ASK THE MXPERTS: NOT THE WAY TO PUMP UP PUMP GAS
My friends run fuel stabilizer in their pump gas and say that it improves performance. Obviously this would be the poorman’s version of race gas if it is true. Is it?
No. Fuel stabilizer is not a hop-up. Fuel stabilizers do not make horsepower. Fuel stabilizers will not alter the octane of fuel and will not cause any effect on operating conditions. In action, you will not even know that it’s mixed in the gas. Fuel stabilizer is just an insurance policy for riders who let gas sit for longer than five days. It just maintains the original fuel’s integrity, consistency and performance.
On the other hand, fuel stabilizer does not interfere with the performance of your machine. In truth, if you don’t ride every week, and let your bike or gas can sit unused, fuel stabilizer can improve the performance of the gas in your tank. Adding a small amount of fuel stabilizer to your gas can help old fuel maintain its freshness between rides. As a matter of fact, the moment that fuel leaves the gas station pump it begins breaking down and losing power. The use of a fuel storage stabilizer can greatly reduce fuel degradation.
A four-stroke has more to gain from fuel stabilizer than a two-stroke. Four-strokes don’t have the protection that comes with the natural anti-corrosive qualities of ester synthetics and other components that are found in a two-stroke premix oil. Fuel stabilizer ties up the gas molecules in straight gas and keeps the light ends from evaporating.
Where fuel stabilizer is at its best is when your bike sits for long periods of time (anything over three weeks is a long period of time when it comes to gasoline). Here are some tips on how to best use fuel stabilizers.
(1) You should add fuel stabilizer to your gas can prior to putting gas in it. That way, the instant you fill your bike’s gas tank, the fuel stabilizer is well mixed and ready to maintain the freshness of your overall supply of fuel. By adding it immediately you prolong the life of fuel from the second it leaves the gas pump to the time it combusts.
(2) Fuel stabilizers work with leaded, unleaded, oxygenated, reformulated and regular gasoline. One of its big pluses is that it will actually improve the quality of any ethanol-based fuel (from a corrosion standpoint).
(3) Pump gas with ethanol in it is hygroscopic (and all pump gas has ethanol in it). Hygroscopic means the fuel has an affinity for water and will actually absorb atmospheric moisture. This moisture causes corrosion. Although not all fuel stabilizers will fight this corrosion, Maxima Fuel Storage Stabilizer does.
(4) Virtually ever racer carries his fuel in a plastic jug. This is not a problem if you use all the fuel in a week or two. But, if you don’t ride every week you should invest in a metal gas can. Metal cans do not breathe like plastic gas cans. The combination of a metal fuel can and fuel stabilizer can make five gallons of gas last for a year.
(5) If you intend to store your bike over the winter, fuel stabilizer is a must. The more humid the environment, like winter weather, the bigger the benefit. As a rule of thumb, fuel stabilizer prolongs fuel freshness beyond three months, but works best if you plan ahead. Before you put your bike away for prolonged periods, run the engine with fuel stabilized gas for several minutes. This ensures that the stabilizer treats the gas tank, fuel filter, fuel lines, throttle body, injectors and combustion chamber. Then, drain the gas tank of all fuel. The stabilizer that has been been run through the engine will coated all the internal fuel system parts so that when you start it for the first time it will be corrosion and varnish free.
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