Diamonds are forever: BMW create maintenance-free motorbike chain

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BMW say they’ve created motorbike chain that needs no lubrication and no tension adjustment. The maintenance-free unit is to be made available on the S1000RR and S1000XR models as a factory option (£100) or as an accessory to existing owners, but more models will follow.

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The M Endurance chain uses a standard X-ring set up to hold lubricant between the rollers and pins but BMW have added an industrial diamond coating to the bushes and rollers.

The industrial diamond is also known as tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C) and it sits somewhere on the diamond scale between the Diamond Like Coating we’ve seen manufacturers use to reduce friction in their engine internals and pure diamond.

This ta-C coating reduces the friction acting upon the chain and so reduces wear. And the best part is that it never wears off.

BMW M Endurance chain diagram

BMW said: “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.

“This includes all the cleaning work that is unavoidable with a conventional chain due to splashed lubricant. Accordingly, the M Endurance chain also offers maximum environmental friendliness.”