After cleaning and lubing my chain once every 3 weeks (yeah right) for the past 5 months, I finally broke down and purchased a Scottoiler. This genius little gadget uses vacuum pressure from your engine to open a valve in an oil reservoir when the engine is running, and drips chain lube oil through a tube onto the bottom edge of your rear sprocket at a rate of 1-2 drops per minute. The centrifugal force then slings the oil onto your chain, and capillary action distributes it to the other side of the link, keeping your o-rings shiny and soft. The result is longer chain life and much less maintenance. It was introduced in the UK in 1986 and became very popular there, with their almost year-round inclement weather and large population of all-season, all-weather riders.
Scottoiler offers several models of oiler, the basic vSystem (v for vacuum), a large-reservoir Touring Kit, and an electromagnetically actuated eSystem. I ordered the basic Universal vSystem Kit for $160 shipped from Aerostich. The kit comes with a bag of accessories and brackets for a myriad of mounting options, and various spigots, washers and T-connectors for tapping in to a bike’s engine vacuum. Also included are the reservoir, tubing, zip ties, and a .5L bottle of Scott Oil.
I started with the install by mounting the provided bracket to the rear paddock-stand bobbin. It is flexible enough to bend to direct the oil spigot at the desired angle. The oil spigot mounts to the bracket with a hose clamp. The last 6″ of the feed tube is a flexible hard plastic tube with a steel wire inside it. This allows you to bend it to any angle to hug the swingarm. Next is the tube routing.
I zip-tied mine to the underside of the swingarm, until it is behind the left footpeg heel guard. Then it turns up, threads through a rubber mounting sleeve thing (provided) glued to the inside face of the frame (glue and sandpaper provided), zip-ties behind the rear subframe and snakes through a gap beneath the body panel into the space under the rear seat.
I mounted the resevoir using the bolt-on mount provided. I had to permanently remove the tank prop stand (assuming I’ll be in my garage whenever I need to use it, knock on asphalt) and drill a 6mm hole in the plastic fender flange on the right side. (The other side of the cavity is occupied by bundles of wires headed to the tail lights, turn signals and Hyperlights.) This mounts the reservoir with a downward angle, and makes the adjustment wheel and fill hole easily accessible.
The vacuum spigot on the SV650 is easy to find but hard to reach. This guide on Scottoiler’s website is fairly straightforward – the recommended vacuum spigot is on the front side of the rear cylinder throttle body, with a rubber cap and spring clip. Approach from the right side. “Simply” remove the clip and cap…somehow…, and slip on the elbow piece from Scottoiler. It helps if your hands are the size of an endoscope, with pliers for fingers. Routing the vacuum tubing is easy, and it plugs right in to the top of the reservoir. Job almost done. Priming and calibration is next.
Priming is easy – you fill the reservoir with oil using the provided fill tube, then seal the oil bottle to the breather grommet and use air pressure to force oil down the tube until it drips out the bottom. Last step – with engine idling, adjust the wheel on the reservoir until the oil drips out at a rate of 1-2 drops per minute. One thing to mention here: Mine came with the Red Scott Oil “For warmer climates”. I do not know if all US orders are shipped this way, or if they pay attention to the zip code, or what. But it came that way without me requesting it. The red oil is labeled for ambient temperatures from 20-40 C which is 68-104 F – A typical summer day around here, but right now it is a balmy and seasonal normal 45F. The oil does barely flow, and I had to set it on 9 (of 1-9) to get a drip rate of 37 seconds. This is something one will have to pay attention to lest it starts to stream out once it gets warmer.
Update: After one trip downtown, with the setting on 9, there was oil flung all over the chain guard, underfender, rim, and 1″ onto the tire. The oiler has since been set on ~7, and seems to be keeping the chain “lightly oiled” without any residue on the rest of the bike. Ambient temps in the mid-40s to low 50s.