Originally Posted by Desert Dave
I've just got to ask, how long did you ride bikes without ABS and how did you live?
I've owned twenty something bikes without it and haven't once needed it to save my life or even prevent a crash, and there have been plenty of full on stops at well over 50 mph where i had to trust myself.
I respect everything in your post except that one line, I really think you aren't giving yourself enough credit. Seriously.
I can answer this question for myself. I rode for 16 years without abs. Being that I mostly rode sport bikes and had highly developed braking skills (I've won perhaps 50 bets that I could outstop others, never lost) I can only recall 5 times I over braked and crashed. (no crashes were into fixed objects, but deliberately or unintentionally putting a bike on it's side counts as a crash for me)
That said, the past 5 years have had a number of situations that where somewhere between annoyance and terror which I feel could have turned into a significant crash.
Why the desparity? Well, cars are making more bonehead maneuver, especially since smart phones became necessary for youthful existence, but truthfully, there is a bigger reason, i am riding faster, especially in questionable traction conditions.
In other words, I am taking advantage of the increased margin of safety abs provides by filling some of it with increased speed.
So does abs increase safety or simply increase speed?
I believe it increases safety, and so does every motorcycle insurance company who has studied it.
Am I depending on technology and allowing manly braking skills to rust?
Yes and no. I ceartnly do not practice unlocking wheels as often as I used to, but have also gained knoweledge on just how much traction is available under conditions I never did in the 16 years before it.
In any case it's going to become a moot discussion. Abs will be mandated on cars and motorcycles. Vehicle inspections will confirm it is not bypassed. The years of choice, sadly, are numbered and small.