BMW Motorrad has announced the M Endurance chain, which does not need to be lubricated like conventional motorcycle chains. The M Endurance chain uses a tetrahedrally amorphous carbon coating on the rollers that reduces friction and negates the need for lubricant. Currently, the BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR are the only supported models.
From Press Release:
For more than 90 years, the maintenance-free, environmentally friendly and comfortable shaft drive has been one of BMW Motorrad’s immovable technical cornerstones. With the M Endurance chain, BMW Motorrad now offers a maintenance-free chain with comparable characteristics for the first time.
Like previous X-ring chains, the M Endurance chain has a resident permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, enclosed by X-rings. What is completely new, however, is that the previously necessary additional lubricant addition for the rollers and thus the familiar “chain lubrication” is no longer necessary, nor is any re-tensioning required from time to time due to the usual wear.
This enormous gain in comfort was made possible by using a new coating material for the rollers: tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C), also known as industrial diamond. This coating is characterized by extreme hardness and resistance and in this respect it is placed between the well-known DLC coating (Diamond Like Carbon) and pure diamond. In contrast to the metal surfaces used so far, the coating with the ta-C industrial diamond does not wear off. At the same time, this type of coating also offers a drastically reduced friction coefficient.
Thanks to excellent dry lubrication properties and the elimination of wear, the tetrahedral amorphous carbon coated rollers of the M Endurance chain offer maintenance comfort equivalent to that of a shaft drive motorcycle. This includes all the cleaning work that is unavoidable with a conventional chain due to splashed lubricant. Accordingly, the M Endurance chain also offers maximum environmental friendliness.
The M Endurance chain in 525 pitch is now available initially for the two 4-cylinder models BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR. The M Endurance chain is available as accessory or directly from the factory as an option. Further BMW Motorrad models are being prepared for this feature.