I have to admit that as a motorcyclist, the occasional bit of tinkering to my pride and joy is generally an enjoyable experience. But there are some jobs though, that do become a bit of a chore. Frequent drivetrain maintenance is one of them – I’d sooner be riding my motorcycle.
Well, our friends at BMW Motorrad have come up with a solution that will put a smile on the face of most motorcyclists. The BMW M Endurance chain is a real breakthrough in final drive technology and promises very low maintenance.
Perhaps this is not surprising as the first BMW badged model, the flat-twin R32 of 1923, sported a low maintenance shaft final drive which has been a mainstay of its model line-up for the past 97 years. Now thanks to modern technology, BMW has created a chain with similar qualities.
Like all X-ring chains, the BMW M Endurance chain has a permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, enclosed by X-rings. What is entirely new, however, is that additional lubricant for the rollers is no longer needed, or is any re-tensioning required due to wear.
This has been 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 places it between the well-known DLC coating (Diamond-Like Carbon) and pure diamond. The ta-C industrial diamond coating does not wear off, and at the same time, it also offers a drastically reduced coefficient of friction.
Thanks to the excellent dry lubrication properties and the elimination of wear, the tetrahedral amorphous carbon-coated rollers offer the maintenance equivalent to that of a shaft drive motorcycle. This includes eliminating the cleaning that is unavoidable with a conventional chain due to thrown off lubricant.
The M Endurance chain is available in 525 pitch, initially for the four-cylinder BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR as an accessory or directly from the factory as an option. According to the German website motorcycles.news the recommended retail price is 286.08 €, while a complete chainset including sprocket, chain wheel and small parts costs 425.59 €. If the M Endurance chain is ordered ex-works as an optional extra with a new motorcycle, only 100 Euro will be charged (RRP).
Words © 2020 Geoff Dawes. Photographs courtesy © BMW Motorrad.