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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a minor crash on my last bike a little over a decade ago when I gave it too much front brake and it locked up, when I let go of the brake the bike fell sideways soon as it the front wheel started rolling again. So this time I paid the few hundred extra bucks extra and got the ABS version. I do all street riding (no track) and worry about cars pulling out in front of me. Was getting the ABS a smart choice?
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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If you feel safer with it, then yes it was worth it.
 
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I have a bike with ABS, and I've been riding for the majority of my life (sometimes competitively) and I'll never own another bike that doesn't have both ABS and traction control. There's really no reason not to have it.
 

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05 so no ABS. If I ever get a new bike I might look at the possibilities but I would not choose a bike just for that option. When you do clamp down and hold does it pulse like a car does?
 

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ABS and linked brakes are great for those that aren't able to learn to release the brakes just before lockup. That takes practice but ABS and linked brakes especially will help many riders. Personally I do not like ABS. Especially on gravel. I have to feel what's going on and ABS makes it feel like marbles on gravel. That's feeling I do not like. Haven't tried linked brakes but I can certainly see how new riders and those that don't or won't practice braking could benefit from them. As far as do ABS pulse like a car? I guess you could call it that. To be honest, I scrub speed so fast that I never get to that point on the street and as I said, I don't care for the feel on gravel so I guess it's pulsing. I end up pumping the brakes quickly myself knowing exactly what to expect then. They are aids at best. Aids I don't much care for. I did take my BMW over 100mph once and laid on the front brake and it did have a very rapid pulse that was controllable. But I still didn't like how they worked on gravel although it's the best I've had to date.
 

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The ABS v. non-ABS debate used to rage… I’ve never had ABS, but can see its usefulness – I got behind a guy on a late 90s Harley (pronounced rear-brake bias – single puck front) whose experience was predominantly Honda and Kawasaki – he was goofing around a bit on his newly purchased HD, when a car surprised him and he nailed the brakes – front didn’t lock, rear locked up solid – once he realized what he’d done, he sort of panicked and let loose of the rear which had started to walk out on him … instant high-side; fortunately at only about 15MPH – black and blue, but the bike did a barrel-roll and was heavily pranged… At the time I was riding a Nomad as well as a similar vintage Ultra and I know the braking reaction was very different between them… I always thought that ABS might have saved the day for him in that situation…

I look at C14 Connies rather lustfully, but I think given that my reaction time is probably measurable slower than it used to be –ABS with traction control might be something for me to look for in a truly higher-performance machine (currently have a C10 which seems quite predictable, tho’…)
 

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What Critter said.
It will not be long, and all us old riders will be gone. Then everyone will say ABS is the way to go.
I would rather not have them, or linked brakes. My Suzuki and my Triumph, have the same front brakes, so I do have a good comparison. The Suzuki has ABS. Whatever you have, the front end will slide on gravel around a bend, with enough speed.

UK
 

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Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks as long as you are comfortable with it.

I've never had a bike with ABS, but with or without ABS wouldn't be a determining factor if I were to get a new bike. :)
 

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What Critter said.
It will not be long, and all us old riders will be gone. Then everyone will say ABS is the way to go.
I would rather not have them, or linked brakes. My Suzuki and my Triumph, have the same front brakes, so I do have a good comparison. The Suzuki has ABS. Whatever you have, the front end will slide on gravel around a bend, with enough speed.

UK
I really dislike linked brakes, but I think ABS is pretty nice. I can switch it off on my Ducati altogether, but I really see no need to do so while on the street. It is a PITA on gravel, and when I'm late-breaking, the chatter from the rear wheel is pain enough that on the track, I'll switch it off altogether. I think that the majority of guys who feel that they can stop faster with standard brakes are probably being a bit optimistic. Unless a fellow is Marc Marquez and can taste the limit, I think ABS is nothing but a benefit (on pavement, off the track).
 

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What Critter said.
It will not be long, and all us old riders will be gone. Then everyone will say ABS is the way to go.
I would rather not have them, or linked brakes. My Suzuki and my Triumph, have the same front brakes, so I do have a good comparison. The Suzuki has ABS. Whatever you have, the front end will slide on gravel around a bend, with enough speed.

