The Scottoiler xSystem looks after your bike’s chain and sprocket when you forget to! DAVID HOOPER reports on fitting the automatic chain lubricating system to his Kawasaki Versys.
I LOVE my bike and we travel lots of miles together in all weathers – but I’m rubbish at oiling my chain.
I am quite good at washing the bike, and polishing it, and checking the oil and tyre pressures, but I often forget to oil its chain, which if neglected for too long can seize up, especially in winter when the roads are dirty and layered with salt and grit which can build up on your chain and act like a grinding paste on the sprockets.
There is a solution though – and I’ve just fitted it to my bike. It’s called Scottoiler and the company manufactures automatic chain lubricating systems which ensure your chain stays nicely lubricated all the time.
Scottoiler is a Scottish company, founded by Fraser Scott who invented the continuous lubrication system which takes his name in the 1970s. Based in Glasgow, the business is now run by his daughter and Managing Director, Fiona, and employs more than 20 people.
The Scottoiler system automatically lubricates your bike’s chain as you ride, and the company says it significantly increases the life of the chain and sprockets, while at the same time reducing the amount of manual chain maintenance, providing cleaner and more efficient lubrication.
I chose the mid-range Scottoiler xSystem Electronic Chain Oiler, which retails for £199.99, for my bike, although a cheaper option is available for £99.99.
Opening the box of the xSystem for the first time, you are met by a daunting number of “things” to fit to the bike – but if I can do it without help, most people with a modicum of DIY ability will be able to as well. Scottoiler has also produced some helpful videos which demonstrate how to fit the system, stage by stage.
The hardest part of fitting the Scottoiler xSystem was deciding where to position the reservoir unit which contains the oil. The big decision was whether to fit it onto the frame of the bike, where it is easy to see and top up, or to fit it under the seat, which provides better security but is less accessible.
After much deliberation, I decided to fit it under the seat – I even made a little block of wood for it to sit on to maximise the angle, and secured it in true Blue Peter style with some double-sided sticky tape! Why not, it seems to have worked so far!
The other tricky task was choosing the best location for the dispenser, which incorporates a sliding bracket and a thin tube which sits on the rear sprocket, just above the chain. This took much fiddling to get right, as you have to allow for future chain adjustments when you mount the plastic underneath the swingarm. You can also trim it for the optimum fit, which was also a bit scary, but with a bit of double-checking before I cut anything vital, I got it exactly right in the end.
Once the location of the key bits is decided, the assembly can start. This is straightforward enough, and unlike some previous versions of the Scottoiler, this xSystem comes with spade connectors and a suitable fuse, so all you have to do is slacken off the terminals one at a time on the battery and slide in the spade connectors before retightening.
When the bike is parked, the Scottoiler hardly drains any power from the battery, but if your battery isn’t very strong, the system can be easily turned off when not in use.
If you wanted to fit the oil reservoir onto the bike’s frame, the required tie-wraps are included in the kit, as is a bottle of blue oil and a flexible tube to charge the Scottoiler’s reservoir with.
It’s worth taking a bit of time to find the best route for the clear tubing which delivers the oil from the reservoir to the rear sprocket, and once you’re happy, this too can be secured in place with more supplied tie wraps.
Once everything is read, fill the reservoir and turn on the Scottoiler – a display lights up with blue LEDs, and another button starts priming the system. After all the work to install the system on my bike, it was actually quite exciting to watch the blue oil being pumped slowly along the transparent tube.
Once oil appears at the end of the dispenser, the priming stops and Scottoiler will then automatically apply oil to the rear sprocket and the chain as you ride. The rate of flow can be adjusted, so if the chain becomes too wet with oil, the flow rate can be easily reduced by pushing the minus button on the reservoir. This can also reduce any splattering you might get, as the consistency of the oil is quite light. I’ve left mine on the standard setting and have found very little excess oil being flung around, just the odd few specs which isn’t a problem and easily washes off when I clean the bike.
The Scottoiler is a great system, is easy to fit – even for those with limited ability on the spanners, and should keep your bike’s chain and sprocket in optimum condition, which will not only help to prolong the life of your bike’s chain, but also aid fuel consumption too!
Refills of the special oil the system uses can be ordered from the Scottoiler website. For more information, and to see the full range of Scottoiler products, visit www.scottoiler.com