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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished the motorcycle safety course. We had one main instructor and another that helped with the riding portion. I found it interesting that the two instructors had opposing views on ABS brakes.

Instructor #1 said that he would never again buy a bike without ABS, because it isn't that much more money, and because new bikes, along with ABS, come with traction control systems that do all kinds of things to keep the bike under control and the rider safe.

Instructor #2 said that a bike with ABS cannot brake in as short of a distance as a bike with good disc brakes because the ABS brakes are modulating on and off, so during the "off" time the bike will roll some. He did go on to say that his BMW adventure bike does have ABS because he got a good deal on it, but that he would not have spent the extra money for it otherwise.

I'm sure this discussion has been had over and over again, but I don't think we can talk too much about safety, and these conversations are helpful on the new rider forum. Debate :)
 

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I just finished the motorcycle safety course. We had one main instructor and another that helped with the riding portion. I found it interesting that the two instructors had opposing views on ABS brakes.

Instructor #1 said that he would never again buy a bike without ABS, because it isn't that much more money, and because new bikes, along with ABS, come with traction control systems that do all kinds of things to keep the bike under control and the rider safe.

Instructor #2 said that a bike with ABS cannot brake in as short of a distance as a bike with good disc brakes because the ABS brakes are modulating on and off, so during the "off" time the bike will roll some. He did go on to say that his BMW adventure bike does have ABS because he got a good deal on it, but that he would not have spent the extra money for it otherwise.

I'm sure this discussion has been had over and over again, but I don't think we can talk too much about safety, and these conversations are helpful on the new rider forum. Debate :)
You cannot brake faster, safer, or shorter than abs unless you're a professional rider and not in panic mode out on the street. The internet is full of super human riders and the hospitals and grave yards are filled with mortals.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You cannot brake faster, safer, or shorter than abs unless you're a professional rider and not in panic mode out on the street. The internet is full of super human riders and the hospitals and grave yards are filled with mortals.

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I think that is reasonable. I would not rule out all non-ABS bikes however. I don't believe that you are doomed to death if you don't have it, nor do I think you are completely safe with it.
 

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I think that is reasonable. I would not rule out all non-ABS bikes however. I don't believe that you are doomed to death if you don't have it, nor do I think you are completely safe with it.
I certainly wasn't implying that you are doomed, going to die, marked for death or can't possibly brake without ABS. The average rider...even a great rider cannot out brake ABS except in very limited specific instances. A panic stop is not one of those instances.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I certainly wasn't implying that you are doomed, going to die, marked for death or can't possibly brake without ABS. The average rider...even a great rider cannot out brake ABS except in very limited specific instances. A panic stop is not one of those instances.

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Yeah, I agree. I think, though, that sometimes things like ABS give us a false sense of security. How much more effective would ABS be with a rider who is skilled at braking with regular brakes?
 

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Yeah, I agree. I think, though, that sometimes things like ABS give us a false sense of security. How much more effective would ABS be with a rider who is skilled at braking with regular brakes?
100% agree. Electronics are no substitute for knowledge and skills

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The last two bikes we bought, 2016 Road Kings, we bought specifically set up without ABS. Why? Because I can maintain and repair a non-ABS brake system for many, many years without the need to take it to a dealer or pay anyone else to work on it or purchase expensive electronic equipment for my own shop. I will never have any doubts as to whether our brakes are in the best shape they can be.

Yes, ABS does work, and it's pretty darn cool when combined with linked braking! No, we cannot out-brake an ABS equipped bike. No way, no how.

But we've both been riding awhile now and so far there has never been a situation where our current skill level and riding practices were not sufficient. Over 60 years combined riding experience and we have never needed ABS. Not even once. So we'll stick to what we know works for us and continue to practice and stay proficient with that skill set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The last two bikes we bought, 2016 Road Kings, we bought specifically set up without ABS. Why? Because I can maintain and repair a non-ABS brake system for many, many years without the need to take it to a dealer or pay anyone else to work on it or purchase expensive electronic equipment for my own shop. I will never have any doubts as to whether our brakes are in the best shape they can be.

Yes, ABS does work, and it's pretty darn cool when combined with linked braking! No, we cannot out-brake an ABS equipped bike. No way, no how.

But we've both been riding awhile now and so far there has never been a situation where our current skill level and riding practices were not sufficient. Over 60 years combined riding experience and we have never needed ABS. Not even once. So we'll stick to what we know works for us and continue to practice and stay proficient with that skill set.
Well said.
 

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I have never rode and or owned a bike with ABS in my 34 years of riding. I myself would not pay extra for ABS but on the other hand I would not defer from buying a bike just because it had it.

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ABS brakes are not a replacement for good basic braking skills. If you buy a bike with ABS with the idea you no longer need to brake as good as you possibly can and just depend on ABS to bail you out you will be saying good morning to nurses at some point. I've had ABS on two bikes. My BMW they never activated unless I purposes made them. But I never rode that bike in gravel much either. The bike I have now I can honestly say I can't stand ABS brakes. They activate too often and cause me to have to use both brakes all the time to stop in the same distance just the front would stop normally. ABS are worthless on loose road conditions compared to good braking skills. I can still stop quickly using just the front brake but I use good braking skills to do it. If I depended on ABS brakes I'd be in a ditch or crash into something very quickly. So ABS are no substitute for good braking.
 
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I believe ABS and traction control are good while they are functioning. It/They do add a new layer to things that can break though. Most say when they malfunction they just stop working, which is not always the case. The issue I had was on a 1997 f150 4WD and they failed some circuit board went bad, via on a very light stop it stopped me from being able to apply any brake pressure. I stood on the brakes and when they decided to let me have control, since I was standing on them it was instant lock up and damn near rear ended a car. I don't trust technology I can not turn off.
 

