How does E10 fuel affect my BMW?

BMW motorcycles and E10 fuel
Posted in: Tips and tricks

We’ve been getting a lot of enquiries from our UK customers regarding the recently introduced E10 fuel, and if your BMW will run OK on it...

In short, this basically means that the amount of ethanol in fuel has doubled, from 5% up to 10% for standard pump fuel. E10 fuel has been available across many other countries for years, so if your bike has run on unleaded fuel previously, it should run adequately on E10 fuel. 

BMW Motorrad say “All models are compatible with E10. However the number of Octanes needs to be compatible with the model according to your user handbook” – check the following link from the GOV.UK website here.

However, there are a few things to be mindful of;

- Ethanol is very corrosive, and also holds moisture. On older bikes, this is bad news for steel and plastic fuel tanks, as well as most of the rubber hoses, o-rings and fittings inside your tank, fuel system or carburettors, and will cause these parts to perish and become damaged if the ethanol is allowed to take hold. 

- Ethanol can also impact the fuel economy of your bike, with consumption increasing. 

Here are some of our suggestions on how to try and combat this; 

- Use the best fuel you can afford when you fill up, such as super unleaded (e.g V-Power) as this currently contains 5% ethanol content at most (also known as E5) 

- Try not to leave your bike in the garage for too long with old fuel sat in the tank. If you leave your bike laid up over winter or for a few months, make sure you drain your carbs. It is suggested that leaving your tank full with the best fuel available will prevent against fuel tank corrosion. 

- Consider using an additive, such as Millers VSPe. This is designed to inhibit the corrosive behaviour of ethanol from taking place. We supply this additive, part number OIA11047 and it is available to buy on our website.

Established in 1989, and with over 24,000 products available from the best brands out there, Motorworks are the UK’s number 1 for BMW motorcycle parts and accessories.

9 February 2022
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