FRENCH FUEL

Real Classic - - Letters - Andy Hav­ill, mem­ber

Stu Thomp­son asks for other mem­bers’ ex­pe­ri­ence of fuel in France. I’ve lived here for eight years and not no­ticed any dif­fer­ence. I fill up at ex­clu­sively at su­per­mar­kets be­cause they’re any­thing up to 10 cents a litre cheaper than the al­ter­na­tives. I run all my bikes on 95 ROM, which is E5 just like in the UK. Oc­ca­sion­ally my En­field EFI gets E10 if it’s avail­able. The pumps are clearly marked E10, it’s cheaper, En­field say it’s fine, and I’ve had no is­sues us­ing it.

E85 is be­com­ing more widely avail­able now, but I don’t own any­thing mod­ern enough to use it. I do use a fuel sta­biliser in the bikes that get laid up over win­ter (and in the mower) but only to stop the fuel go­ing off while they’re parked. This is only a pre­cau­tion, it’s not nec­es­sary while they’re be­ing used reg­u­larly.

The 2CV on the other hand de­mands 98 to keep it from pink­ing, but that’s be­cause it’s hilly round these parts, so I’m run­ning the ig­ni­tion a lit­tle ad­vanced to eke out that last 0.0005bhp.

Most of the is­sues over here seem to oc­cur with bikes in oc­ca­sional use, or when they’re laid up for a while. Mod­ern fu­els tend to break down the per­ish­able com­po­nents of ag­ing fuel sys­tems; pipes, seals, corks – and es­pe­cially old tank lin­ers! It shouldn’t be a prob­lem if your bike’s been fit­ted with ethanol-re­sis­tant items. Us­ing a fuel sta­biliser like Star Tron also pre­vents the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of wa­ter in the petrol tank, which cor­rodes the ex­posed met­als. Rowena

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