Fuel Stabilizer (yea or nay?)

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by Joel Brown, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Joel Brown

    Joel Brown New Member

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    Since I got my new Speed Triple, my Viffers been getting less miles. I take it on rides every week but, short ones around the block, just to keep everything in the right direction. Today, I brought it to work, to get a slightly leggier outing and it got me thinking on the ride about adding fuel stabilizer.

    Just wondering what you guys think? I've heard some people say it's bad but, I've never owned a bike that sat long enough to add it. If you like it and have had good results, can you tell me about how long a tank of gas will stay fresh and not gum-up the insides? And, if I ride the bike pretty regularly, like I do; do I even need it? Likewise, if it's the devil, should I just keep the bike low on fuel and just add some, when I take short rides?

    Thanks for any insight. Hope everyone's well,

    Joel
     
  2. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    Riding a bike around the block to keep everything in the right direction is WORSE than leaving it alone.
    Keeping fuel TOPPED TO THE BRIM is far better - unless you want to replace your fuel tanks
     
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  3. Bubba Utah

    Bubba Utah Insider

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    I agree Driving Pete, I did put some stabilizer in mine a couple of years ago. I did not know of any negatives. In Utah I ride from March until October. I just keep the tank full and start it up once a week when snow is on the ground until it warms up to 157 degrees. I rev it up a bit until it hits 170 to try to charge the battery. If I get a 50 degree day and the tank is low I just ride out and fill it up and do about 30 miles or so. The battery is now 4 yrs old. It seems to be fine but a new one will be in order this year or next. I was thinking about putting an amp gauge on the bike so I know when it is going south.
     
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  4. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    During storage, start ups and short trips do more harm than good. Unless you get the bike fully warmed up, the little bit of water / condensation is not burned off. The bike has to be over something like 3k rpm for the charging system to put current back in the battery. Best to put it on a battery tender for a couple days a month.

    I do use fuel stabilizer and it's supposed to keep the ethanol in fuel from breaking down, or at least becoming harmful. I've not had a problem with any of the bikes I've used it in. The best thing you can do is find non-ethanol fuel and top the bike up with that during storage months. You can google search non-ethanol fuel for your area, and there should be a few places that have it.
     
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  5. Joel Brown

    Joel Brown New Member

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    Great replies, guys. I changed the oil, flushed and replaced the coolant, got a new battery and added a tender and I'm taking rides long-enough to get the bike "up to speed". The thing I absolutely overlooked is how fuel in the tank is rust-prevention. Where I was thinking yesterday that I'd keep the fuel low and replace a little, as I use a little, I think now I'll fill the tank and use it down, then fill it again. And/or add fuel and stabilizer, if it's taking longer than I would expect. From everyone's replies, this feels "right".

    Thanks!

    Joel
     
  6. dbuzz77

    dbuzz77 New Member

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    I like seafoam as a storage additive and it also cleans injectors. stored every winter with seafoam and occasionally during the riding season also.
     
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  7. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    I also use Seafoam One ounce per gallon. I also try to fill up with "Rec gas"- no corn squeezings- for the off season.
     
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  8. Bubba Utah

    Bubba Utah Insider

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    XRedjar, I wondered if you saw what I posted with the times/temps and mileage. I thought bringing the bike up to about Mid 170s was at temp? I also rev the engine up between 4500 and 5500 after about 158 degrees or so until 170-180degrees. That is what temp the Vtech needs to be at. I agree a battery tender is best but I have never used one before on any bike. As for mileage for a short trip I would say 3-1o miles but putting on 30+ miles is average commute distance. I agree that true gas is needed and that is what I use. So with my scenario am I still doing nothing good? Thanks
     
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  9. scottbott

    scottbott Insider

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    just had a look at Amazon UK and it is available over here do not know anyone that has used it personally or even heard of it, is it as good as people say or is there some 'hype' over it?
     
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  10. Gator

    Gator Insider

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    Living in Florida we ride all year long so no need for us. But we do get a lot of hurricanes and most have generators that we start up once a year if they don't get used for a hurricane. I have used Sta-Bil for decades in generators and it does its job. I burn off the year old fuel and refill with ethanol free gas and Sta-Bil and the carbs do not gum up, usually fire up after a few pulls.
     
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  11. zxmikez

    zxmikez New Member

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    So as I have experienced 65+ mph winds and windchills below zero in the past 48 hours, I feel somewhat qualified to comment on the "what to do when my bike is layed up for a while" discussion. After years of spring swearing season, ie, when you go to start your bike after a long Northeast winter- I have learned a few things.
    - Fill up the tank with non ethanol fuel before putting it away. Note that no air/moisture in the tank means very limited rust
    - Add fuel stabilizer before you actually put in the fuel- so it has a better chance of diluting and making it into the carbs evenly when you ride it from the gas station to home
    - dont start your bike at all during the winter. unless you are taking it on a long enough ride to a) get it truly hot, and b) need to put more fresh gas in, then your are just hurting it.

