One of the most common criticisms of many modern motorcycles is their reliance on chain final-drive systems which, although now more sophisticated than ever, still require regular adjustment and lubrication.
Without the latter, especially in winter weather, they’re liable to corrode, seize and, as a result, not only wear faster and impede performance but ultimately, be a safety risk, too.
At the same time, lubricating your chain using conventional sprays is often an irritating and messy chore and, if you’re on a long tour, one you may have to attend to in a hotel car park or roadside services.
Which is why aftermarket, automatic chain oilers have proved so popular. These are usually little gadgets that apply a stream of lube to the chain, either automatically or on demand, which not only remove this routine chore but also improve the performance of your bike and lifespan of your chain.
Related: Best motorcycle chains and sprockets
Leading brand Scottoiler is by far the best known, with a variety of systems but there are others, too, and with prices and specifications to suit all requirements and budgets.
But what’s out there, what do they deliver and how much do they cost? Here’s our pick of the current best to help you decide...
1. Scottoiler eSystem V3.1 Electronic Oiler
Scottoiler is by far the leading brand when it comes to automatic motorcycle chain oilers and its
It’s claimed to be easy to fit in under an hour yet has a sophisticated control system that, even without complicated wiring or tapping into systems, gives the rider complete control of the flow rate of lubricant onto the chain via an LCD digital display and allows precise adjustment according to the conditions.
Top of the range model
Sophisticated electronic metering
2. Scottoiler CR-01 Off-Road
Although not an automatic chain oiler like Scottoileru2019s v, e and x road-bike systems, this
The system comprises two handlebar grips and a C-shaped reservoir. The left-hand grip has an integral pump which, when squeezed, lubes the chain. It’s simple to fit, works great and should be on any off-road rider’s wish list.
Purpose-built for off-roaders
Affordable and effective
Less sophisticated than road systems
3. Scottoiler vSystem Chain Oiler
The second of market-leader Scottoileru2019s three chain oiling devices is the vSystem oiler
Another advantage is that it’s much more affordable than the eSystem, too, although on the slight downside it is trickier and more time-absorbing to fit, taking on average between one and two hours. It’s a long-proven product that is RiDE Recommended by MCN’s sister magazine, again extends the life of your chain and comes with enough lubricant to last 1500 miles.
Driven by engine vacuum
Can be tricky to fit
4. Cobrra Nemo 2 Automatic Chain Oiler
Although less well-known than Scottoiler systems, the Cobrra Nemo is nevertheless a well-rated
Turning the cap then delivers a measured amount of lube to the chain with the rider deciding when that’s appropriate depending on conditions. It’s also easy to fit and durable.
Easy to fit
Cheaper than some
Lubes when required
Requires rider control
5. Scottoiler Magnum HCR
Although not a chain oiler per se, this product is an almost vital addition to your Scottoiler.
As such, it’s ideal for bikers who travel long distances or, conversely, who wants to simply minimise how often they have to refill the standard Scottoiler system.
Great Scottoiler accessory
Hugely improves range between refills
Extra costs you could do without!
6. Motobriiz Wind-Powered Automatic Chain Oiler
Another less well-known brand and design of motorcycle chain oiler yet also one that is completely
It’s a novel system with few moving parts, is easy to fit and impressively affordable, too, if not as precisely adjustable as other systems.
Simple to fit
Less sophisticated than some
7. Scottoiler xSystem 2.0 Chain Oiler
The third of leading brand Scottoileru2019s current chain-oiling products is the mid-priced
It's motion-activated and has a simple adjuster on the oil reservoir for flow rate. The result is simple to fit, simple to use, as with other Scottoilers extends the life of your chain and yet is decently affordable, too.
Easy to fit
Not as sophisticated as some
8. Tutoro Chain Oiler Patrol Kit
Finally, another automatic motorcycle chain oiler from a brand you might not have heard of,
On the downside, fitting can be a bit fiddly and the system’s standard lube capacity of just 600-1000 miles depending on flow rate selected isn’t the greatest, but it’s definitely worth considering.