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It is my understanding that lead was added to gas as an octane booster. It was removed because it harmed the environment which put out the search for another octane booster. MTBE didn't work because it can be smelled and tasted at extremely small amounts. In ground tanks were replaced but eventually the stuff was replaced with alcohol. Meaning that alcohol is an octane booster. My research shows that to be true.

Ski and others: Maybe a moot point by now but just so we're on the same page with this I've copied what I was referring to here, for the sake of context:

"you purchase E10 gasohol with an octane rating of 87, phase separation occurs and as the ethanol sinks to the bottom of the tank the octane rating in the gasoline actually gets lowered to around 82 to 84. This is too low for a gasoline powered engine to run efficiently and causes loss of power and engine damaging pre-ignition."
 

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$10/ gallon for non ethanol. Sheesh. That must be a California thing. I bet you can get it for $5 in Nevada.
Even here in price gouging end of the road Wallowa County, Oregon we have one pump that sells it, typically about 90 cents more than supreme, or $4.85 right now.
 

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It is the FUEL. I have tried every fuel additive every heard of. Nothing works except non ethanol fuel. I have it delivered to my north Texas farm for $300.00USD for 55 gallon drum. I have a hand pump for filling go carts, dirt bikes, lawn mowers, Harleys and my most used TW200. I used to spend $2000.00 a year on carburetors and have to work on stuff all the time, now I just ride.
 

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I've had ok luck with the green marine Stabil. I know a mechanic that swears adding a little 2-stroke oil to the fuel will delay the problem a lot.
 
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