canopy (not always possible and even when it is there's no guarantee the wind isn't blowing the rain far enough under it. Also, the cap's vent allows air to enter to replace the volume of fuel used so it is possible for water to enter through that vent when you are caught in the rain, not to mention what condenses from the air drawn into the tank even on a damp day.

Here's a question for you: When you put a bike into storage can you absolutely guarantee that you will take it out of storage again in a few months? This time it was 2 years; What if it turned out to be 5 or 6?
I've said it before: I am glad the original owner of my GoldWing drained the tank before winter because he broke his ankles at work over the winter and was never able to ride again and the bike sat for 6 years before someone making a delivery noticed it in his hedge and bought it from him.
On the other hand, the fellow I bought my GW parts bike from said he had filled the tank with fresh, stabilized fuel when he stored it 3 years before and the stuff I drained from that tank was pretty ripe....

Far better to put the extra effort into draining it and be safe....
 

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I had to look that up. We all know that water consists of hydrogen and oxygen. Apparently the hydrogen atoms combine with other elements to form acids while the oxygen atoms combine with the steel to form rust. I would imagine that this would mostly occur at the top of the water where the atoms in the fuel are available for hydrogen to combine with.

As for filling up under a canopy (not always possible and even when it is there's no guarantee the wind isn't blowing the rain far enough under it. Also, the cap's vent allows air to enter to replace the volume of fuel used so it is possible for water to enter through that vent when you are caught in the rain, not to mention what condenses from the air drawn into the tank even on a damp day.

Here's a question for you: When you put a bike into storage can you absolutely guarantee that you will take it out of storage again in a few months? This time it was 2 years; What if it turned out to be 5 or 6?
I've said it before: I am glad the original owner of my GoldWing drained the tank before winter because he broke his ankles at work over the winter and was never able to ride again and the bike sat for 6 years before someone making a delivery noticed it in his hedge and bought it from him.
On the other hand, the fellow I bought my GW parts bike from said he had filled the tank with fresh, stabilized fuel when he stored it 3 years before and the stuff I drained from that tank was pretty ripe....

Far better to put the extra effort into draining it and be safe....
some of us live in desert conditions. dont think I have ever fueled up in the rain, covered or not
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's always fun to disagree with you Bob! And fruitless. True, not all gas stations have canopies, but where I ride along the eastern seaboard probably 24 of 25 do have canopies. I can't remember the last time I was at an uncovered one,customer convenience and environmental cleanup liability are likely factors in most filling stations being canopied now. I've never been to Kawartha Lakes, so I cannot speak for that area. No, I cannot guarantee the wind won't blow hard enough to get rain on my bike, even under a canopy. But I only seldom need gas in the rain, and most filling stations are canopied, and even then, the wind is not "usually" blowing that hard when I do. I probably wouldn't be riding under those conditions even once per year. Total solar eclipses happen more frequently here. And if I found myself under all those conditions and saw rain pouring onto my gas tank, I would be inclined to shield the tank opening with my free hand to minimize it. No, I cannot be positive that when I put a bike into storage it won't be there for an extended time, the future has a way of doing what it wants. I do have "parts" bikes that have sat untouched for decades, and still have never found water in the tanks. Unless they were outside under a tarp or an open shed. As far as the tank drawing in moisture in the form of humidity, that would be ambient humidity, unlikely to condense unles it experienced dramatic temperature drops (this may be your experience because you ride in the winter season, I generally do not), and it would acclimate to the current ambient humidity level each time you opened the fuel cap to refuel, as humidity equalizes very quickly across unrestricted spaces. I believe the usual lack of pronounced temperature fluctations is the factor that brings me the most "luck". All that said, I have gotten a couple of times in my life water in a gas can from a filling station. It usually is discovered when it causes me a problen with a lawn mower or tractor and I then find some in the gas can. So there is another possible source, but also rare I think as gas stations are typically checked for water in the tank each time a tanker refills them. I did find an experiment online where an uncoated nail is placed in a bowl, covered in water and then a top layer of vegetable oil. The nail did not rust because oxygen in the air could not get to it for the reaction, so I don't think the O in H2O is where the oxygen for the reaction (rust) comes from. Interesting subject, thanks for motivating me to investigate and think about it more.
 
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Moisture entering the tank with the air is more likely in summer than winter. If you use gas on a hot, humid day and the tank fills with hot, humid air and moisture can condense when it cools down at night and the condensed water will settle to the bottom of the tank.
About half of the places I fill up have canopies. I don't consider them adequate protection from rain. In fact, A few months ago I was filling Kay's car and heard a tap-tap-tapping sound. At first I thought it was her trying to get my attention but then I realized it was water dripping off the edge of the "roof" onto the top of the car.

And they don't need to be stored outside for the tank to rust either. I was once given an old bike that had been left to moulder away in a basement. The fuel had long since turned to varnish and the tank had holes along the bottom edge. I don't know how damp the basement was but the rest of the bike didn't look too bad.

But I can only warn you of what might happen; You have to make your own decision.
 

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I don't think the O in H2O is where the oxygen for the reaction (rust) comes from.
Agreed, the water molecule does not form O2 and H2 easily; think electrolysis. Water is definitely not the source of the oxygen causing rusting.
 

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AH, the infallible Wikipedia!
 

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I'm not aware of any electrical current passing thru a gas tank that will break H2O into H2 and O

Water molecules can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen molecules by a chemical reaction called electrolysis. When an electric current is passed through liquid water (H2O), it changes the water into two gases—hydrogen and oxygen. The molecules of water break apart into individual atoms [/qoute]
 

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If you syphon every drop of gas out of the tank at the end of the season and drain the carb bowls all the fuss about water in the tank becomes a moot point.
That's what I do because I store my bikes indoors in the den downstairs since I have a walkout rambler and can push them in the back door.
I yank the batteries also.
Storing bikes indoors is okay as long as they aren't latent bombs waiting to go off or have tanks full of gas that would stink up the house.
Draining the gas tanks every year also gives you an opportunity to make sure there is in fact no water lurking in there.
I also spoil my bikes with non-oxy from the station a mile down the road only because I rotate riding bikes and don't like any ethanol sitting in there for any period of time.
Anecdotally, I have had gummed up carbs from ethanol, but have never even once had that happen with non-oxy.
(popcorn emoji inserted here)
 

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Actually, my point was that it is prudent to drain the tank for that very reason.

Yes, there are errors in Wikipedia but most of the information is correct and can be verified by comparing to other pages. As for the veracity of this particular Wiki page, I'm not a molecular chemist so I have to rely on online research to try to understand this sort of stuff. I found a number of pages that said similar but that page seemed to explain the process better. Unless one of you guys happens to be a molecular chemist and can explain why the author if the page is incorrect, I think it makes sense to take it at face value.
"The hydrogen atoms present in water molecules can combine with other elements to form acids"
I assume that in the case of a fuel tank, the other elements that the hydrogen combines with come from either the steel, the fuel or both. When hydrogen atoms from the water combine with other elements oxygen must be liberated (this part at least is pretty basic stuff) and thus available to form rust.

BTW: Nobody said that all of the water molecules are pulled apart.
And nobody suggested that electrolysis was happening inside the tank. There are lots of chemical reactions that can pull molecules of a substance apart so that their atoms can combine with other atoms to form molecules of something else and water molecules aren't immune to the process.
 
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