My bike, a 2014 T100, is a daily commuter. It dawned on me after riding throughout this past winter that I had totally neglected my chain.
As you can see in the above photo, the chain and sprocket are completely dry. In fact, rust is even setting in. Embarrassing, quite honestly. I took to Google to research the best way to take care of the chain. Man, let me tell you… people are overly adamant in their beliefs as to what is best. Anyway, I came upon Delboy’s video of the Scottoiler. I’m a big fan of Delboy and Penny’s “Moonfleet41” Youtube page but I wasn’t aware of their Scottoiler video install, dated two years ago. I watched it, became very interested, and continued with my research, specifically on the Scotland-born Scottoiler system. People rave about it, so I figured that I would give it a go. A bit of highlander on the mainland, if you will. That’s adding class to the bike, right?
So I ordered one from their USA site. Let me cut the story short and tell you that this company does it right. I was amazed with not only the product itself but also the packaging, the provided components, and the customer service. A lot of thought has been put into this product to ensure customer satisfaction. Smart people invented and put this kit together. I wish that every company were like this. Kudos to Scottoiler. (Did I mention that shipping was free?)
The kit arrived promptly, and a beautiful piece of kit it is – lots of extra bits to account for various scenarios, nicely printed instructions with full graphics, loads of stickers. I’m a sucker for stickers.
I even got a hand written note from Roger…
Okay, so what is this thing exactly? It feeds a drop of oil onto the rear sprocket once a minute or so and thanks to centrifugal force, the oil disperses onto the spinning chain. As a result, your chain is continuously lubricated. The system consists of a unit (RVM – Reservoir Metering Valve) that holds a reservoir of lubricant that feeds onto the chain through a valve that is opened via the motorcycle’s vacuum. You have to link the Scottoiler to the Bonneville’s vacuum port on the throttle body. Simple enough, right? Let’s begin the install…
I’m going to start with the hardest part – tapping into the vacuum. (Shout out to Forchetto of triumphrat.net for helping me sort this out.) The Scottoiler uses the bike’s vacuum as a means of opening its valve and allowing the oil to release onto the sprocket. The 2014 Triumph Bonneville T100 has three vacuum ports – one low output on the left throttle body, one low output on the right throttle body, and one high output on the right throttle body. Scottoiler recommends the vacuum port on the left throttle body (which is FAR easier to access) but after much experimenting, I found that the high vacuum port on the right throttle body yielded the best results. My takeaway was that the low vacuum ports would probably work best at high RPM (highway speeds). I ride a lot in the city at low RPM, so I want the Scottoiler working during those times also. It really depends on your situation as to how you want to proceed. This post details my particular situation only.
Tapping into the high vacuum port can be a bit difficult. It is the complete opposite of “easy access”. Fortunately(?), my bike has an EVAP system which means that hoses are coming off the vacuum ports and into a canister filled with charcoal. It took a while of blindly feeling around but I was able to discern which hose was which. I sliced the hose (V3 in the photo below) coming off the high vacuum port of the right throttle body (V3 in the photo above) and spliced in one of Scottoiler’s provided tee-joint (they provide three different sizes as a means of accounting for different scenarios. Seriously spot on.) If you have a Bonneville without the EVAP system, the ports will be capped. You’ll need to remove one of the caps and put the Scottoiler elbow in its place. (Note: I plan on removing the EVAP system which will then require me to attach the Scottoiler vacuum tube directly to the throttle body.)
Once you’ve done this, it’s all downhill. Feed the vacuum hose along the left side and under the seat and onto the reservoir that you’ll attach to the frame on the right side. Scottoiler recommends placing the reservoir on the left side but I prefer the right side. It’s much cleaner, in my subjective opinion. By no means do you have to place it like I’ve done. Del-boy placed it on the left and he’s way more accomplished than I am. Scottoiler provides plenty of tubing thus giving you ample leeway to install however/wherever you like.
Attach the reservoir (RVM) to the frame using the supplied cable ties. One caveat here – the cable ties snapped in half very easily, so be careful. Luckily, I had my own supply of ties. That’s my one negative of this kit – the cable ties were not pliable enough. The plastic was brittle and snapped easily, but you know what? This was an easy and super cheap fix. For the record, all other parts were stupendous.
But I digress… trim the vacuum tube and then insert it into the top of the reservoir.
