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Thread: Chain Oilers ... Are they really useful?

  1. #41
    Senior Member Chain Oilers ...  Are they really useful?
    Chain Oilers ...  Are they really useful?
    Red Rider's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700 DCT, latest in a long line
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    Well, if even the experts can’t agree, where does that leave us mere mortals? Just comparing logical, reasoned, opinions and in some cases, real world experience, it would seem. I’ve never used an oiling device. Then again, I can’t state that my DIY chain maintenance has always been as timely and as thorough as it should be. And my chain replacement cycles have been right at the averages - even after all the buck$ spent on various brands of lube and cleaning materials. After reading countless posts, reviews, and watching a boatload of videos of various oilers, I’m about to give the Chain Oiler device a try. I figure anything that helps keep the chain free(er) of dirt and grit (on-road or off) and keeps a thin coating of rust inhibiting lube on the bare metal parts, oughta be worth a few more thousand trouble-free miles from the drive chain and sprockets. And even if the cost per mile is a wash, the peace of mind is worth something to me. I will say this, the average lube-in-a-can does (IMHO) tend to attract and retain a lot of crud. And I don’t see that occurring with an auto-oiler. That right there oughta help with cleaning duties. Just one more Humble Opinion. YMMV


    Iím supposed to respect my elders, but itís getting harder and harder for me to find one now ..

  2. #42
    Senior Member HarveyM's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC750X DCT
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    I put an oiler on my bike pretty much from new. Since I was a science nerd I keep track of my gas mileage & maintenance expenses. My MPG improves 24% post yearly chain cleaning. I'm upping my cleaning and not trusting the oiler to do all the work....

  3. #43
    Senior Member Chain Oilers ...  Are they really useful?
    Bike: 2013 NC700S
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    I don't have an oiler...but how about just the simple convenience of not have to lube your chain. If Santa got me one for Christmas I wouldn't be sad

  4. #44
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    Bike: NC750XD (model 2015)
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    My former bikes all had shaft drive so only needed to change the gear oil once every two years and that was it.
    It took me a while before I knew enough about chain drive, that it would be just as simple as a shaft drive is. Probably even more simple as most parts can easily be inspected at any time.

    I bought the NC (750XD, model 2015, bought in 2016) and had a fully automatic controlled chain oiler installed. Very expensive in comparison with most available autonomous systems on the market, but the Dutch inventor of the Pro-Oiler lives nearby so if any problems occur, the fix could be done without any fuss or delays.

    The Pro-Oiler is hardly visible on the bike, most parts are hidden behind the panels, only the dual-nozzle and the keypad/display are in sight. The oil distribution is regulated only by actual speed and covered distance. During slow rides covered distance has priority, the higher the speed, the sooner a drop of oil is delivered (related to rotational swing-off of the oil). Only during heavy rain I manually increase the oil delivery, but at "sweet spot setting" I need to refill the reservoir after 10,000 miles or so.

    I have had no issues so far and I do not expect that at all. The CPU and GPS receiver are located under the rear top cover, behind the passenger seat. The pump (the only part which does wear somewhat over time) is next to the fuel cap and if needed, replaced in a minute. The whole system only needs a 12V input, so no more than a plus and minus wire. It's connected on the wires for the rear light (which is active whenever the contact is on). When activated on contact, five seconds are needed to do a complete system check and than it's good to go. A GPS fix is generally done after 100 yards and it stays fixed the entire ride until contact is switched off again. I use new engine oil from a Castrol can, mineral 10W40 from my former old bike. It's colored red so the oil flow in the clear delivery tubes can be checked easily.

    I never have to deep clean the chain, the rollers are always shiny with a clear coat of oil, only the chain sides become a bit greasy after several months. Just an old oily T-shirt wipes it clean within minutes. The same sides are lubricated with a thin coat of white chain spray to prevent "fly-rust" during wintertime when the bike isn't used. I did not have to do any changes on the tension bolts yet (original factory chain, about 11,000 miles old). No chain maintenance money spent yet in these 4 years, which is already about $200 less than I was used to spend on a shaft drive bike.
    Last edited by rpvanoyen; 24th June 2019 at 09:16.

