For over 90 years, the maintenance-free shaft drive has been one of the cornerstones of BMW's Motorrad project.
Now, the company has created the M Endurance chain, a maintenance-free chain that uses an industrial diamond coating to eliminate the need for chain lube and tension adjustments on its motorcycles.
As with previous BMW X-ring chains, the M Endurance has a resident permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, which is enclosed by X-rings. The new model, however, needs no additional lubricant for the rollers and no longer needs any re-tensioning due to the typical wear and tear.
This is all possible thanks to a new coating material for the rollers, BMW explains in a press release. The material is called tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C) and is also known as industrial diamond. The coating is extremely hard and resistant at the same time as offering 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," the press release says.
"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."
BMW has announced that the M Endurance chain in 525 pitch is already available for the two 4-cylinder models BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR motorcycles, and it will soon be made available for further models. It can be purchased as an accessory or directly from the company's factory as an option.
Though BMW hasn't listed a price in its press release, Motorcycles.News reports a retail price of €286.08 (US$340) for the chain alone, and €425.59 (US$507) for a set with sprocket, chain wheel, and "small parts." Comfort certainly doesn't come cheap.