Runs smooth as butter even without lubrication? - Dr. Wack examines product promises under the microscope

Graphic 1: The graphic illustrates the wear surface on the test piece. The wear surface of the roller of the unlubricated M Endurance chain is 2.6mm² in the laboratory test. If the test piece is lubricated, the wear surface is 0.2mm², i.e. a factor of 13 less.

Since 1996, product developers, researchers and chemists at Dr. Wack have been continuously working on the formulation, optimisation and improvement of chain care products. Ongoing laboratory and practical tests as well as countless formulation adjustments guarantee optimal chain care that meets the requirements of modern motorbikes, even after more than 25 years.

The market leader in Ingolstadt was all the more surprised when the so-called "M Endurance Chain" was presented by BMW two years ago with the product promise of being maintenance-free and therefore no longer requiring lubrication.

Was all the know-how in terms of "chain maintenance" that had been acquired over decades suddenly obsolete? The advantages attributed to this chain seemed so unbelievable that, true to the motto "trust is good, proof is better", it was finally decided to commission (long-term) tests and studies of their own, also carried out by independent institutes, the results of which are now available.

Wear tests on Dr. Wack's XCT test stand (wear determination in accordance with DIN 51347) showed that the wear of the M Endurance chain can be reduced many times over with additional lubrication.

This is shown by the graphic on the right:

Figure 2: Broken bolt of the unlubricated BMW M Endurance chain

In order to obtain the results of a further, independent test authority, Dr. Wack commissioned the renowned Institute for Materials Handling and Logistics at the University of Stuttgart (IFT) with extensive tests on a chain test stand.

The comparison of a lubricated and an unlubricated M Endurance chain revealed that the elongation of the additionally lubricated chain was only 0.06%, while that of the unlubricated chain was almost three times as high, at 0.17%.

However, this comparison could only be made over 33 hours, as the M Endurance chain (both lubricated and non-lubricated) broke afterwards, indicating that the permanent lubrication between pin and sleeve could not withstand the enormous loads - in contrast to the conventional chain, which coped flawlessly with the entire procedure.

Note: The cracking of the chain is not an indication that the chain could break under normal riding conditions.

When the chain was introduced, BMW still described it as "maintenance-free".

"Lubricating the chain was yesterday. For the first time, maintenance-free and comfort like the shaft drive."

Source: BMW Motorrad, Press-Information of 27/08/2020


However, BMW now only speaks of reduced maintenance requirements.

"More power at the rear wheel: The M Endurance chain with DLC-coated rollers is characterised by low friction and reduced maintenance."


The chain manufacturer Regina also gives tips on when to lubricate, clean and add retension to the chain:

To guarantee the best functionality and appearance, follow three simple rules:

• Clean and re-lubricate the chain:

   o After washing the motorbike

   o After the motorbike has been ridden in wet and/or salty or dusty environmental conditions

   o Before preparing the motorbike for winter

   o Lubricate once a year in any case.

   o Check the correct chain tension approx. every 3,000 KM.

Source: Regina HPE Product Info


Conclusion: "Runs smooth as butter even without lubrication" can work during the season under very specific conditions, but additional lubrication can be extremely effective in keeping wear and chain elongation in check. The wear protection of an "M Endurance chain" can be improved by a factor of 13 with lubrication. (Source: Dr. Wack laboratory test) In addition, lubrication significantly reduces chain elongation.

It is also worth mentioning that lubrication is not the only benefit of a chain spray, but that it also offers extensive corrosion protection, especially during longer rides in the rain.

Und sollte ein Anwender wider Erwarten nicht zufrieden sein, so bietet Dr. Wack selbstverständlich auch für dieses Produkt eine Geld-zurück-Garantie an.

Albert Mediamarketing e. K.
Florian Albert
Albstatter Strasse 17
97295 Waldbrunn
T: +49 (0)9306 / 984099
F: +49 (0)9306 / 984088