Free Fuel At The Sturgis Buffalo Chip To Highlight The Benefits of Ethanol

(RFA) is announced their continued partnership with the at the 72nd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, SD, August 6-12. This event is an opportunity to promote the use of ethanol fuel to motorcycle enthusiasts from across the country.

The RFA sponsorship will feature one of a kind, free fuel promotions at the Buffalo Chip. These free fuel events are opportunities to promote the use of ethanol fuel to motorcycle enthusiasts from across the country and are only available at the new all accessp commercial development.

Buffalo Chip® campers and concert goers will have the opportunity to fuel their motorcycles for free during two special events. The “Free Fuel Happy Hours” will be sponsored by the RFA, Kansas Corn Commission and the South Dakota Corn Growers.  This promotion will allow motorcyclists to fill their tank, free of charge. To fill up, riders must have a Buffalo Chip wrist band. No fuel containers allowed.

The Free Fuel Happy Hours will be on Wednesday, August 8th and Thursday, August 9th at development from 4pm-6pm. The RFA’s promotional trailer will be featured inside the amphitheater of the Legendary Sturgis Buffalo Chip® where hundreds of thousands of concert goers gather for the musical entertainment.

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) promotes policies, regulations and research and development initiatives that will lead to the increased production and use of fuel ethanol. RFA membership includes a broad cross-section of businesses, individuals and organizations dedicated to the expansion of the U.S. fuel ethanol industry.

47 Responses to “Free Fuel At The Sturgis Buffalo Chip To Highlight The Benefits of Ethanol”

  1. 1 clintp22 Jul 19th, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Good possibility of being a “No lines. No waiting” event.

  2. 2 NJBrian Jul 19th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I hope not one single person shows up. I don’t have a problem with the theory or practice of biofuel but our corrupt government has wasted billions of our tax dollars on this and they need to learn a lesson that we are sick and tired of them pandering to certain groups for votes. They’re not in it for the environment, for politicians it’s all about money and votes.

  3. 3 Matt Jul 19th, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Void my warranty free of charge! Where do I get in line?! =)

  4. 4 GuitarSlinger Jul 19th, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Oh yes and has anyone mentioned the ‘ Benefits ‘ of Ethanol enhanced fuel ?

    Like 15% less fuel economy ( which negates the 15% decrease in pollution ) ?

    Like corroding out your fuel lines , fuel pump , gaskets etc especially on an older bike/car ?

    Like as Matt said , voiding your warranty on the spot ?

    Oh but as NJBrian said ….. there are benefits . Not for the vehicles owner – the farmers growing the corn ( I live in the corn belt and you should listen to what those farmers to a number all say ) or even the gas stations selling it . Somebody though is coming out ahead . Its just not any of us 😉

  5. 5 Jack Jul 19th, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Why so anti farmer or ethanol here?

    I’ve ran ethanol (E10) for years in everything from my bikes, lawn equipment, boat, and vehicles (newer and older) without issue.

    I wont argue that the gov’t doesn’t screw up anything it gets involved in but Ethanol did not increase food prices like some want to claim. It’s less of a ground and air pollutant, and lessens our need for oil.

  6. 6 Mike Greenwald Jul 19th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Seems like the government subsidy of this $26 per gallon bug juice has gotten to a point where they have to give it away and nobody wants it.

    Maybe there would have been a wider acceptance of it if the government had fermented some of their high octane bullshit.

  7. 7 Jul 19th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Hmm….free ethanol. They could not even pay me to use it!!!!! So sad,

  8. 8 Jul 19th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    The whole ethanol program is SUPPOSED to be cheaper, cleaner, more efficient but I am not seeing it. I resent having ethanol shoved up my arse and STILL having to put ADDITIVES in it to run it!! peace

  9. 9 NJBrian Jul 19th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Looks like the feds found themselves one heck of a customer.

