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EPA to Expand E15 Ethanol Fuel Sales into Summer

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Following long-fought debate, the Biden Administration announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a temporary waiver to allow for the summertime sale of gasoline with up to 15% ethanol (E15) to help address high fuel costs. Currently, E15 cannot be sold between June 1 and September 15 due to fuel-volatility concerns that higher blends of ethanol combined with warmer temperatures may lead to increased ground-level ozone formation and smog. The agency will review the waiver every 20 days to determine if remaining in place is justified.

Summertime sales of E15 has been a hot-button issue for years. The Biden Administration says this latest decision is based on its authority to pursue a temporary emergency action.

Ethanol, especially in higher concentrations such as E15, can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers in older automobiles that were not constructed with ethanol-resistant materials and in certain specialty high-performance equipment installed on newer vehicles. SEMA opposes the expansion of E15 gasoline as a lack of clear labeling on gas pumps does not provide sufficient protection to guard against misfuelling.

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Motorcycle Vibrations Can Damage iPhone cameras as per Apple

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by Kim Lyons from https://www.theverge.com

by Edward Moyer from https://www.cnet.com

From Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212803

Motorcycle vibrations can degrade iPhone camera performance, Apple says

High amplitude vibrations can cause problems for the cameras’ gyroscopes

A new post on Apple’s Support forum https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212803 says exposing iPhones to high-amplitude vibrations, “specifically those generated by high-power motorcycle engines” could degrade the devices’ camera system. The company recommends against mounting an iPhone on a motorcycle, as the vibrations may be transmitted via the bike’s handlebars and chassis.

Here’s the technical explanation from Apple:

If you accidentally move a camera when you take a picture, the resulting image can be blurry. To prevent this, some iPhone models have optical image stabilization (OIS).1 OIS lets you take sharp photos even if you accidentally move the camera. With OIS, a gyroscope senses that the camera moved. To reduce image motion, and the resulting blur, the lens moves according to the angle of the gyroscope.

Additionally, some iPhone models have closed-loop autofocus (AF).2 Closed-loop AF resists the effects of gravity and vibration to preserve sharp focus in stills, videos, and panoramas. With closed-loop AF, on-board magnetic sensors measure gravity and vibration effects and determine the lens position so that the compensating motion can be set accurately.

The OIS and closed-loop AF systems in iPhone are designed for durability. However, as is the case with many consumer electronics that include systems like OIS, long-term direct exposure to high-amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges may degrade the performance of these systems and lead to reduced image quality for photos and videos. It is recommended to avoid exposing your iPhone to extended high-amplitude vibrations.

The iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and all iPhones since the iPhone 7 have both optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus (as noted by MacRumors, the first outlet to spot the Apple support post). Both features are also vulnerable to magnetic interference from some iPhone accessories, Apple warned earlier this year, but removing the accessories should take care of that issue.

Additionally in the new post, Apple says if you’re planning to mount your iPhone to a scooter or a moped, it recommends using a vibration-dampening mount to lessen the risk to the phone and its camera system. And avoiding prolonged regular use of an iPhone mounted to a vehicle that produces lower-amplitude vibrations is also a good idea.

Apple says iPhone cameras can be hurt by motorcycle vibrations

High-power or high-volume motorcycle engines produce potentially damaging high-amplitude vibrations, so the company says don’t attach your phone to your hawg.

If you’ve been rockin’ down the highway with an iPhone mounted on your motorcycle, you might want to think again. On Friday, Apple said certain motorcycle engines can give your iPhone’s camera bad vibes.

“Exposing your iPhone to high amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges, specifically those generated by high-power motorcycle engines, can degrade the performance of the camera system,” the company said in a post on its support site.

The vibes are channeled through the chassis and handlebars, so you shouldn’t attach your phone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines, the company said. It said mopeds and scooters, which tend to have small-volume or electric engines, are less of a concern but that you should use a vibration dampening mount and “avoid regular use for prolonged periods.”

The problem has to do with high-tech gyroscope- and magnet-based camera systems designed to compensate for shaky shots. Such systems, like optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus, make automatic adjustments if you accidentally move while taking a picture.

“The OIS and closed-loop AF systems in iPhone are designed for durability,” Apple said. But “long-term direct exposure to high-amplitude vibrations … may degrade the performance of these systems and lead to reduced image quality for photos and videos.”

For details on which iPhone models feature these camera systems, you can check out Apple’s post.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212803

 

Best motorcycle cleaner for 2021: Top 10 products

By General Posts

by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com

Cleaning your motorcycle can be a pain, but this stuff makes it a lot easier.

