Winter Storage Fuel
It has been becoming increasingly important to consider the fuel in the tank when bikes are left idle for months at a time and this issue has become critical already.
Pump fuel suppliers are now obliged to add ethanol and other chemicals to the blend and the additives are bad news for our machinery.
The reduced ‘pot life’ of unleaded fuel has long meant that, by spring, there is a good chance the old petrol will be so dead that your bike will struggle to start - if it starts at all. This however is only frustrating compared to the infuriation of finding that the fuel will have also caused internal corrosion as well. Using Super Unleaded means the fuel will keep its tang for a lot longer, and is worth using as a matter of course in the summer, but it still has the damaging chemicals that need serious consideration for the times the bike is dormant.
Draining the tank and carburettor and leaving the bike dry is an option but that leaves the remaining residue to form a gunk that will block jets the next time fuel is added. It also means that it cannot be regularly exercised and it is always beneficial to keep everything turning and working sweetly.
A better solution is to look at the special ethanol free storage fuels available from Anglo American Oil Company.
They import Aspen 4, 95 RON unleaded aimed at the garden machinery market and available from a network of dealers throughout the UK in 5 litre cans. They also have Sunoco Optima, 98 RON fuel available for direct delivery in 25, 50 and 200 litre drums.
It is obviously notably more expensive than pump fuel but it is a false economy to ignore the problem. As a matter of course every Proper Bikes bike is fitted with Optima throughout the winter. The tanks and float chambers are emptied as soon as the road gritting lorries emerge and they are run up to temperature on the new fuel before the winter covers go on.