UK
Maybe folks would do better with training wheels UK.:devil::devil::devil: I think far too many ride too far above their skill level myself. Yet won't take the time to learn. So they expect gadgets to fix it for them. Sure I've wrecked. I darn sure didn't blame the brakes or the bike. I took full responsibility. Another thing people don't like to do. But that's just my opinion.
 

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Maybe folks would do better with training wheels UK.:devil::devil::devil: I think far too many ride too far above their skill level myself. Yet won't take the time to learn. So they expect gadgets to fix it for them. Sure I've wrecked. I darn sure didn't blame the brakes or the bike. I took full responsibility. Another thing people don't like to do. But that's just my opinion.
It's called progress, and it's the reason the world goes 'round. Why aren't you just sending us all this message via carrier pigeon? Everyone knows computers are for these danggum lazy, no account baby boomers and their rock and roll music! ;)
 

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Call it whatever you want. It might be something new, but it might not be progress. Reading many comments here, a lot of folks are saying we are going backwards.

My 1983 XS400 made 45 hp when new. We have progressed so much, that none of the new 399 and under bikes make 45 hp.
If ABS is great: why can't we find a reliable rating system? Top ten ABS systems. Some say BMW systems are really good. How does that translate into a comparison to other bikes? How do we know the ABS system on the bike we just bought, is as good as another bike. I watched a test of none ABS, with training wheels, versus a bike with ABS. They used an SV1000S like mine. You can not turn off the ABS on that bike. I suspect some trickery.

ABS has to be a bit like traction control in reverse. We know that getting traction control correct is difficult, because the MotoGP teams tell us it is one of the most difficult things to do. They wisely do not use ABS. If traction control has its problems, ABS must have its problems. How do we know it is working properly. Ever tried to adjust it?

Most of the positive reviews come from younger folk, who have mostly never practiced extreme braking, and never experienced a lot of dirt riding, and locking the wheels. Plus the magazine folks who flog everything as progress.
We have gone from adjusting valves on a lazy afternoon, at home for free, to having no idea how to adjust the valves, and or buying a shim kit for $125, or paying the bike shop $500 to adjust the valves. That is progress.

We do not have to refer to Margez. Any expert rider, who has raced against other expert riders, and placed reasonably well, will have a good idea of how to stop.
If you ride defensively, and sensibly, the need for the absolute bestess in braking is not an absolute requirement. Besides, I am going to guess that there are only a few here, riding a bike with the bestess in brakes.

And then there are the tyres. Did you pick them for their braking ability, or the number of miles they will last? Or what they do in the rain? The bike magazines are still using 60 and 100 as their main units for braking distances.

ABS will not fix the problem of a rider entering a corner to fast, going to wide, and nailing something solid. Their target fixation may cause them to grab the front brake, as hard as they can, and I suppose praying.

What Critter said, way up there.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wonder for a novice rider how much abs helps if they happen to yank on the brakes WHILST leaned over on the street in case you were in a corner and suddenly come across a stopped car, animal etc?
 

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I've owned bikes with ABS & without ABS and yes ABS is worth it. But like someone else stated earlier, I wouldn't let that be the deciding factor in purchasing a particular bike. IMO, ABS & traction control are some of the best technological advances in motorcycling during our time.
 

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I wonder for a novice rider how much abs helps if they happen to yank on the brakes WHILST leaned over on the street in case you were in a corner and suddenly come across a stopped car, animal etc?
I think they would be of minimal help. All the braking tests, and ABS demos are done vertical. Standing the bike up first, and then braking hard would work. But the option may not be available.
We also need to remove yank, and replace it with squeeze, firmly if need be.
Riding in the dirt, is how we learn to use too much brake, while leaning and cornering. Practicing with front and back brakes, separately at first, then together.

Most riders like the ABS, for when a cage pulls suddenly appears at 90 degrees in front of us. Defensive riding courses are of much benefit with these situations. I am sure the modern riding schools cover this stuff. Meanwhile ride at a speed you are comfortable with. Do not get sucked by following guys like me.

Whenever I ride with others, I ask them what speed they like to travel at. I can be flexible.