Motorcycle cleaner notes
The visual benefits of keeping a clean bike are pretty obvious, I mean, more shiny is more better, right? But there are some performance and safety benefits, too. For example, if your bike is filthy, it can be hard to see if you’ve suddenly sprung a leak of some vital fluid (usually oil).

Some road crud can be corrosive over time to the exposed steel and aluminum parts of your motorcycle, not to mention the fasteners that hold things onto your bike. You thought changing out that clutch was going to be easy, didn’t you? It would have been if you hadn’t left a bunch of road salt all over the bike for months. Now it’s broken-bolt city, population: you.

The performance benefits are more subtle but no less real. This is especially true when it comes to chain maintenance. Just think, if your motorcycle has to fight the friction of a dry, dirty or corroded chain, then that’s power lost. If you’re on a 200-horsepower sport bike, that’s not a big deal, but if you’re on a 20-horsepower motorcycle like the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 I recently reviewed, you might just notice.

Keep your bike clean with a well-stocked motorcycle care kit, and make your life easy.

Best general motorcycle cleaner overall
S100 Total Cycle Cleaner $15

Best general motorcycle cleaner overall runner-up
Muc-Off Nanotechnology Motorcycle Cleaner $16

Best motorcycle quick detailer
S100 Detail & Wax spray $15

Best waterless motorcycle wash
Muc-Off High-Performance No Rinse Bike Cleaning Spray $18

Best motorcycle chain cleaner and lube
Maxima Clean Up and Chain Wax $28

Best motorcycle chain cleaning brush
Simple Solutions The Grunge Brush $14

Best motorcycle wheel cleaner
S100 Motorcycle Wheel Cleaner $21

Best motorcycle chrome cleaner and polish
Simichrome Polish $14

Best complete motorcycle cleaning kit
S100 Motorcycle Detailing Kit $50

Best motorcycle helmet cleaner
Motul Helmet Clean $8

I love riding motorcycles, but kind of hate the care and maintenance that they require — especially when it’s my own bike. Luckily, I live in a place where things are dry and dusty rather than wet and muddy, so I can get by most of the time. But when it’s time to buckle down and wash the bike, there are a few motorcycle cleaning products I always turn to.

In addition to keeping your bike clean, it’s important to clean and lubricate your chain (if you have one) and make sure your helmet is free of crud and dried bugs. I’ve listed some of the best motorcycle cleaner products here. They’ve been good to me over the years for both purposes and hopefully you’ll appreciate them too.

Best general motorcycle cleaner overall – S100 Total Cycle Cleaner
I’m one of those people who like a clean motorcycle, but hate actually cleaning their motorcycle. That used to mean that I’d just live with a dirty motorcycle most of the time, but not since I found S100 spray cleaner.

This cleaning product is awesome and it’s easy to use. Spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes and hose it off. It does a great job of removing dirt, road grime, grease, dried-on bugs and whatever else I’ve accumulated on my adventures. It’s also safe on plastics like your motorcycle windshield and metals, so no worries about it harming any exposed components on your motorcycle.

Best general motorcycle cleaner overall runner-up – Muc-Off Nanotechnology Motorcycle Cleaner
The Muc-Off Nano Tech bike cleaner spray is awesome. It smells better than the S100 and it’s biodegradable. Muc-Off also sells it in concentrate form, which I love, so you don’t have to constantly buy new plastic bottles.

Like the S100, it’s a spray on and rinse off affair and it does a great job of removing caked on road grime nastiness from all parts of your motorcycle without sending a bunch of harsh chemicals down the drain.

Best motorcycle quick detailer – S100 Detail & Wax spray
Sometimes you just need to touch up your bike before heading out on an all-day ride with your buds. I mean, you don’t want to show up and have the least shiny two-wheeled machine, now do you?

This S100 Detail and Wax spray is great because it’s specifically geared towards motorcycles and does a good job of shining paint and powder-coat. It’s easy to use, too. Just spray on the detailer and wipe it off with a good microfiber towel.

Best waterless motorcycle wash – Muc-Off High-Performance No Rinse Bike Cleaning Spray
What do you do if you have a dirty motorcycle and you don’t have access to a hose? Either take it to a coin-op car wash to use the pressure washer (which kind of sucks) or grab the awesome High-Performance Waterless Wash spray from Muc-Off.

