How to fit a Scottoiler

1 of 1

Why bother?

Because one of the biggest arse-aches of owning a bike with chain drive is keeping it correctly lubricated come rain or shine. Thick aerosol lube doesn’t penetrate the rollers well, and once squeezed off the roller by the sprocket, it doesn’t do much more lubricating. And there are still some spray-type lubes that contain propellant gases or liquids which damage the soft O-rings which are there to prevent crud getting into a link’s internals. A Scottoiler provides a constant, measured supply of safe lubricating oil, ensuring your chain lasts up to three times longer.

What you’re dealing with

An oil-carrying reservoir which bolts to your bike, giving an adjustable flow of lubricant through a pipe when ever the engine is running. It requires no electrical power to work, just a connection to the bike’s vacuum system on the carb(s) or fuel injection system.

Don’t think about it if…

You like a squeaky chain and sprockets which wear out and need replacing every 600 miles, or if you just can’t be arsed to remove the bike’s fuel tank.

Stuff you’ll need

Ideally, a rear paddock stand, a socket set (8-17mm minimum), combination spanners (8-19mm), various screwdrivers (Phillips and flat-bladed), Allen keys (4-10mm), contact cleaner and a piece of emery cloth or fine grit sandpaper.

What can go wrong?

The oiler unit can deliver too much oil at first so it’s best to set it to minimum flow then increase the flow if need be.

What skills do I need?

Just a little old-fashioned politeness and the ability to use a telephone – if fitting problems occur, the nice people at Scottoiler are only a phone call away and, let’s face it, they’ve had more experience than all of us at fitting a Scottoiler.

1. Choose the best unit to suit your needs.  Touring and courier bikes are best off with the touring system, which has a large capacity reservoir which bolts behind the numberplate. The universal kit pictured is best suited to sports bikes (Kawasaki ZX-10R in this case) as it’s smaller and can be hidden out of sight.


2. Find a suitable place on the bike to install the reservoir, preferably somewhere prying eyes and twiddling fingers can’t get at it. Inside the tail section is favourable especially on the side of the subframe as this means the toolkit and disc lock can be retained. If this looks favourable now’s the time to remove the tail bodywork.


3. With the tail plastics off, look closely to see if the reservoir will actually fit without interfering with seat lock cables, wiring loom connections etc. Again, bear in mind that you may need to get at the oil flow adjuster knob when the plastics are refitted. If in doubt then mount the reservoir loosely with sticky tape and refit the plastics.


4. The Scottoiler reservoir comes with various mounting clamps and brackets to suit tubular or square section metalwork. Try them all to find the most secure fitment.  We settled for the rubber strap version with flat base that allows it to be attached as close to subframe as possible – it’ll also help soak up knocks from the firm suspension.


5. The rubber strap needs to be mounted in place with the supplied superglue. Our tip is to carefully remove the paint or anodised finish off the metalwork where the strap mounts, as this gives the glue a better foothold.  Use fine emery cloth to remove the coating. Tape the reservoir and strap in place until the glue dries.


6. The Scottoiler utilises the movement of air in the fuel system’s balance pipes.  Bikes with carbs will also have a take-off point to balance them and this can also be used with supplied adaptors. On injected systems it’s best to make use of one of may balance pipes. If you’re unsure which is which, refer to a workshop manual or ask a dealer.


7. When a balance pipe is found cut it in half. A T-piece connector (supplied) joins the ends back together (a bit of spit helps gets the hose ends on easier), while also providing a take-off point for the air pipe to the reservoir for its valve system to release the oil.  Ensure this pipe is kink-free and that it won’t get trapped with the tank back on.


8. Fit the oil-supplying pipe, starting from the chain end.  The end of the pipe incorporates a flexible metal rod to finalise the position of the nozzle to the inside of the lower run of chain – the fling action of oil on a moving chain then ensures total roller lubrication. The Scottoiler kit comes with a selection of brackets to help mount the pipe in place.


9. Route the rest of the pipe back to the reservoir. You want to aim for a kink-free route but also one that hides the pipe. The kit comes with cable-ties and tape and flexible pipe mounts. Excess pipe can be trimmed back before connecting to the reservoir.  Our routing shows the pipe over the swingarm (the hugger was removed for the picture).


10. Now fill the reservoir with Scottoiler’s own brand lubricating oil (supplied). The oil is blue in colour, this signifies the oil is slightly thinner in consistency for colder climates, such as the UK. Attach the oil container according to the instructions and fill the reservoir to only three-quarters full.


11. Turn the flow adjuster to ‘prime’ and disconnect the breather on the filler plug.  Turn the container upright so only air is forced out when squeezed. This air is forced out when squeezed. This air is enough to pressurise the reservoir and force the oil into the delivery and exit pipe. Reconnect the breather and top up the reservoir and set flow to minimum (1).


12. Run the bike at standstill and if everything is OK oil will drip from the exit pipe on to the chain – after 20 miles riding you’ll see if more oil is required (move adjuster one position at a time for best results). Refit the bodywork ensuring the remote, bendy fill-up tube-cum-breather is accessible. Check oil level frequently, say every weekend.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in New rider…

MCN Technical Staff

By MCN Technical Staff