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Old 12-30-2014, 09:40 AM   #1
WanderBeaver OP
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Why does R version come with no ABS?

I always wondered why the non R comes with ABS but the R does not.....it can't be because the marketing department thinks most R buyers don't want ABS (for weight and/or off-road reasons) because KTM's ABS can be turned off easily and it adds insignificant weight. Or maybe it IS because of that since those R buyers wouldn't want to pay for and lug around something they have turned off. I'd just be surprised most wouldn't want a highway safety feature that's easily turned off for off-road portions of their rides. I would think anyone riding around the world must spend much of it on pavement afterall.

I ask because I'm thinking of raising my non R (bought instead of R because it was a leftover that was $4500 off new AND I love blue and wanted ABS) to R or even S height, but am worried I may have to sacrifice the ABS I paid for as part of the non R package. On that note....any R or S owners wanting lower seat heights via suspension/sidestand/centerstand swap? My 2012 was bought new in 2013 so has only 1 year of use on the suspension. I have put 16,000 km on in the first year but they're still very mint as 99% of that was highway (an 11,000 km trip last summer was necessarily by pavement).

Thanks in advance.

WanderBeaver screwed with this post 12-30-2014 at 09:56 AM
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:30 AM   #2
Tangai
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The early ABS (Many called it, "Anti Braking System.") on KTMs wasn’t all that great—too much time between the on-and-off action of the ABS and gets riders in trouble in a hurry when off road and in gravel. Because it was assumed that the more off-road worthy model would be ridden by more experienced off-road riders and ridden in rougher conditions, they just left the ABS off.

All that matters not on the new 1190s which have much-much better ABS.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:14 AM   #3
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I bought my 2013 Baja BECAUSE it did not have abs, don't want it, won't use it, would take it off, I'm aggresive off road rider!
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:23 AM   #4
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Rode an 07 990 with ABS before buying my 950 without ABS.

The ABS was utter shit, cutting in all the time on the road when ridden aggressively, the 950 ridden the same way just behaved like a normal bike.

And of course the ABS would be worse than useless off road.

Maybe be later systems are better, but the early ones were crap IMHO.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:16 PM   #5
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I have an 07 990 and never had the ABS kick in on road but it is dim witted, I did have the rear lock once on tarmac going into a bend and came off the brake before the ABS kicked in. It's being removed this winter.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:23 PM   #6
OrangeDevil37
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I also bought my 990 2013 Baja because of no ABS! ABS sucks on anything in my opinion! I cant even stand it in my truck!
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:59 PM   #7
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If...

...I took it off it wouldn't make much difference 95% of the time. How important that other 5% is?....well...
forgetting to turn it off in the dirt then suddenly having no brakes on a downhill with a curve ahead....eeesh...
having a deer jump out in front of me while doing 60 on a damp oil road and realizing on other bikes I have owned I may well have laid the bike down...cool....
I have ridden the bike very aggressively in the black hills wit the semi-knobbies walking across the road and have been able to brake deep and hard into corners, so I have experienced none of the issues posted above.
The self-wired kill switch on my to-do list is a great idea and something that will account for my poor memory, leaving the abs on while offroad. If I really had need of the extra space under the seat it might sway me into removing it...
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:00 PM   #8
rburkat
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The R originally had more travel catering it more to the offroad rider. If you are buying something with more travel because you ride more aggressively off road, you also DON'T want abs.
The last thing you want is your abs coming on when you intend to lock up your rear in order to pitch the bike side ways.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:19 PM   #9
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I have the normal 990 with abs and I hate it. Several times I actually forget I have it and nearly killed myself with it not braking. So now I ensure I turn it off and leave it off. Would like to find a cheap way of getting rid of it but apparently you have to buy a different tach/speedo component. the bike has great brakes without the abs on.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinner View Post
I bought my 2013 Baja BECAUSE it did not have abs, don't want it, won't use it, would take it off, I'm aggresive off road rider!
Oh, I thought the 2013 Baja's (being non R's) would have come with ABS. Again, I can see you not wanting/using (and even taking it off) if you were 90% off road. You're aggressive when you ARE off road, so wouldn't use it, but my original point was why can't you just turn it off at those times. Then turn it on for the highway portions which I assume you must do or you'd just have a dirt bike. If you rode say 30-70 off-on or 50-50 I'd think you would have use for it while on road and can turn it off while off......then again, I see another response saying it's easy to forget it's on and if so it can cause accidents off road. To each their own I guess.

