Thread: ABS off road??
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:30 AM   #69
not dead yet
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Western Mass
Oddometer: 30,482
Originally Posted by Nerb View Post
I also note that you do specifically say "loose dirt conditions"... how loose would you say? Loose enough to pile up gravel in front of the wheel in the second or less that you have it locked?
I have had it happen several times on maintained dirt roads (that conventional cars go on) that merely had a layer of "marbles" (small round gravel). It's not like it has to be deep sand or gravel or deep ANYTHING. It just has to have loose stuff.

Of course soccer mom would be driving her car 15-20 mph on that road and maybe I'm trying to come down from 45 to make that curve, I want all the braking I can get. There are specific places where I know it can be done with a non-ABS bike because I do exactly that on my non-ABS bike on that same road. If I turn off my ABS on my ABS bike, I know it can also be done on my big bike because I have done it, on that same road. But the first time when I didn't know to turn off the ABS, or the other time when I forgot? Pucker time into the weeds with both brakes mashed and no fucking stopping power.

I've also had it happen on a powerline trail where I forgot to re-sequence the ABS-off procedure after a stall and restart. Yes my error but it would be more user-friendly if there was a simple throw on/off toggle. And descending a chute lined with smaller round loose rocks (not baby heads but more like golf balls to baseballs) on a now-trail that was a road decades ago but only a rock-crawler Jeep could do it now.

The ABS has nothing to do with going 60 mph or more down a straight firm dirt road where you aren't braking anyway, any more than ABS on pavement is involved when cruising down the interstate. All I know from experience is that ABS in loose off road conditions provides MUCH less braking than I am used to when riding non-ABS bikes in the same conditions. I have had both ABS and non-ABS Big Bikes. I would rather not have ABS in dirt for when it matters, but most of the mileage it doesn't come into play so I don't stop and turn it off every time I turn onto a dirt road. Unfortunately there have been times I wish I had.

Maybe my comfort zone and perspective are different from a lot of other folks here. I rode dirt-only for four years before I was even old enough to get a street license, and then didn't even get on a street bike for another 30 years. I only went to more pavement oriented bike when I started to get old. I know what I expect dirt braking to be, and with ABS I know I don't have it.
Advanced pancreatic cancer found 04/2010. Have outlived +/- 97% of patients with this diagnosis, but 08/2013 cancer now in liver, vascular system and lungs with 20+ lung tumors. Sick/weak sometimes, not riding much. No more treatments & now under Hospice care.
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