In this week's show, Todd Heslin talks us through his recent Bucket Racing experience. Also,
For those who may not have come across these before, A Scottoiler is a device that automatically cleans and oils the chain. It has a reservoir on the bike and is powered either by vacuum or an electric pump depending on which model you have.
I installed the Scottoiler X-System 2.0 on my Yamaha Tenere 700 the week I got it. The bike had 1800km on it, so not quite brand new, but near enough that it dosent really matter... to me anyway. #Science
The X-System 2.0 is the second iteration of the electric pump model. It connects directly to the battery terminals and used sensors and accelerometers to know when the bike is running. It has an on/off button, a button to activate priming, and a set of up and down buttons to set the flow rate. The reservoir/control unit has a nipple on the bottom to attach the feed hose, and a hole at the top to fill it up. Pretty simple really. The idea is that you mount the reservoir on the bike, higher than the swingarm pivot, and run the hose down the frame, to the pivot, and along the swingarm to the dropper, which is aimed to drop the oil directly on the chain at the rear sprocket.
In my case, this is a long-term test. I'm closing in on 20,000km on the T7 (18,455 to be exact) which I would expect from most of my bikes. Scottoiler claims the automatic oiler system could as much as double the life of my chain and sprockets. My most recent MT07 did 30,000km on the OEM chain and sprockets before replacement and my first MT07 did 40,000 on the OEM chain and sprockets. So, we have a benchmark. Both of these bike's drive trains were maintained in a conventional way, occasional scrubbing with kerosine, and weekly/fortnightly/whenever I remembered chain lube. So the test is on.
Scottoiler sees a few common criticisms on social media, I have outlined these below, and answered these based on my own findings.
1) With a single dropper, how can you oil both sides of the chain?
If I'm honest, I thought the same thing. I don't know how it works, but I can tell you that even though the dropper is on the outside of my rear sprocket, the oil makes it across to the inside of the chain just fine.
2) If there's a constant feed of oil to the chain, there must be a lot of mess right?
It really depends on how much oil you're putting down to the chain. The X-System has 15 different steps or flow rates. So it doesn't matter what sort of riding you're doing, You'll be able to find a flow rate that matches your requirements. It is possible to make a mess, but the oil cleans off really easily, and if you're getting a lot of sling off, you possibly have your flow rate set too high.
3) How can an oiler "clean your chain"?
The Scottoiler branded oil is specially formulated to lubricate your chain, but also to sling off taking any grit with it. You may find the underside of your chain guard accumulates a fair amount of oil and grime, but if you run a Scottoiler it just becomes part of the cleaning process.
4) With a continually oiling system, it must fly through the oil right?
Not really. In 12 months of use, and almost 20,000km of tarmac and gravel riding, I've used 300ml of oil from the 500ml bottle I got with the system. To me that's pretty reasonable, considering I was going through 3-4 cans of chain lube per year previously. You do need to stick to only using Scottoiler branded oil as other brands of chain lube will have different viscosities and won't flow or work the same.
The pictures below show the state of my chain after 12 months of continual use, and I'm pretty impressed. I love not having to lay on my garage floor and scrub my chain every couple of months, and I really appreciate not having to remember to lube the chain at all. Literally, the only thing I need to do is check the level of oil in the reservoir, and keep an eye on my chain slack. I'm prepared to live with any minor oil spots that may fly off the chain, which isn't much, and they clean off with a rag, or when I get around to washing the bike anyway. It saves me heaps of time, and that's something I really like. Now, having used a Scottoiler, I would really find it annoying to go back to manual chain maintenance on my own personal bike.
Be sure to subscribe to MotoNZ.com for updates, and I'll let you know how the chain is looking in another 12 months, or if something happens.