Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
How easy should it be to oil your chain?
The old Loobman squeeze n go chainoiler featured a squeezy bottle. Give it a squeeze to put a 'dose' of oil in the system, then just ride away while the oil trickled through to the chain.
The Loobman AB oiler uses an improved version of the same idea. Instead of squeezing a bottle you simply depress a button for about five to ten seconds when your chain needs a dose of oil.
The button is the tip of a valve which when open, allows oil into the delivery tube. This oil then runs down to the special dual sided delivery head and on to the two sides of the sprocket.
The sprocket acts as a centrifuge to throw the oil onto the inside edge of the chain and the o-rings on both the inside and the outside.
We invented the dual feed system way back in 1998. Now there are at least three other manufacturers doing it. That's because this highly efficient system puts lubrication exactly where it's needed.
What oil is best?
What is the best oil for an o-ring motorcycle chain ?
We often get asked the question "what is the best oil for a chain"?
Well, we do not have access to a bench to test for performance from different oil grades or brands. All the same, I would be surprised if any real difference showed up before several places of decimal (or an awful lot of miles).
The fact is, as long as you keep your o-rings wet, they will keep sliding happily against the side plates. But if they go dry, then they rub against the plates and that causes friction. And that friction is what wears the o-rings away.
So think, what mileage do you normally get from a chain? Any increase on that has to be a step in the right direction. So the real question has to be how long before the chain wears out?
An exposed chain is by definition 'total loss' with regard to lubrication because no matter what oil you apply, it will only stay there until it either flies off, dries off or gets washed off on a rainy day. So almost any oil can be pressed into service.
Oil is better than spray in several ways. It has better properties of penetration. It is not sticky so it doesn't attract dirt and grit. It doesn't cake up like tar behind your front sprocket cover and, if any does fling off, it's much easier to clean from where it lands. And most importantly, our own tests have shown the far higher long term mileage oil can achieve over spray.
My own personal preference was always for 10-40 engine oil, mostly because it's easily available. It works well under most conditions and it's good for the o-rings.
There is a strange myth about there being additives in engine oil which are damaging to the o-rings of a chain but, if you think about it, what would those additives do to the o-rings in your engine? There are lots of o-rings in your engine and certain additives are actually put into engine oil to protect them.
Engine oil was used in all road tests referred to on the Loobman website and was recommended by both Yamaha and Haynes manuals.
Both Honda and Takasago RK recommend EP80-90 gear oil. (Takasago RK is a manufacturer of motorcycle drive chains). Gear oil is very good because it's thicker so it stays on the chain for longer. Only problem with gear oil is that it flows very slowly so, if you want to use it, we recommend your Loobman chainoiler has a short, vertical delivery tube. Otherwise you might end up with drips after a short spin. You can buy gear oil at most petrol stations.
Chainsaw oil is also very popular and works well. Several couriers on the London despatch circuit use it and swear by it. I do not recommend it personally, only because I have never actually used it for any great length of time. But it IS specially blended to lubricate a chain! Albeit on a chain saw.
In desperation, even used engine oil can be pressed into service. But bear in mind, it may contain impurities and there is a risk of skin disease if it comes into contact with your hands. Mind you, that risk applies to any motor oil so try not to get it on your hands.
Then again, one environmentally friendly lady we heard from insists she uses pure virgin olive oil in her Loobman. She e-mailed recently to say she has managed over twenty thousand miles and her chain is still like new. Now what can you say to that??
Just like everything, in the end it's your choice.