    So tax dollars are paying for the production of the fuel, and now tax dollars will be used for the Navy to purchase it. BOHICA!

  10. 10 Jul 19th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I love the haters, somewhat entertaining. I use 85% ethanol in my Road King to prove that ethanol does not damage motorcycles. All motorcycle companies offering products here in the United States endorse ethanol up to 10%. Harley has even done promotions, some more than a decade ago. Check your owner’s manual, read for yourself. It will not void your warranty.

    As for fuel economy, there is 3% less BTUs in a gallon of E10 vs gallon of pure gasoline (if you can find it).

    For those looking to avoid it, odds are you have been already using it. 96% of all fuel sold today contains ethanol, especially those states that surround Sturgis.

  11. 11 rob Jul 19th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Glad you like the E15,but not for me ,thanks. I’m sure if most folks just top off,they may not feel the effects of E15or E85 or whatever it’s called.Just more volume in the tank to evaporate………….

  12. 12 Toby Jul 19th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I’m not against any alternative fuels, but I am against the requirement that I use them. The dangers of ethanol (water separation, corrosion) are well documented in older bikes. In newer vehicles, not just bikes, you still need to add a stabilizer or drain the gas tank if you are going to put the vehicle in storage for a long period of time. And forget about using it in two cycle engines.

    Real world testing shows a ten percent decrease in fuel economy (power) when using E10. Not sure about E15.

    Currently, ethanol costs more in both dollars and net carbon (pollution) to produce, ship, and use. It only makes sense in the long term if you believe it is a requirement for national security (energy independence) or that the technology of ethanol production will improve.

    With the current drought and corn crop failures it will be interesting to see if there is enough ethanol to go around this summer.

  13. 13 X HD rider Jul 19th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    If you have read the rapid city news you would have found that there is no law saying gas station have to post on there pumps that there is Ethanol in there gas

  14. 14 Jul 19th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    It’s here to stay once a Government program goes into effect it never goes away.

    We have 10% ethonal here in WA state has been for some years. All the service techs I listen to or speak to state the following: You get less power from mixed gas than from pure gas. That means biiger engines need to be made to get more Hp to make up for less effecient fules and so the crazy cycle(no puns inteneded) begins.

    In the end you get less milage than you did 10 years ago pre ethenal days. Now that’s Government Thinking for you.

  15. 15 Jul 19th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Geeez, I just noticed a few spelling errors on my last post! Where is that spell checker anyhow?

  16. 16 Heavy Metal Jul 19th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    There is no such thing as “free” at Sturgis. You will pay somehow.

  17. 17 Jul 19th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    There is no way in hell I would run ethanol in any of my bikes unless I had no other choice. If you ride every week on a newer bike then probably no problem. But I have several bikes and split riding time between them, so invariably in the winter months something doesn’t get ridden and that ethanol crap will ruin a carb or gas tank or anything else really quick. Hate that stuff. And I hate that the gooberment makes us taxpayers subsidize it.

  18. 18 Jul 19th, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Whether you love it or hate it …….there are facts that you should be aware of :
    1.) Ethanol is an “oxygenated ” fuel, meaning that in it’s formulation it carries an extra molecule of oxygen. No matter 10%,15%….whatever, this leads to a “lean burn” situation which raises combustion chamber and exhaust temperatures..
    2.) Lean burn issues are magnified in smaller displacement engines. Precisely why E10-15 have never given any problems in large displacement automobile engines.
    3.) The boiling point of oxygenated fuels is considerably lower than standard pump gas formulations. This has the potential to lead to “vapor lock” in carbureted engines.
    4.) The potential for fuel to go out of condition in a shorter period of time is greater for ethanol blends becuse of the oxygenated formulation. I would avoid leaving it in anything during storage.
    5.) Ethanol attracts moisture…….moisture and oxygen are neccessary for corrosion to occurr.