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Old 12-30-2014, 07:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tobes2102 View Post
I have the normal 990 with abs and I hate it. Several times I actually forget I have it and nearly killed myself with it not braking. So now I ensure I turn it off and leave it off. Would like to find a cheap way of getting rid of it but apparently you have to buy a different tach/speedo component. the bike has great brakes without the abs on.
I locked my rear wheel up on another non ABS bike last September in New Brunswick when a deer bolted in front of me. I avoided him as I was going speed limit (80kph at that point) and was paying attention so my reaction time sufficed. Deer was running diagonally in front of me and I was looking right in its eyes, and I locked brakes before even knowing I was braking. It's amazing how your subconscious auto-pilot works........I didn't lock front up thankfully or it may have ended differently. ABS would have helped in such a panic situation and most braking emergencies are 'slam on brakes and lock them' situations I've found. As I'm riding or sitting here I like to think I'll pump the brakes but that's BS in the real world you just floor it in a real sudden surprise emergency stop. I wouldn't have locked rear and have it sashaying back and forth if I had ABS, and that locking/sliding could have made me lose control AND it may reduce my stopping distance. Same thing with deer happened in a pickup truck in Alberta when a bunch of deer jumped in front of me at dusk but it had ABS so I steered and braked as hard as possible at same time. In that case I always felt ABS saved me form hitting them I'm sure as I swerved in between them and didn't hit any. Had I locked brakes I wouldn't have been able to simultaneously steer I wouldn't think. Anyway that's my experience without (other bike in NB) and with (truck in AB).

Hopefully I remember to take it off when I get on gravel or trails but it's probably hard to remember in the heat of the ride as you have discovered and I surely will too. A pita to stop and do that over and over as you go from pavement to dirt and back. I guess I was thinking of long pavement rides vs going back and forth off and on in a day in which case yah I'd just leave it turned off all day. I like to have the option myself.

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Old 12-30-2014, 07:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rburkat View Post
The R originally had more travel catering it more to the offroad rider. If you are buying something with more travel because you ride more aggressively off road, you also DON'T want abs.
The last thing you want is your abs coming on when you intend to lock up your rear in order to pitch the bike side ways.
My point was that even though the R and original long travel S models cater to the off road rider, said riders still ride on road sometimes a lot during round the world rides or otherwise, so you'd think they'd want it for pavement portions, and KTM would offer it at least as an option (option when new to have ABS for $x more). Or just include it since it can be turned off while off roadeven if a pita to do and may be forgotten. It seems from the responses here that R owners all don't want it even for on road and don't like switching it off and on and off and on etc. or the chance of forgetting........so, that answers my question I guess!

Even KTM's 'non R to R' conversion kits say it will not work with ABS.....strange. I therefore started thinking there's some technical reason they don't want ABS on longer travel bikes (9.5" or 10.5" R/S models). But maybe the demand just isn't there even though many R and S spend a lot of time on road too but just less in general than non R's.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by OrangeDevil37 View Post
I also bought my 990 2013 Baja because of no ABS! ABS sucks on anything in my opinion! I cant even stand it in my truck!
It saved my bacon once in a pickup (see my previous post).
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Frog uk View Post
Rode an 07 990 with ABS before buying my 950 without ABS.

The ABS was utter shit, cutting in all the time on the road when ridden aggressively, the 950 ridden the same way just behaved like a normal bike.

And of course the ABS would be worse than useless off road.

Maybe be later systems are better, but the early ones were crap IMHO.
I wonder if 2012 ABS is crap! I guess I'll find out. I heard the 1190 ABS is much better.

Thanks for the insights.....in your case I can see why you wouldn't want it at all (the 'well you can switch it off and on' argument falls flat since you'd NEVER use it so why pay and lug it around). It never occurred to me that KTM's ABS sucked even on pavement. I knew it wasn't the new sophisticated 'leaning ABS' KTM has but in a straight line I thought it would work without cutting in at other times as you say.

I'm starting to think KTM simply wants to have a non ABS option for buyers due to some apparently strong opinions about ABS. The R version is the natural model to NOT come with ABS, if they were to choose one, and they'd rather leave some R owners wanting ABS for their pavement portions than even more R owners upset at being forced to pay and lug around ABS that was never a good ABS system apparently.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:07 PM   #15
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When you spend more time off-road riding in challenging conditions you will have the answer to your question. ABS is of no use on an off-road bike, and for bikes with option to cancel it, switching off every time you cycle the ignition is a PITA , and who wants the extra weight any way. The R was aimed at the 990 owner who used the bike for it's intended purpose, with the added benefit of longer travel & no abs. You could install a switch to toggle on & off, or remove it all together.
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