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ADV NewsBMW Just Unveiled a Maintenance-Free Chain and It’s Not April 1st

BMW Just Unveiled a Maintenance-Free Chain and It’s Not April 1st

Is a maintenance-free chain possible? BMW Motorrad says it is!

Published on 08.31.2020

For more than 90 years, the essentially maintenance-free shaft drive has been one of BMW Motorrad’s technical cornerstones. Now, the Bavarian company says they’ve created an innovative chain that offers comparable maintenance-free operation for the first time. 

Like previous X-ring chains, the M Endurance chain has a resident permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, enclosed by X-rings. What BMW says is completely new, however, is that the additional lubricant for the rollers and thus the familiar periodic “chain lubrication” is no longer necessary, nor is any re-tensioning required from time to time due to the usual wear.


According to BMW, this advancement in chain tech is made possible thanks to a new coating material for the rollers called tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C), also known as industrial diamond. In terms of its hardness and resistance, ta-C falls in between the more well-known DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating and pure diamond. In contrast to the metal surfaces traditionally used, BMW says 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.

“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,” states BMW. “This includes all the cleaning work that is unavoidable with a conventional chain due to splashed lubricant. Accordingly, the M Endurance chain is also more environmentally friendly.”

For now, the new chain is available in size 525 for the two 4-cylinder models BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR. You can also purchase it as an accessory or directly from the factory as an option. Retail pricing in Europe is set at €286.08 (about $342 USD) for the chain and the complete kit including sprockets and small parts costs €425.59 (about $508 USD). The price to add the M Endurance chain as a factory option on a new bike will be €100 (about $120 USD).

Additional BMW Motorrad models are also being prepared for this feature. Time will tell if the Bavarian company’s claims prove true in real world conditions.

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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August 31, 2020 1:54 pm

we will see if this actually does what it says, I’m interested in how the chain will do on an adventure bike that sees alot of dirt, mud, water, etc. like mine living in the PNW, let me know when it comes out for the F800GSA as I go through a chain every 15-18K miles on my bike now and always having to adjust and lube and it’s getting old.

September 1, 2020 5:34 am

I remember when BMW provided a Final Drive that required no service? My 2007 R12GS was equipped with this FD. It wasn’t long before BMW changed its tune and decided servicing would be required. Servicing this designed not to be serviced Final Drive was a real PITA as the castings did not have either a drain or filler plugs. I think I might wait a year or two before jumping on yet another innovative BMW led technology?

September 3, 2020 12:39 pm

DLC coating has been pretty popular on high end motocross forks and shocks. The fork legs are covered as well as the shock shaft. The problems is that it eventually wears off and that happens rubber rubber seals. I cant imagine the coating staying on when the metal sprocket meets metal rollers. I don’t mind cleaning the outside of my o-ring/x-ring chains and I don’t think I’m ready to spend $300+ for a chain.


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