UK
 

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How do we know the ABS system on the bike we just bought, is as good as another bike
It seems like the Bosch safety back (traction/abs/wheelie) is probably the best. I'm not sure how often you see it on, for example, Japanese bikes, but it finds its way to a lot of European machines. Even my friends small 380 Husky has the Bosch ABS system, which works extremely well

We have gone from adjusting valves on a lazy afternoon, at home for free, to having no idea how to adjust the valves, and or buying a shim kit for $125, or paying the bike shop $500 to adjust the valves. That is progress.
I had my Desmo service done a month or so ago, and not only did Ducati extend the valve adjustment intervals to 30,000 KM, but mine didn't even need adjusting. Coincidentally, the desmodromic valve was invented to address the issues with springs that material sciences eventually solved, so it really is progress.

ABS has to be a bit like traction control in reverse. We know that getting traction control correct is difficult, because the MotoGP teams tell us it is one of the most difficult things to do. They wisely do not use ABS. If traction control has its problems, ABS must have its problems.
I think that the impact of traction control on MotoGP is actually a pretty good indication of how much such technologies can level the playing field. I think Marc Marquez is going to dominate no matter what, but how would Casey Stoner perform on today's bikes where homogolation over the ECU / tires / et al can have such an impact? I'm a huge Dovi fan, but I don't believe for a second that he's been the second best rider in the paddock since 2017. A smart racer can now compete with an insanely good rider (the best whose ever lived?) because the bike makes throttle control just that much less important. Remember last year when Marquez clipped Pedrosa's back end, severing communication with his traction control system and sending the bike flying? These technologies have had a huge impact, and on the street amongst mortals, I think it's only been for the good.

How do we know it is working properly. Ever tried to adjust it?
My bike has 3 settings for ABS and 8 for traction control. I can slide my back end through a corner without any intervention, or I can have it engage if I sneeze too hard. This is the first bike I've had with either safety system, and I'm nothing but impressed with how well it works.

And then there are the tyres. Did you pick them for their braking ability, or the number of miles they will last? Or what they do in the rain? The bike magazines are still using 60 and 100 as their main units for braking distances.
I buy my tires for their stickiness (currently run Michelin Power RS) because tires are the most important safety factor a bike has outside of the nut behind the handlebars. I change my own tires though, so I don't go broke trying to keep a fresh set of tires only that last only 3 to 4 thousand miles. Not a lot of people have the ability to use the best set of tires, though. If I didn't have a garage with a nice selection of tools and the ability to deal with the frustration of changing tires, I might consider a harder compound. Guys are going to do that either way, regardless of whether they have ABS to help compensate.

ABS will not fix the problem of a rider entering a corner to fast, going to wide, and nailing something solid. Their target fixation may cause them to grab the front brake, as hard as they can, and I suppose praying.
It sure wont, but we can't lament the demise of people's participation in motorcycling because of the perceived danger, and at the same time the efforts of manufacturers to make their bikes safer. The fact is, the vast majority of people who ride are not overly skilled. Even people who think they are would probably be surprised with how poorly they would react in a real emergency situation. I don't see why we wouldn't want bikes to be safer.

Please understand that I'm not criticizing you. I have a lot of respect for you as a poster and long-time user of 2 wheeled contraptions. I also love meeting a fellow former racer / race fan in the wild, and feel we both have some good insight into the mechanics of bikes moving at high speeds. I'm just giving my impression from a younger generation who grew up immersed in technology.
 

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I wonder for a novice rider how much abs helps if they happen to yank on the brakes WHILST leaned over on the street in case you were in a corner and suddenly come across a stopped car, animal etc?
It does help, but it's important to remember that a lot of ABS systems do not have corner ABS: if you lean the bike over, it's disengaged. I think it has a lot of benefit in corners. You can slide the butt around and recover, but breaking too hard without ABS can cause the front to wash out. You can learn to trail brake I guess, but that's not something that's especially easy to learn to do.
 

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I really dislike linked brakes, but I think ABS is pretty nice. I can switch it off on my Ducati altogether, but I really see no need to do so while on the street. It is a PITA on gravel, and when I'm late-breaking, the chatter from the rear wheel is pain enough that on the track, I'll switch it off altogether. I think that the majority of guys who feel that they can stop faster with standard brakes are probably being a bit optimistic. Unless a fellow is Marc Marquez and can taste the limit, I think ABS is nothing but a benefit (on pavement, off the track).
I don't want either one. I've been riding for over 50 years and never needed that **** back then and I don't need it now.
My present Goldwing has linked brakes. I really wish there was a way to disconnect them, but there isn't . Luckily it's old enough that it doesn't have ABS.
 

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They only had one bike left and it came with ABS so that's what I got.
 
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