Like basically every Muc-Off product, this bike cleaner is easy on the environment while still being tough on stubborn dirt and grime. All you have to do is spray it on, let it soak for a minute and wipe it off. After you wiped the dirt off, get a new clean microfiber cloth and buff your bike until it shines. It’s super easy and packs into a backpack or side case for easy motorcycle cleaning on the go.

Best motorcycle chain cleaner and lube – Maxima Clean Up and Chain Wax
Keeping your motorcycle’s chain clean and lubed is a miserable task, but it’s critical if you want to keep your chain and sprocket in tip-top condition. There are as many different products and techniques and old-timey sage wisdom for cleaning and lubing motorcycle chains as there are stars in the sky, but I’m going to recommend what works for me.

The Maxima products — Clean Up chain cleaner and Chain Wax — are the perfect one-two punch for chain maintenance. Clean Up does an excellent job of removing dirt, debris and and acting as a degreaser for old gross lube while at the same time being gentle on the delicate O-rings inside your chain. Chain wax is a spray-on chain lube that goes on wet and then dries into a waxy coating that resists coming off and doesn’t encourage dirt to stick to it. The best part is that Maxima offers it in a combo pack with a decent penetrating lubricant as a bonus.

Best motorcycle chain cleaning brush – Simple Solutions The Grunge Brush
As we’ve already established, cleaning motorcycle chains sucks. It’s greasy, grimy work and depending on how nasty you’ve let your chain get, it can be hard work, too. Having a good chain-cleaning brush in your cleaning kit is a huge help and my personal favorite brush is the Grunge Brush.

The Grunge Brush has stiff bristles that clean your chain on three sides at once, plus longer bristles at the other end for getting into your sprocket teeth and so on. It’s cheap and effective and it even has replaceable brushes, so you’re not constantly buying new ones. When paired with a good chain cleaning solvent like Maxima’s Clean Up, this makes the work of chain maintenance a whole lot easier.

Best motorcycle wheel cleaner – S100 Motorcycle Wheel Cleaner
There are a zillion different wheel cleaners on the market and they all do something a little different, but one of the things I like best about the S100 motorcycle wheel cleaner is that it is a thicker, more gel-like formula which sticks to your wheels better. It does a great job of getting brake dust, dirt and other grime off as well.

The other nice thing about the S100 Motorcycle Wheel Cleaner is that it’s gentle, which means it’s safe on all kinds of wheels — be they painted, powder-coated, aluminum, magnesium or stainless steel. If your bike’s wheels are too dirty for normal bike wash to take care of, grab a spray bottle of this.

Best motorcycle chrome cleaner and polish – Simichrome Polish
Unlike most cars these days, it’s easy to buy a brand new motorcycle with a bunch of chrome. And chrome looks great until it starts to dull or pit, but then it looks like crap. Thankfully the solution to that dull chrome problem is easy: Just polish it!

If you’re going to undertake that task, you’re going to need a good chrome polish compound and one of my personal favorites comes straight outta Germany. It’s called Simichrome and it works really, really well. All you need to do is apply the elbow grease with a microfiber towel using this metal polish and get ready to be blinded by the shine.

Best complete motorcycle cleaning kit – S100 Motorcycle Detailing Kit
If you’re detecting a theme with the S100 products here, you’re not mistaken. The fact is that S100 offers some of the best motorcycle-specific cleaning and detailing products around and at reasonable prices. Still, what if you don’t necessarily want to buy each product by itself? Thankfully there’s a motorcycle cleaning kit.

The S100 detailing kit comes with everything you’ll need to detail your motorcycle short of a hose and water — including a drying towel. Even better, it comes in a tidy little carrying case, so you can keep all your motorcycle cleaning supplies together and not let things get lost in the back of some dank, daddy longlegs-infested garage cabinet over the winter.

Best motorcycle helmet cleaner – Motul Helmet Clean
Everybody knows that riding with a motorcycle helmet is a good idea — hell, it’s even the law in most places. What people might not know is that while keeping your helmet clean is a good thing, using chemicals is a huge no-no — even on the outside. Luckily, there are a few great helmet cleaning products on the market and my favorite comes from Motul.

The Motul helmet spray not only does an epic job of loosening dried on bugs and dirt from the shell of your helmet, it also offers up a nice shine that is more resistant to getting bugs stuck on it in the future. Spray it on, let it soak and wipe it off.

For the inside of your helmet, never try and clean the pads and liner when they’re still inside the shell. Always remove them and wash them gently according to your helmet manufacturer’s guidelines.

