(Note: I am writing this up for three different forums, so pardon if this is a bit generic.)
Part 1: Installation -
I hate chain maintenance. I mean, I really, really, really hate chain maintenance. It's dirty, messy, smelly, and it's a giant pain in the arse that we wouldn't have to put up with if more UJM/generalist bikes were shaft drive like they used to and ought to be.
So you can imagine my joy when I realized that my 'new' Honda 919 was going to require me to get back into chain maintenance. I immediately started looking at chain oilers and discovered that the field had expanded quite a bit and new concepts had appeared since the last time I owned a chain drive - no more being limited to the Scottoiler!
My search lead me to the TUTORO
(short for Top Up, Turn On, Ride Off) gravity-fed chain oiler. The Brits are going bonkers over this thing; for under £20, they can get a chain oiler that's about as good as the much more expensive Scottoiler vSystem but is easier to install. Ride Magazine in the UK raved about it (see article here
) and I had bad memories of the old Scottoiler, so I decided to try one.
This unit is controlled by one knob on the reservoir that serves as both on/off valve and flow control valve. You must remember to shut it off when you stop riding or you will end up with a puddle of oil and an empty (but easily refilled) reservoir. There are no vacuum or electrical connections to be made.
Normally you can order direct from the company in the UK, but they just got a US distributor - one Everman Products
out of California. For $32 plus shipping, a Tutoro with the dual feed was shipped to my door. Here's what's in the padded envelope:
The oil, teflon tape and brass petcock are not included; the unit can operate off chain oil or motor oil. Chain oil or 10W40 are recommended - and since I couldn't find any non-aerosol oils, I went with motor oil. On the left is the bundle of two large zip ties and three smaller ones that are needed for the install. To their right are the two rubber cushions to be used for mounting the reservoir to a frame stanchion (should you do it that way, more on that in a bit), then the dual feed nozzle, the reservoir/control unit itself, the feed tube (which has some stiff coated wire in it for getting the end with the attached feed nozzle exactly where you want it.
Also included is this cheapie little syringe for filling the reservoir.
Sadly, the 919 doesn't have suitable rear frame trusses to strap the oiler to, so I took the suggestion of a Brit Hornet 600 rider
and attached it to the rear foot peg stanchion on the left side.
I accidentally ordered my oiler without the P-clips (the metal band covered in rubber you see in the pictures, basically a conduit or cable clamp - pictured below) so I had to go get some from the local home destruction store. If you ask, they include them for free - I forgot to ask. I also picked up longer stainless steel hex key bolts of various sizes to allow me to mount the oiler to the back of the existing peg mount. No drilling, tapping or anything like that required.
If you have a bike with round stanchions out back, you could get away with zip-tying it to those frame members
as demonstrated in the Tutoro gallery
. I didn't have that option, so I tried the footpeg rather than the other ubiquitous install which is behind the license plate. At that, I just needed a 10mm socket, associated ratchet, hex key for the stock and replacement bolts, and that was all the tools required for my 919 install. The rest is all zipties (included), which is all the installation method would be for a more traditionally framed bike (no tools required in that case, other than something like a scissors or a knife to trim the hose to length.) 919 riders, you will need one M6 x 40mm stainless steel button head hex key screw to make this work - you can reuse the stock or provided hardware otherwise.
I simply removed the upper footpeg mounting bolt, stuck the longer bolt in, slid the P-clipped reservoir/control valve unit onto the bolt on the other side, then put the nut on the other side and tightened it up. I then took one of the provided cushions plus one of the small zipties and secured the top of the reservoir to the footpeg guard as a little insurance against the thing going wrong and tipping over.
The hardest part of it was deciding where to route the hose, followed by getting the oil nozzles properly oriented and finally discovering how many turns of the knob equaled 1 pair of drips per minute (about 1.3 or so for my setup) per the instructions. Actually, getting the metering right was what took the longest time; it was physically installed in less than 20 minutes and took a little more than 20 to determine flow rates.
For the routing, a picture is worth a thousand words so I'll let the pictures do much of the talking.
The hose runs down from the reservoir...
Through the front large ziptie, which is tight enough to hold it in place but not enough to crush it flat; this ziptie also holds the bottom half to the swingarm. There is enough slack to allow for swingarm movement:
The line continues forward to this ziptie through the stock chainguard observation port. This keeps the upper half on top while also holding it close to the swingarm and preventing it from chafing when it loops down:
Note that the bottom has the coated red wire providing the shape and routing, not just the zipties. The hose runs back through the bottom of the front ziptie, back to the second ziptie, and then out to the sprocket.
Note clearance between the rearset boom and the hose/swingarm.
The dual feed nozzle is placed in the end of the hose and with the two pincers in contact with the sprocket well away from where the chain and sprocket meet - and in this case, somewhat close to the swingarm. The 'pincers' of the dual feed nozzle are meant to be in contact with the sprocket face on each side.
Take care to get the nozzles away from the sprocket bolts and the teeth. Once you have the layout down, you then trim the reservoir end to length, leaving enough slack for the swingarm to move through its full travel, but making sure that the hose can't get into anything that might ruin your day when it flexes.
The zip tie 'tags' are not cut off flush here because when the picture was taken, I was still adjusting them. Do cut off all the tags (the excess zip tie material) flush with the 'box' end once you're done.
Next comes experimenting with the flow rate to get the recommended one/dual drops per minute and field testing. I'll post that up tomorrow as part two.
So far, while some of this could be easier and there are some improvements to be made, it seems to be a high quality and simple system for cheap - at least so far. Will have more tomorrow after more extensive field testing.
Disclaimer: I have no connection to Everman Products or Oldcroft Engineering, the maker of the Tutoro chain oiler, other than that of a customer.