BMW Motorrad Develops A Zero-Maintenance Chain

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By Simon Bertram

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.

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.

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.

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