    Many people have utilized it with great success. I choose not to for the above reasons.. Like almost any product, there are pros and cons to it’s use.
    Best of luck to everyone. Hope to see you in Sturgis.


  19. 19 BobS Jul 19th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Wow, a lot of misinformation being spread here. But, I guess that’s the Internet for ya. Here’s some other facts. Gasoline consists of a variety of hydrocarbons, molecular “strings” of hydrogen and carbon atoms, a very common string being C8H18. Combine this with O2 from the air and a spark and you get combustion and what comes out is is CO2 and H2O. In a perfect laboratory experiment anyway. In the real world there’s a lot more than C8H18 in the gas, as well as a lot of nitrogen in the air. Ethanol, better known as alcohol or moonshine, is fairly easily distiller into pure C2H6O. Yep, the same Hydrogen, Carbon, and Oxygen. While pure alcohol has fewer btu’s then pure gasoline because of real world impurities in gasoline it is easier to get close to a 100% burn of alcohol than it is of gas. Plus, as mentioned the alcohol adds extra oxygen to the combustion mix so a 10-15% blend of alcohol into your gas actually helps you burn ALL of your gas. So even though 100% alcohol has fewer btu’s, in real world testing a 10/90 blend will actually outperform 100% gas. Alcohol also has a higher octane rating so it is ideal for high compression, high performance builds. Anyone ever see pro drag races???
    While alcohol has some benefits over gas, it also has some undesirable qualities. It is corrosive to certain compounds of rubber. This is why it should only be used in newer vehicles, like those made after the early 80’s. It does have a shorter shelf life, and if water is introduced it can separate from the gas it was blended with. But…gas has a shelf life too, which can be as little as 90 days. So the smart biker stores his bike wisely no matter what kind of fuel is in his tank. As for those of you not wanting it for free, cool. I’ll take it for free while you go down the street and pay for it, cause that is what’s down the street already.

  20. 20 Jul 19th, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    It’s still not going to be “free”. Not as long as our taxes pay to subsidize it, along with the higher food and other corn-related prices. I suppose if I paid no taxes and and ate on food stamps it’d be free…

  21. 21 BobS Jul 20th, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Woody, the event is corporate sponsored. Their advertising dollars are providing the free fuel, not your taxes. As for corn prices the weather determines that and for food prices there isn’t much effect there either. Distilling converts the sugars, or starches, from in this case corn ( many other sources besides corn too ) to make the alcohol. What’s left is called distillers grains, which is a high protein mash that is turned around and sold as animal . Instead of ing the corn to the cows and chickens to get the protein out we make shine out of it and them the same protein still. With what is looking more and more like a nasty drought going on this year, look for farmers yields to be way down, lowering supply and raising prices.

  22. 22 Jul 20th, 2012 at 7:17 am

    I make an effort to only buy Pure Gas, I have an app on my iPhone that gives me the nearest station that sells non-ethanol fuel. I just did a check for Sturgis and found The Rev Limit at 1412 Junction Ave has 91 octane. Check out for a list of locations near you.

    This is an effort to blunt the power of the AMA’s efforts to question E15. The American Motorcyclist Association is concerned about E15 because it burns hotter than gasoline that contains a lesser amount of ethanol. In engines not designed to dissipate that extra heat, damage in the form of premature wear can result. Although this is a concern in all motorcycles, it’s particularly problematic for air-cooled engines found in Harleys.

    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has introduced two bills to require more INDEPENDENT testing and block introduction. The Corn growers see Motorcyclists as the ONLY block to E15 and that is why you are being targeted. This is a public relations effort to be able to say, “See thousand of bikers lined up at Sturgis for E15, there’s nothing wrong with it” Bet there will be a video crew there filming.

  23. 23 Rodent Jul 20th, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I agree with Heavy Metal, articles say it will be in all access area but you got to have a wristband so it’s for the hundreds of thousands of concert goers. How many?

