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Chain oilers

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by whatisk, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. I'm looking at getting a chain oiler for my new CB400.
    I've done a bit of reading and the scotoiler seems to be a popular choice.
    I've also come across the Tutoro auto oiler and was wondering what people's thoughts are on it. It would be easier to install as it doesn't rely on vacuum, etc and so could also be easily transferred to another bike down the track. It wouldn't be as well hidden though.

    Does anyone have any experience with the Tutoro or are there any other oilers people would recommend?

    I did a search, but the threads I found were at least 12 months old and I'm sure there's been changes since then.

    Thanks all.

  2. Can't comment on any but the Scott.

    I've had one on the DR for 55,000 km and, overall, I'm pleased with it. I'm still on the OEM chain and rear sprocket, though I had to change the front at ~50,000. TBH the chain is now pretty shot, but I'm hoping to hang on until I have to take the back wheel out to do the tyre so I can change the sprox at the same time. Still, not bad for a big single and the big advantage is that I've never had to do any additional chain maintenance and have only really needed to adjust it at tyre change times.

    I bought mine direct from Scott in the UK. I also shelled out for the dual tip accessory. In hindsight I wouldn't bother with that because it's a pain to fit and adjust and doesn't really offer much advantage over the standard single pipe. The fitting bracket that I used had its captive mounting bolt snap off when I tightened it. I'm lucky enough to have the facilities to deal with this but otherwise I'd have been on the phone to Scott. The oiler itself, OTOH, is of very high quality indeed and has given no trouble whatsoever. The only in-use issue that I've had has been with the combined filler bung and breather outlet. This is rubber and is showing deterioration that looks like UV damage in spite of living behind a side panel. Annoying but it doesn't affect the function of the oiler.

    Since finishing the 500 ml bottle of oil that came with the kit I've been using some straight 30 wt oil that I happened to have lying around. It's working fine. IMHO the type of oil in a chain oiler is much less important than having something in there. I suppose you might come across something that will eat the seals in your chain but I'd regard it as pretty unlikely.

    Even with the oiler adjusted right down, the chain remains visibly wet with oil and there is a certain amount of throw to the wheel rim and the back of the bike generally. If you clean your bike weekly or even monthly it's not a problem. I don't clean my bike ever and it's still not a problem because I don't mind the back of it being coated in a thick layer of black goo :D.

    Overall, for someone raised on pre-O-ring chains and monthly baths in LinkLyfe, it's a revelation.

    I'd certainly recommend an auto oiler of some description. The Scott is expensive and the peripherals seem to have some minor QA issues but, even with those reservations, I'd probably buy another, although, given how durable the basic unit is proving, I might not have to.

    Something that does the same job for less money should certainly be considered though.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Thanks for the feedback. I will probably end up getting the scotoiler as it is proven.
    I haven't been able to find a lot about the Tutoro. Especially the auto feeder. They originally had one that you open a valve when you start riding and turn it off once done. The auto one seems to be a newer product for them. I just found it interesting as there is no connection to vacuum or electrics. Means an easy self install. Works on the motion of the bike from what I can gather. Even though it's about half the price of the scotoiler, I'd rather get something I know works then have to spend more down the track.
  4. I have a scott and just replaced oem chain and sprokets at 40k. Rarely needed to adjust chain between services. Just clean the excess off the bike weekly.
  5. Thanks for the feedback guys. I was initally leaning towards the Tutoro as it's a simple installation I can do myself and could be easily transferred to another bike. I think I have found a suitable place on the frame for the reservoir.
    I think about the only places I could install the reservoir for the scot is either behind the number plate (not really ideal), or in the storage compartment under the seat - which I was planning to use to store the waterproof lining of my jacket and perhaps the thermal one as well.
    However, I'm leaning back towards the scot again as it's proven and has been out in the market longer. The Tutoro auto has only been around since earlier this year from what I can gather and I haven't had much luck finding a lot of reviews on it. Though what I've found has been positive. Also I like the idea of how the scot will be more concealed, even if I do lose some storage space.
    Ah, decisions, decisions...
  6. Get the Tutoro and review it for us :)
  7. It's looking like any chain oiler is going to be quite a task to install. I've been liaising with Mark from Scotoiler (very helpful guy) about possible reservoir positions and installation. It appears as though the rear sproket has an 'anti-derailment plate' that needs to be removed to correctly position the nozzle. There doesn't appear to be any bolts holding it on and so I'm guessing I will need to drill out where it appears to be attached. Furthermore, there is also a rubber mould on each side of the sproket that the chain sits against which again I'm guessing will also need to somehow be taken off. I'm not sure how these are attached.

    Attached Files:

  8. I dont wish to dappen your enthuisasm but this is what I would do.

    1. Buy a rear stand so you can easily lift the bike, it will come in handy for cleaning and other things as well.

    2. Read https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=111966 , this thread has some excellent discussion regarding chain maintenance.

    3. Replace the chain and sprockets when worn, many factors in play here but you could easily expect 20,000 klms or more if properly maintained. Last time I replaced a chain and sprockets on the CB400 it cost about $350. I am guessing your oiler is probalby going to cost about the same.

    4. The CB400 is a great bike but it is also a first bike, if you keep it for 40,000 and do one chain and sprocket replacement you are out of pocket about the same. The oiler will not add any value when you come to sell.

