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Wintersdark

Tutoro Trek automatic oiler kit

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The Tutoro Trek automatic chain oiler!  I wanted to get an oiler as I ride year round, all weather.  Being Canadian, this means the majority of my riding involves rain, slush, snow, road salt, sand, and all sorts of other nasties.  I was cleaning and lubing my chain approximately twice weekly (necessary, as it'd be rusty and salty crusted within days) and that was just an enormous pain in my ass.

There were several options (also Scottoiler and others) but I went with the Tutoro due to its innovative design.  Unlike Scottoilers and others, it doesn't need to tie into your bike's electrical or vacuum systems.  It can be mounted anywhere, and is dead simple.  It's internal valve is actuated by vibration, so as soon as your bike stops moving, it stops flowing oil.  Simple systems last longer, and have less potential for issues. 

Installation was dead easy, though I decided against relying entire on zipties and replaced the foam backing for the included "foot" with automotive trim adhesive, and supplemented with the included zip ties.  Theres lots of very flexible mounting options, but this seemed most practical for me.  Total install took about 20 minutes, most of that being spent deciding exactly where I wanted it.  Only an Allen key (included) and an 8mm wrench where required.  

The unit is primed by placing a magnet (included, but any will work) on top of the unit which holds open the vibration valve.  After the oil flows through there, there is a metering valve you adjust to determine flow rate, then it's down the tube to the nozzle on your rear sprocket.  Oil then covers the teeth of the sprocket and flows into *both* sides of the chain - only a single sided nozzle is required and while a dual nozzle is available even the manufacturer says it's completely unnecessary. 

After installation, I thoroughly washed the bike, and (with great difficulty) did not re-lube the chain, instead opting to see how effective the oiler was on a clean but only marginally lubed chain.  I opened the valve to 4 turns out, and went for a ride.  Now, despite riding through quite a few puddles and lots of road grit (no longer shiny and clean 😭), the chain alone is completely clean and well lubed.  Gotta say, I'm very happy. Minimal fling on the rim, no different than when I've lubed with gear oil in the past.  

I'll come back to this once I've got a couple thousand km's on it or if something happens, but right out of the gate I'm really, really happy with it.

 

Biggest cons:

The trek kit includes a triangular shaped piece to hold the nozzle.  I couldn't figure out a practical way to use this, however, due to the shape of the swingarm.  However, there's a bolt hole for spools in a very useful place, so I used a looped bit of metal strapping secured by a random bolt there to secure the nozzle in a permanent manner.

I wish the kit included more hose routing sticky clamps.  4 are included, but I ended up using 3 actually - I'd have liked more however.

Mounting with the wheel on makes it really hard to hide the tubing.  I ended up not bothering, but I'll remount it all inside the swingarm when I next remove my wheels for tire changes.

 

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@Wintersdark - In your climate and salty, grimy road conditions I would think that 99% of chain maintenance would be cleaning, once its clean the oiling only takes a few seconds. 

I have never found the need for an oiler so have never used one but how will this make life any easier?  With salt, rust and grime you will still need to clean your chain at the same interval as putting oil on top of crusted sand and salt wont be doing your chain any favors.  Wont the wet chain oil collect even more sand and debris?


***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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@Wintersdark - In your climate and salty, grimy road conditions I would think that 99% of chain maintenance would be cleaning, once its clean the oiling only takes a few seconds. 

Yeah, it's pretty quick doing a clean and lube, particularly when you do it a heck of a lot.  But, there's still a fair bit of setup - particularly as I've never before had a garage, and while I do have one now I can't yet get my bike into it for silly winter reasons.  So, I have to drag out all my cleaning supplies to the curb, lay down cardboard or something over the ice and snow (or worse, sloppy slush), then clean and lube the chain in below freezing temps.  The process is fast, but it's a pain in the ass and not much fun.  

 

Quote

I have never found the need for an oiler so have never used one but how will this make life any easier?  With salt, rust and grime you will still need to clean your chain at the same interval as putting oil on top of crusted sand and salt wont be doing your chain any favors.  Wont the wet chain oil collect even more sand and debris?

Not so!  It's a constant flow of oil while riding.  It doesn't get put on top of crusted sand and salt, rather it prevents it from ever getting crusted in the first place. 

With normal chain lube, you want it to be sticky so it doesn't get flung off and you don't need to constantly re-lube.  This, however, causes salt and grime to stick to the chain requiring cleaning.  That's not a problem if you're only riding on clean dry roads, or just wet roads, but when you're riding through the garbage I'm riding through it gets crusty quick. 

With an oiler like this, you want a mineral oil that's *not* sticky.  It maintains a film over the chain all the time, and anything that gets onto it is simply flung off the lubed steel of the chain, all the while ensuring there's never bare steel.  It's a very small amount that's added (and only while you're moving) but it's constant.  

Even after 150kms spent riding through sand, gravel and salty water, my chain and sprocket is spotlessly clean and covered with a nice, thin film of oil.  Looks like I just cleaned and lubed it.   

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+1 ON CHAIN OILERS

For the "cleaner months" I use a mix of chain saw blade oil and Marvel Mystery Oil to duplicate AMAP the viscosity and color of Scott oil "summer grade", as I don't ride in the ice or snow.  I have an ancient Scott oiler on one bike and a new Lubeman oiler on the FJ09 on which the juries still out on but I may revise my install like Wintersdark when I next pull the wheel for a doughnut change and swingarm / linkage lube.

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I'm 300km into my oiler now, and it's marvelous.  My chain looks *great*, always clean and well lubed.

