Leading the Way in Motorcycle Education

The Renewable Fuels Association will once again have a presence at Sturgis, writes Bob Dinneen of RFA. The rally, which includes ""Free Fuel Happy Hours," is a unique chance to reach out to half a million bikers.
By Bob Dinneen | July 21, 2014

Ethanol will once again take center stage in August as 500,000 motorcyclists from all over the world roll into Sturgis, S.D., to celebrate the 74th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. For the sixth consecutive year, the Renewable Fuels Association is a proud sponsor of the motorcycle rally, leading the way in motorcycle education. 

Downtown Sturgis is lined with motorcycles during the rally—often reaching four deep—presenting an opportunity to dispel misinformation that has spread throughout the motorcycle world concerning ethanol use in motorcycles. Bryan O’Neill, a mechanic and member of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club, spoke at the National Ethanol Conference in February to explain the misleading claims. He noted, “Naysayers are erroneously pointing out so-called problems with ethanol, using catchy terms like ‘phase separation’, to cast ethanol in a negative light. … This is the kind of misinformation that is being spread throughout the motorcycle community that is causing distrust in a product that we have been using for years.”

The Sturgis rally offers RFA a unique chance to reach a half million bikers with a message that not only counters the false information, but highlights the cost-saving, high-octane benefits of ethanol. RFA takes this opportunity to point out that motorcycle manufacturers—including Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki and Yamaha—approve the use of E10 in motorcycles, and explain that ethanol saves American drivers an average of $1 per gallon.

One of the many ways RFA promotes ethanol is through the widely-popular “Free Fuel Happy Hours,” offering a free tank of E10 93-octane fuel to riders at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip campground. The promotion amasses lines 100 bikes long and gives our staff an opportunity to answer questions and dispel concerns about ethanol use in motorcycles. 

In addition to the “Free Fuel Happy Hours,” RFA maintains a large presence at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip campground. The campground has been the epicenter of the rally since it opened in 1981. Popular names like Florida Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band and ZZ Top grace the main stage where RFA reaches the crowd of more than 100,000 people with a message of “Ride Safe, Fuel Right.”

Last, but certainly not least, RFA gives back to the Sturgis community through sponsorship of the annual “Legends Ride.” The event’s proceeds are donated to local charities, including the Black Hills Special Olympics. All “Legends Ride” participants receive free “Fueled with Pride” giveaways and informational materials on ethanol before they embark on the ride that originates in Deadwood, S.D.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally allows RFA to directly and effectively educate motorcycle riders on the cost-saving benefits of ethanol. Low-cost fuel is essential to bikers, because as they like to say, “A good long ride can clear your mind, restore your soul and use up a lot of fuel.”


Author: Bob Dinneen
President and CEO,
Renewable Fuels Association