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I'm a believer in ABS. FEW riders will practice enough to become proficient enough with non ABS systems so that they'll be able to brake as effectively as an ABS will allow them to do in a panic situation. Fewer still, will be able to release and reapply their brakes to allow them to regain control of a skid that accompanies locked brakes. Skidding on a bike probably means a fall. Given that many riders believe that even looking at the front brake of a non ABS system will catapult them over the handlebars, and so they only use the rear brake, an ABS system will allow them to use both front an rear brakes.

On a recent ride I saw a rider lock up his rear wheel, go sideways, run off the road, fortunately into soft sand, and go down. On that same ride I was overtaking a driver with a speed differential of about 35 mph, who changed lanes on me at the last moment. I braked with both brakes as hard as I could. I could feel the brakes pulsing as the ABS controlled them. I'm pretty sure that if I did not have ABS, I'd have taken the asphalt slide after running into the rear of that car, or that I'd have locked up at least one of my wheels and that would have put me on the deck.

Lots of people think that they're competent enough to brake better without ABS than the system will allow them to do with it. But if they don't practice panic stops regularly, it's doubtful that they truly are. It's a perishable skill.

It's not mandated on cars yet, but probably will be soon. Bikes will probably follow.
 

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Unfortunately, Beemer K-Bikes with ABS are known to fail when brushes in the pump motor get stuck. Dealers will charge up to $3000 to install a new ABS pump, or if you do your own wrenching, you can send the failed unit to MODULE MASTER to be rebuilt. They charge about $250 plus about $30 shipping costs in each direction. Turnaround time is about a week.
 

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Yeah, I agree. I think, though, that sometimes things like ABS give us a false sense of security. How much more effective would ABS be with a rider who is skilled at braking with regular brakes?
The difference between life and death might be only a few feet of stopping distance. My current ride is the only bike I've had with ABS. I've only used it a few time to test it. I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
 

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Marvel mystery oil mixed with 3 in 1, sewing machine oil and just a tad of extra virgin olive oil for a nice exhaust smell:grin:

Sam:nerd:
 

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I'm a believer in ABS. FEW riders will practice enough to become proficient enough with non ABS systems so that they'll be able to brake as effectively as an ABS will allow them to do in a panic situation. Fewer still, will be able to release and reapply their brakes to allow them to regain control of a skid that accompanies locked brakes. Skidding on a bike probably means a fall. Given that many riders believe that even looking at the front brake of a non ABS system will catapult them over the handlebars, and so they only use the rear brake, an ABS system will allow them to use both front an rear brakes.

On a recent ride I saw a rider lock up his rear wheel, go sideways, run off the road, fortunately into soft sand, and go down. On that same ride I was overtaking a driver with a speed differential of about 35 mph, who changed lanes on me at the last moment. I braked with both brakes as hard as I could. I could feel the brakes pulsing as the ABS controlled them. I'm pretty sure that if I did not have ABS, I'd have taken the asphalt slide after running into the rear of that car, or that I'd have locked up at least one of my wheels and that would have put me on the deck.

Lots of people think that they're competent enough to brake better without ABS than the system will allow them to do with it. But if they don't practice panic stops regularly, it's doubtful that they truly are. It's a perishable skill.

It's not mandated on cars yet, but probably will be soon. Bikes will probably follow.
Sorry but that statement is just plain wrong. ABS doesn't magically get riders to use both brakes properly. ABS is no substitute for good braking skills. Now if you said ABS with "linked" brakes I would agree. It's linked brakes that are going to save riders that are too lazy to understand and use good braking skills. ABS just doesn't magically get a rider to use the front brake instead of the rear. I guess you can just say all bikes have ABS then if that's all it takes to get a rider to use the front brake. That is the problem with most riders I agree. But that's back to practicing good braking skills. I can see where this is going to go.:surprise::sad:
 
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Sorry but that statement is just plain wrong. ABS doesn't magically get riders to use both brakes properly. ABS is no substitute for good braking skills. Now if you said ABS with "linked" brakes I would agree. It's linked brakes that are going to save riders that are too lazy to understand and use good braking skills. ABS just doesn't magically get a rider to use the front brake instead of the rear. I guess you can just say all bikes have ABS then if that's all it takes to get a rider to use the front brake. That is the problem with most riders I agree. But that's back to practicing good braking skills. I can see where this is going to go.:surprise::sad:
Even linked brakes don't work the same as using both brakes. Proper braking at all times with any system is important.

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Sorry but that statement is just plain wrong. ABS doesn't magically get riders to use both brakes properly.
Sorry, I should have gone into more detail. Accompanied by proper and appropriate training ABS will allow riders to use the front brake strongly without fear of going over the bars. Training on how ABS works will give fearful riders the confidence to use the front brake, which, as most of us here probably know, gives far more stopping power than the rear brake alone. Of course, maximum stopping power comes from using both front and rear brakes, and practicing their application regularly."

ABS is no substitute for good braking skills.
Of course not. There is no substitute for good training, and that is probably the best place to learn "good braking skills." "Good training" will include instruction and practice in emergency braking, using BOTH front and rear brakes at the same time.

Now if you said ABS with "linked" brakes I would agree. It's linked brakes that are going to save riders that are too lazy to understand and use good braking skills. ABS just doesn't magically get a rider to use the front brake instead of the rear.
Some systems give equal braking to both front and rear brakes if only one brake system is used. (That is, if only the front lever is pressed, it distributes equal force to both front and rear systems). Some will give 90% to the system that is in use, giving the other 10% to the system that is not in use. Other systems are in between these. There is some disagreement as to what distribution of braking force is best.

I guess you can just say all bikes have ABS then if that's all it takes to get a rider to use the front brake.
I’m sorry to have not gone far enough in my first post.
 
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