How long does gas stay good?



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Thread: How long does gas stay good?

  1. #1

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    How long does gas stay good?

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    Hi everyone,
    I always put shell91 gas and stabilizer in my bike every winter. Last time I filled the tank up full was 2nd week of October give or take. Taken the bike out a couple times since and have topped up with $3-$4 of gas cause I thought I'd be winterizing it and I like to have a full tank with stab for storage.
    Anyways, went for a ride yesterday and when I was in traffic my bike stuttered at low speed then died. Pulled over to side of the road and she started right back up. Ran fine before the stall and after.
    I am thinking maybe the gas was starting to go bad? Maybe fuel pump got cloggled up and injectors needed to re-rime? Maybe it wasn't liking the cold air/moisture mix outside?
    I am not too worried as this is the first time its happened and the bike was running fine, minus the stall at low speed (5-10km).
    This happen to anyone else at this time of year when taking the bike out after sitting?

  2. #2
    2016 Suzuki V-Strom 650

  3. #3
    crankcall's Avatar
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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    How long before gas goes bad is like asking how long is a piece of string. It could be months old when you bought it, depending on the refinery and what they put in it , it may sit well for another while or go off. There is no defining timeline.

    My snowblower sits for 7-8 months and starts with last years gas, has for 20yrs. My generator did not start with a can of gas that was just purchased. Dumped it and replaced with gas from a different source, started right up.

  4. #4

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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Quote Originally Posted by crankcall View Post
    How long before gas goes bad is like asking how long is a piece of string. It could be months old when you bought it, depending on the refinery and what they put in it , it may sit well for another while or go off. There is no defining timeline.

    My snowblower sits for 7-8 months and starts with last years gas, has for 20yrs. My generator did not start with a can of gas that was just purchased. Dumped it and replaced with gas from a different source, started right up.
    True. Not sure why she wanted to die at low idle in traffic. Commute often during riding season and has never been an issue. Started back up and ran fine so I;m not overly concerned. Just thought it might be the gas.

  5. #5
    TwistedKestrel's Avatar
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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Gonna say that it was unlikely that it was the gas. Keep in mind that if you go crazy with the fuel stabilizer, it may make your bike run worse than usual. I know I've had some bikes that were sensitive to it, but I can't remember which (ZX-11?)

    There are a lot of things that can make bikes take a while to fully wake up from being stored, enough that I would say just don't worry about it unless it doesn't go away in the spring
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  6. #6

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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedKestrel View Post
    Gonna say that it was unlikely that it was the gas. Keep in mind that if you go crazy with the fuel stabilizer, it may make your bike run worse than usual. I know I've had some bikes that were sensitive to it, but I can't remember which (ZX-11?)

    There are a lot of things that can make bikes take a while to fully wake up from being stored, enough that I would say just don't worry about it unless it doesn't go away in the spring
    It's a 2009 Zx6r. She ran great the following 15km home, including a stop at the gas station which she fired up quick and strong. I never go over the top with stabil because even with the recommended amount I can't wait to get the crap out of my tank in the spring and fill a fresh full tank.

  7. #7

    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    The aromatics in gas start to evaporate the moment it hits air. The underground storage tanks for fuel do not vent to the atmosphere.

    What you problem could have been was the temperature. Ever heard of "winter gas"? It is a thing.
    When it gets colder the gas companies add, among other stuff, an emulsifier that make the gas atomize better in the cold.
    If you bought the gas in the tank before the end of October you have "summer" gas... and it's coming out of the jet or injector in chunks.

    One of the things fuel conditioners, like Stabil, contain is paraffin wax which puts a layer between the fuel and the air, not allowing the aromatics to evaporate. Your fuel tank IS vented to the atmosphere.

  8. #8

    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Pump gas contains alcohols capable of absorbing water from air (hygroscopic), limit it's exposure to moisture laden air, if it doesn't already have some water in it that would be amazing plastic is not as good as metal, containers should be full and sealed to limit exposure to air and water condensation. If it is left to stand and evaporate anywhere you will have sediment there and with prolonged exposure to some materials are adversely affected by what is in effect oxygenated fuel and a very effective solvent.

