Scottoiler Chain Oiler eSystem Review

All chain-oiling systems promise to extend chain life and lessen maintenance. They all have their own interpretation of how to best accomplish this enviable task cleanly enough to improve upon the manual procedure. I once tested five systems of varying complication over a five-month period; hands down, the best one was the Scottoiler (produced in Scotland). And now Scottoiler has improved that original eSystem.

The new version continues the accelerometer metering that made the original eSystem so trick. No vacuum plumbing, no manual power up, no gravity feed, no oiling at idle. Essentially, the folks from Glasgow made their system intelligent. The self-starting electronic pump pushes oil only when it knows the bike is moving. No drool. It’s an elegant solution to controlling oil dispensation and is unique to Scottoiler. The accelerometer is now digital, which uses less power and allows more sophisticated control. In standby, the unit uses less than 400 microamps; under way, it uses approximately 3 milliamps and a bit more when the pump activates. No reason to worry about battery drain.

Scottoiler Chain Oiler eSystem
Scottoiler Chain Oiler eSystem

A new feature is a threshold adjustment that allows the rider to set when the system begins to supply oil. A normal setting initiates oil supply at 20-30 mph, although riders can now change the distribution threshold to suit their needs. This saves oil, adding a finer control over extra oiling and delays oiling in stop-and-go traffic. The display unit has been upgraded to automotive standards and is resistant to UV. Scottoiler has added a clock and a Fahrenheit thermometer to the display that augments the oil supply data and the G-meter.

Installation of the eSystem is the simplest of any oiler I’ve used. Attach the ringed wiring to the battery, route the display unit to a convenient area, and stash the reservoir electronic pump practically anywhere. Plumbing to the sprocket and dispenser assembly is unobtrusive. The kit comes with an assortment of universal mounting tabs, brackets, sticky-backed hook and loop, zip-ties and adhesive patches that should suit any motorcycle.

Scottoiler Chain Oiler eSystem
Scottoiler Chain Oiler eSystem

Programming the system is intuitive and well explained. Calibration is done with the bike upright and engine off. The system learns this static position and compares it to the accelerometer data when moving, then dispenses the proprietary oil at a preset rate. Mine is set for one drop per 60 seconds. If rain ensues, the rate can be altered quickly from the small control unit. Sweet. I used the single emitter as supplied; a double-sided one can also be had.

With the fine-tuning allowed by the pump timing, mess is controlled. A certain amount of fling-off is considered beneficial since it removes the debris that can quickly morph into grinding paste, but even that small amount can be eliminated if desired. I set mine to shed a small bit; our local roads are dusty and dry. You can dial in any amount you feel necessary.

As always, use care when installing any modifications on your bike. Installation is very easy, but chains and sprockets are unforgiving primitive mechanisms that can bite you or alter the safe rideability of your machine. Be aware of common sense details.

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(This Gearlab item was published in the April 2013 issue of Rider magazine.)


  1. When it works its great.

    However, I’ve had two control units die on me, both due to water ingress into the housing causing the wafer switch buttons to fail.

    Scottoiler replaced the first unit. So I thought they would have cured the problem, but no, despite trying to be more careful with the second unit, e.g. protecting it when washing the bike.

    Also, the replacement unit suffered from another problem, intermittently resetting, and particularly on engine start-up. I thought this might be something to do with the new HID system that I’d installed, but after reviving the original unit (see below) that problem has gone. Because others seem to have experienced a similar problem my guess is that it is either a design or component issue.

    See Electronic Scottoiler revival

    Best wishes


  2. I have esystem scottoiler which has started to play up it wont let me change the settings and just keeps going through all menus can anyone help

  3. Same here. Any help?
    I can’t get it to calibration mode or set oil level. It thinks it’s empty. I can only set the drop interval. No clock, nothing

  4. Dave, annoying to say the least, with an expensive and important bit of kit.
    If its still within the warranty period Scottoiler may swap it. In any case they are generally helpful in getting their equipment back up and running.
    Good luck. Cheers Ron

  5. Like all manufacturers who value their reputation, Scottoiler constantly evaluates and evolves their designs.
    The Scottoiler vSystem (vacuum activated) automatic chain oiler, with literally hundreds of thousands sold since the company was established in Scotland, UK in1985, remains one of the companies signature products. The introduction of the electronic (eSystem) several years ago, was a significant departure from the gravity fed system in response to rider demands for a higher-tech answer to chain lubrication from the global leader in the field.
    Yes, there were isolated instances of water ingress in early production, which understandably stood out against the vast majority of units which performed and continue to perform without issue. The introduction of sonically welding the casing as a running change, successfully addressed the issue.
    The use of HID headlight bulbs, which became popular after the initial design of the eSystem, resulted in the (internal) addition of a capacitor in the display to retain the memory settings on the screen.
    So, it’s entirely possible we’ll see eSystem design changes in the future. In the meantime, sales in the USA continue to significantly grow year on year, customer satisfaction is very high and warranty issues with the eSystem are negligible.
    All Scottoilers carry a 2 year warranty, but if you experience an issue, or indeed have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at the US office in Pennsylvania on (814) 592-7003.

  6. 356/5000
    I recently installed an e system oiler on my ktm.
    the problem is I can’t calibrate it.
    after starting the engine everything turns on in the display after starting the accelerator works but there is a problem with lubrication.
    after many evaporation attempts, the oil worked better. but there is a problem with lubrication while driving.
    I am asking for advice.


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