Ethanol Promoted at Sturgis

By DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

Reported by ZimmComm New Media

A half million bikers attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this year. Kansas Corn Growers Executive Director, Jere White spoke with motorcycle lovers about ethanol at Sturgis in South Dakota. This is the third year in a row that ethanol has had a major presence at the rally thanks to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

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Jere’s son, Robert, Director of Market Development for RFA said the biker rally crowd was very responsive to the American ethanol message and their sponsorship with the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground keeps getting better each year. Bikers may be a non-traditional crowd for ethanol promotion but it has proved to be an important one.

“We need to think more holistically about consumers. We found out that in the E 15 discussion in particular, pushback was coming from the boating community and small engines. We have been attempting to address that for years in our communication pieces but the reality is you just have to get out amongst them,” stated Jere.

Both Jere and Robert have had their motorcycles converted to run on E85. Jere reported that this was his first major mileage jaunt using E85 but he experienced great performance.

“E85 lends itself to motorcycles that require higher octane than the average car does. The higher octane in E85 is a nice benefit, but really dramatic is the price difference- over a dollar per gallon difference between the E85 and 91 octane that would normally be put into my bike,” said Jere.

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Buffalo Chip owner, Rod “Woody” Woodruff, says he has 550 acres of campground and people from all over the planet come to meet new and old friends at Sturgis. Woodruff has been an ethanol user supporter for many years, so it seemed only natural to do the ethanol partnership with RFA.

“We are simply highlighting the fact that ethanol works well not only in these vehicles but also in the ones back home and we have definitely seen interest from the riders,” said Robert.


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