Originally Posted by viverrid
For anyone with much dirt experience it's not such a big deal. Actual dirt bikes never have ABS and the front brake still provides the majority of braking power. Sometimes the front starts to lock up and then you ease off and keep going.
I've only been riding dirt bikes since the early 70's and whenever my front brake has locked it is a sign to me that I have over-braked. My goal is always to ride up to that fine line, but to not cross it. And, when I do, immediately release it and reengage.
The only bike I have ridden with ABS is the Tiger 800XC and I routinely dive deep into corners on unpaved roads keeping up with my buddies on their knobby-clad DS 400 and 600 cc dirt bikes with mine shod with 80/20 street/dirt tires.
I've never engaged the ABS on the front with this bike except for emergency braking on pavement.
It should be possible to program any such system to react well under varying conditions and speeds. From my experience the Tiger seems to operate like it has been set up this way.
In the long run, as long as it is providing as good of braking as a non-ABS on dirt, I'm satisfied to leave it on all the time. If it in no way compromises my aggressive riding style it is fine with me if the front never locks up.
On the flipside, putting ABS on a dirt oriented bike that doesn't allow rear lockup and releases the front at inopportune times would be useless, if not outright dangerous.
I think that despite MC ABS having been around since the 80's we are just now seeing significant improvements in deployment of advanced systems.