BMW M Endurance chain
Motorcycle chains have come a long way in the past two decades. And this area of maintenance is one where it pays not to go cheap, as a good quality high-end chain that costs twice the price of a cheaper option will generally last two to four times as long, need less adjusting, and in many applications hardly need any lubrication during the life of the chain. Ride in horrible conditions then a quick clean of the chain with a kero soaked rag or the like is generally enough to ensure long fuss-free life. These days you hardly need a chain adjustment outside of rear tyre changes and the initial break-in period.
Overnight though BMW claimed that they have made another step forward in regards to chain life and maintenance with the release of the new M Endurance chain.
Like previous X-ring chains on offer from various chain makers, the M Endurance chain has a resident permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, enclosed by X-rings.
BMW claim their new version, 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.
BMW claim these gains have 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 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.
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 and they are preparing to release these new chains for other models in the BMW Motorrad range in the near future.
Australian pricing and ETA is yet to be confirmed. Will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the claims and how quickly other chain manufacturers might adopt this coating process.