For years, I’ve found chain cleaning and lubrication one of the worst jobs going. It’s messy, lube gets flung everywhere, and as we know chain lube that has been flung onto the rear wheel is the hardest stuff known to man to remove.
BMW is always innovating new engineering technology. Shift cam valve timing technology, Telelever suspension, Shaft drives, and fitting ABS to the first motorcycle. The list goes on and on, but now BMW has solved the chain lube getting flung problem, in the typical German style.
Comparable to a shaft drive sysetm!
Every motorcyclist with chain drive is envious of shaft drive. Maybe not jealous of the motorcycle the shaft is attached to, but the fact the shaft is entirely maintenance-free, you only have to look if it’s still attached.
Now BMW has launched a chain maintenance-free chain with comparable characteristics to shaft drive.
On a standard chain with either X or O ring seals, a lubricant is needed to keep the seals moist, to help the seals twist and move, and to eliminate friction and wear between rollers and pins. The common misconception with chain lubes is people think the rollers need lubrication to prevent wear to the sprocket.
The new M Endurance chain does away with this customer applied lubricant, replacing it with a ‘resident permanent lubricant’. BMW also reckons there is no chain stretch eliminating the need to re-tension the chain from time to time.
As always, science has played a big part in this new technology. BMW are using a new coating called ta-C (Tetrahedrally amorphous Carbon) aka industrial diamond, for the chains rollers. Everybody knows that diamonds are hard (and expensive) so using a diamond coating which will not wear off, drastically reduces friction, it’s a win-win.
BMW claims the new chain eliminates the need for additional lubricant thanks to the lubrication properties of the ta-C properties. This makes it like the shaft-driven motorcycles, which requires no other maintenance, which is also great for the environment.
We imagine this won’t completely eliminate wear. Sprockets still might need replacement, and of course, this won’t stop chains snapping or breaking.
S1000 family avalibility
The chain is available in 525 pitch, initially for BMW’s S1000 family, (RR, R and XR). Available as an accessory through dealerships, or as a factory-fitted option. BMW are working on more models to be compatible with this new chain.
The option is £100 extra through the BMW configurator, which is a great value option considering an aftermarket DID chain without the coating, is the same price. If fitting aftermarket the price is £260 through BMW, this is RRP however Sycamore Motorrad are selling chains on Ebay for £235. If you tend to keep your bikes for a long time, this high sales price could be offset by the fact it’s the only chain that bike will ever need again.
Speaking as somebody who hates chain lube with a passion, it will be interesting to see how many links an S1000RR chain has, in comparison to other bikes to see if this chain will fit other manufacturers bikes, in theory if the number of links and the chain pitch is correct then there is no reason why not. Standard BMW S1000RR chain has 118 links, however most modern chains come in a set length usually around 120 links, which you sizer to suit. This might be different with a BMW specific chain which can be the correct size from the factory.
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