  5. #45
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700x DCT + 2018 NC750x DCT
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    Well for whatever it is worth, I bought two of the Cobrra style (but mine is branded Gibidi from Amazon but same thing at $20 lower price). One for my NC750x and the other for my wife's NC700x.

    It's a fully manual system. I would have purchased the Tutoro but wanted to make sure I had it installed and adjusted for this summer. We are planning a few trips, some shorter, 1 much longer. So I want it fully tested before departure. Availability of the Tutoro in the US right now seems to be an issue. I could probably get it in time for the longer trip but not the shorter trips. I've had foreign mail packages delivered promptly and other deliveries that have arrived well past the time I've needed the goods. I opted for my 2nd choice oiler.

    I'm not a complicated guy. In fact I hate complications. So my priority in chain oiler choices was to make sure it was simple. Mechanical. Not connected to an motorcycle systems. Others have different priorities and we all choose what we find best for ourselves.
    1. The Tutoro would be my first choice in chain oilers based on everything I can find. Simple mechanical unit with almost nothing to break. And fully automatic.
    2. The Cobrra/Gidibi is my 2nd choice. Also idiot simple mechanical unit, but fully manual.
    3. My 3rd choice is the Loobman, but being from the UK and no US distributor I am taking a pass. It's an idiot simple mechanical unit, also fully manual.


    Other than added cost of a chain oiler, I see no downside.

    I'm not 100% convinced there is a major upside. But I do believe any oiler can help keep the chain a bit cleaner & lubed on long trips when it's a bit harder to do routine cleaning or maintenance and that is my main motivation for adding a chain oiler.

    Here is an install video from a VBlog.


  6. #46
    Senior Member Chain Oilers ...  Are they really useful?
    Chain Oilers ...  Are they really useful?
    Red Rider's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700 DCT, latest in a long line
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    As another K.I.S.S. Devotee (guess that dates me some) I am drawn to the simple and least intrusive devices. No electrical connections, no vacuum tubes to cut. Limited opportunities for malfunction down the road. I really like the operation of the Cobrra/Nemo/GIDIBI units. But the wind powered one caught my attention, too. It has the added advantage of continuous flow when the bike is moving as opposed to the wet/dry cycle of the totally manual devices. Meaning if I lose track, or forget to initiate the mechanism and flow, or just don’t do it often enough, then there could be some long dry spells between oiling. Still flipping the coin...


    Iím supposed to respect my elders, but itís getting harder and harder for me to find one now ..

  7. #47
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700x DCT + 2018 NC750x DCT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
    As another K.I.S.S. Devotee (guess that dates me some) ... But the wind powered one caught my attention, too. ...
    My personal reasons for passing on that unit are (others may not be concerned about these things):
    • If not properly adjusted/oriented for the wind I see it failing to actually oil the chain. Seems to be the biggest issue to my mind.
    • Get the air intake installed in a low pressure zone on the bike's front and you are not oiling properly.
    • Get the air intake installed slightly off and it is not oiling properly.
    • Somehow clog the intake tube and it won't oil (bug, debris, etc).


    Some people report that an oil fill lasts a long time (many thousands of miles). To me that indicates that they are not actually oiling as it should be. My guess is the air pressure hose is not adjusted correctly? Clogged?

  8. #48
    Senior Member Chain Oilers ...  Are they really useful?
    Chain Oilers ...  Are they really useful?
    Red Rider's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700 DCT, latest in a long line
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    All fair points.

    One thing is for certain: about the only reason the Cobrra could fail would be ME.


    Iím supposed to respect my elders, but itís getting harder and harder for me to find one now ..

  9. #49
    Senior Member
    Bike: '12 NC700XC
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    I haven’t experienced significantly different motorcycle chain durability with an auto-oiler vs following the owner’s manual for maintenance. Where I DO find a difference is that in fact I don’t clean & lube as often as the book says. An auto-oiler is therefore about lazy convenience, from my point of view.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Chain Oilers ...  Are they really useful? GgarryP's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700X
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    FYI, I see the Cobrra Nemo 2 is currently (6/20/19) on sale on their website bestdamnchainoiler.com for $80.00.

    No affiliation. Can't recommend positive or negative.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Garry

    Two wheels and keels

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