Best Motorcycle Chain Oiler For Hassle Free Maintenance

motorbike chain testing
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Motorcycle wheels throw up dust and grime as we ride. Lots of it ends up on our chains and from there into our sprockets.

Letting the chain run dry and/or running it dirty for long periods of time will damage both it and your sprockets. 

Typically, motorcyclists clean and regrease their chain every 300 miles.

But often life, work and a foggy memory get in the way of this.

A chain oiler system can help here, and there are a variety of options with varying degrees of automation and heads up display.

This means less frequent chain cleaning is required.

Whatever chain oiler system you choose, the idea is to extend the life of your chain and sprockets while saving you time, money and hassle.

 

Our Top Pick

scotoiler e system

Scottoiler E System

High Quality, High Price!

Superbly engineered chain oiler with all the bells and whistles.

Reliable manufacturer and great customer support. Check SportsBikeShop

Budget Pick

Scottoiler vSystem

Scottoiler vSystem

Simple, Reliable, Affordable

Uses a vacuum system for a simple and reliable solution at a decent price.

Quality kit and excellent support for their products. Good stuff. Check Amazon

 

Best Chain Oilers Reviewed

Lets jump into our top products


Scottoiler E System

The E System is Scottoiler’s full-fat, feature complete chain oiler system with a digital display giving feedback on ambient temperature, oil flow and reservoir level.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop

scotoiler e system

It uses an accelerometer to gauge when the bike is moving, so oil flow will cease if the engine is on but the bike is stationary.

The E System is best wired directly to your battery so that it boots up on ignition and goes to sleep when you turn the engine off.

Pros:

Feature complete

Excellent build quality

Cons:

Pricey

Check SportsBikeShop 


Scottoiler vSystem

Scottoiler’s vSystem is operated by engine vacuum. Once the vacuum pipe is installed, revving the bike will increase vacuum – this vacuum will open a valve in the reservoir, allowing oil to flow down the discharge pipe and onto your chain.

It’s a relatively simple and reliable solution with a range of analogue settings.

Check Prices on Amazon

Scottoiler vSystem

Pros:

Well-built from a reliable manufacturer

Cons:

Not the easiest oiler to install on our list (still very do-able!)

Check On Amazon


Scottoiler X System

The X System is easy to install and use. The reservoir, sensor and pump all come in one simple to fit package and it can be mounted anywhere as long as the bottom of the reservoir is facing down.

Check Prices on SportsBikeShop scotoiler x system

The pump will feed oil to the applicator at five different rates controlled by a display on the unit. When powered on, the pump will default to whatever setting it was last set to.

It can be powered off manually so that the pump won’t release oil if you are just moving your bike around the garage.

Pros:

Excellent build-quality

Top customer service

Easy to fit and use

Cons:

Not the cheapest option on our list

Check SportsBikeShop Check On Amazon


Nemo 2

The Nemo 2 is a complete chain lubrication solution that doesn’t require connection to your bike’s electronic system.

Check Prices on Amazon

nemo 2 chain oiler

It depends upon ‘over pressure’ (as stated in their marketing copy). This basically means a fixed quantity of lubrication is forced through the discharge pipe at a variable pressure, giving an even application over 1.5 – 3 minutes.

The pressurized reservoir mounts to the handle bar and turning its cap will deliver a measured amount of lube to the chain.

The rider can decide when it’s appropriate to apply – after rain, dusty conditions or even just once a day.

Pros

No need to connect to the battery

Simple installation with several excellent Youtube tutorials

Quality, durable construction

Cons

Not the cheapest option

No heads up display

Check On Amazon


Motobriiz Wind Powered Chain Oiler

This an interesting idea and a well-executed one by all accounts. Powered by wind, this chain oiler depends upon your bike’s speed to turn on and off.

Check Prices on Amazon

Motobriiz- Wind Powered Motorcycle Chain Oiler

As your bike builds up speed air travels up the inlet tube, pressurizing the oil reservoir. The oil is then forced down the discharge tube and onto the chain via an applicator pad.

It’s a neat little system, has no moving parts and should last a very long time.

Pros:

No electronics, no moving parts

Applicator pad means less oil required and a cleaner chain overall

Good price point

Cons:

No display

Check On Amazon


PDOiler Automatic Chain Oiler

Most oilers on our list depend on gravity to take the lubricant from reservoir to chain. These systems are reliable and inexpensive, but can be affected by weather and temperature.

Check Prices on PDOiler

PDOiler

The PDOlier operates on an electric pump to deliver an even application of oil in conditions ranging from -10c to 50c

The pump traps a fixed quantity of lubricant before forcing it through the discharge pipe and onto the wick applicator.

The PDOlier draws a very low quantity of power from your battery and won’t affect performance.

Pros:

Will work in a range of extreme temperatures – suited to adventure riding

UK based company, 2 year warranty, spare parts and customer support

Cons:

Not the cheapest, nor the simplest solution

Check PDOiler

 

Buyer’s Guide

Just what should we be looking for in a reliable chain oiler?


Why A Chain Oiler?

The main benefit of using a chain oiler is that the oil required is significantly less tacky than spray lubricant, and will therefore pick up less dirt.

Spray oil needs tackiness to adhere to your chain as you apply it.

Using a chain oiler, whether applied by drip or wick, reduces the need for tackiness as the oil is applied in a precise, controlled way – directly to the inside of the chain, usually at the bottom of the rear sprocket.

 

How Do They Work?

There are four methods currently in use:

  • Vacuum:  Requires you to connect a tube to your bike’s vacuum hose. Once the revs are increased the suction will increase, opening a valve and allowing oil to flow from the reservoir into the discharge tube and onto the chain.
  • Electric pump: Requires connection to your bike’s battery to power a motor which pumps oil from the reservoir onto your chain. Typically the amount of power required is very low.
  • Wind powered: Uses air pressure from an intake pipe when the bike is moving to create pressure inside the oil reservoir. When the bike is moving, oil is flowing. The rate of flow depends upon speed.
  • Manual: Pressurised by hand turning the reservoir cap and forcing oil through the discharge tube.

 

Fitting

Most of the systems on our list depend on gravity to deliver oil through the discharge tube (not the PDOiler), so their reservoirs will need to be mounted with the bottom facing the ground.

Reservoirs are often intended to be mounted on sub-frame tubing, but can be mounted anywhere as long as they are facing downward.

Any leaks will usually develop around the top cap of the oil reservoir, further incentivizing mounting the unit in a vertical position.

The fewer the components, the easier they are to fit. Oilers with a separate display etc will take more time to fit, but none are particularly challenging.

 

Range

The distance you can travel before needing to refill the oil reservoir depends on the unit’s capacity and on how much control the user has on output.

Units like ScottOiler E System allow the rider to adjust the oiling schedule using the handlebar display to suit riding conditions.

Others like the Chain Oiler Nemo 2 allow the rider to respond to conditions by manually adjusting the cap on the reservoir.

Units that apply oil by wick will use slightly less oil than their drip counterparts.

Wind powered systems have no way to vary oil flow other than changes in speed and use the same amount of oil irrespective of conditions, offsetting their lower initial cost.

Expect to get between 1,250 miles and 2000 miles before refilling, depending on riding conditions.

 

Conclusion

A chain oiler is not necessarily a must-buy for every rider. If you enjoy scrubbing that chain while listening to ACDC every Sunday – please continue.

However, if you are forgetful, busy, or just not bothered – a chain oiler can significantly extend the life of your chain and sprockets, saving you time money and hassle.

 

Further Reading

Best Motorcycle Chain Lube

Best Motorcycle Cleaner (and how to clean your motorcycle)