[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Motorcycle ABS soon to become the norm


Takeo Fukui, president of Honda Motor Co., recently announced that by the 
end of 2007 (a scant 22 months away), every new Honda sport bike, touring 
bike, and large scooter would be introduced with a linked braking system and 
ABS. This info, as reported by Cycle Canada (March '05 issue, page 7) goes 
on to say that "by the end of 2010, every Honda motorcycle over 250 cc, with 
the exception of dirt bikes, will be available with linked ABS. Dual-sport 
models will also be offered with the design."

The ACEM (Association des Constructeurs Europeens de Motorcycle), which 
includes every major Japanese motorcycle manufacturer and European brands, 
announced that by the end of 2010, half of all models sold by represented 
companies will have "advanced braking systems." Harley-Davidson, who is not 
an ACEM member and whose loyal customer base despises the idea of ABS almost 
as much as fuel injection or overhead cams, has bowed to the influence of 
Unit Sales by developing ABS in response to Authority demand for this 

The CC article gives a nod to ABS-bashers who assert that a skilled rider 
without ABS can outbrake an ABS-equipped bike, with unspoken caveats 
including good traction conditions, and giving the skilled rider several 
practice runs to assess the actual limits of traction. Given a "real life" 
emergency in which the actual limits of traction are uncertain and/or the 
traction is poor, and the rider is given a single chance to respond, ABS 
outshines humans. According to studies, "[humans] don't perform at our best 
in an extreme emergency; our brains tend to simplify and reduce, focusing on 
a single action. With a conventional motorcycle, there is no single action 
that will result in efficient emergency braking -- by definition it's an 
example of multitasking -- but a linked braking system with ABS comes pretty 
close to offering a solution."

With widespread application of ABS on bikes, expect lighter, smaller, less 
expensive ABS units to be made, as well as units that are tuned for 
performance riding with faster cycle times.

You can find Cycle Canada online at www.cyclecanadamagazine.net. I highly 
recommend it as being informed, unbiased, well-written, and intelligent. 
Hell, they were even saying that BMW oilheads were enjoyable bikes back in 
the days when the rags couldn't find anything good to say about them. I am 
not associated with Cycle Canada or their relations.

- -Steve Makohin
 '01 R1100S/ABS