logowill england :: motorcycles : loobman chain oiler review



Loobman? Whazzat? Sounds perverted. No, it's really an inexpensive chain oiler for chain driven motorcycles. For us loons that ride multi-hundred (or thousand) mile days (weeks, months), stopping every couple hundred miles to lube the chain on the bike is a real pain. Thus, folks started making automatic chain oilers. Unfortunately, those automatic oilers cost a lot of money - $150 and up. However, a creative guy in England came up with the Loobman - a manual auto chain oiler. In a nutshell, it's a squeeze bottle with tubing and a creative oil delivery system to put oil on both sides of the sprocket.

Links to more information

Well. That's all I found. Phtt. Anyone have anything else?

Install photos, tips on my bike

1600x1200 Version

First impressions: Man, that's a pile of plastic. Oddly written directions, too.

Second impression: Man. This is some fiddly crap.

To start, I assembled it on the bench. The only part that isn't out of some bodgers medicine chest is the actual oil splitter and delivery system. The oil delivery head is a bit of molded plastic that takes the oil from the tube and splits it to the two zip-tie brushes. Once I figured out how all the parts fit, the directions made a bit more sense. Still look like they were drawn by a 4th grader. (grin)

1600x1200 Version
Out to the bike, then. Assemble the brush head. Fit it behind the sprocket. Now, fit the bent wire. The brush head is held onto the bike by a bit of wire that strongly resembles a bent coathanger. Now for the fun part. The bent wire holder for the brush head needs to be attached to the swingarm. I happen to like the way the swingarm looks without any more metal bits in front of it, so I ran the wire holder under the swingarm and up the back. This was a fiddly, dirty mess. Took near an hour of bending and re-bending the wire to get it to fit just so. You have to have the brush assembly centered on the sprocket to get both sides of the chain lubricated.

1600x1200 Version
The zip tie attachments are rather creative - uses rubber washers to keep the bent wire from rubbing on the swingarm. Because I ran the wire behind the swingarm, I was only able to get two of the three recommended zip ties attached. It still seems quite stable. We'll find out this weekend.

Now, where to fit the bottle? It'll fit behind the passenger footpeg bracket, but that would require getting off of the bike to make it work. I know I want to be able to hit it while running. The kit comes with two stick-on wire tie loops that work quite well for sticking the bottle bracket to the frame under the gas tank. That was easy enough. Next: installing the feed tube.

Say, shouldn't that brush head have the feed tube attached to it? Shoot. Remove the brush head, fit the feed tube. Route the tube up to the tank and the squeeze bottle. Run the tube along the chain guard. Cut to length and install into the bottle. Easy enough.

1600x1200 Version
Smoke Test! Ok, not smoke, but squeeze. I filled the bottle with 80 weight gear oil left over from my Concours days with the shaft drive. Gave the bottle a little squeeze, and waited. And waited. 80 weight takes a long dang time to run through that tiny pipe. The gear oil got down to the flat section of tube on the chain guard and just stopped. Hmm. Perhaps that is why the directions say to have the feed tube run constantly downhill? Sigh. Snip, clip, move the feed tube. Now it's down hill across the front of the swingarm. So much for not cluttering up the swingarm, eh? One problem - this added another 4 inches of length to the tube, so now I have a kink at the brush head.

I'm getting good at removing the brush head and remounting it. Really grungy back there. Pull the brush head off, clip off four inches of pipe, reinstall.

Now the 80 weight oil is running down! Say, I'm not moving. This is just going to drip. Sigh. Another oil stain in the garage. Looks like it works as advertised.

Total install time, including a Pizza break: 2:30. Difficulty: Easy, but dirty.

Coming Soon: 1,000 miles of riding in the rain with the Loobman!

Heading out for a bit of riding this memorial day weekend. Forcast is for rain, followed by rain. If you didn't like that, there will be more rain the next day.

More Install Photos

1600x1200 Version
1600x1200 Version
1600x1200 Version

Post install info - does it work?

I donno, I haven't used it yet. But, David Vaughan did, and sent these photos of his motorcycles swingarm and rear drive after a 2,000 mile trip with the loobman.

So, does it work?

Now I know. The weekend after I installed it (Memorial Day, 2003), I took a bit of a ride. Went from KC to Cassoday, from Cassoday to Eureka Springs, AR, back to Cassoday and back to KC. About 1,000 miles all told. 600 of the miles to AR and back were in a frog-strangler of a rain - a chains worst enemy. About every 75 or 100 miles I'd give it a squeeze and it kept the chain lubricated and happy thru all the rain and mud and gunk. The bike got a bit dirty, but not as bad as chain wax fling.

A few photos of the bike upon returning to KC:

Delivery 
widget, front of sprocket and chain Rear wheel
of VFR after 1,000 miles of hell Clean rollers,
well oiled o-rings and a grungy hub
1600x1200 Version
1600x1200 Version
1600x1200 Version

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Created May 23, 2003     ::     Updated Tuesday, February 28 2006 @ 01:29pm