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.