As you know, chains and sprockets are expensive and vital. A worn out chain saps power, affects gear changing, and is potentially gruesome for you and your bike. So, hands up all those who regularly get the chain lube out, and give that dirty, metal thing a spray before a ride?
And if you indeed do it regularly, what’s the reward? Yes, you guessed it, all kinds of greasy gunge built up around the countershaft sprocket and swingarm. Apart from the gunge factor, you also need to put your bike on a paddock stand or centre stand (if you have one) to lube the chain, or wheel it around the garage – not too convenient. And one last thing – when going on a longer ride I used to take along a spray can of chain lube – something I don’t need to do anymore as the Loobman holds enough oil for many hundreds of KMs of lubing.
There have been alternatives to spray lubricants for quite a few years now. The first that comes to mind is the Scottoiler, a well-regarded piece of gear much loved by long distance riders. While an excellent tool for the job, the Scottoiler is perhaps not for everyone; at over $100, many riders prefer to soldier on with spray on chain lube. Now there’s an alternative in the shape of the Loobman.
What is it anyway? Let’s have a look in the package I received from Loobman in the UK. Inside there’s a load of cable ties, a few plastic bits ‘n’ bobs, about six feet of clear vinyl tube of differing gauges, a clear plastic bottle and two double-sided sheets of instructions with hand-drawn diagrams – retro or what? The key items are the different diameter tubes and the ‘delivery head’. By forming a small reservoir in the large tube after squeezing the bottle, a suitable dose of oil is ready to slide down through the thinner tube to the delivery head. It’s amazing what you can do with cable ties and the Loobman delivery head is a good example, holding as it does a couple of cable ties, which direct oil onto the rear sprocket.
Installation took about an hour of twisting, bending and snipping. On my 1995 Ducati, I found a suitable area of the swingarm to mount the delivery head, and then scouted out a location for the reservoir bottle. Foolishly, I mounted the reservoir just under the seat rather close to the rear cylinder… can you guess what happened? Yes, dear reader, I had ignored the ‘caution’ in the instructions and after a short ride, had a nice hole melted in my oil reservoir – hmmmm. The sinking feeling of finding the bike sitting ashamed over a puddle of oil is only surmounted by the relief of finding that it’s all due to a failure to follow directions. Don’t make the same mistake at home folks!
Did it work? I am happy to report that a quick squeeze (ooerrr!) of the reservoir before setting off on a ride results in a nicely lubed chain – happy, happy, joy, joy!
For lubricant I did a bit of research on the ‘net and went with Chainsaw Bar Oil, which flows well, has anti-fling properties, and a nice red colour. It’s also easily found and cheap at approximately $3CDN a litre.
– Written by Mark Robbins
Price: $31 USD including shipping worldwide
For more information go to: http://www.chainoiler.co.uk
See Also Scottoiler: http://www.scottoiler.com