BMW Motorrad has announced a new drive chain design that is claimed to require as little maintenance as a shaft drive. The M Endurance chain will initially be offered in 525 pitch as an accessory, or a factory option, for the new BMW S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR. The tech will eventually make its way to other BMW models.

Visually, the M Endurance chain looks like any other X-ring chain, with a permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins. However, BMW says it has used a new coating material called tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C), a type of industrial diamond, on the rollers and bushings. 

Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coatings have been used as a process to reduce friction and increase hardness in parts like engine internals. BMW tells us that the ta-C on the chains provides similar benefits, and claims it performs somewhere between typical DLC coatings and pure…

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