Scottoiler on the Bonnie
I've now lived with my Scottoiler for a couple thousand miles and can report back that I am more than happy with it. I carefully readjusted the drip to once per minute and the chain has stayed lubed perfectly ever since. There is very little oil flung off (a few specks occasionally on the fender that wipe off with one swipe of a cloth) and this can almost be completely eliminated by proper use of the adjustment dial. The chain still looks like I just cleaned it. The wheel is not covered with grime like it always was with the spray lube. I wish I had an old photo of the chain and wheel to compare the chain condition now to when I was spraying it with Belray chain spray and it stayed filthy all the time. I recently removed my back wheel to install a new caliper bracket and found the chain to be still quite close to the tension I had set it at when I had installed the oiler. The chain could still use a little tensioning, but then the chain has been on the bike since the start and now has 27,000 miles on it, while it has only been lubed by the Scottoiler for a couple thousand miles. I would recommend the Scottoiler to anyone who rides a chain driven bike. For more information on this system visit http://www.scottoiler.com/us/
The V-System Scottloiler on my Bonneville T100
While helping out VJMC at the American International Motorcycle Expo (aka AIMExpo) I had a chance to wander the aisles and came across the booth of the Scottoiler US distributor, Roger Kirwin, who also happens to be Advertising Sales Manager for Café Racer magazine. I had heard of this automatic chain oiling system for a while, but had yet to see one in person. I knew that Zoë Cano, the author of the upcoming Bonneville Go or Bust, from Road Dog Publications, has one on her Bonnie across the pond in the UK and is very happy with it.
Roger, the rest of the Scottoiler staff, and I hit it off and had a nice time getting to know each other. I also had the chance to get some good information on the oiler, enough information to convince me to give it a whirl. It promises longer chain and sprocket life (advertised as seven times) and I will not mind not having to spray the chain with lube every third fillup.
A few weeks after I had returned home from AIMExpo, I gave Roger a call and ordered the "V System" which is operated by the vacuum created by the intake side of the carbs, or in my Bonnie's case, the throttle bodies. Scottoiler also makes an electronic version, but I opted for the simpler vacuum version which looked to be an easier installation, with no electrical connections to be made, and as simple a mechanism as it gets.
My chain was a mess, being covered with sticky residue of old applications of chain lube and dirt, so I cleaned the chain and sprocket on the bike with diesel and soon had it shining.
The oiler installation proved to be very easy, especially after perusing triumphrat.net forum to see how others had proceeded. I read that with the fuel injected Bonnie there was a vacuum port on the inside (left side) of the right throttle body. There were actually two, but the gurus of the forum said to use the one which is furthest forward on the body. I located this, which was supposed to have a stopper bung on it, but found mine to have a hose running from it.
This hose ran down to T into another hose like it coming from the left throttle body, and from there down the front of the air box. So, I felt confident that both sides were connected and inserting the oiler T would not throw the bodies out of balance.
I removed the right side cover, then reached under the right throttle body and pulled the vacuum hose off the barb, cut a short section off the end of the hose, installed the oiler T between the cut hose parts and then reinstalled the hose end on its barb. No need for hose clamps made this job a breeze, although smaller hands would have made it even easier.
I fastened the oiler unit upright behind the frame tube with the supplied zip ties, just to the rear of side cover area, above the passenger foot peg. I ran the vacuum tube from the throttle body behind some wiring that will be hidden by the side cover, then down to the unit. I also installed the breather/filler tub which comes off the side of the oiler unit to go up and forward to hide its end behind the side cover. Next, I installed the feed bracket to the left rear axle just under the nut and washer. To this I hose clamped the nozzle, making sure the bevel faced outward and the tip was just above the chain at the six to seven o'clock position, and just barely touching the sprocket face. I had to bend the bracket out away from the axle a little, then back so that the nozzle would miss the nuts holding the sprocket when the wheel spins. I cleaned the swing arm and attached the adhesive tube holders so the hose would feed fairly to the bottom of the oiler unit. I put three under the swingarm and one on the side of the front of the swingarm, but found that the one on the side was not needed for the tube to run to the unit cleanly. I will remove the little plastic bracket later. By the way, when you cut the hoses, both vacuum and feed, make sure to leave a little extra so you can pull the unit from its bracket when it eventually needs refilling, to make things easier down the road.
I filled the unit with the supplied oil, then put it on "Prime," continuing to fill it until I had fluid all the way to the end of the tube with no air bubbles. I then turned the adjuster off "Prime."
Starting the motor, there were no surprises, and the motor idled as well as ever. I ran the motor and adjusted the dial on the top of the unit until I had about a drop coming out every forty seconds. When the motor is off, the vacuum is gone and the unit will stop feeding.
I have had the Scottoiler on the Bonnie for about a week now. I had to wipe up a little light oil that had been flung onto the rear fender, but this oil wipes off easily. I readjusted the feed to a little less. The manual says it should be about a drop a minute and I think that is where I finally got it adjusted down to. The sprocket and rim are both still clean and shiny, and I can clearly see that the chain is slightly wet with oil.
The only thing I noticed so far, on a ride to Tampa in heavy traffic, is that the oil drips out evenly, not increasing with throttle or decreasing with less throttle; it is simply on or off. If you are stopped in traffic the flow continues. So, in traffic the chain may get a bit more oil than is necessary, which is what I suspect the flung off oil was from. Normally, though, that is not an issue, unless you live and ride in a very congested area a lot. If you do, you can dial the unit to dispense a little less, perhaps a drop every two minutes, instead. All the extra oil will do is fling a little, which, as I mentioned, is easy enough to wipe off. Even in traffic, however, there is not so much oil that it runs down over your tires or onto the ground. In normal riding, the oil flow should not be an issue at all.
I've only put a couple hundred miles on the bike so far, but so far I am impressed and do not miss the lubing sessions. Usually, even in a couple hundred miles my rim, sprocket, and chain will start to look a little grungy, but with the Scottoiler, they are as clean now as when I installed the unit. I had adjusted the chain tension before the installation, so I hope also to not have to redo that chore as often.
I will live with the Scottoiler for a while and then report back here on what I find.
"Ride Your Own Ride"