  24. 24 Jul 20th, 2012 at 7:39 am

    BobS, which do you work for, the RFA or EPA?

    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has introduced two bills to require INDEPENDENT study of E15.

    “The EPA’s decision to allow E15 into the marketplace will impact every American who owns a car, lawnmower or boat,” Sensenbrenner said. Automakers insist that using E15 will void warranties, lower fuel efficiency and cause premature engine failure. In off-road engines, the effects can even be dangerous for users.

    “There are serious concerns that the EPA used only one Department of Energy test and rushed E15’s introduction into the marketplace,” Sensenbrenner said. “This test was limited in scope and ignored a plethora of evidence – albeit inconvenient evidence for the EPA – that shows E15 gasoline has a negative effect on engines.”

    Motorcyclists are the #1 resistors to the implementation of this E15 plan and this is a public relations effort to produce evidence that bikers are happy with E15. You can bet there will be a video crew there to show how happy you are to get E15. The American Motorcyclist Association is working to protect riders from E15. The Buffalo Chip is selling bikers down the road for sponsorship bucks.

    I almost exclusively use Pure Gas. I have an app on my cell phone that gives me the near station selling real gasoline. Go to to get the app and find a station near you. I found only 1 in Sturgis, The Rev Limit at 1412 Junction Ave sells 91 octane. I know that my V8 SUV will average as much as 5 mpg better mileage on high octane Pure Gas than on 91 octane E10.

  25. 25 Jul 20th, 2012 at 8:17 am

    The poster above Robert White is Vice Chair, National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition. He has served as the Director of Value-Added Programs for the Kansas Corn Growers and Grain Sorghum Producers Associations and Kansas Corn Commission since January 2003.

  26. 26 Jul 20th, 2012 at 8:45 am

    TO ROBERT WHITE [who is the person that set this all up]

    Let’s take your flex-fuel Harley and put it on a dyno at Sturgis against a similarly equipped bike running 91 octane Pure Gas and see what the machine says.

  27. 27 Grayhawk Jul 20th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    The government and it’s entities themselves are on the record in the past specifically stating 15% is not a good thing, you might consider fighting this with the AMA or your own reps.

    Special interests; again blind eyes when merited/beneficial to those in tow.

  28. 28 Grayhawk Jul 20th, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Found it, this was posted on this site in the past, chose for yourself; see below links

    Update on your ethanol posting last year; update was out in Oct. ethanol content can now go up to 15% even though government says it could be bad for motorcycle engines.

    AMA take on it

    Gov Rev

    Scroll down to what engines may not use e-15

  29. 29 Jul 20th, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Oh I LOVE alcohol in drag racing…..wide open throttle baby!!! NOT FOR MY DAILY USE!! In racing you better drain that carb/injector/lines etc after use. peace

  30. 30 Toby Jul 20th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Wow, I am amazed at the number of astroturfers trying to defend corn based ethanol here on this blog. Ever wonder what an intern for a lobbyist does all day. Follow the money.

  31. 31 Jul 20th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I’ve specialized in classic Indian motorcycles for about 30 years. Over the last few years of buying, repairing, restoring Indians I have noticed an alarming rate of bikes with rust within their tanks with some redeveloping over a short period of time. Its not a climate issue as the bikes were well cared for. I’m believing it is a gas additive issue. Shame as its destroying some good original metal. This is just my observation of what we are seeing.