    My bike manuals actually recommend you drain the tank and rad for long term storage ymmv.
    Personally I put old gas in a cheap lawn mower to use it up.

  9. #9
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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Quote Originally Posted by bitzz View Post
    Your fuel tank IS vented to the atmosphere.
    Sorta. On newer models with fuel injection (such as that of the original poster) it is "vented" through a pressure and vacuum relief valve, which only vents excess pressure beyond a certain threshold (e.g. gas tank sitting in the sun) and relieves vacuum below a certain threshold. If the temperature is held reasonably constant, that valve will be closed, and on the newer models they seal quite well (has to, in order to pass various evaporative emission standards).

    I had an issue with one of my bikes this past summer because the drain from the fuel cap got blocked without me realizing it. When I washed the bike, fuel sat in the area around the cap. Then, either from the vacuum relief or from me opening the fuel cap, water got in. The bike was not happy about having water in the fuel, although I got it to stay running and it cleared up eventually.

  10. #10
    crankcall's Avatar
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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    two tests for bad gas, dip some out of the tank, if it has oxidized ( gone bad) it oftens appears brownish instead of sort of light gold colored. And sometimes it will actually smell sour.

    Not advising huffing gasoline.......

  11. #11

    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Too late, they oxidized it the moment they added ethanol, gasoline is composed of hydrocarbons.



  12. #12
    SunnY S's Avatar
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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    just stick to Shell Premium gas with No ethanol. Buy it from a busy gas station with high turnover.

    and you will never have a problem with bad gas again (unless you leave in in the tank for many years)
    My other car is a reservation. Tesla Semi

  13. #13
    LBV's Avatar
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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnY S View Post
    just stick to Shell Premium gas with No ethanol. Buy it from a busy gas station with high turnover.

    and you will never have a problem with bad gas again (unless you leave in in the tank for many years)
    The first thing I've read from you that was actually correct!

    From here: https://www.shell.ca/en_ca/motorists...plus-faqs.html


    • Shell V-Power NiTRO+ premium gasoline in Canada does not contain ethanol.
    2014 Moto Guzzi California Custom

  14. #14

    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    For many years I would put the bike away for the winter with about a half tank of Shell Premium. I then added the amount of stabilizer suggested on the label for 3.5 litres.
    As I have no access to electric where I park the bike, I take it outdoors and run it at about 1000 rpm for 15 minutes once a week.
    It keeps the battery charged and I find it really smells bad with the stabilizer in the fuel.
    1990 BMW K100.

  15. #15
    Jayell's Avatar
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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Jayell: 2011 Triumph Thruxton - The Jewel, 2002 Triumph Tiger 955i - The Mule. Mrs. Jayell: 2013 Honda CB500F
    Alaska 2016 Ride Report: http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum...-Vacation-time


  16. #16

    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    Quote Originally Posted by statsman View Post
    For many years I would put the bike away for the winter with about a half tank of Shell Premium. I then added the amount of stabilizer suggested on the label for 3.5 litres.
    As I have no access to electric where I park the bike, I take it outdoors and run it at about 1000 rpm for 15 minutes once a week.
    It keeps the battery charged and I find it really smells bad with the stabilizer in the fuel.
    1990 BMW K100.
    Is more likely the fuel additives and pollutants you are smelling, and you are lucky if your alternator produces sufficient power to charge the battery at 1000 rpm alternators normally need to be spinning at about twice that speed to produce sufficient voltage to charge a weak battery.

    1990 model ... in about 3 more years or less you are going to have a small black rubber fuel line inside your fuel tank fail :I is an easy fix to replace it, symptom is obvious, one day the bike won't start.

  17. #17

    Re: How long does gas stay good?


  18. #18
    JavaFan's Avatar
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    Re: How long does gas stay good?

    3 months

    shorter if it's the last tank of the season
    and you have not stabilized

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