WASHINGTON – I recently returned from my ninth Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota and the energy and excitement was palpable! There were motorcycle riders young and old from all over the country, converging on Sturgis, S.D., to enjoy another awesome rally. As an avid rider, I look forward to Sturgis every year, but this year was special: the Renewable Fuels Association recently opened a new fueling station that only offers 93 octane, 10% ethanol.
The standalone station at the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground is also the only one in the region that offers 93 octane fuel, and at a price that averaged $.30/gallon less than the competition’s 91 octane premium. Riders lined up for the fuel for the octane, price and the convenience. The station is located at the exit of the Buffalo Chip, and allows riders to go three different directions to enjoy the Black Hills without having to venture into heavy traffic towards Sturgis for fuel. This station was donated to the Buffalo Chip as part of a continued partnership by the RFA.
This new station is also a great way to help counter the misinformation commonly heard about ethanol in motorcycles, or simply how ethanol in the marketplace could affect motorcycle riders. The more riders are exposed to the realities of ethanol and how it fits into the marketplace, the less concern they have in using it or seeing it expand. Thousands of motorcycles fueled at the new station and personally experienced the reality this year. There was not one single complaint from anyone that used it. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
These motorcyclists are now better informed about ethanol blends, knowing that every motorcycle manufacturer endorses the use of E10 and that fueling with ethanol gives riders the cleanest, lowest cost and highest octane fuel on the planet. They are also now able to separate fact from fiction the next time the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) trots out untruths about ethanol. AMA has repeatedly stated things like there is an E15 mandate, that the 4-gallon minimum requirement precludes riders from using ethanol or that soon they will not be able to fuel their motorcycle because E10 will be replaced with E15. Despite years of predicting all three, none of them have come true or are even on the horizon.
Free Fuel Happy Hours remained a part of the RFA effort in Sturgis, with riders able to fill up with 93 octane, E10 at no cost. Over the three-day, nine-hour promotion, RFA filled more than 700 motorcycles with an estimated 1,700 gallons of fuel. Riders also had an opportunity to receive a free t-shirt and koozie, both branded with ethanol. The RFA team ran out of both early, as the traffic was heavy. It also helped that Academy Award nominee Tom Berenger and Miss South Dakota Miranda Mack stopped by to fuel up with E10!
As always, I had a great time at Sturgis this year, catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and getting to educate lots of folks about the many benefits of ethanol. RFA will continue its efforts at Sturgis next year. For all of you that enjoy the feel of the wind in your face – Ride Safe and Fuel Right!