Normally, it'd look great after cleaning and lubing, but after rises through water and such it'd start drying out really quickly, and I'd basically have to decide how bad I was going to let it get before cleaning and lubing it again.  

Hell, Yamaha recommends redoing it *every time* you ride through water or in the rain.  An oiler does that, keeping it freshly oiled all the time.  

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Hi @Wintersdark : where in Canada did you order the Tutoro from? The UK option is currently closed and I was wondering if there is a dealer in Canada. A search only showed up Europe for me. 

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8 hours ago, urbannomad said:

Hi @Wintersdark : where in Canada did you order the Tutoro from? The UK option is currently closed and I was wondering if there is a dealer in Canada. A search only showed up Europe for me. 

I ordered it from the UK directly from their site. I'm not aware of a local reseller.  

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On 4/16/2020 at 7:16 PM, Wintersdark said:

I ordered it from the UK directly from their site. I'm not aware of a local reseller.  

So emailed them & they are confirmed that the only option is to wait for them to re-open. So patience i suppose  :) 

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Posted (edited)

Coming back to post an update.  Two months and 2500km in; lots of riding in snow, ice, salty slush, rain, dirt, and even, yes, a little sun.  Multiple washes, without targeting the chain for cleaning or re-lubing it. 

Haven't touched the chain at all.  It's still clean and well lubricated, and sits constantly at "the day after you clean it" state (wherein it's not spotless, but it's lubricated and has just a bit of grime on the outside links).  I'm able to keep it fully clean and shiny by turning up the oil, but then I trade shinier links for oil thrown off and onto my left side hard case.  

Consumption is moderate - a bit more than I expected, but not prohibitively so.  It uses roughly an ounce(that's a shot glass, right?) per 500kms - though much of that was done with the flow turned up higher to combat snow/water/salt.  

 

 

Pro's: It's simple, isolated, isn't tied into the bikes electrical or vacuum system, and is basically idiot proof.  Pretty inexpensive as these things go, and very easy to install.  It completely removes the need to clean and lube the chain.

Cons: My chain guard is always really oily, and the rear rim ends up pretty mucky too.  When flow is turned up (riding in unusually ooky circumstances), it can throw off a bunch of oil, and make a mess of the underside of the tail/licence plate/bags.  It tends to drip a tiny bit at the end of a ride, a nickle to quarter sized drop, usually off the front sprocket. 

 

All in all, it's definitely going to extend chain life because your chain never gets to the point where you think, "Oh, hey, that looks dry - I should clean and lube it!" It's always clean and freshly lubed.  Always.  That said, chains last pretty damn long if you treat them well normally, so that's probably not a significant thing unless finances are REALLY tight.

 

Should You Have One: Definitely worthwhile if you take long trips, ride in inclement weather frequently, or if you just ride a lot. If you're purely a summer rider, particularly if you're just a hobby rider (going on occassional trips, not riding regularly) then you're probably better off just cleaning and lubing the chain as normal.  It's pretty easy to just clean and lube the chain before/after a trip, or every few weeks, if that's the frequency you need.  Of course, if you're the sort to forget about your chain and NOT clean/lube it enough, then absolutely it's the thing for you :)

Edited by Wintersdark
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Thanks for the update and opinions. Last I checked in late March, none were available.  I'm still evaluating the Lubeman chain oiler since I installed it at least 1,500 miles ago but have not ridden in significant rain yet.  Fling off hasn't been bad but hose mounting is kind of funky.  I'm still probably going to revise the install when I replace the tire.  The problem with the Lubeman is remembering to push the button (requires holding down the button about 10 ~ 12 seconds) often enough though I can just reach the button from the saddle.

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I had a Lubeman on my TT600 and I found it responded poorly to elevation changes. When I rode up into the mountains (I can go from 100 to 4800 feet without leaving my county) pressure changes would cause the Lubeman to quickly pump it's entire reservoir onto the chain and rear tire. After the second or third time it tried to kill me I threw it in the trash. 

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This is something that matters a lot for me, as I live at a fairly high elevation and am up and down a lot.  The Tutoro is vented and works at atmospheric pressure, so it's entirely unaffected by pressure.  It IS affected by temperature, though - as it warmed up, I had to turn down the flow rate dial as (as you'd expect) the oil flow rate increased dramatically from -20C through +20C. 

 

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1 hour ago, Wintersdark said:

It IS affected by temperature, though - as it warmed up, I had to turn down the flow rate dial as (as you'd expect) the oil flow rate increased dramatically from -20C through +20C. 

 

That makes sense and I expect it would be the same with any auto-oiling system since temperature affects the oil's viscosity. 

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17 minutes ago, keithu said:

That makes sense and I expect it would be the same with any auto-oiling system since temperature affects the oil's viscosity. 

Yeah, but my understanding from chatting with other oiler users is the (newer?) scottoilers have a direct "drips per minute" setting that accounts for viscosity and actually gets the actual number of drops per minute.  Dunno if they're a constant volume, though, as I don't actually know how the mechanism works at all.  They've also got the advantage of being able to be hidden, which is difficult with the Tutoro as it needs to be upright as it's gravity fed.  

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3 hours ago, Wintersdark said:

Yeah, but my understanding from chatting with other oiler users is the (newer?) scottoilers have a direct "drips per minute" setting that accounts for viscosity and actually gets the actual number of drops per minute.  Dunno if they're a constant volume, though, as I don't actually know how the mechanism works at all.

That would have to be the electric Scott Oilers. They probably use a peristaltic pump or something else that moves a constant volume of oil at a set interval. That would allow it to pump a constant volume regardless of viscosity.

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