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Discussion Starter #1
New rider here. I have been reading about abs brakes. Apparently BMW started putting them on all their bikes in 2012, but before it was only an option on more expensive models? I read that you are 30% more likely to either not crash or survive (can't remember) with abs but they are usually only on larger bikes. Since I am a beginner, I want to stick to 250cc or so. I read opinion on abs brakes is a bit divided. Does anyone have any advice or experience with this?

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Aging & Worn
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As regards ABS Brakes themselves, they can be a blessing and a curse, depending on the situation. I wouldn't necessarily avoid buying them, but it all depends on what you are most familiar with. There is a learning curve with them.

As regards the rider and the NEED for ABS Brakes, I'd say that aside from an unexpected emergency situation where the brake type becomes important, the way the driver approaches situations during their ride, has a direct affect on the need to even USE the brakes (either type).

If you want to pay more, for a bike with ABS Brakes, go ahead. Brakes that are NOT "ABS" are not necessarily "bad" at all, if you know how they respond and how to use them effectively. The reverse is also true.

-Soupy
 
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Discussion Starter #3
As regards ABS Brakes themselves, they can be a blessing and a curse, depending on the situation. I wouldn't necessarily avoid buying them, but it all depends on what you are most familiar with. There is a learning curve with them.

As regards the rider and the NEED for ABS Brakes, I'd say that aside from an unexpected emergency situation where the brake type becomes important, the way the driver approaches situations during their ride, has a direct affect on the need to even USE the brakes (either type).

If you want to pay more, for a bike with ABS Brakes, go ahead. Brakes that are NOT "ABS" are not necessarily "bad" at all, if you know how they respond and how to use them effectively. The reverse is also true.

-Soupy
Thank you for the excellent info :)

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I've seen various figures stating the case that ABS equipped bikes are safer, but I'm not sure I buy into it. Even if you accept that the numbers are good, as you've noted until recently, most most bike that come with ABS tended to be larger more expensive bikes. I would think that would tend to favor older more experienced riders as they have the means to purchase them and more road time, making them better riders. This is opposed to younger riders who drive bikes without ABS, but tend to driver faster and take more risks(I know I'm over generalizing here). Younger riders are also far more likely to crash and die than older riders. So the question becomes are ABS equipped bikes involved in less accidents because their riders are better more experienced riders or is it the ABS that's making the difference? I don't know. As usual the answer likely is somewhere in between.

I'd like my next bike, when I'm ready, to have ABS too cause you never know, but I'd agree keeping yourself out of dangerous situations is likely a better strategy for avoiding trouble than relying on your brakes. For example, if I'm coming up to an intersection with two cars and one is behind/beside the other and can't see me, I always slow down cause you never know they'll pull out in front of you, which I've had happen. Of course, there's no account for fate and I'm sure there's times when a car or deer darts out in front of you where ABS will make the difference. If having that gives some confidence, then perhaps it's worth it.

There are some smaller bikes like the Ninja 300 or Duke 390, I'm sure there's others, that give you the option or come with ABS, if that's what you want.
 

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I think someone else pointed out in another thread somewhere that the smaller bikes usually don't have ABS because it's cheaper that way, and easier for beginners to afford. It makes sense.
I don't think it's really a bad thing either way. I have heard of riders saying that ABS ruins the fun sometimes, like if they're experimenting with stunting.
I'm a new rider too, so I'm in the same boat as you. As far as I know, it can't hurt, though.
 

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If I were a beginning rider, I might have a different opinion, but since I have a good many miles on a variety of bikes without ABS brakes, and none that have ABS brakes, I prefer no ABS. As someone else said, a lot of it may be "what you are used to".

That said, unless I were REALLY convinced they were significantly safer, I would still prefer no ABS because:

1. additional expense
2. additional weight
3. something else to "go wrong" and have to maintain and repair

YMMV
 

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My own opinion is for a beginner to learn regular brakes before learning ABS. You need to know how to stop quick without your wheels locking up on you rather than relying on the bike to do it for you. I havent had the opportunity to ride a bike with ABS. But my cages, I'll take a non abs cage over an abs cage any day of the year.
 

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I've been teaching my son how to drive a cage. He was used to new cars with fuel injection. I took him out in my 89 Chevy with throttle body. Gas pedal is alot stiffer than what he was used to. Let's just say, I'm gonna need new tires by the time he figures it out. He either can't get it to go nowhere or he's doing burnouts, there's no inbetween with him.....These young kids just can't drive our older vehicles. Imagine if they had to ride a car without power steering or power brakes...lol
 

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Brakes

It will depend who answers the question and their experience.
I do not like them. I not no believe they stop my bike quicker than I can with out them.
I have the experience and the trophies to back up what I say, but young guys still disagree with me.

ABS may help some riders avoid a crash in the rain, which I suppose is a good thing. However, bike crashes are on the rise, and car crashes are going down.
Too many rookies ride bikes like an R6 Yamaha, and nothing will save them.
As long as the throttle has a link to their manhood, crashes will continue, ABS or not.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Gone.
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Many ABS systems are beyond the ability of the rider or shade tree mechanic to repair or service safely. In some cases even independent shops will not be able to completely repair them.

