BMW introduced its first shaft drives way back in 1923.  The shaft-driven R32 was somewhat of a technological marvel for its day.  It essentially made chain maintenance a thing of the past.  And now, BMW says its new M Endurance” chain, once again makes chain maintenance a thing of the past.

While BMW’s M Endurance chain is similar to many X-ring chains that have a permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, the M Endurance chain is different.  BMW says the M Performance chain does away with the need for chain lubrication and recurrent chain tensioning.

M Endurance chain BMW

A cutaway image of BMW’s new chain.

M Endurance coating material

According to BMW, the reason no further maintenance is required is because of its use of new coating material for the rollers.  The material is called tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C) which is also known as industrial diamond. Unlike the coating material used in most X-ring chains, BMW says ta-C does not wear off.

Also, the new chain offers two other benefits.  BMW says that ta-C offers a drastically reduced friction coefficient.  That should increase performance.  And, since the coating doesn’t wear off or splash, it can be more environmentally friendly.  To quote BMW:

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 new chain in 525 pitch is presently available for two of BMW’s in-line four-cylinder bikes; the S 1000 RR, and S 1000 XR.  You can order it as a factory option, or you can purchase it as an accessory.   BMW says that M Endurance chains for other BMW models will be released in the future.

Unfortunately, BMW’s press release does not disclose the chain’s MSRP.  Call your local dealer for pricing information.


All image credit: BMW Motorrad



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