    If you ask 10 folks for what brand of stabilizer to use, you will get 10 answers. (like another "best oil to use thread") I have used most of them and been fully satisfied. I now use a Startron exclusively- for admittedly non scientific reasons. First, the mechanic that works on my 1960s British bikes suggests it. He claims that he still needs to occasionally rebuild carbs that have used stabil and others- but never startron. Again, not science, but I will go with it. Also, it is available by amazon and others in these little "shooter" containers. I carry one in my jacket and just drop some in with each fill up. especially important on vintage bikes, if you cant find non ethanol gas while out on a ride.

    https://www.amazon.com/Star-Tron-Enzyme-Fuel-Treatment/dp/B0068ENYPK?th=1
     
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  12. XRedJar

    XRedJar New Member

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    Hey Bubba. Was not throwing rocks your way, you just brought up some good talking points. My intent was more "rules of thumb", not picking nits with how/what you do.
    "up to temp" is not just getting the temp gauge to read "XXX" value. That's is part of it, and the part we (riders) can quantify. I know with my 4 wheeled vehicles, it takes the oil much longer to come up to temp than the coolant. What the best is for any vehicle is to get all the fluids/exhaust/cat/etc... up to temp to burn off/remove condensation. I'll be honest, I have no idea how long it takes sitting still to get to that point. Typically a 20 - 30 min drive should get the job done. Also, it takes a lot of consistent "short trip/low temp" runs to be an issue. If you are commuting 30+ more than you are short tripping.....nothing to worry about I'd think.

    I'm not sure if you are talking about reving the engine with the bike stopped, or while riding. I'm not a fan of reving an engine that is not under load, or if that's the RPM range your hanging out while riding.....nothing wrong with that. Either way, it's your bike and I'm not here trying to tell anyone else what they "should" be doing. Just passing on what I consider to be good rules of thumb.

    Hope that clears the air (if it wasn't before). ~Red
     
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  13. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    I use Sta-bil (this year) & will see in the spring if my NC24 starts.. lol
    I am however fairly used to pulling the carbs.
     
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  14. Gator

    Gator Insider

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    Did you use ethanol free gas wth it? My bet it starts right up.
     
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  15. dbuzz77

    dbuzz77 New Member

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    I have used startron also, it claims to "rebuild" ethanol fuel i so use it for those extreme cases. my boat had part of a tank and sat for 2 years with only stabilizer the 1st year and i put startron in with some fresh gas and it started right up with no issues.
     
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  16. Bubba Utah

    Bubba Utah Insider

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    I didn't take it as stone throwing. If it didn't across correctly I was just seeing your thought and adding what I do. I was putting it out for advise on temp and mileage for the group. We all have our thing and it is good to hear other opinions. I don't get butt hurt easily;-) thanks for clearing the air but not needed. Take care my friend!
     
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  17. Bubba Utah

    Bubba Utah Insider

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    Well, I won't need to wait much longer. Storms this week and awaiting March and April good riding weather! I wish good riding weather soon to all.
     
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  18. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Both.

    If you are parking up a bike with carbs for months on end - then definitely add stabil to good quality (not supermarket) fuel and once it is parked, top up to make sure the tank is brim full.

    Stabil is not really needed during typical over winter storage on bikes with fuel injection - just run the fuel low then refill to the brim with "quality" higher octane (100/98) not (95) petrol ideally ethanol free. The higher octane will more than offset in any fuel degradation during extended stops. Certainly my Vtec starts first time every year after many months parked in an unheated garage in a ski resort sometimes with temperatures well below -20c inside the garage.

    However starting first time also depends on the state of your battery. So if you know a bike is not going to be used for months, keep the battery indoors and put it on a tender for an hour or so each month to keep it in good health.

    If the arrival of your Triumph really does mean the VFR is likely to be stopped for much longer storage (6 months+) then it is probably time to sell it or follow the much more extensive advice in your owners manual as the best way to protect your investment.
     
  19. Cycleman1

    Cycleman1 New Member

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    If I am leaving gas in the tank, then I prefer seafoam to a stabilizer. Works much better and doesn't evaporate and leave a residue in carbed bikes.

    I'm a fan of either leaving the tank full or empty, but not somewhere in between when I winter store my bikes. Normal unleaded gas starts to go stale after about a month of sitting, so if you are an infrequent rider you might be better off running a premium no lead fuel. In fact when I winter store my bikes with fuel I use premium no lead fuel. Fuel injected bikes are not quite as much of a problem with winter storage as carbed bikes have been. More to screw up with carbs.
     
  20. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    Around here it gets real cold and wet in winter, so most bikes have 3-4 months of garage time every year.
    Standard practise is to fill the tank to the very top with 99 or 100 octane (only fuel you should ever use anyway), remove the battery and do nothing else. Unless it's a carb bike, in which case we add a bit of "antifreeze" to the fuel (not really antifreeze but it prevents condensation and ice in the carbs) and drain the carbs.

    If the bike is in good condition, you should never need to do anything else.
    In fact, it's much better of just sitting there for 3 months, than being run a bit every now and then.

    I just took my old Honda Shadow out after sitting in the garage for 4 months. threw a freshly charged battery in it and it fired up right away (still sub zero temps). If yours does not, there is something wrong with it.
     
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