New Shell fuel technology revs up bike performance, fuel efficiency
Most riders, including myself, will never see what goes on inside a motorcycle engine.
As non-mechanics, we have no reason to scrutinise our bike's fuel injection nozzles or inlet valves.
But two weeks ago at a Shell Fuels launch, I got the chance to stare at tiny clogged holes on injection nozzles.
These blocked passages and carbon-stained valves can rob motorcycle or car engines of performance and fuel efficiency.
But Shell may have found the cure with its latest fuel formulation Dynaflex Technology, which claims to clean engines while protecting them.
Shell Fuel scientist Andreas Schaefer, one of two scientists who gave a presentation at the event, said: "We could demonstrate these benefits."
Over a five-year research and development period, a test fleet of more than 250 cars was tested over three million kilometres, and "statistically significant efficiency and performance benefits" for the Dynaflex fuels was found, said Mr Schaefer.
Shell scientist Kay Wu stressed that new-generation cars have smaller engines that produce more horsepower - a similar trend seen in motorcycling.
Said Ms Wu: "The downsizing trend of engines has come together with inherent disadvantages. The modern engine is running hotter temperatures and also bear high engine loads and pressure."
Minute amounts of carbon in your fuel can influence the air and fuel mixture going into your vehicle's engine combustion chamber and further impair engine efficiency, she added.
But what about motorcycles which typically run at higher revolutions than cars?Well, it appears Shell has got that part covered too.
It has been testing Shell fuels and lubricants with the Ferrari F1 team where race cars typically run at higher engine revs and loads.
Mr Schaefer said Shell could also demonstrate the benefits of the new fuels on motorcycle engines.
He said: "There is a lot of stress inside the engines of motorbikes... due to the higher temperatures, higher loads and higher pressures.
"This is one further reason we have developed this technology specifically to address the challenges facing modern down-sized engines."