    BTW, unless you replace the rear sprocket with Honda OEM, you will lose the derailler.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Thanks for the reply. It looks as though that's the way I'll end up going - without the oiler.
    The derailer doesn't really seem to have much purpose any longer from what the guy from Scotoiler said. It's more a legacy from pre-o-ring chain days where the manufacturer worried that the chain would stretch and if not properly maintained, could come off the sprocket. At least that's what they said. So, I was thinking that should I decide to go ahead, I would also be up for a new rear sprocket. One without the derailer plate.
    The scotoiler would be around $240 delivered and installed. The Tutoro around $90 with installing it myself.
  10. Good idea. The widespread abandonment of the centrestand is one of the greatest acts of design f'wittery of modern times.

    Good thread, but with an auto oiler you don't have to do any of that maintenance stuff. An occasional poke to check the tension and a visual inspection to make sure the oiler's working and that's it. The constant flow of oil keeps the chain clean enough to not require supplementary cleaning. On a small, smooth bike like the CB400 I'd be very surprised indeed if chain tension would require adjustment between tyre changes.

    I would expect at least 60,000 km out of a chain on an oilered CB400 so over that distance the oiler owner will save $700 for a ~$250 (max) investment and will have clean hands and some exra time at weekends. Not a bad return at all IMHO. And how much will the non-oiler owner have spent on aerosol lube in that period? It's not particularly cheap.

    So take it off and put it on your next bike. And the next. And the next. Believe me, you'll want to and they don't wear out.

    Given that pretty much every other bike in the universe does not have this extra bit of pointless crap and seems to manage perfectly well, I'd say losing it was a bonus :D.

    Based on my own experience, running any chain drive bike without an auto chain oiler is stupid, IMHO, if you're doing any kind of kilometerage. Chains are expensive. Chain maintenance is, at best, a tedious chore and, at worst, a horrible dirty job. Why would you want to spend more time and money on it than you need to?

    I'll never own a chain drive without one again. Ever.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Thanks for your input as well PatB.

    I'll be honest in saying that the main reasons I want a chain oiler is because from everything I've read, they do significantly increase the life of the chain. And that they also minimise the time needed for cleaning and lubing of the chain.
    At the moment I'm only really riding the bike weekends, however, in time I'm sure it will also become a commuter. Further to that, the current plan is to keep it for at least 2 years so I feel the cost would be justified if I can figure out how to get it installed so it will work as designed.

    I'm not sure why Honda have kept the derailer there. I've never really noticed one on any other bike...
  12. it takes 2 or 3 minutes (if that) to lube a chain if you have spools and a paddock stand.
  13. Maybe. Let's say 3 minutes every weekend over 5 years of ownersip. That totals up to 13 hours of your time. As I get older and have less of it, I think more and more in terms of what that time is actually worth and no longer regard it as "free". Even at a very modest $25 an hour, that's over $300. And I'm sceptical about 2-3 minutes TBH. Maybe to lift the bike, poke for tension, spray some lube and drop the bike again, but I'd be surprised if you could include any worthwhile cleaning.

    And you still don't get away from the fundamental fact that periodic lubrication is pretty useless from a functional standpoint. At best, the only time your chain is correctly lubed is for about 15 minutes after you put the aerosol away. After that, 95% of that expensive goo has been flung off or migrated to the outside edges of the sideplates where it does no good and the other 5% has transformed into grinding paste.

    Sure, chain maintenance sessions don't, individually, take long and it's not difficult. Nor do adjusting contact breaker point gaps or ignition timing, which also used to be a regular chore for the motorcyclist, but I'm bloody glad that I don't have to do those any more either thanks to technology that has become available. And yes, I used to kid myself that mucking about with fag papers, feeler gauges and a timing light was "just as good" or even, in some mystical way, superior. But it wasn't. And nor is any chain lube system that doesn't provide a constant flow of clean oil direct to the rollers.
  14. I had a scottoiler on my old 250 and liked it (v system). Did a good job - lean it right out and you hardly have any mess to clean up - some level of mess occurs with ALL systems. The oil is meant to fling off with any grit etc.

    Ive had both a v and e system with a view to instaling it on my current bike and dislike, bu thats more due to a lack of space to reasonably install it.
    In the post on its way to me from holland is a pro-oiler. Seems to suit my bike more :).
  15. Got a link? I haven't come across the Pro-Oiler but I'm always ready to be educated.

    Edit: Not to worry, found it myself :D. Interesting beastie and the price is comparable with the Scott. Given their relative levels of sophistication I suspect that makes it better value. Assuming the electronics are reliable, it should be pretty good. As a luddite, I prefer the simplicity of the vac-operated units but I certainly wouldn't dismiss the Pro-Oiler out of hand. Not for something smooth like an I4 anyway. The DR has form for rattling stuff to bits so I'd be less keen on having all those little soldered connections vibrating away :D.
  16. Yeah, I'd still really like to get a chain oiler. It's just working out the best way to get the nozzle delivering the oil to the right spot without (hopefully) too much fuss.

  17. Keep thinking about it. It really will repay the thought and effort you put in.
  18. At the moment, short of replacing the rear sprocket to one that doesn't have the anti-derailment plate I'm at a bit of a loss. I haven't heard anything further back from Scotoiler since sending them the photos that I also posted here, but hopefully might soon.
    The show stopper is just getting the oil delivered to the right place currently.
  19. Do you have a chain guard? Can you make a bracket to hold the pipe at a somewhat oblique angle to the sprocket and bolt/rivet/anything to the chain guard that wont interfere with the chain itself (read- use a mounting point for the guard)? I had mine very close to the teeth on the leading edge of the sprocket after i found it worked better - didnt get caught by the chain when pushing the bike backwards. Will likely set up the pro the same way on the delivery end, but its also set up similar to the dual injector.

    edit: example of why i have to do it on the current bike is this: http://www.pro-oiler.net/gallery_img/PO-triumph-ssa03-2g.jpg
    Maybe something is possible for you too?