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Mission, TX

Our website is all about motorcycles, especially BMW cycles. We cover rides in the Southwest and Mexico, motorcycle modifications and review motorcycle products. 


Fuel Additives and Other Snake Oils

Tomas Perez

Back when I was young and I was purchasing cars for $15 we would at times have to buy a thick... very thick... oil additive for old, tired engines.  It was not a fuel additive but more of an oil additive.  The additive's main function was to stop oil burning.  I guess it made the oil so thick that it had no way to work it's way up past the piston rings.  That thick stuff on the piston skirts also quieted the piston slap on my 1947 Nash.  And since it seals around the compression rings so well I was also expecting a power increase.  All these benefits in a small bottle.  It was no wonder that I wanted to buy a bottle at every oil change.  Warning - do not follow the advise listed above.  I was 15 years old and I thought I knew a lot about cars.

Put fuel additives into this oddly shaped thing

Fast forward to the present and I now have a 2010 R1200RT that cost me a bit more than the $15 that I paid for that first car.  I need to insert a disclaimer at this point.  I needed to buy a used tire and used battery plus a head gasket for the Nash before it was ready for the road.  The engine on this bike is a modern mechanical and electronic marvel.  Where the Nash had a single throat downdraft carburetor the motorcycle has electronic fuel injection.  But in spite of these advancements I've had two BMW service advisors recommend that I use a fuel additive on my RT.  They said it helps to counteract the ill effects of the not so great fuel that is currently available.  They also told me that it will help save my fuel strip.  I stated that I always buy the best fuel that I can find but that I can't always control that when I am touring.

I questioned his advise.  After all, the product that a lot of people recommend and that I have used in BMW cars in the past cost more that the used tire and battery ($6 for both) that I needed for my first car.  But I'm not cheap when it comes to taking care of my bikes and cars.  Maybe I should use a fuel additive whenever I have a chance.  And mind you, I can only use these products when I am at home and using the bike for daily errands.  There is no way I plan to carry and use these products while on tour with other riders.  Most stops are quick for the 600 to 800 miles a day crowd.  But then something happened to convince me to use these products whenever I have a chance.  In the last few months we've had some major storms in our area.  During one of these storms I think I got water in the gas tank of my Miata.  At least that is way the car acted.  It would stall at every stop light and the engine ran very rough.  Not wanting to drain the entire system I purchased a can of Sea Foam and poured it into the tank.  I had zero problems with the car after that.  I went from stalling at every stop to ZERO stalls.

I was so convinced that I immediately went out and purchased Techron Concentrate Plus for my other cars.  By coincidence the auto parts stores were running a buy one - get one free sale on Techron.  I put some in all my cars and a much smaller portion in the tank of my RT (you don't have to remove the tank to add the fuel additive - see picture above).  This stuff is sold in 12 oz (treats up to 12 gallons) and 20 oz (treats up to 20 gallons) sizes.  In addition, make sure you buy the "concentrate plus".

This is what I'm using.

While taking the photos for this review I happen to notice this statement on the cardboard tag.  Was this written for us RT riders?  Of course I'm kidding but there must be some cars out there with failing fuel sensors.

RT friendly?

I like to rate products that I review but I have no proof that this product works.  I'm sure it can't hurt car or bike engines.  As a matter of fact some gasoline has this stuff in it already.  With that condition in mind the only negative is the cost plus the time in buying it and using it.  My cost was $7.99 and $12.99 for the 12 oz and 20 oz respectively and I got two for the price of one.  And although I can't rate this product my Miata will give the Sea Foam a 10.  I've already gone through two tanks of gas and still no problems.  I used the Sea Foam for removing water from the tank and prefer the Techron for keeping the system clean.