Press Release – BMW’s Maintenance-Free Chain

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Lots of press releases take up space in my inbox, but very few get me as excited as this because I’m very lazy about cleaning my chain: BMW Motorrad has just announced the “M Endurance” chain, which is “maintenance-free like the shaft drive for the first time.” No word on if it’s coming to the US yet, but it’s made by Regina Chain so here’s hoping this quickly expands to all brands and bikes.

Here’s what you need to know:
– only announced in Europe so far, it’s a £100 ($133) factory option at the moment
– initially available on the S1000RR and S1000XR in 525 pitch.
– X-ring chain but the extra tech comes in the form of “industrial diamond” coating on the bushings and rollers. The coating is formally known as “tetrahedrally amorphous carbon” (ta-C).

Sound too good to be true? I guess we’ll find out in the next few months, and hopefully BMW decides to offer this in the US ASAP. Click here for the full press release, otherwise here’s the important part of the text:

Munich. 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.

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