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ABS on Bikes


Andy
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I'm a big believer in ABS on bikes.

I've had it and it works.

Oh I know there are those who will always say that they can outbrake it, and then go on to lecture you in perfect braking skills. Yawn <_< . Meanwhile, back in the real world, the fact remains that no matter how good you are, (or think you are), s*** happens.

Maybe that car that looked to be patiently waiting at the junction for you to pass, changes his mind and goes for it, or a child emerges from behind parked cars. Add in wet roads and often it's game over. We can all lose concentration as the current huge rise in single vehicle motorcycle accidents is testimony to.

A policeman friend of mine told me that on a wet afternoon after the sun has been shining all morning, his afternoons will be spent seeing to riders who have lost control on the brakes, locked up and gone down.

There will always be certain situations that you can never be prepared for, and I don't care who you are, Skill goes out of the window and you just grab everything.

I heard that BMW reported a huge drop in the demand for crash damage parts like levers, tanks, panels etc. when they started to introduce ABS systems as standard.

What prompted me to write this is because today I went for a test ride on one of the latest BM's with integral, servo assited and ABS3 braking systems and it is simply awsome.

I would love to see a side by side comparison of this system compared to a coventional set up on say an R1.

Anyway full marks to Honda for now offering a good ABS system on a few of there range, like the new VFR800, Pan European and the latest Goldwing and Yamaha with it's FJR1300 A.

I think we'll start seeing more manufacturers offering it soon and about bloody time.

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ABS like anything else is customer driven. The manufacturers will only equip what the publis demand. Look at air con in cars, it wasn't until everyone took holidays in hot climes and saw the benefit that it began to start emerging here as an optional extra (even if it does only get swiched on half a dozen times).

ABS in cars really took off because most car drivers are point and go, they are taught to pass a test and often don't progress much further, the manufacturers saw this and played on the safety (remember the ford advert?) and it's now becoming more common.

On Bikes it's totally different. As Andy said most bikers

will always say that they can outbrake it, and then go on to lecture you in perfect braking skills.

They as yet don't see the need and as a consequence the manufacturers wont waste time and money producing it if it won't sell. After spending many an evening scraping bikes up I hope it's not too long before abs becomes more common place on bikes.

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wasn't until everyone took holidays in hot climes and saw the benefit that it began to start emerging here as an optional extra (even if it does only get swiched on half a dozen times).

I tend to run air-con even more in the winter as the drying effect of the system prevents internal misting and fogging.

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Hi Andy,

Intresting thoughts, can't see it catching on with your average Blade or R1 rider. They would not want the extra weight, you know how obsessed the manufactures' are at shaving a few grams off here and there. They even list the weight as a dry weight in the specs. to make their bike appear even lighter. Then when the new owner got it home he will spend £100's trying to make it even lighter with titanium and carbon etc.

All so intresting about the"sunday riders" getting caught out in the rain. Never heard that before but it makes sense when you see some of their antics.

MIKE..

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This goes back ot another thread relating to photography and people's perception that the more expensive the kit the better you will be.

Sadly there are people, many people, who buy into this weightsaving bull****.

Ok it's not complete bull**** and is relevant when racing on the track, but on real roads :lol:

ABS would make a negligable difference, or have any negative adverse extra weight effects, as Honda have admirably demonstrated with the VFR800A.

How many riders do you think could go out on both the ABS and non ABS equipped version of this bike and tell the weight difference. Lets face it NONE but the most talented and skillful racers, which we are not.

In fact you quite often notice that those fanatical about weight saving to the extent they will spend hundreds of pounds just to save a tiny bit of weight, would probably achieve more by losing a few pounds off there own beer guts.

Nope. ABS does not add significantly to the weight of a bike and is not a good enough reason not to equip a bike with it.

Some would complain that it takes away rider control.

ABS only cuts in when fron/rear or two wheel lock up is going to happen.

Up to that point you can still use all your advanced breaking teqniques. The ABS is just there as a kind of safety valve if you cock it up. I would hardly view that as taking away rider control.

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PS.

I don't advocate the comulsory fitting of this or any other safety device.

I just think that the rider should be offered the option of ABS as an inexpensive optional extra.

Or perhaps the BMW system that allows you to switch it off would be a good idea so that all those super riders can still do there rear wheel slide manouveures. :lol:

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Hi,

I would be happy with A.B.S as I ride on real roads in the real world but I would say many sports bike riders would not be so intrested, as PG said these things are customer driven, if the majority want it, the makers will give it us. Seems to me most want the latest super bike to be a few gramms lighter, a few seconds faster away from the lights and a few more miles per hour on the top end. In reality my now old 99' Daytona is faster than I will ever go and handles better than I can ride it on the road (and probally the race track), so why go to the expense and change for performance I will never use.

MIKE..

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Hi Mike

I tend to disagree.

This is a bit of a hot topic for me and I have discussed it with quite a few sports bike owners.

They fully understand the inherant instability of our chosen mode of transport under severe breaking and

once you explain to them how it works they often take an interest.

I spoke to a guy at Box Hill a few weeks ago who had the VFR ABS having had a non ABS bike before.