Now we’ll run the feed hose down to the rear sprocket. Start by prepping the chain guard with the cleansing moist towelette included in the kit. It is necessary to have a clean surface upon which to adhere the hose clips. (Save the moist towelette if you plan on eating chicken wings after your install.)
Run the feed hose from the bottom of the reservoir, along the chain guard, and down to the sprocket. Use the tube clips to keep the tubing in place. Scottoiler supplies more than enough length of tubing, so you’re welcome to route it however you like.
Now we’ll need to secure the feed nozzle to the rear axle and bend it so that the nozzle sits right against the sprocket. Remove the axle nut, place the mounting plate onto the spindle, and lightly tighten so that you can fine-tune the mounting plate position.
Scottoiler recommends placing the nozzle somewhere between the 5:00 o’clock and 7:00 o’clock position. AM or PM is up to you. You’ll need to trim the nozzle at an angle so that the angled area sits directly upon the sprocket.
Take note of the above two photos. You’ll notice that I have the tubing running through the hole and behind the mounting plate. In this mounting position, this is wrong, don’t do it. It looks clean but the problem is that the tubing gets crimped and won’t allow oil to flow. The photo below shows the proper way once I realized my mistake. You’ll need to use the supplied hose clamp to secure the feed nozzle to the mounting plate.
Once you have it in position, tighten the axle nut to 85Nm. (BTW, I created a page with all the proper torque settings for a 2014 Triumph Bonneville T100.)
We’re down to the final steps. Take the supplied rubber filler plug, attach it to the reservoir unit, and fill the reservoir with the supplied oil.
Leave the filler plug on the reservoir and install the breather tube. I used some cable ties to secure it to the frame.
Whenever you need to refill the reservoir, detach the breather tube from the filler plug and insert the Scottoiler oil dispenser. Once finished filling, reattach the breather tube.
That’s the full install. The following two photos show the right and left sides of the bike with the Scottoiler V-System in place.
At this point, it’s a simple matter of adjusting the flow rate. At the top of the reservoir unit is a knob to turn that will allow you to adjust the flow rate. The “PRIME” setting will allow for full flow. Start here to get the system primed and then start turning it down. You’ll need to have the bike running for this. What happens is that the vacuum generated by the engine lifts a diaphragm inside the reservoir unit which in turn opens a valve that allows the oil to flow downward thanks to gravity.
Remember that I used the high vacuum port on the right throttle body. As such, the Scottoiler system will suck through a lot of oil very quickly if you’re not careful. I’m still fine-tuning the flow rate but for me, it seems like the halfway position is working pretty well. Scottoiler recommends no more than a drop a minute. A filled reservoir should last around 1,500 miles/2,414 kilometers.
That’s it. A drop of oil will spill onto the sprocket and centrifugal force will disperse it onto the chain. It’s a wonderful thing. Within a few days, it’s a night and day difference. My chain is healthy again and is constantly being tended to. Being a daily commuter through the streets of New York and New Jersey, this gives great piece of mind. Don’t believe me? Compare the following photos (shot over the space of one week) with the first photo at the top of this post. You can see the system nicely dispersing oil onto the chain and sprocket . HUGE difference.
One day later. The valve was opened too far with the system enjoined to the high vacuum port. A lot of oil was spraying out. I had to dial it way down.
Four days later. The RVM dialed way down and now no spray onto the rim and tire.
7 days later:
Oh, a final note. Regarding refills… I read forum posts regarding different types of oil to use, such as automatic transmission fluid. I checked with Mark of Scottoiler’s technical support and here’s his official response:
ATF will be much too thin, particularly in summer when it could thin, even more and become difficult to control the flow rate.
Our oil is developed form [sic] a chain saw oil – but with less tack additive. It has about one tenth the tack additive of the average spray chain lube.
As far as viscosity goes, our red oil is nearer to gear oil (EP80 or EP90), but we can’t say whether additive in gear oils are compatible, long term, with the rubber components in the RMV, which we know our oil doesn’t degrade – especially the diaphragm at the top which ensures your engine is sealed from the atmosphere. Any air leak here could mean you burning out your valves, so, in short, I’d stick to our oil. A 500ml bottle will last a couple of years on average mileage.
Makes sense, so I went ahead and ordered both their blue and red oil. I ride throughout the entire winter season, so I’ll use the blue during those times. (I also ordered their corrosion spray. I’ll let you know how that goes.)
Heavy duty crescent wrench
Small flat head screwdriver
Extra cable ties (8″, 12″)