I'm sure they're great in certain situations, (and they can be a lot of fun to play with!) but they are not a replacement for good training and experience. Any rider, particularly a new rider, who depends on ABS brakes but doesn't have sufficient braking skills is a liability to himself and others, no matter how good his computer assisted brakes are.
 

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Personally, I like ABS. I had them on my FJR (large, heavy bike). I have them on my BMW now.

I did not specifically opt for ABS on either bike, it just happened to be on both each one, in addition to other options I wanted.

When I tested it on the FJR, it gave me a sense of confidence that I was not going to skid the tires under maximum braking. The brakes definitely pulsed, so I know it was working. (It should be noted that is with the bike upright and in a straight line, if it is leaned over, ABS will do very little.)

Other than testing it, I have never had to use ABS in an actual situation. As others have noted, take precautions so you don't put yourself in a bad situation to begin with.
 

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I've been teaching my son how to drive a cage. He was used to new cars with fuel injection. I took him out in my 89 Chevy with throttle body. Gas pedal is alot stiffer than what he was used to. Let's just say, I'm gonna need new tires by the time he figures it out. He either can't get it to go nowhere or he's doing burnouts, there's no inbetween with him.....These young kids just can't drive our older vehicles. Imagine if they had to ride a car without power steering or power brakes...lol
I used to hang out with a guy in high school who drove this ancient lifted Ford with no power steering. I always made fun of him because he had to work so hard to make the damn thing turn :biggrin:
I agree, old cages are a lost art. I drive a car that's almost as old as I am, none of those new fancy expensive cars for me... Plus older vehicles just have that charm to them, you know?
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you everyone for all the replies. It is looking like I should probably avoid them for now. Maybe someday when I have more experience and a larger bike but it sounds like I should know how to ride without them first and I never thought about the extra weight.

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Discussion Starter #14
I used to hang out with a guy in high school who drove this ancient lifted Ford with no power steering. I always made fun of him because he had to work so hard to make the damn thing turn
I agree, old cages are a lost art. I drive a car that's almost as old as I am, none of those new fancy expensive cars for me... Plus older vehicles just have that charm to them, you know?
Someone tried to steel my aunt's car and gave it back because he couldn't drive a stick lolz. I can't laugh though, I have only driven automatic. My mom says everyone should know how to drive a manual though.

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My own opinion is for a beginner to learn regular brakes before learning ABS. You need to know how to stop quick without your wheels locking up on you rather than relying on the bike to do it for you. I havent had the opportunity to ride a bike with ABS. But my cages, I'll take a non abs cage over an abs cage any day of the year.
i can not understand the logic in this. It should be the other way around. Learn on an ABS bike. If you lock up abs comes on you stay upright. but can consider that a fail in braking. You want to keep it at the threshold of lock up, if you do that on non abs you probably be on your face on pavement. A nooby probably not have the experience to recover from a lock up.

It like saying you should learn to fly in a real plane first before you try to fly in a simulator. Where the first one you crash you die, second one you reset and start again.
 

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Subversive
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I'm not sure what the resistance to ABS is about among long time riders...

I am also not familiar with the performance numbers on Bike ABS...

However, I am familiar with their use on cars and the entire point of their use is to take the skill factor out of the use of brakes.. That means that a moron who has no idea how to brake properly OR who in the moment of a serious braking emergency can get close to optimum braking performance without losing the ability to maintain control of the vehicle while applying a full all out brake...

This doesn't mean riders need not know how to brake properly or ride properly but the idea was to save lives and by all accounts in cars that have them they do.. I would be surprised going forward if they didn't also save lives on bikes.
 

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I never flew in a simulator, went straight to the real thing. I did test ride a bike with ABS, I'll take my chances with real brakes instead of computer controlled slow-u-downs. On dry pavement, I can out-stop ABS on the same bike. I imagine they are great on ice and rain, but I like to stop faster sometimes, even if that means burning a little rubber, that's why tires are made of rubber.

Learn to ride a bike without all the stuff to dumb a person down, then after they real learning, go to something more for non thinking mode.
 

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Subversive
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I can out-stop ABS on the same bike.
Given today's systems that's quite a feat... The puters check something like 50 times a second although I'd have to check that...

With today's tech most people could not out stop them...


And then there's, rain, sand, ice, leaves, pebbles and other road surface issues where they will almost certainly out perform human skills.

Aside from the PITA of repairing them I think the resistance of long time riders is more from a (my grandmother never did it) angle... :biggrin:
 

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I don't let off the brakes, I check them once and add more or less if it's needed, a computer is either on or off, there's no neutral ground.

I took them off the truck, couldn't get stopped at stop signs on gravel roads, slid out in front of a semi. I may have been going a little fast, but my old Chevy never had a problem.
 

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Subversive
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I don't let off the brakes, I check them once and add more or less if it's needed, a computer is either on or off, there's no neutral ground.

I took them off the truck, couldn't get stopped at stop signs on gravel roads, slid out in front of a semi. I may have been going a little fast, but my old Chevy never had a problem.
Computers certainly have the ability to modulate...they fly most planes, as you probably know..(FBW) I would have to go research the current ABS technology, which really I'd rather not... but even on or off, yes at 50 times a second....

There is no question they can outperform humans to the tune of 99.99%+ in most cases in most systems... and of course tech only gets better and ABS has been around for quite a while.

If they can save just one person, and likely far far more then to me it's a no brainer.
 
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