Cameleon Chain Oiler Plus

Story by Costa Mouzouris//
September 1 2018

Lubricating a drive chain can be a tedious task. It’s made easier if your bike is equipped with a centre stand, but if it’s not, you either have to prop up the bike so the rear wheel is in the air or you must roll the bike a short distance, partially lube the chain, and then roll the bike some more. You have to monitor the chain regularly, but even then, lubricating intervals can vary widely, depending on the conditions in which you ride. If you’re travelling long distances, you must pack a can of chain lube, which has a tendency to get a bit messy over time, and if you lose the plastic extension nozzle, lubing the chain becomes a tricky proposition.

The Cameleon Chain Oiler Plus, an add-on electrically controlled automatic chain oiler, promises to keep your chain lubed with very little effort on your part, aside from the initial installation and occasional refilling of the oil reservoir. To give the Cameleon oiler a thorough workout, I installed one on one of the training motorcycles at the riding school I teach at, a 2016 Honda CB500F, since it goes out on the road four days a week, in challenging urban conditions and in all weather except snow.

The Cameleon Chain Oiler Plus comes complete with easy-to-follow instructions, all the hardware and wiring necessary for installation, as well as a full reservoir. Cameleon claims the quantity of oil in a full reservoir is good for about 8,000 km, which in my case should be good for the entire season of rider training without a refill. The company recommends refilling the reservoir with its CCo-90 ester-based synthetic formula, which is claimed to reduce oil splash. One 236 ml can ($20) is good for up to 37,000 km.

Installation proved easier than I anticipated. The first thing to do is to locate an ideal place to install the control unit. The plastic unit is designed to be installed onto a frame tube using the supplied tie wraps. The best location I could find on the CB500F was on the lower sub-frame tube, just ahead of the left passenger foot peg mount. This allowed me to route the reservoir tube upward and under the passenger seat. When the unit is shipped, the reservoir tube is capped to prevent leakage. It must be replaced with a vented cap to enable the oil to flow in the gravity-fed system, and you must place the end of the reservoir hose as high as possible, with the vented end cap facing up. On the CB500F, the best location was at the rear of the tailpiece, out of sight under the passenger seat.

You have to check the clearance between the control unit and the swingarm or chain guard to make sure there’s no contact as the suspension works. To achieve the correct clearance on the CB500F, I had to turn the unit outward just a bit to clear the chain guard. Also pay attention to the routing of the reservoir tube and feed hose to prevent pinching or binding. The unit comes with a long feed hose and power wire, so you can also install it out of sight if you prefer, but then it will be difficult to access the programming button.

A semi-rigid oiling tube is supplied, which must be shaped and cut to length after you find the ideal mounting position. It follows the swingarm and eventually ends about 25 mm from the lower rear sprocket and drive chain junction. You can either attach it to the swingarm with the provided cable clamps, which require drilling the swingarm to mount them, or with tie wraps, as I did.

To wire the unit, you can tap it into a taillight or licence-plate feed wire, or, using an optional wiring kit, connect it to the fuse box. I connected it to the wire for the licence plate light (all the necessary connectors are included).

Once it’s connected, you can adjust the feed by turning on the ignition and pressing the programming button immediately, before the unit powers on. All you do is hold the button as an LED light flashes once for each of the seven feed levels (1 is low feed, 7 is maximum), and release it at whichever level you prefer. I set it to level 4, and will monitor the chain to see if the unit needs fine-tuning.

The unit is motion and temperature sensitive, and will adjust the flow of chain lube according to ambient temperature, or if it senses extensive movement, as when riding off-road, in which case it will increase oil flow. I’ll report on the performance of the Cameleon Chain Oiler Plus in a future issue.

For more information, go to

You can purchase the Cameleon Chain Oiler Plus at for $250; it comes with a three-year warranty.

Technical articles are written purely as reference only and your motorcycle may require different procedures. You should be mechanically inclined to carry out your own maintenance and we recommend you contact your mechanic prior to performing any type of work on your bike.


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