I’ve been contemplating a Scottoiler for a while now. Lubricating a chain manually is not a great hardship, nor overly difficult, but as I get older my memory doesn’t seem to improve and I often find myself 10 miles into a ride, thinking I should have lubed the chain before I left. So a system that constantly and automatically lubricates the chain, without me having to put a “post it” note on my seat every 4-500 miles, does seem like a sensible idea.
With the decision made, it was just a matter of choosing which brand and system to go with. Whilst much of my riding is touring, I do take the bike off-road, too, so a vacuum system, without electronics to rattle themselves silly, seemed the smarter (and more economical) choice and Scottoiler’s V-System has always been well lauded for its reliability. I know there are a few brands that produce similar products but I decided to go with what I know, so the V-System was duly purchased. To give you an idea of price differentials, Scottoiler produces two 12v systems: E-System and X-System. They are retailed at £300 and £200 GBP ($360 and $240 USD) respectively. Granted, they do give you slightly more control over the flow and delivery of oil to the chain, but at the end of the day, if the vacuum powered V-System delivers to the chain approximately 1.5 – 2 drops of oil per minute, that’s really al I need it to do..
In the box the above items were all present and everything looked fairly straightforward.. The included manual offered some useful tips but was hardly what I’d call a “comprehensive installations guide”, so a couple of helpful YouTube videos were employed.
The first thing you’ll want to do is find your vacuum nipple, pictured above.
You’ll find it on the right side of the engine, marked with an arrow, above. There’s a loom plug directly in front of it, so unplug that first and you’ll have just enough space to get your fingers in there, remove the rubber cover and replace it with the right angle vacuum L plug. From there you just need to route the vacuum line around the engine bay and across to wherever you’ve chosen to position the Scottoiler reservoir, avoiding resting it on engine parts that will become hot during a ride.
On my T700 I have Bumot pannier racks permanently installed on either side of the bike. On the left side there is also a toolbox with an angled corner. I chose to place my reservoir there as it was the one place I could easily place it vertically, it’s out of the way, easily accessible and well protected if and when the bike decides to take a nap without my consent.
The included Scottoiler clamp mount also allows you to rotate the reservoir 180 degrees in this position, so it could be folded away behind the toolbox during use and swivelled back to the side of the toolbox for easy access and filling. In this situ it’s also easy to read the oil level as there is light behind it. Due to the slight tint to the reservoir plastic, it’s not at all easy to read if the light is not perfect or if the surface behind it is dark.
That was the easy part of the install. Slightly more excruciating was accurately positioning the delivery nozzle and routing the feeder tubing. I decided to go with an idea I’d gleaned from the tenere700.net site, where one member managed to use his OEM chain guide as an anchor/positioning point, allowing the delivery nozzle to be placed on the inside of the chain sprocket instead of the usual outside position. This placing keeps both the tube and nozzle better protected and is also all but invisible. I have the same OEM chain guide on the OR T700 so following that lead I removed the guide, drilled a small 4mm hole and used a self-tapping bolt to attach the smaller supplied feeder bracket, shown above. It was, indeed, a time consuming and fiddly job but with a little perseverance it was finally in place and the tip sat exactly where it was needed. A shout of “hallelujah” alerted the neighbours to my triumphant news and now it was was time to prime the system with oil.
The smaller diameter black tube in the above pic is the vacuum line and with a little patience you can easily run this behind the OEM faring, making it totally invisible. I also encased the entire feeder tube with protective split tubing, which also prevents the feeder tube from becoming crimped whilst zip tying it to the frame.
In order to prime the system, discard the manual and quickly watch the video above. It’s a very simple process and the video clearly explains what to do.
Once installed and working, I was pleased to see that the entire install was fairly inconspicuous and almost invisible unless you knew what you were looking for.
The system is now roughly regulated but it will need a few rides to dial in the flow rate correctly, I suspect.
First Impressions Concluded
All in all, it’s not a difficult install but one that occasionally will make you wish you had smaller hands and longer fingers! The Scottoiler manual/instructions are relatively useless but they do have generic (non bike-specific) instruction videos posted on YouTube, which tell you pretty much everything you need to know. I’ll update this “review” over the next few weeks as I ride with the V-System in place, so please do check back from time to time.