Hi, my name is Dennis and I've been riding bikes for most of my life and working as a London courier for close to thirty years so I can tell you that chain oilers are a must if you want to keep your running costs down.
Loobman is a small London company established in 1997 by myself and with a little help (all right, a lot of help) from some good friends.
It all started one day when I thought it might be fun to ride a sports bike instead of boring shaft driven slugs. I got myself a Suzuki GSXR1100. Brilliant fun but good chain maintenance was clearly essential. Replacing a chain and sprockets is very expensive yet oiling it is really quite a simple process. I checked out the available chainoilers on the market at the time but they were all going for silly money, mainly because they all used some form of automation to give the chain a continuous feed of oil.
If you ride no matter what the weather, you'll know that you don't need much oil if the sun is shining but you need quite a bit more if it's raining. I pondered the problem for a while with some of my courier mates and one of the lads even came up with a bottle of oil with a tap to control the flow. He said his wife got him the bits from the hospital where she worked. But he kept forgetting to turn it off so it left puddles behind and he had to fill it up every morning because it drained overnight.
I figured that what was needed was a small 'dose' of oil every now and then.
I developed my first onboard chainoiler from a shampoo bottle. In fact, I found the name on that very same bottle (it said "wash and go" but, what the hell). Soon several of my mates were running prototype squeeze and go oilers and I actually sold the first one in 1997. It featured a squeezy bottle and a single oil delivery held in place by a piece of wire inside the end of the tube so you could bend it to shape and cable tie it to the swinging arm. It fed oil to one side of the sprocket like most oilers on the market at the time.
But I soon realised that the single oil feed was not up to the job when the o-rings wore out on the other side of the chain on my GSXR. They looked thinner than the ones on the fed side and soon the chain had to be adjusted almost every day.
With a financial budget limited what I had in my pocket after paying the rent, I invested in cups of tea for the lads while we discussed the problem of getting oil to the o-rings on the other side of the chain.
My first dual sided oil delivery system was made out of modelling clay, cable ties and a coat-hanger, but it got oil to the o-rings on both sides of the chain at the same time... And the world of motorcycle chainoilers has, quite literally, never been the same since.
I went into production with the first dual sided delivery in 1998. To do this, I took out a big fat bank loan and had a mould made. The finished unit was complicated and involved a lot of parts. I nicknamed it the offshore oil rig and sold it as an 'add on' to the standard Loobman kit because it cost more to make than the rest of the chainoiler put together. It was expensive, complicated, and had too many parts, and when several of them came back broken we all went back to the cafe for more tea and consultation.
Then it dawned on me that the delivery head could be held in place with the wire I already HAD wire in the single sided kit. I put a ring in the end of the wire to hold the bolt, fixed the existing delivery head to the ring, and the rest, as they say, is history! (If you know your history that is).
In 1999 the wire supported dual sided delivery head went into the Loobman kit as a standard part, and the old offshore oil rig mould went in the bin. This I'm told, is called a bikers learning curve.
Dual sided delivery must have been a good idea because suddenly everyone else started doing it. (Scottoiler 2001, Pro-oiler 2004, Tutoro 2009). You'd think I might have got some credit for it but all I got was stitched up by a patent agent (thatís another story). I'm a biker not a business wizz kid and perhaps I'm not so good at blowing my own trumpet. All the same, I'm told I play a pretty mean bass guitar (but that too is another story).
The Loobman chainoiler was conceived out of necessity, designed with simplicity in mind but with no high tech automation, and no remembering to turn it off. You just "Loob" -ricate your chain "man" -ually whenever it needs oiling. I think "squeeze and go" speaks for itself.
The Loobman squeeze and go chainoiler has been around since the last century and is used by riders all over the world. The AB chainoiler retained that same simplicity but is activated by a push button!
The latest AB Dynamic oiler now has an equally simple fast flow control system, which means the oil arrives at the sprocket as you press the button so no more waiting for it to run down the tube and no need to mount it above the sprocket like the earlier units. In fact you can mount it on the handlebars if you like. I try to be helpful because I rely heavily on comments and feedback from the riders who use Loobman products. This includes face to face discussion with professional couriers and high mileage riders and my main research facility is the cafe at Smithfield, City of London EC1.
If you're in town, pop around and ask any of the couriers for Dennis Loobman.
If you're anywhere else, just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.
All comments are welcome and I try to answer all e-mails.
i have lots of ideas. I reckon some of them are rather GOOD ideas!