  32. 32 Magnumbob Jul 20th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    If you don’t believe ethanol causes damage to an engine not designed for it, ask any small engine, or boat mechanic. Two friends who are small engine guys tell me that while fuel related issues used make up about 50% of their repairs, they say it’s probably 90% now. (On the upside business is booming!).
    Boat mechanics are seeing not only the usual ethanol related fuel line and needle tip deterioration, general gum ups caused by the quickly deteriorating crap, but also contamination from the ethanol eating the plastic fuel tanks. Older boats with fiberglass tanks? Forget about it. They aren’t just contaminating the fuel, they’re falling apart and leaking.
    And you probably shouldn’t even consider ever using ethanol in a two stroke premix situation. It only takes a little moisture to make the ethanol separate from the gasoline. If this happens the ethanol and water sinks to the bottom (and directly to the carb) while the gasoline and oil premix floats on top. Fire that baby up, and you’re running straight ethanol with no lube.
    Add to this a local TV news agency did a little piece a few months back where they found some local gas stations selling fuel that was up to 50% ethanol! Yeah, I know, federal law says it cannot be over 10%. Unfortunately there’s nobody enforcing it.
    Personally, I’ve had it with chasing fuel demons on the 35 or so engines I need to keep running, and have completely sworn off ethanol in everything except my wife’s late model Jeep and my own late model, fuel injected, daily rider.

  33. 33 Jul 20th, 2012 at 11:01 am

    When a classic Indian comes into our shop and has not been run for a period of time, removing the tanks for rust cleaning is almost a requirement these days. Its such a common issue that it was worthwhile to make up a special shaker to do the job. Its that much of a common problem.
    In years past I’d buy Indians that have been sitting for years and the tank insides were usually always in good condition.

  34. 34 Jul 20th, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Fill a vest flask with Marvel Mystery Oil®.

    Yer’ only required to use a 1/2 oz. per gallon [a 35mm film canister holds (1) oz.]. but with practice a rider can measure out single and double shots.
    The exhaust smells like a race bike if you o.d. the mix, and I’ve never fouled a plug from excess. Just a great ol’ top-end lubinator and carbon solvent.

    Marvel Mystery Oil® smells like (Halloween) “red lips” or “teeth” wax candy taste….. yum… think I’ll take a nose-hit from the jug.

  35. 35 Jul 20th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Before we hit the road, can someone can stab-an-answer through the question that’s loomed unanswered for ages…….. “will mixing mid-octane fuel with existing 90% octane (ethyl) produce a “higher-octane burn”?

    Is “ethyl” even a valid description of what comes out of the hose or did she change her name? 🙂

  36. 36 industry guy Jul 20th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    two words. phase seperation

  37. 37 Jul 21st, 2012 at 4:33 am

    just figured out Obama bs cash for clunkers thing…….trick the American zombies into junking older cars so that the Gov’t funded corn fuel isnt causing problems for motorists around the country= bad reputation for ethanol avoided. Ethanol looks good=politicians look good=the government owning the biggest piece of the fuel industry. seriously, why else would it make sense to destroy so many perfectly good cars, to benefit the economy? Buy cars with tax dollars…remove and dispose of all fluids with tax dollars, ship scrap metal to china and get paid scrap prices (tax dollars), trick Americans into buying new cars they cant afford, causing them to go ahead and take those food stamps they now qualify for, not to mention the boost in american labor caused by purchasing new foreign automobiles versus paying mechanics, tow trucks, parts manufacturers (and remanufacturers) etc. to help keep the old cars on the road. Oh maybe its emissions….my 61 econoline claims 27 mpg, no smog anything, just suck bang blow…and its a brick on wheels…my wifes honda accord gets around 26….lots of emissions controls and computer chips, rare metals, let alone the emissions spent for the other side of the world to manufacture all of these new cars, doesn’t seem so green…. let alone the fact that the largest producer of food in the world is now planting its fields full of fuel, not food…nor the fact that farmers are easily urged into planting corn or oats..with good ole government subsidies, thats right folks let uncle sam run your farm for you as well and we’ll send much more money than is needed to sustain you(tax dollars)…this practice of course allows these farmers to sell other products at cost or even lower which pushes out the responsible sustainable farmer, in the end all that is left are taxpayer dependant farms…………………..all in the name of Govermental control of the fuel supply and the economy surrounding it!!

