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