Test of Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment

December 28th, 20112 Comments »

Star Tron fuel treatment test in Moto Guzzi California VintageMy Moto Guzzi California Vintage runs great; however, I occasionally hear a little engine ping when first accelerating from an extended idle with a hot engine.  I tried Star Tron enzyme fuel treatment as a potential cure.  This is simply a non-biased test that I did with my own motorcycle. No endorsement, no selling, and no affiliation here.

I tried this fuel treatment because a few old-school motorcycle mechanics told me that ethanol in today’s gasoline is causes this.

I was at my local Home Depot store a few weeks ago when I noticed a couple bottles of Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment marked down clearance sale.  I’ve been curious about this stuff because of the claim that it “cures ethanol fuel problems”. I  wondered why Home Depot was trying to get rid of it, but I’d give it a try.  These 8 fluid once (237 ml) bottles normally go for about $7 each. Now they were marked down to about $3 per bottle.

Some Background Info:

I rarely believe the claims of such products. I never used Slick-50 or anything like that, but I have used Marvel Mystery Oil for certain things.  Marvel also is an excellent air tool lubricant as long as you avoid breathing it. I’ll add fuel injection cleaner in my cars about once a year or so.  Also, I do always use Sta-Bil when storing anything that has gasoline in it.  My Moto Guzzi California is my first test subject using Star Tron.  To be honest, I’m highly protective of my bike and I’m a bit nervous about using it in my bike.

I tend to believe that my Moto Guzzi’s factory fuel mapping has more to do with the pinging issue (due to emissions standards) than the fuel itself, but I’m not going to tamper with it.  I’ve read about owners switching their ECU to one from a different model Guzzi and getting great results, but I’m just not willing to tamper with mine.  I figure if I can’t afford to replace it (the ECU and whatever else I might damage), then I shouldn’t mess with it.

Initial Impressions:

The first thing I noticed about the Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment is the blue color.  Probably this is more about marketing than the key ingredients, but I’m not a chemist.  The second thing I noticed was the familiar smell of it when I opened the seal.  It smells just like all the other common fuel treatments or fuel injection cleaners.

The instructions on the bottle for the initial dosage say to use 1 fluid ounce for every 3 gallons of gasoline.  I rode over to the Marathon station and filled up my Guzzi with about 4.5 gallons of their 93 octane gasoline. This gasoline has “up to 10% ethanol” according to the label on the pump.  I added 1.5 ounces of Star Tron Enzyme Treatment when I got to the station so that the fill-up would mix it up good in my tank.

Since riding with the enzyme fuel treatment in my tank, I have not noticed any difference.  After extended idle periods with a hot engine, it still slightly pings just during that initial acceleration.  I was disappointed in that.  Of course, I always try to avoid extended idle periods, but I wanted to test Star Tron for that.

Star Tron Fuel Treatment label claimsAnother test I did several times was to accelerate a bit harder than usual so see if I felt any performance improvement.  I did not notice any difference.  My Guzzi California Vintage still hauls my butt around faster than I need it to, but I did not notice any difference than the usual quickness and usual beautiful engine sound that it always.   Still as good as always.  The claim on the yellow tag attached to the bottle is that “You’ll feel the difference from the first time you use it.”  I say that myth is busted.

Is the slight ping during acceleration after extended idle with a hot engine a result of the “up to 10% ethanol” in the 93 octane gasoline?  Well, now I’m not so sure about that now because the Star Tron didn’t cure it.  Living in the greater Charlotte North Carolina area, I have no place to bu 93 octane gasoline that does not contain ethanol.  I think that would be the only way to eliminate whether ethanol is causing that or not.

Bottom Line:

One of the claimed benefits on the Star Tron bottle is that “stabilizes gasoline for up to 2 years”.  If “stabilize” means keeping gasoline fresh during vehicle storage, then it may be worth my buying it if for no other reason.  I’ll probably put some in my lawnmower for the winter if I don’t use it all in my Moto Guzzi California motorcycle.

Would I recommend Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment to you?  My feeling is that it is probably just as good as any of the other gasoline fuel treatments on the market.  Based on my personal experience with it so far, I would not go out of my way to recommend this product.

Follow Up:

Since I have 2 bottles of it to use up, my promise is that I’ll update this article with any more results to report as I use them up.  However, my request is that if anyone out there has also tried Star Tron, please share your findings in the comment section below.

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotoGuzziCalifornia.Com. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding and maintaining his Moto Guzzi California Vintage. John participates in local charity rides and also served as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for one of the largest annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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2 Comments

  1. Rob Whitney says:

    Last week I went to the garage, turned the key, twisted the trottle a few tymes and pressed the button. After 30 seconds of additional throttle & choke play she fired up.. This olde carburetored byke lit up with the same fuel after a year in storage. Adding Star Tron sure seems to have helped keep the fuel in good shape.

    Took the byke out for a ride, fueled up fine through the gears.
    Thanks Star Tron..

  2. Bob Hadden says:

    John, I also bought a bottle of Star Tron from the local BMW shop to use when I have no choice but to fill up with E-10. I haven’t used it yet. Unfortunately, more gas stations in my neck of the woods,(Black Hills and Northern Plains), are switching to alcohol based fuels, but I still have some Sinclair stations around with non-alcohol premium. It’s a huge political thing, but we don’t need to get into that now. From what I’ve read in moto publications and some car rags ethanol fuels breaks down much more quickly than “real” gasoline and the first thing to be depleted is the octane boost supposedly provided by ethanol. Moisture (water) is also left behind and that is never a good thing in a fuel system. I’m no chemist either, but I have experienced how gasoline actually evaporates in a small gas can intended for lawn mowers, etc.. leaving a skunky smell and a film on the inside of the can after just a month. I’ve learned not to buy ethanol fuels for anything that will have gas sitting in it for any length of time. I believe StarTron’s main purpose is to help stabilize ethanol fuels longer, hence their claims of increased performance over non-treated fuel that’s been sitting around. Personally I carry a bottle of Lucas Octane Booster when riding on trips where low-octane fuels are the only option. It does help. Big Guzzis will ping considerably on low-octane fuel when pulling a hill into the wind. I hope you get some good discussion on this important subject. Happy New Year! Bob