Having been through 4 chains in 120,000km before switching to the 520 chain on the FZ1, I’d endured some trials and tribulations of chain maintenance and in the process gained some understanding of what was and wasn’t working. Mostly, it wasn’t working.

Starting out with spay on yamilube which worked well but didn’t last long, I tried many off the shelf products both cheap and expensive and inevitably some rather controversial solutions such as dry-carbon, motor-oil and wd40, all of which failed the long distance touring test. Incidentally, a  long distance touring test is a days riding of either 600+km of often dusty backroad twisties or 1000+km of highspeed expressway hauling.

After a near endless search, I finally settled on Kure Super Chain Saver which stayed on the chain, kept the chain quiet, survived rain, didn’t attract too much dirt or accumulate gunk and hung around on the chain for long periods between lubes. Great on the long distance touring challenge. But, relatively minor as it was, it still had fling even though I applied it on a hot chain at the end of every lengthy ride as advised. And the molybdenum component which lubricated and stuck so well worked the same on hands or clothes unfortunately. Also, from an aesthetic point of view, it left a grey sheen to the chain which kept it from ever looking clean and well kept. But as chain saver, it was the best of the bunch.

After trying so many canned solutions, it was time to try a different approach!

So, I was on the hunt for something that:

  • Protects the chain
  • Stays on the chain
  • Resists accumulating dust or gunk
  • Requires minimum maintenance
  • Keeps the chain looking good
  • Is inexpensive

Considering the above, I decided to give an automated chain oiler a try. Could be the next step!

The Solution

Due to them being around for a loooong time and with good online reviews, I went for the Scottoiler.

Their latest and greatest is e-system which, quoting Scottoiler’s site, is ‘ the most advanced motorcycle chain maintenance tool we have ever developed.’

Basically, it seep-feeds oil to the rear sprocket where it is forced out onto the chain under centrifugal force. The feed is electronically controlled and manually adjustable via a lit control panel which is to be mounted in an easily seen and accessible area. Using a 3-axis accelerometer, it senses the vibration of the bike running and wakes from sleep illuminating the screen and then sensing motion it begins the feed. Previous units required connections to vacuum lines to achieve feed and had no on-the-fly adjustability.

Installation

Installation was straightforward and made easy with ALL required parts in the box including oil line retention clips to keep the line flush and stealthy with attachment surfaces. Priming the oil took a while but went to plan as the supplied blue lubricant crawled its way down the feed line.

Testing

I’ve had it out on several rides for a total of just over 600km on a variety of riding from highspeed to tight dusty backroads. It has kept the chain rollers shiny and clean and not missed a beat. It did weep from the sprocket feeder after the first three rides leaving a smaller drip pool each time. Since the fourth ride, there’s been no sign of the weep. The whole system seems well thought out and put together and has hung together looking the same as when installed.

4000km UPDATE: Still working great. Chain is always looking lubed, no tight or stretch spots to report yet and chain stretch has also been very minor. I only needed to draw the axle back once since new and only around 3mm. It also looks good and an added bonus is the chain stays quiet No dry rattles.

Summary

So, back to those original points. Does it:

  • Protect the chain? – So far, so good.
  • Stays on the chain? – So far, so good.
  • Resists accumulating dust or gunk? – So far, so good.
  • Requires minimum maintenance? – Zero so far. But will require topping up every 2-3,000km.
  • Keeps the chain looking good? – So far, so good.
  • Is inexpensive? – Well, after the initial investment, it should prove cheaper to run with long intervals between applications and relatively simple-cheap lube for refills.

So, I’m giving this a big thumbs up for now and will revisit the review at 10,000km with updates after putting to the test on further touring challenges.

The feeder set between 6 and 7 o’clock on the sprocket as instructed.

Side-mounted the reservoir out of the way under the seat for easy refilling and fed the line for the breather into a dead-space in the rear cowling.
Big glove friendly buttons for on the fly operation. Angled the screen at 90deg so the bright blue wouldn’t blind at night.

Those first few weeps

Liking night riding, I found the standard FZ1 lights lacking. Adding a twin hi/low 35w 5000k HID kit helped but something was still amiss when banking into corners. So, went on the prowl for some flood lighting options.

Have been running some CREE 3000Lm LED lights on the FZ1 for over a year and around 25,000 kilometres in all sorts of conditions. They have stood the test of time and deserve a review.