He told me he had to use it just after he bought the bike.

Completely his fault.

He was concentrating on the controls of his new bike so much he took his eyes off the road and the car in front had stopped unexpectedly causing a panic break.

The point is that on that day it bailed him out of trouble for being an idiot, which is something all of us are guilty of at times.

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The BMW K100LT, i had for five years had ABS, [bought in 1990] at the time there was only a few bikes with ABS, some interest was shown by other bikers but not a lot, they took it for granted that being on a BMW it would be well enginered, in the main it was and i like the ABS and think it should be an add on to most bikes if wanted, i was at Hudersfield Auto Jumble when i over herd two old bikers walk past and declaire that ABS stood for All Bull s***, so you see it's not just the young un's that dont like new fangled things or extra clutter on their bikes, my ABS packed up touring round the Orkny's [that's north on Birmingham for all you southerners] only had the bike 8 months, carried on with normal brakes till i got back, the fault was the control electric package thats in the tail section of the bike £700 then, the service engineer at the dealer said if it goes again dont worry even if it's out of warranty BMW are so up tight about problems with their control units that we will change it free of charge no problem.

pgtips, i think you are wrong about changes coming only if the public demand it, change comes only when the manufacturer sees a profit or marketing advantage in it, thats why security in cars and more so on bikes as been so low poor, you could open most ford cars with a nail file or two hair grips and there's a lot of more expensive cars out there just as bad,[Get Andy to ask his Police man friend] bike security is a joke, 10 grand for a bike and no lock, what's that all about then.

b.f.n fred.

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Yes a good point.

We are paying nearly small car prices for our bikes that have little or no security.

I know some do fit immobilizers but there seems to be no industry standard on this.

The only way we will ever get the makers do anything about this is to make it a buying issue.

Back in the mid 90's bikes were getting way to expensive and we, the consumer, just started buying parallel imports instead.

The official importers had no choice other than to stop being greedy and review there prices.

The result now is that the difference in cost between official and parallel prices is almost negligable.

Thats the kind of customer mobilisation thats required to get the makers to give us what we want.

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Hello,

I have never ridden a bike with ABS....The Harley has a kind of ABS on the front wheel....No matter how hard you pull the lever the front tyre will not lock :lol: However this may be due to the inability of a single disk to slow down 850 lbs of bike and rider. Having said that, a combination of back, front and engine braking will still stop me quicker than most cars.

I may try and grab a test ride of an ABS equipped bike, but would I really be brave enough to grab a big handfull of front brake and hope for the best on someone elses bike ? :o

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Eric.

My current bike does not have ABS and I regret it but had no choice.

The dealer only had this one left at a very low price.

The last ABS bike I had was a Yamaha GTS1000A. Remember those ?

EXUP engine, hub centre steering.

Anyway the first day I got it I was out in the countryside and it pissed down all afternooon.

I decided to have fun with the ABS.

It takes a lot of courage to slam everything on hard in the wet but thats what I did.

I ended up going up and down the A20 by Brands Hatch at 70-80mph. Front brake back to the bar and heel on the back. INCREDIBLE.

So safe. You simply stop INCREDIBLY quickly with no lock up. There is no way the average rider would have got anywhere near stopping as quickly in the same wet conditions without ABS.

If you get a chance go to a BMW dealer and test ride any of the range with the new servo assisted/ABS breaking systems. I'd be interested to know what you think.

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Sadly there are people, many people, who buy into this weightsaving bull****.

Too right Andy, I laugh when I see £1000 spent on a new Fireblade/R1/GXR to save 40 grammes, do they honestly feel that they'll get a return in the real world ? It's sad how a whole generation of bikers seem to have fallen for this bag of bollox :D

Where was I? Ah yes, ABS, I had a CBR1000 with ABS and couldn't tell the difference, then again I had a GTR1000 and a VMax and couldn't tell they had shaft drive :(

PS. Still counting my pennies and pondering Vmax v Beemer!

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I had a CBR1000 with ABS and couldn't tell the difference

Mark...

That may be because the Honda CBR1000 never had ABS. Are you sure your not getting it mixed up with something else you had.

By the way the VMax is a heavy old donkey.

I'm no lightweight myself, but I used to struggle a bit pushing that one around.

What the sports bike fraternity often fail to realize is that shaving weight in the extreme is only beneficial on the track.

On real roads with overbanding, potholes and catseyes, a bit of weight actually contributes to stability.

That said there is no denying that the current crop of modern sports bikes are awsome machines but the quest for ever lighter machinery has surely gone far enough.

Eric.

I have a feeling that the French stuntrider you are referring to did the bike chase scene in the James Bond film ,Tomorrow Never Dies, on my bike B) . He was definately French anyway.

Apparently BMW told him that the R1200C could not be wheelied, but he still did it.

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I had a CBR1000 with ABS and couldn't tell the difference

Mark...

That may be because the Honda CBR1000 never had ABS. Are you sure your not getting it mixed up with something else you had.

You are quite right Andy, I was drinking and was a bit befuddled :rolleyes:

The CBR had "linked brakes", tap the rear and the front came on as well, at least that's what was supposed to happen, like I said I could never tell the difference.

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