View Full Version : Bikes with ABS?
Anyone ever ridden a bike with ABS? Now that GEICO has written me a check for my SV, I am looking at the Bandit w/ ABS. I am gonna test ride it, but frankly I don't want to test out the ABS myself (last thing I wanna do is set a new bike down) and am therefore curious about your opinions of it.
This is not an answer to your question, as I have never ridden a motorcycle with ABS. However, and I know motorcycle ABS has been around for a long time, but I still think it is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Of course IMO.
I have ABS on my BMW K1100LT and only twice have I applied the brakes hard enough to test it. Once when I came within a heartbeat of hitting a deer at high speed, it bounded out of my path at the last instant and a second time when I actually hit a deer with the right side of the engine and my right foot. Its a strange feeling to have that pulsating feeling when you're clamping on the brakes as hard as you can. Did it help, it did prevent locking up the wheels and possibly sliding down.
A week ago I had a cager pull in front of me on my dirt-bike and I left a couple 10-15 foot strips of rubber from locking up the wheels. The bike was falling over in the skid as the car passed in front of me and I still had enough momentum, that upon releasing my death grip on the brakes, I was able to keep things upright, the driver never looked sideways. ABS in this instance would have kept the bike more verticle but may have reduced the deceleration to the point of hitting him/her. It was one of these incidents that was so close that you can just imagine (in a nanosecond) how much this is going to hurt and then you're doing your best to keep things shiny side up.
You need to do a lot of research and see if ABS on a bike is really for you. ABS generally only work well on a bike when you brake hard while the bike is more vertical.
Jam on ABS while you corner for whatever reasons (emergency, etc.) and you're still gonna go bye-bye.
So, yes, ABS helps on a bike but only in very limited applications unlike in a car. The one thing I hate about BMW's ABS system is that they link the front and rear brake together. Sounds cool in theory, sucks in real life.
I rode a ST1100 with ABS/TCS and loved it. As mentioned it works best upright and I purposely jumped on the brakes in slick conditions to see how it worked. Flawless. Doesn't hurt at all when not needed, but if you should have to use it...why not?
ABS is like the slipper clutch. It fills in where the rider can't. HH
I have ABS and the linked braking system on my BMW K1200LT, and love it. Best brakes I have ever experienced on any motorcycle.
And as far as BMW ABS system goes, most of them are junk. The earlier ones don't work worth a damn, electronics fritzing out, pumping going out (boocoo dollars). The ABS system went out on my Bimmer and thank goodness I had a couple of weeks left on my warranty. Otherwise, the replacement cost alone would have been $2000 not counting labor. And then the R1150R/RT/GS generation (Oil Heads) had the servo assist on top of the regular ABS. I'd like to take that bastard that designed the servo assist and the bastard that OKed it for incorporation into the overall design and stake them over an African ant hill.
The servo assist is another one that sounds great in theory but suck in real life. Supposedly the theory is that it allows the rider to brake extremely hard without pulling hard on the brake lever. And it does that but the downsides are:
1. Zero feedback/feel.
2. The damn thing is either on or off so it's very difficult to modulate the brake's engagement. You want just a hair of brake and the damn thing slams on you anyway.
3. Serious drain on the battery. Use it enough in stop & go traffic and you actually drain the battery and puts the ABS system into a fritz.
4. The damn whine from the servo is like irriting as hell.
Anyway, the current BMW ABS system had done away with the servo assist and the pump is a lot smaller and "supposedly" more reliable. As for me, the more I ride, the less enamored I am with ABS, and definitely a HELL NO on linked brakes. You can't load the front for better cornering when you have linked brakes going off at the same time. Right now I'm trying to figure a way to remove the damn ABS system from my BMW and go with regular system. Unfortunately it's not as easy as taking the damn pump out.
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