Well, lets see what they look like shall we.

CREE 3000Lm LED Auxiliary lights

You can pick them from Ebay HERE

The wiring in the pic above shows the relevant connections for hooking them up. I used a Skene Designs lighting controller to manage the brightness. Programmed it to run 20% when the low beams are on and 100% when the switch is flicked for general high beam. Needless to say, cars certainly see me coming at night when on high beam. Even on low beam they are a big improvement over just the HIDs.

Actually, a HID bulb went a few weeks ago and still had a fair way to go home on mountain roads in the dark. Just the LEDs on the left was enough, a bit distracting having full lighting on the right and only the LEDs on the left but it was much better than poking around in the dark with a stick! Actually, the LEDs are brighter than the HIDs close range.

* Important note: Have found these lights more effective at alerting car drivers than a loud exhaust. The sharp white colour and road flooding light creates a far more noticeable object, I guess. And at night in the twisties and back roads, the HID + LED combo lights up the surroundings like an approaching UFO 🙂

Where and how to mount

Wanted them to look around corners in the direction the wheels are pointing so they had to be mounted on the front steering/suspension somewhere. Lots of setups mount them off the fender hangers. The wiring was very exposed and the light is exposed to a lot of jolts and vibes on the lower leg of the fork. So, went looking for fork clamps to mount them on the upper tubes just under the front cowling. Thinking here that the front suspension soaks up a healthy portion of the jolts and vibes, offering a lot safer environment for the electrical innards.

The fork tubes are @54mm in that area, I say around as there is some tapering. Was looking for something sturdy, simple and stylish. Finally found what I was looking for from the Pro-Tek fork clamps. They are good quality, well machined billet items with stainless bolts and the the black anodizing has lasted well. They have 2 holes for mounting. The outer hole seemed ideal for mounting the light while the inner hole was good for retaining the cable out of the back of the light. It makes for a clean, simple solution. Usually the most durable.

 

How about some pics of them mounted?

The Zonda is distracting, isn’t it?
One of the 4 in each light has begun to yellow.

 

 

 

And how have they held up?

Very well! Two of the LEDs, one in each hosing, has begun to yellow but are still effective. The anodizing has remained dark and the light cover clear and relatively resilient to road damage. Even in torrential rain they’ve remained water-tight and always worked without fail.

 

 

 

Last time out the FZ1 just didn’t want to slow down…more than usual that is!
So, chased the lazy throttle back to a busted return throttle cable.
Luckily, had a pair of spair throttle cables and after many curses, that throttle cam isn’t in the most convenient of spaces and the throttle cable retainers may as well be invisible, it’s done!
That’s the 2nd time this year the throttle cable has given me trouble. Hope the new cables make it the last.

The top one is still there but the bottom one isn’t.
Busted!
Cables in, airbox back on and buttoning it back up… back on the road in no time.

 

 

Climbing a pass the other night and the throttle died. Got it going again but the throttle wouldn’t roll smooth or past 20% without a LOT of muscle.
A quick inspection after crawling home didn’t show much. But the Rizoma cable retainer is looking…worn. Was late so left it there.

Tried the OEM throttle tube which made no difference. So, chased the cable. Off with bodywork, tank and airbox. A lot of lubing, cleaning and “Where the f##* are you?”s
Then, broke out the little telescopic antenna-like thing with a mirror on the end and a spot LED to get a look up the problems skirt :embarased and there it was

No idea how but the cable had jumped the retainer on the cam which was causing the super-stiff throttle. Was a PITA in getting it back on the cam. That little hook tool for changing bicycle tyres did the trick!

Next, moved onto adjusting the clutch cable as it had finally run out of adjuster at the lever end. Not bad considering it’s done more than 100,000km! Went looking for the adjuster while the tank was off. Immediate thought was the opposite end of the cable. That was looking like another PITA until… following the cable to the shifter side alongside the frame, there was an adjuster hidden under the cabling. Got to wind back about 2/3 of the adjuster range. Wonder how much is left in the clutch itself.

I was on a roll and Ms.Fuzz was loving the attention so swapped wheels too. The rear was looking like Kojak’s melon

Not any more!

Last up was the BMC air cleaner. Cleaning time and it was filthy!

Drying now and reinstall tomorrow.

Mmmm, what else can I do tomorrow?