BMW motorcycles have long been associated with shaft final drives. However, there are still a few BMW’s that are equipped with chain drive. That means BMW is now in the chain business, and there’s a new chain available sporting BMW’s famous premium performance “M” branding. Called the M Endurance chain, BMW Motorrad promises that it is both highly reliable and maintenance-free.
The BMW M Endurance chain is initially being released for fitment on the S 1000 RR superbike and S 1000 XR sport-tourer, with the S 1000 R naked sportbike conspicuous by its absence. We’re not sure by the R is left out, as it uses the same 525 chain size as the RR and XR. Regardless, a BMW Motorrad spokesman promises that “further…models are being prepared for this feature.”
When BMW Motorrad says the M Endurance chain is no-maintenance, there are several reasons for that boast.
It’s an X-ring design, with the lubricant kept between the rollers and pins indefinitely by X-rings. Additionally, BMW Motorrad says the chain also does not stretch and will maintain constant tension. That is due to the uses of tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C)—the coating used on the rollers. The coating is colloquially known as ‘industrial diamond’ and is harder than the more commonly used DLC (Diamond-like carbon) coating.
Despite being a coating, ta-C does not wear off, so it has a long, maintenance-free life. Another feature of ta-C is that it is slippery, so it reduces the friction coefficient, and that means less drag on the sprocket. Put together, it makes BMW Motorrad confident enough to claim the “chain offer[s] maintenance comfort equivalent to that of a shaft drive motorcycle.”
BMW does not have an availability date or MSRP yet for the M Endurance chain. Check with your BMW motorcycle dealer for the arrival date of this accessory.