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- Subject: RE: ABS
- From: "John Dancoe" <jdan@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 18:29:52 -0500
I know I'm going to regret chiming in on this subject again...but here goes
Two things I noted in the Kneebone article.
1. Of the various surface/obstacle conditions tested, rough rippled pavement
was not among them. It was precisely this condition which, on multiple
occasions and not just in Michigan, caused anomalous ABS behaviour on my bike
that flat scared the hell out of me. I was, and remain, convinced that those
specific, particular situations would have been utterly non-memorable if the
ABS had not activated. Conversely, I do not have any "ABS saved my butt"
stories (though I'm sure many riders do).
The roads in Michigan have not gotten any better since I removed the ABS.
And I've not had a single terrifying experience while riding since then,
2. "Although ABS bikes have several more feet of plumbing, which could
theoretically make for mushy or less reactive brakes, except for our Racer
(who insisted all the bikes needed braided steel brake lines), our testers
felt the ABS bikes equaled the feel of the stock machines."
Gotta agree with Racer: my RS brakes always had a disgustingly mushy feel,
from day one and no matter how often the fluid was changed, until I removed
the ABS. Since then, with braided lines up front...oooooooh what a nice, firm
feel. Night and day difference. I savor it every time I ride, this morning's
Now, having said all that (and hoping here's a bit of fire-prevention):
A. The article--not to mention persuasive arguments from the likes of listers
like Steve M.--is pretty convincing. Not quite enough to make me want to
re-install my ABS, but enough that I'll certainly consider an ABS-equipped
bike when the time comes to replace my current mount; but you can bet I'll
hunt down some seriously screwed-up pavement for my test ride.
And yes, yes, I know I'm making the utterly unwarranted assumption that I'll
somehow survive without ABS until then.
B. It's my understanding that BMW ABS has evolved at least one generation
since the ABSII which came on my early '93 RS. Quite possibly a unit with a
faster modulation rate would not be affected by rough pavement the way mine
was. Maybe I'd like the Honda or Yamaha ABS a lot better. I'll find out,
because I don't plan to automatically replace my RS with another BMW.
C. Maybe my particular ABS unit was defective all along. I know for a fact it
was set up wrong initially: it was way too trigger-happy--but I didn't know
any better--until the first time I replaced the front tire which (I theorize)
resulted in the sensor gap finally getting set correctly. But the realization
that the system had all that time been seriously malfunctional, and had
unquestionably compromised braking effectiveness, certainly left a sour taste
that never went away.
'93 R1100RS x-ABS x-Bing x-teal seat