BMW Motorrad has announced the M Endurance chain for motorcycles, which it claims needs no lubrication or tension adjustment. The maintenance-free chain will be offered on BMW S 1000 RR and BMW S 1000 XR as a factory option or as an accessory to existing owners. It will also be offered in more BMW Motorrad models going forward. The M Endurance chain uses a standard X-ring set up to hold the lubricant between the rollers and pins, and BMW has added an industrial diamond coating to the bushes and rollers.
What gives the chain longevity is the way in which the chain is coated, by what is called tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C), the chemical name for industrial diamond. The coating is said to keep the chain robust and able to keep on going without the need for cleaning and lubrication. The ta-C is also said to provide other benefits like low friction coefficient, and helps increase performance.
According to BMW Motorrad, "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."
Regular chain maintenance is important to keep your motorcycle performing well. And if the M Endurance chain lives up to its claims of zero maintenance, it certainly will do away with a regular part of motorcycle maintenance that some of us religiously take part in. For the purists, a maintenance-free chain will take away the small pleasure of cleaning and lubing a chain, as well as checking for the correct tension. For many riders though, it's one less thing to do as part of motorcycle maintenance, particularly when riding for long distances and over extended periods of time.