Nick Muddle from Scottoiler supplied us with a vSystem lubrication unit to trial. Previously I’ve been using conventional Chain wax to protect and lubricate my CBR600F chain. Chain wax is great in dry weather because it doesn’t fling any gunk over the rear wheel and body work however. When riding in wet conditions the wax gets completely washed off the links of the chain within twenty miles leaving the chain unprotected, prone to partial seizure and more importantly covering the plastics on the left side of the bike in gunk.
A few friends have Scottoiler’s fitted to their bikes and upon close inspection the chain drive is well lubricated with minimal oil fling on the rear wheel. Bearing in mind I use the trial CBR600F to commute in all weathers, it was a “no brainer” deciding to fit the vSystem to the bike.
The system arrived in a well presented box with all parts included to fit the system directly to the bike. The “Quick setup guide” is very informative and covers basic installation to any machine.
How it works
The vSystem is vacuum operated. When the bike engine is running a vacuum is created, this lifts a diaphragm which in turn opens a valve in the main oil reservoir. Whilst open the valve allows oil to drip feed under gravity down the delivery tube to the chain via the rear sprocket. There is a metering unit built into the valve to provide adjustment to control the rate at which the oil is dispensed.
Fitting the system
Although the kit comes with the “Quick setup guide” the instructions do not cover bike specific fitment however. The Scottoiler web site has the exact fitment guide for all popular bikes in a PDF style download document. I downloaded the instructions for the CBR600F, printed them off and got to work.
I started off by locating a vacuum source on the bike. On the CBR I removed the left side engine panel and located the suggested vacuum point in the inlet tract. I removed the blanking screw and fitted the M5 brass spigot that came in the kit and used some PTFE tape to ensure an airtight seal was obtained on the spigot thread. The damper elbow was pressed onto the spigot and the vacuum tubing was fitted into the elbow and routed towards the back of the bike
I then removed the rear left fairing and fitted the Reservoir Metering Valve (RMV) to the tubular part of the bike frame using the supplied RMV cage and colour coded cable ties. It is important to remember at this stage that the Scottoiler is a gravity fed system so the RMV must be fitted at least 30cm above the rear of the sprocket in order to give a good gravity head. It can be mounted anywhere between horizontal and vertical, although the more vertical the RMV is the better the system will work.
I ran the vacuum tubing tidily inside the front fairing, along the frame and connected it to the RMV, making sure the tubing wasn’t routed near a heat source and there was no risk of pinching/chaffing.
Fitting the delivery tubing was straight forward enough. I ran it along the inside of the frame securing it with the supplied cable ties and remembering not to pull the ties too tightly otherwise the oil flow would become restricted. I then fed the tube along the bottom of the swing arm towards the rear sprocket. The tubing was secured to the underside of the swing arm by using two tubing clips supplied which has strong double-sided adhesive pads attached.
I then secured the dispenser assembly using the supplied securing plate to the rear wheel axle nut. Planning ahead I slid the axle spindle out of the rear wheel and reversed it so the axle nut is now on the left side of the bike. If I need to adjust the chain in the future changing the axle spindle around will makethe job a lot easier.
Now that the system is fitted I had to fill and prime the RMV. This was a very easy procedure. The vSystem comes with a 500ml bottle of blue oil. After locating the filler/priming spout into the RMV, it’s just a case of squeezing the bottle of oil until the RMV fills completely and the oil is forced through the transparent delivery tube and finally forming a drip of oil out of the dispenser nib, onto the rear sprocket.
With the system primed I then started the engine to make sure there were no leaks either from the vacuum spigot or the delivery tube. With the CBR600 at tick-over I then adjusted the oil flow by twisting the adjuster on the RMV until the oil flow rate onto the rear sprocket via the dispenser nib was between 1 and 2 drips per minute.
Living with the Scottoiler vSystem
I have had the system installed on the CBR600 for three weeks now and covered approximately 300 miles in both dry and wet conditions. The chain is covered in just the right amount of lubricant with minimal fling. In fact the plastics on the bike are totally clean from oil deposits and the only residue I can find are little splatters on the left side wheel rim. Compared to Chain wax/lube the Scottoil wipes off very easily. The rate of drip being deposited through the dispenser nib is one drip per minute. This is about right for the CBR600 chain.
According to the instructions that came with the system, the RMV once fully filled should last for approximately 1500 miles before it needs refilling again. With the RMV holding approximately 50ml of oil, the bottle that came with the system should last for about 15000 miles!
Now bearing in mind the vSystem costs approximately £75 and an average tin of chain wax costs £10 and last for about 1000 miles you will be making a huge saving by installing the system on your bike. My only regret regarding the Scottoiler vSystem is that I didn’t fit and use the device years ago!
Review by PC Chris Howlett