Farm Progress

A 93-octane, higher-performance ethanol blend works well for high-compression engines.

Rod Swoboda 1, Editor, Wallaces Farmer

September 7, 2017

3 Min Read
SUPER FUEL: Motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts are finding the higher-octane ethanol blend gives them higher performance with lower emissions.

Motorcyclists in Iowa are increasingly finding a new fueling option: 93-octane super premium that contains 10% ethanol. High-compression engines like those in motorcycles and some sports cars can benefit from a high-octane fuel.

Most vehicles run on standard 87-octane gasoline, while a few require 91-octane premium. Those are the fuel options generally found in Iowa. However, at a growing number of locations, 93-octane super premium is available. Murphy USA was the first retail chain to make 93-octane part of its fuel options, and Kum & Go has begun adding it to many of its locations.

“I’ve ridden dirt bikes and street bikes since I was in third grade,” says Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “Sitting on a motorcycle in traffic breathing exhaust fumes from cars makes you appreciate a cleaner-burning fuel like ethanol. It’s exciting that retailers are bringing 93-octane super premium to Iowans. It is perfect for motorcycles, and many sports cars can benefit also.”

Super premium blended with 10% ethanol
The new fuel is simply a combination of the standard super-premium gasoline sent to Iowa from petroleum refiners that is then blended with 10% ethanol once it gets here. The ethanol boosts octane while reducing cancer-causing emissions.

According to the Renewable Fuels Association, for many years all motorcycle manufacturers have approved 10% ethanol blends in their equipment, including Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Triumph. And Indian and Victory even allow up to 15% ethanol to be used.

“Based on a lot of misinformation, there has been resistance to ethanol blends in the biker community,” says Shaw. “I joke with some of my biker friends who don’t use ethanol how they know more about their engine than the people who designed and built it. But I respect their right to buy the fuel of their choice. My hope is the allure of 93-octane fuel will get them to try an ethanol blend. Once they do, they’ll never go back.”

93-octane locations in Iowa
Murphy USA offers 93-octane E10 at the following locations:
• 3405 Eighth St. SW, Altoona
• 1006 S.E. National Drive, Ankeny
• 1903 E. Seventh Street, Atlantic
• 518 Brandilynn Blvd., Cedar Falls
• 3030 Edgewood Road SW, Cedar Rapids
• 2346 Virginia Ave., Clinton
• 5805 Elmore Ave., Davenport
• 3315 W. Kimberly, Davenport
• 3010 First Ave. S., Fort Dodge
• 1502 N. Jefferson St., Indianola
• 3450 Main St., Keokuk
• 906 W. Bell Ave., Knoxville
• 5497 Business Hwy 151, Marion
• 4059 Fourth St. SW, Mason City
• 907 E. Baker St., Mount Pleasant
• 200 Iowa Speedway Dr., Newton
• 2201 A Ave. West, Oskaloosa
• 1939 Venture Drive, Ottumwa
• 3420 Singing Hills Blvd., Sioux City
• 3115 Floyd Blvd., Sioux City
• 1829 Lake Ave., Storm Lake
• 208 W. Agency Road, West Burlington

With plans to add more in the future, Kum & Go offers 93-octane E10 at the following locations:
• 350 E. University, Waukee
• 818 Highway 105, Northwood
• 6304 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines
• 4585 156th St., Urbandale
• 2108 Isaac Newton Drive, Ames
• 801 N. First St., Grimes
• 731 S. Riverside Dr., Iowa City
• 205 Second St., Coralville
• 2600 Holiday Road, Coralville
• 5901 Mills Civic Pkwy., West Des Moines
• 5050 N.W. Second Ave., Des Moines
• 5830 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines
• 101 E. IA Highway 92, Bevington
• 220 50th St., West Des Moines
• 409 Nile Kinnick Drive, Adel

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production, with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity and 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce over 350 million gallons annually. For more information, visit iowaRFA.org.

 

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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