Monday, March 31, 2008

Motorcycle Chain Oiler

A couple of weeks ago I decided to install a homemade chain oiler on my motorcycle. I ride the bike regularly, and ususally have to clean and oil my chain every 3-4 weeks. I figured that installing a chain oiler would keep my chain in better condition, and save me 15 minutes every month. Here's what I ended up installing after two nights of tinkering.

The system I installed uses a simple gravity feed. The oil reservoir is made from a $1 travel shampoo bottle, the tubing is 1/4" irrigation tubing (available at any hardware store, I had extra in my garage), the valve is an irrigation tubing valve (for installing the tubing to sprinkler systems), and the oil nozzle I made myself. It delivers 30W motor oil to each side of the rear sprocket. The oil is delivered to the drive chain via centrifugal force. I control the rate of oil delivery with several pinholes in the reservoir tubing. Trial and error established the correct number of holes to yield a flow of 1 drop per 90 seconds.

The nozzle is attached to the bike's swingarm with several zip-ties, and the frame is fashioned from an old wire coat hanger. The tubing is split into two smaller diameter teflon tubes, with the joint sealed with JB weld. These tubes are arranged so that they barely contact each side of the rear sprocket, and surface tension keeps the oil on the sprocket. Here's a close-up of the nozzle from the right side of the bike. (It's hidden in the first picture, taken from the bike's left side.)

I now have a blog.

After considering the possibility of editing our family web page (and after my wife got frustrated trying to show me how to edit the web page that she administrates), I've decided to establish my own blog. For now, I will be using this forum to informally share interests and thoughts. Let's see where I take this...