24th AUG 2011 – Scottoiler Installation

The following blog is a (technical) step-by-step description of the installation of two Scottoiler (chain lubrication) vSystems on two BMW (single cylinder / twin spark) F650GS. NOTE this is for the techno-geeks out there, not a blog for the faint hearted! Good Luck.


The Scottoiler vSystem is a system that automatically lubricates your chain at controlled, regular intervals.

The vSystem comprises a reservoir of lubricant and two tubings; the first tube is connected on the intake of the engine, where a vacuum is created within the engine when running. This vacuum sucks on a rubber diaphragm opening the vSystem reservoir, this allows lubricant to flow (by gravity) from the reservoir to the chain by the second clear delivery tubing



The vSystem relies on the reservoir being higher than where the oil is being delivered (onto your sprocket) and the delivery tube being full of oil.

You can find more information on how the systems works, technical specs and installation guides on the Scottoiler website.


Preparing the F650GS requires the removal of the seat and its three body panels which encase the air filter, oil tank and battery.

The packaging is simply prepared and everything you will need is provided in 1 convenient package including all the accessories needed for the complete installation and functioning; including your first bottle of lubricant.

To begin, the installation of the reservoir provides a logical point to commence the vSystem installation. The reservoir and its clamp are pre assembled with little disassembling of the clamp required to prepare it for fitting.

The clamp breaks down into a series of simple parts, we are going to make use of the fixed bolt (highlighted below) which is threaded to match a bolt fixing which picks up the fuel filter on the F650GS model.

To simplify the installation of the reservoir and then the subsequent fitting of the vacuum assembly, the air filter and air box need to be removed to improve access to fixings and to allow access for tools.

Following removal of the air intake and the air filter, the larger air box is simply removed by releasing the three fixing points shown below and by then lifting the air box vertically from the head of the throttle body.

NOTE: Eventually, you will have to remove the air box to access the rubber manifold (located between the throttle body and the cylinder head) for install the vacuum line and spigot. Having fitted 2 systems I found it simpler to remove the air box at this early stage on the second bike as it allowed you access to the bolt (shown below) simplifying the reservoir installation greatly.

A rag should be used to prevent any loose material falling into the (vulnerable) throttle body at this point prior to moving forward.

Below is a photo of the reservoir and clamp ready for fitting to the new bracket which has been installed to the existing threaded bolt hole supporting the fuel filter. Prior to fitting the reservoir, the lubricant feed line (to the sprocket) should be loosely routed to the sprocket and fed (tight) onto the nipple of the reservoir. Keep a look out for early signs of kinks or any close proximity to hot pipework or engine casings.

As shown below, the reservoir should be set as low as possible beneath the seat. This reservoir has now had its second line fitted which will form the vacuum line and this will be the second stage of installation.

The second stage of the vSystem installation is the fitting of the vacuum line and requires the removal of the throttle body. There are 3 electrical sensors which must be disconnected (highlighted below); 1, the fuel injector wiring 2, the throttle position sensor and 3, the throttle valve actuator.  There is no need to remove the injector or the throttle cable, but disconnection of the fuel supply line (jubilee clip) allows the throttle body to be  swung out of harms way while the rubber manifold is removed from below.

A (screw) clamp is released (identified by arrow below) to allow the throttle body to be removed and slung to the side.

With the throttle body sat to one side, access can then be made to remove the 2 No. fixings (seen below)  which retains the rubber manifold in place above the cylinder head.  Removal of these two fixings allows the removal of the rubber manifold to allow drilling and fitting of the brass vacuum spigot.

The rubber manifold should be drilled clean, with a sharp 5 or 6mm drill bit

The spigot is fitted within the drilled hole complete with washers.

Each washer was set (over night) onto a black mastic sealant prior to the hand tightening of the brass nut.

NOTE: During the running of the engine, the rubber manifold pulses with the natural frequency of the engine. Its important not to over tighten the spigot so it causes the manifold to stress. Conversely, the spigot should not be fitted so loose that its movement can cause any deterioration of the manifold.

Due to its tight fitting, prior to fitting the manifold to the cylinder head, the vacuum line should be cut to length and fitted to the spigot making its installation simpler and more robust.


Routing of the lubricant supply line is simple process of clipping and securing the pipe line to the frame & swing arm. The dispenser plate fits to chain guard mounting below the swing arm with the outlet terminating at 5pm on the sprocket.

It seemed sensible to route the pipe line with the bike frame, partly concealed by the rear brake piston and its cover.

Priming of the system is a simple process and are eloquently set out in the installation manual and the a warm fuzzy feeling of joy is felt when the bike is running and your first few drops make there way onto the O-rings

2 more scottoilers are born

Finally, we installed the Scottoiler (Long Range) Lube Tube which carries an additional flexible reservoir of lubricant.  The basic Scottoiler kit will give you between 500-1,000 miles in range before requiring a refill, with the Lube Tube fitted you can increase this by up to 3 times. The tube was slung beneath the main frame frame which is then piped to the main reservoir for easy filling.

NOTE: There are mixed views on the ‘pshcological’ side to having a Scottoiler.

Those who ‘Fit and forget’ can only blame themselves for their knackered chain and sprocket. More over, I think you would find that those who never inspect their chain after fitting an oiler probably wouldn’t check it even if they hadn’t.

I for one, still value the time and commitment to regular checks and a thorough cleaning with a degreaser and small tooth wire brush. In particular, for those doing serious miles such as continent crossing, constant lubrication really will make a difference to the life span of a chain and sprocket.

At least a well lubricated chain will be in better condition than a non-lubricated one.


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2 Responses to 24th AUG 2011 – Scottoiler Installation

  1. Esmond Smith says:

    Allyson looks after our horses and children and told me of your fantastic trip. Just completed first 1000 miles on my KTM 990 adventure and would like to do what you are doing!!!!!

    • Tom Klippert says:

      Hello Chris, hello Chloe ,
      this is Tom from Germany.
      I only woud like to give you a big thank for the super manual to install the scottoiler at the GS 650.
      With the help of your exellant pictures and the fine discription it was very easy to do, especially the installation of the vacuum line. It wasn’t explained no were else and I’ve been looking for it for a long time!
      So, many thanks and many accident-free miles
      PS.: Your travel reports are absolutely fascinating!

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