  38. 38 Jul 21st, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    BobS, I understand, but probably worded it badly. Industry-shmindustry. Every taxpayer is paying dearly for ethanol’s very existance. I even gave up and bought a 18v string trimmer for my yard because I’m tired of fighting the crap fuel-related problems. Now I can concentrate on my chainsaw every Spring. Between my bikes & jetski I have 19 carbs to Winterize and babysit with this godforsaken fuel. Then there’s the mower, rototiller, chipper/shredder, etc. Barely worth chewing through the straps sometimes..

  39. 39 Toby Jul 21st, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    LC, while one might blame other conspiracies on the current administration, the corn fuels initiatives were jump started over ten years ago by W and the big agribusiness lobbyists. And the cash for clunkers? About 700,000 older cars were scrapped out of 250 million. Barely a drop in the bucket.

    Want to find some pure gas? Laws vary for direct fill into a vehicle, but you can generally fill up a portable tank, boat tank (many of these places are in marinas), or an older vehicle.

    Take it home and use it in your bike and lawn equipment.

    See this site:

  40. 40 Bigalyts Jul 22nd, 2012 at 11:01 am

    There is 1 True fact that will not be disputed and that is that a Fiberglass or a Plastic Fuel Tank would be a BIG NO NO, with Ethanol. There are a few ways to make the Gas Tank able to take Ethanol, but the price is a few hundred Dollars.

  41. 41 Jul 22nd, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    What Vehicles and Engines May Not Use E15?
    •All motorcycles
    •All vehicles with heavy-duty engines, such as school buses, transit buses, and delivery trucks
    •All off-road vehicles, such as boats and snowmobiles
    •All engines in off-road equipment, such as lawnmowers and chain saws
    •All MY2000 and older cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs)

    (from one of the links provided above)
    Sounds like great stuff to be pushing and paying extra for everything from corn itself to everything it’s used in, huh?

  42. 42 Lapper Jul 23rd, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    havent found “ANY” benefits to ethanol. screwed up every S&S and Mikuni carbs that i use on my bikes. seem to backfire more than ever also.

  43. 43 gtlover Jul 23rd, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Brazil has gotten into ethanol big time. But rather than using corn as the base stock, they use sugar cane. Sugar cane uses 80% less energy than corn to produce the same amount of alcohol. And all of the plant is put to use: what doesn’t become molasses is used as livestock and what’s left over from that is either composted or burned as fuel itself.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love eating corn, and I love eating corn-fed beef. And I know a farm needs to make a profit like any other business. But the only point I see to using what is an incredibly energy and water intensive crop for fuel and sweetener is to line the pockets of agribusiness and send kickbacks to the politicians who help them. It all comes down to dollars and votes.

  44. 44 Aug 11th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Well, the promotion went great. Assume none of you showed, as I heard no anti-ethanol rhetoric, just questions from those concerned. Hundreds of bikes fueled. Many came back the second day to express their gratitude, and tell us how well the fuel performed.

    As for Reyn, I run E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) in my 2009 Harley Road King. I will gladly take the dyno challenge anytime. I did not see this until now, but will gladly travel for an open challenge. We can also do a cost per mile analysis at the same time. We should invite media, since you are so confident. Also, the title and current position you posted for me is not right, if you really care. I am Director of Market Development for the Renewable Fuels Association.

  45. 45 Ted Knight Aug 12th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Hundres or bikes showed up? So Bob what you are saying not even 1% of the m/c’s showed up.
    You sound like a politician in a battle all by yourself

  46. 46 Aug 17th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Assuming you understand that you can only fill so many bikes with one hose in two two-hour segments?? Even a politician can get that.

    I notice that Reyn is now silent. I guess he didn’t expect me to agree to his challenge.

  47. 47 Aug 17th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Mr White are you running a bone stock 09 RK on that mixture? I am curious to know any changes you made. E85 is a whole world away (tuning) from the E10 E15 problems we are experiencing. Thanks. peace

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