BMW Motorrad Develops A Zero-Maintenance Chain


BMW Motorrad M Endurance Chain

In what may be either the greatest development since sliced bread or just a bit of misnaming, BMW Motorrad posted a press release late last night regarding their new “M Endurance” chain.

Likening the new chain to the same “no maintenance” shaft drive system, the entire cornerstone of the M Endurance chain is captive lubrication.

The new chain is similar in design to the common bike chains. The big difference as that each roller and pin is captured between x-rings, which hold a dry lubricated bushing inside the roller.

BMW Motorrad M Endurance Chain

As well, the interior of the roller is coated with the same dry lubricant. This means that once you have your chain tensioned correctly, it should only need minor, if any, adjustments over time.

The other big development in the new M Endurance chain is the lubricant itself. The scientific name is Tetrahedrally Amorphous Carbon (ta-C), but it is more commonly known as industrial diamond.

Industrial diamond is extremely hard and has some of the best wear resistance of any known substance. It comes in between DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) and pure raw diamonds in terms of hardness.

BMW Motorrad M Endurance Chain

It is so wear-resistant that in comparison to the common steel chain system on most bikes, the internal metal coating of the roller does not wear off, even under extreme duress such as track riding. The ta-C also, much like raw diamonds, is extremely heat tolerant, beyond any friction or environmental heat that could exist on a motorcycle.

The chain is currently available in 525 pitch for the 4-cylinder BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR. The technology will become available for further BMW models as testing and development allow, eventually available for every pitch that BMW Motorrad may require.

5 Comments

  1. wallymann
    August 28, 2020
    Reply

    that hard coating will eat the hell out of drive and countershaft sprockets!

    • J Baine
      August 28, 2020
      Reply

      Not if they are coated as well. It’s a cunning plan.

    • Nastybutler
      August 28, 2020
      Reply

      Hopefully the sprockets are next for that coating.

  2. John
    August 28, 2020
    Reply

    Most sprocket wear comes from chain wear and the uneven loading of the teeth as the chain pitch increase while the sprocket pitch remains constant. So, sprocket wear is mainly a function of yield stress rather than abrasion.

    That’s why a mild steel sprocket lasts so much longer than and aluminum one. The hardness is close, but the yield stress of steel is 3x T6 hardened aluminum.

    We’ll see how it goes.

    • Bart Robinson
      September 4, 2020
      Reply

      Great answer!

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