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How to fit an automatic chain oiler

An automatic oiler can take a lot of the work out of looking after your chain and can actually extend its life. It’s especially useful in the winter months when salt, dirt and water from the road do their best to dissolve your chain before your very eyes.

Follow Stick’s tips below, and then sit back and enjoy the ride while this nifty kit busts the rust.

1. So long lube

Take a peek at the instructions before you start

An automatic chain oiling system is a real benefit for year-round and long-distance riders. By constantly supplying a precise amount of oil to your drive chain, it does away with the need for maintenance and keeps the chain in peak condition as you ride. Before you start, familiarise yourself with the instructions and the kit’s components.

2. Lay out and check

Take stock of your equipment

Once you have started to gain an understanding of how the system works, lay all of the parts out so you’re familiar with them and cross reference against the instructions to ensure you have everything you need. With this Scottoiler X System (£199.99) there are three main parts: a delivery tube, mounting bracket, and the reservoir/main unit.

3. Unearth the battery

Get access to your battery

As the Scottoiler is powered directly from the bike’s battery, you will need to gain access to the terminals and also find somewhere to mount the reservoir/control unit. Finding the battery is easy on this Suzuki SV650 as it’s in the traditional position under the rider’s seat. On many modern bikes the battery could be under a fairing panel so check your manual.

4. Location, location, location

Find a spot for your reservoir

The main unit needs to be located so the delivery tube is pointing downwards, allowing gravity to flow oil down to the chain. As well as the position of the delivery tube, you need to consider how easily you can get to the filler at the top of the unit, and also whether you can operate the buttons and see the LED status lights.

5. Tie and check

Fit the unit somewhere convenient and secure

Once you find a suitable location, you need to cable tie the mounting bracket in place then double check that you have met all of the criteria detailed in the previous step. If the unit is mounted in a place where it is covered by a panel make sure the panel won’t snag the wires or tubing.

Stick's tip: Invest in a cable tie gun (from around £7) to tension and cut the ties

6. Route the power

Run the power cable and secure with cable ties

Route the power cable to the battery. Aim to get it tucked away alongside an existing part of the bike’s loom. Secure it using cable ties, gathering up any excess lengths of wire into bundles and stashing them away. Don’t connect to the battery terminals at this point.

7. Free to flow

pick a route for oil delivery tubes

The oil from the main unit runs along a delivery tube to the tip of the nozzle and needs to be carefully routed with no kinks or sharp turns.

Our unit is mounted in a position just under the pillion seat, so the tube is neatly fitted in parallel with the subframe, before a gentle bend runs it back to the underside of the swingarm.

8. Clean and stick

Make sure the swingarm is clean before you stick

The tube is secured under the swingarm using heavy-duty sticky pads. You’ll need to make sure the whole area is completely free of grease and grime. You’ll normally find wipes in the pack but for excessively grubby swingarms use some brake cleaner with clean paper towel. Stick the pads and clip the delivery tube into place.

9. Position your nozzle properly

Stick the nozzle in place near the rear sprocket

Position and mount the dispensing nozzle and bracket. Like the delivery tube this can be secured using 3M sticky pads so make sure the surface is really clean.

Stick's tip: Spin the rear wheel back and forth to ensure the injectors don't catch

Adjust the final position of the nozzle to roughly the right place; this dual injector applies oil to either side of the rear sprocket. Cut the delivery tube to the correct length and fix it to the dispensing nozzle.

10. Prime and ride

Prime the system and you're good to go

Connect the wires to the battery then fill up the main unit with the oil provided. Prime the system and watch the oil flow down the delivery tube until it makes its way to the nozzle. When it has reached here you can stop the priming function. Top up the reservoir and re-install panels and seat. Test ride the bike and adjust the flow rate as necessary.

The right tools for the job

The tools you will need for the job

Here are the tools you will need to fit an automatic chain oiler to your motorbike.

Allen T-bars 4-6 mm

Allen T-bars combine speed and feel, making them ideal for undoing and tightening non-critical bolts or nipping up fastenings prior to setting the final torque value. Pay £20 for a good one.

Screwdrivers

If you’re removing panels or fastenings with a screwdriver and your bike’s Japanese, invest in a JIS (Japanese Industry Standard) screwdriver (for around tenner) to get the best fit for your far-eastern bike’s bolts.

Snips

Leaving a long, untrimmed tail on your cable tie not only looks unsightly but can also cause damage to the surrounding loom or paintwork. Snip it off with some sharp cutters, which cost around £15, for a properly professional looking result.

10mm spanner

Spanners are used when there’s no room to fit a socket. Combination spanners, open-ended one end and a ring spanner (like a flat socket) the other, are the best bet for reaching tricky nuts.

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