I have often been frustrated with the task of oiling the chain on my motorbike, I want a Scottoiler but I don’t want to pay for it. So I built something that would do the same sort of thing only temporarily. When you want to oil the chain, you fix it on, go for a small ride or spin the wheel a bit, then take it off again.
- Easy to put on and take off
- will spread lubricant evenly on the chain
- cost effective
The basic idea I came up with was to place a rag on the chain with oil flowing onto it at a slow rate, the oil would spread over the rag and onto the chain. This is how I built it.
I had intended to attach it either by using the rear stand thread but I didn’t have any bolts that size, but I found a piece of wood would very happily wedge into the swing-arm very tightly. I took an off cut, drilled a hole through it at 9mm then applied a piece of 10mm threaded rod to it (installed the thread into the wood very happily, the threaded rod was tightly stuck in there.
An ‘arm’ was needed to reach down to the chain, so another off cut was attached with a couple washers and bolts. This also meant I could adjust the angle to suit when on the bike.
Then I built the oiling base itself, I made two because the first one wasn’t large enough to be drilled again for the second rod. Basically its a small off cut with a 5m hole drilled in it for the hose.
Inserting the oil flow tube.
The “oiling system” is a folded up rag. I kept the rag and the block the width of the chain to keep the oil where it should be.
I used electrical tape to keep it on. Electrical tape works here because of its ability to stretch. whilst it doesn’t stick to the wood etc. It’s basically working like a rubber-band in this instance.
Its looking good here, but because I cant really attach it to anything I remade it slightly larger, The threaded rod is the second arm between the first and the base, I used threaded rod again so I could adjust the distance.
This is the full mount set. The small block on the right is the wedge for the swing arm, then there is the arm that goes down to the chain. Then the rod that goes inwards to the right distance to place the oiling block where it should be. Bolts for Africa to keep everything in place.
I was a little surprised at how sturdy it is. you would expect with wood, tape, bolts, threaded rod, and something that’s just wedged into the swing-arm to be quite fragile, but its pretty solid.
At the other end of the tube is an adapter I had made earlier for a standard soft drink bottle. I drilled a hole that was 1m too small andÂ used a small off cut of another tube to make the base. some hot glue to seal and then inserted the smaller tube. I didn’t have any hose clamps handy so used some 20 gauge wire to make my own clamp sort of thing. works well 🙂
So now I have my oil input ready. for testing its just sitting in the pillion foot peg.
Ideally I will have a small, thin, seal-able tube that has a screw thread on both ends that I can use to put the right amount of oil in, and maybe it has a gauge so I can see how fast its draining etc. but for now; the top of a sprite bottle will do.
So I put some oil in the “reservoir” and let it flow through. the tube thickness and oil viscosity control the rate at which oil gets onto the chain. and it was flowing through the tube at about 1cm per second, which was perfect. The oil goes through the rag and onto the chain as expected. I am a bit slow here, I was too busy taking pictures and musing to start rotating the wheel which is why that small drop is on the bottom. the idea is you pour the oil in and go for a ride around the street to drain it. Today I just tilted the bike on the stand and manually rolled the wheel, this worked just as well.
Full system off the bike (excluding reservoir)
Overall, this was a resounding success. It does everything I wanted for very little cost (I had everything already) Its not too fragile, its not too bulky, and it actually works!
- I would like a better ‘wedge’ system perhaps some sort of clamp that fits on the underside of the swingarm
- I should remake it with a better material than wood
- I need to build a better tube style reservoir
Came looking for LoR… your stuff may be better. Thought you’d like to know you’ve got a reader. Awesome crap; keep it up.
Me and my dad were oiling dirtbike chains and I thought of something a lot like this. mine was a sort of small leave-on reservoir with an on/off that dripped the oil down a retractable thick-gauge wire.
you can make a permanent system if you can hide an oil reservoir on the bike and run that to a simple screw valve to adjust flow rate then run the tube to the chain but instead of the rag use a small nylon brush, the oil will flow down the brush and onto the chain with little mess. you could get fancy with a cheap electronic valve so the oil is shut off with the bike is off, otherwise you’d need to turn the screw in each time you finish riding etc