AMA clears blender pump confusion

AMA clears blender pump confusion
Contact the AMA with information!

With the summer riding season in full-swing, the American Motorcyclist Association wants you to be informed when it comes to selecting safe fuel for your motorcycle.

E15 – which is 15 percent ethanol by volume and is not safe for motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines — and fuels with higher ethanol content must adhere to federal labeling rules. Pump labeling is important, because it is illegal to operate motorcycles and ATVs on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume (E10). Using higher ethanol blends in motorcycles or ATVs may cause fuel system or engine damage and could void the manufacturer’s warranty.

The rules governing fuel labels are:

E10:  No federal label is required.

E15:  Blender pumps must use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved label for fuel containing more than 10 percent and up to15 percent ethanol by volume.

E16-E50: Fuel containing between 16 percent and 50 percent ethanol by volume fall under one of two options from the Federal Trade Commission: 1) Retailers may label dispensers indicating the exact percentage of ethanol contained in the blend, or; 2) The percentage indicated on the label may be rounded to the nearest multiple of 10.


E51-E83 (Ethanol Flex Fuels): For fuel blends containing 51 percent to 83 percent ethanol by volume, the FTC offers three options: 1) Dispenser labels must disclose exact ethanol content; 2) The ethanol content may be rounded to the nearest multiple of 10; or 3) the ethanol content must be expressed as a range of 51 percent to 83 percent.

Here are photos of improper labeling or no labeling.

From a fuel retailer in Minnesota:

In this example, the retailer conflates the EPA-approved E15 label with the FTC-approved label. There is only one approved label for E15. This label incorrectly refers to E15 as a “Flex Fuel.” This label circumvents the Reid Vapor Pressure restrictions that prohibit the sale of E15 fuel in certain parts of the country during the summer months.

This blender pump in Ohio has none of the required labeling. It should have the EPA-approved E15 label and the FTC-approved label for the flex fuel. In fact, the retailer renames E15 as “Unleaded15” and uses a blue color.

The AMA wants to thank our members for sending these photos! If you see anything other than the federally-approved labels for ethanol-blended fuels, please take a photo and note the address of the retailer. Then forward the photo and information to the AMA at

Now more than ever, it is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA to help protect our riding freedoms. More members mean more clout against the opponents of motorcycling. That support will help fight for your rights – on the road, trail and racetrack and in the halls of government.

Posted in AMA