I don’t mind getting down and dirty but as a weekend rider I sometimes feel that I spend more of my time on my knees cleaning my chain than I do riding.
I have met a few bikers on my travels that have fitted an automatic chain lubrication system called a Scottoiler so I bit the bullet and decided to give one a try on my Triumph Bonneville. Scottoilers have been around for 30+ years and are very popular in the UK where they are made as well as the US and parts of Europe. They are even an approved BMW accessory.
There are 3 Scottoiler Systems available, the vSystem (vacuum operated), the xSystem (Electronic and powered from the bike battery) and the eSystem (Electronic) which has a touch screen to control everything from the handlebars. I opted for the vSystem and found the best price at Scottoiler Depot who are an on line Australian retailer for all things Scottoiler. (www.scottoilerdepot.com.au)
Common to all the Scottoiler Systems is the oil reservoir which has a metering valve inside that automatically feeds oil to your drive chain as you ride.
Fitting the vSystem was pretty straight forward and the kit comes with clear and concise generic installation instructions. In addition Scottoiler Depot provided me with a bike specific installation guide for the Bonneville as well as a number of other guide sheets which certainly helped to make the whole installation that much easier.
Preparation is the key to getting the installation right and I found It really was worth spending the time to familiarise myself with the process and working out where I wanted to position things, especially the tubing etc. So my top tip is to familiarise yourself with all the components, read all the guides and pre-plan the job.
My other tip is to clean the chain before you start the installation!
Installation is a simple 3 step process the first of which is to find a position for the reservoir (Scottoiler also call this the RMV). This can be mounted anywhere between horizontal and vertical and the suggested locations are under the seat or attached to the frame. Under the seat is not an option on the Bonnie and I wanted to keep the frame clear so I found a place for it behind the LHS cover. I then located the vacuum feed and connected the reservoir/rmv to it. The vacuum take off on the Bonnie is on the throttle body, simply remove the rubber cap and connect. On other bikes it may be from a spare plugged outlet on the manifold or by inserting a T piece into a vacuum pipe. The kit includes everything you will need to do this.
Oil is fed from the RMV along plastic tubing via the swing arm to the dispenser nib. Running the tubing is the second step and is probably the hardest part of the install simply because I wanted it to be as discrete as possible. The neatest run would have been through the hollow space of the swing arm but sadly that’s not an option on the Bonnie as there is no easy access hole so I ran it underneath using the clips supplied in the kit taking care to ensure the tube stayed clear of any moving parts etc.
The last step is to mount the Dispenser Assembly which feeds oil onto the rear sprocket and chain. To ensure that the dispenser nib maintains the correct position reliably, it must be securely attached to the swing arm. In order to do this, a number of mounting options are supplied. There are two Dispenser Plates provided in the kit for either mounting on Paddock Stand bobbin bosses, chain / sprocket guard mounting bolts or, as in my case, the rear wheel spindle.
With everything installed and connected I filled the reservoir with oil (It comes with the kit) and set up the flow rate to 1 drop every couple of minutes. At this rate a full reservoir is good for up to 2000km of riding.
I’ve been using the vSystem now for 4 months and I’m really happy with it. It’s a quality bit of kit (Comes with a 2 year warranty) and my chain is looking good and not covered in waxy gunk like it used to be between cleans. I’m also told the chain and sprocket life will increase so the Scottoiler should pay for itself over time as well as save me the time I used to spend on chain maintenance.
For more information visit www.ScottoilerDepot.com.au.