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BMW Motorrad Offers Maintenance-Free Drive Chain

BMW Motorrad is now offering a maintenance-free drive chain for two of its motorcycles, eliminating the need to lubricate and adjust the chain.

The German motorcycle maker has offered maintenance-free shaft drives for more than 90 years. Now, BMW is offering the maintenance-free M Endurance chain in a 525 pitch for its four-cylinder BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR. The M Endurance chain is available as an accessory or directly from the factory as an option.

Other BMW Motorrad models are expected to be able to use the M Endurance chain in the future.

Like X-ring chains, the M Endurance chain has a permanent lubricant between the rollers and pins, enclosed by X-rings. What’s new, BMW says, is that the owner no longer needs to lube the chain and the chain no longer needs to be adjusted. The chain doesn’t need to be adjusted because it doesn’t stretch due to wear like other chains do.

The maintenance-free chain is possible because of 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,” BMW says. “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.”

Another plus for the M Endurance chain is that it doesn’t throw excess lube onto the bike since the chain isn’t lubed on the outside surface. Because of this, BMW says, the chain “offers maximum environmental friendliness.”