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Old 03-31-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
Lobster Grrl OP
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F650/800GS ABS--Anybody tried it out yet?

I just bought an 09F650 Twin and it came with ABS. I'm familiar with this in my car, mostly in the winter time. Is the ABS on my bike similar to the ABS on my car? It took me a while to get used to ABS in my car, I grew up pumping the brakes on snowy roads to prevent the wheels from locking up. I've used it a few times now, in the car, with success. The car stayed in a straight line and the tires didn't lock up.

So what's this like on my bike? I haven't practiced any panic stops yet. I wanted to get some insight before I hit heavy on the brakes.

Anyone used it yet? Words of wisdom? Did it work? Is this all a big farse?

I live in the deep woods of Maine where the moose like to play in the road. So odds are that one day I'll need to stop hard and fast.

Whaddya think?

Oh, and the ABS button, I've been keeping mine on all the time. What are some instances when I would want to turn it off?

lg

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Old 03-31-2010, 02:01 PM   #2
gpracer171
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Works

Granted, i just got it myself. I had not felt it, thouhgt my brother feels his often (not sure what ihe is doing wrong). IT does work quite well and in my experience, just like a call (though the "pulse" felt is a bit harsher than in my car). I tested it by crushing the rear brake. I figured if it did not work, a rear wheel skid is less risky and easier to control than a front wheel skid ( and likely tuck). Try out on the rear and then move on to the front.
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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It absolutely does work. I had a critical situation on Saturday where an asshole car driver decided to pull over to the LEFT side of the road to take some photos (Highway 1 heading north, looking down to Stinson Beach) without signal and of course without looking. And going 20mph just before that made me pull out and accelerate to pass. I was at around 45mph or so and hit the brakes full force. ABS kicked in and kept me upright.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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It's kicked in for me on the rear, but not the front. Pedal pulsing is quite violent compared to the car.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:25 PM   #5
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ABS is a double edged sword.

Sometimes I feel it does a great job and makes something easier or it saves my bacon. At other times the awkward feedback in the levers raises my adrenaline level and it's a very unpleasant feeling.

Most say turn ABS off in the dirt. I agree. Although I've found in some situations, it makes things easier. Like a steep downhill that's not rugged terrain, but has a loose surface.

In general, for off road use I'd say turn it off. It's good to develop a strong feel for your brakes. ON pavement, I always leave it on.

Just remember, if you get that strange feeling in the lever and you want more stopping power... release/reapply!
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:08 PM   #6
JoelWisman
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Absolutely you should use and get to know your ABS. It works great but has limitations.

The limitations are while turning or on extremely slick surfaces such as wet ice.

Also, if you don't use it, you will loose it. Brake fluid absorbs water and forms acids. Over time these acids cause corosion to build up in the abs pump and valves, occasional activation of the abs system clears these deposits and keeps it working. If you go years without using abs, it won't work the first time you need it.

P.S. I activate abs at least 10 times a day every day because I ride hard and like to. I use it over bumps, on ice, snow, wet pavement, and sometimes while turning. The only time ABS may cause loss of control is during turns or on slick ice. I have never ever needed to reapply it to increase braking.

Where ABS is NOT ideal for stopping is on loose surfaces where the quickest stop can be achieved by locking up both wheels and mounding the loose surface up in front of both wheels, gravel is the best example of this.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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I think it's a good idea to activate the ABS on both wheels just to see what it feels like. If nothing else you won't freak out when it kicks in when you're driving. Try it on dirt or gravel where it kicks in pretty easy. You can make it work going pretty slow on loose dirt or gravel, then speed up a bit and try it again.

There's been a video posted around here a few times that shows a rider stopping on dirt with and without the ABS turned on. It shows rather dramatically how much longer it takes to stop on dirt with ABS. By all means I would turn off the ABS on dirt and gravel.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman

Where ABS is NOT ideal for stopping is on loose surfaces where the quickest stop can be achieved by locking up both wheels and mounding the loose surface up in front of both wheels, gravel is the best example of this.
Joel:

Yeah... what you said.... I had to hop off a mountain road on to gravel/dirt shoulder a while back to avoid a run-away truck. My ABS kicked in big time and I was wishing like crazy that I could lock up the wheels and slide to a quick stop before I ran out of shoulder. Indeed that is the only down-side I have found.

Thanks for the comment on "exercising" the ABS, I don't have any trouble exercising mine either but I'm now thinking that I should probably "exercise" them just before my annual brake fluid flush just to be sure the flush has the maximum effectivness eh?
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:37 AM   #9
Lobster Grrl OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M N B
ABS is a double edged sword.

Most say turn ABS off in the dirt. I agree. Although I've found in some situations, it makes things easier. Like a steep downhill that's not rugged terrain, but has a loose surface.

In general, for off road use I'd say turn it off. It's good to develop a strong feel for your brakes. ON pavement, I always leave it on.

Just remember, if you get that strange feeling in the lever and you want more stopping power... release/reapply!
Thanks for the advice. Will keep that in mind. I ride a lot of dirt on my smaller bike. Haven't had this one off the the pavement yet, maybe next week.

lg
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