With the advent of ethanol in modern fuels our carburetted classics have started to have a pretty hard time.
At 2WheelsMiklos we have our collection of classics and we are continuously restoring classics for customers. So we have had to come to a few simple practical solutions in order to best manage today’s fuel reality.
We thought these might be of interest to you:
1. Typically we only use 97 octane in order to at least try to compensate octane-wise for the lack of lead.
2. At each annual service we add to a reasonably full tank of fuel 175 ml of Protecan Petrol System Cleaner (see picture). Our experience is that this facilitates over 90% of our starts and keeps fuel fairly fresh.
3. We avoid using petrol tank sealers. In the event of a holed tank we will endeavour to fix it by welding. If this fails we would rather source a new tank than use a sealer.
4. We only have one fibre glass tank in the collection – on the Mammoth Munch. Given the rarity, value and condition of this bike, we have decided not to expose the tank to ordinary (ethanol containing) petrol. So we use Aspen Fuel in the Munch (see picture). We buy this from garden service suppliers. It is a very clean fuel with no additives. Unfortunately it is very expensive – three or four times the cost of petrol. When the Munch is run and we want to shut it down, we close the fuel taps and allow the carburettors to empty. The tank always has fuel (Aspen) in it and seems to accept this perfectly well without deterioration.
5. The majority of issues that we do encounter tend to be dirty float bowls or some other impediment to fuel flow, probably emanating from some rust in the tanks of the bikes concerned.