Harmful E15 Fuel Labeling Changes that Could Hurt Engines

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MIC Tackles Harmful E15 Fuel Labeling Changes that Could Hurt Engines

The MIC is opposing proposed changes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to modify and remove E15 fuel labeling requirements at gas pumps nationwide. This fuel includes high levels of ethanol, between 10.5 and 15 percent, which can harm powersports engines, degrade performance, increase emissions, cause fuel leaks and even engine failures – as well as voiding manufacturer warranties.

The proposed labeling changes will make it more difficult for consumers to distinguish the difference between E15 and the less harmful E10 fuel, and will fail to communicate the risks of improper E15 use.

“While we appreciate the addition of the word ‘motorcycles’ in the proposed label, we are concerned that the other significant changes to the label minimize its effect and make it look like just another sticker, rather than an alert that people need to pay attention to,” said Scott Schloegel, senior vice president at the MIC Government Relations Office.

“The proposed warning label does not adequately notify consumers about the improper use of E15,” he said. “To the contrary, the proposed changes stress ‘Safe for use in’ rather than drawing ‘ATTENTION’ to the label and instructing them to ‘Use only in’ certain products. The proposed label also removes other critical alert language and replaces it with more matter-of-fact language as outlined in the comparisons below.”

The MIC’s GRO has written to the new EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, stating that the proposed labeling changes will result in adverse environmental, safety, and economic consequences, and deny consumers basic information about engine compatibility. Under the proposed labeling requirements, the words “ATTENTION” and “E15 Up to 15% Ethanol” and “Use Only In” would be replaced with “Contains Up to 15% Ethanol” and “Safe for Use In.”

“The labeling changes do not adequately alert tens of millions of powersports consumers,” Schloegel said. “Fuel dispensers should absolutely be equipped with clear and direct signage.”

A Harris Poll conducted in February 2020, on behalf of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, found that an increasing number of Americans, nearly two in five last year, mistakenly believe that high-ethanol gasoline blends are safe for use in lawn equipment or other small-engine products. The poll found that more than three in five Americans assume that any fuel sold at pumps nationwide is safe for all of their gas-powered products. Further, many consumers said that E15 labeling was ineffective in communicating the danger of using that fuel type in small engines found in motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, and other gasoline-powered machines.

The Evil Ethanol Word

By General Posts

The Do’s and Don’ts of This Additive Fuel
by Sam Burns

The latest additive is ethanol, which — without getting into the political and environmental debates about its efficacy — is fine for use in fuel-injected vehicles that are run regularly and designed to use up to 10% ethanol (85% in flex-fuel vehicles).

On the other hand, ethanol-oxygenated fuel is not so great for any vehicles that sit between uses, and/or carbureted engines, like the one in your dirt bike or older motorcycle. Ethanol is alcohol, and alcohol is corrosive to certain parts in older fuel systems.

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Europe’s Highest Motorcycle Museum To Reopen Winter 2021 after Fire

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by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

Motorcycle enthusiasts around the world were heartbroken when Austria’s Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum was destroyed by a fire on January 18, 2021. Known as Europe’s highest motorcycle museum (7,200 feet above sea level), the Top Mountain housed over 280 motorcycles and cars. Not one of them escaped the early morning blaze.

Reports reflect that a faulty museum display led to the massive inferno. By the time firefighters arrived, they couldn’t save the 32,000 square-foot structure. However, they were able to contain the fire to the museum, keeping it from spreading to the nearby ski resort and restaurant. While the blaze is still fresh in our memories, Top Mountain founders Attila and Alban Scheiber are already planning a comeback for the Timmelsjoch museum.

“We want to offer more than a world of experiences, the goal is to offer something also to non-motorcyclists,” the Scheibers said. “There will be 250 motorcycles already promised by collectors from all over the world.”

Prior to the fire, the Scheiber brothers had plans to further expand the sprawling museum. The pair will leverage those blueprints to reconstruct the Passo Del Rombo facility along with the drafted expansions. The enormity of the project isn’t stopping the Scheibers from setting an ambitious goal of reopening by winter 2021. With the future museum hosting collectors’ motorcycles from around the world, safety will also be of the utmost importance.

After the damage incurred during the January, 2021, blaze, plans should undoubtedly include fire repellent building materials and advanced sprinkler systems. Of course, the project has many months of hard work ahead. However, if we would have known that the Mountain Top Motorcycle Museum would be back in less than a year after the winter 2020 fire, we might have been a little less heartbroken.