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Old 08-13-2009, 05:26 PM   #46
Bayner
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Trade school textbook answer?
The point of ABS on a motorcycle is to allow the wheel to continue to spin and thereby give the operator a chance of keeping it upright and steering clear of the offending object. It's goal is not to improve stopping distance and usually results in the opposite, but allows you to maintain control when you have failed to adequately modulate brake pressure manually.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:55 PM   #47
Bushwhacker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex
I am fully aware of the test results showing that even skilled riders can stop more quickly on wet pavement with ABS. What these tests do not point out is that this is the ONLY situation in which a skilled rider can stop more quickly. Every other situation - dry, dirt, snow, you name it, a non-ABS equipped bike will stop more quickly than a bike equipped with ABS. Why would any reasonable person decide to add weight, cost, and complexity to deal with a singularity - being able to stop slightly faster in the rain?
While I am do not agree with this premise (I can find you research to support just about any position you want to take on just about any subject) it really is not relevant to the point I am so inartfully trying to make.

And that it, a bike that stays up right will generally stop in a shorter distance than a bike sliding on its side and you sliding along behind (or in front of) it.

To me, the benefit of ABS is not that it stops more quickly, but that, in panic stop situations, it allows you to panic, and grab too much brake and not lock up the tires and, therefore, have a better chance of keeping the bike upright.

Now, maybe you have neves of steel and don't panic. Some people have that ability. I do not.

When a vehicle cuts in front of me at about 30 yards and hits the brakes I panic and grab too much brake with the result of the bike going down and me hitting the pavement.

I know this to be true about myself because this is what happened when I totaled my Multistrada. A camper pulled from the shoulder in front of me on a two lane black top with oncoming traffic. I immediately began to slow and he was accellerating. Then a fox ran in front of him and he hit his brakes hard and I had no where to go. On coming traffic to the left and a sheer drop off to the right. I grabbed front and rear brakes with all my might. The bike went out from under me and we both hit the pavement. The bike slid under the camper and was totaled. I slid into the bike and broke my colar bone. I will stick with ABS.
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:40 PM   #48
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No ABS for me. No thanks. Personally, I take a "to each their own" stance on this.

I didn't want ABS because of the issues of the system with the F800 crowd, and with having to remind myself to shut it off "everytime" the bike had to be started up.

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Old 08-14-2009, 07:20 AM   #49
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I have mixed feelings about ABS. I'm sure it does help in certain situations. I suspect that a really good rider and ABS is a good, safe combination. I'm sure it probably helps a new rider while he's learning to ride. My concern, and it may not be valid, and I'm not trying to piss anybody off or hurt their feelings, is that some riders are substituting technology for training. Or practice. Or good riding technique.

Several people talk about "panic stops" or "panicking" and locking up the wheels. Ok, here's where I might piss somone off. If you are the type that is prone to panicking you should not be riding a motorcycle. Period. You are going to get yourself hurt sooner or later, ABS or not.

Maybe its semantics. I've been riding since '73. Doesn't make me an expert, but it does make me experienced. I've had my share of close calls and made emergencey stops, but I've never panicked. Ever. I've had some wild rides in cars that ended with us off the road (snow & ice), but never panicked. Driver error for sure (hey, we're in ditch), an increase in adenalin, but no panic.

Several years ago there was a bike test in the national mags where the tester, a seriously accomplished rider, made a statement to the effect, "ABS saved my bacon at least once a week."

Taking that statement at face value, it raises a question:

Prior to having ABS, did the tester crash once a week? or

After ABS, did his riding style change? Did he begin to ride more aggressively? More carelessly?

I don't have, "nerves of steel'. I'm nervous on ladders, am not comfortable around copperheads and never know what to say to women, but I say again if you are prone to panicking on a bike, you need to either get some training, go out on a deserted stretch of road and practice, practice, practice your braking technique (what I did/do), or reevaluate if you should be riding at all.

And if you're an accomplished or beginnig rider, please still ride within your limits. ABS can be good thing in a bad situation, but its not a substitue for good skills or good sense.

Climbing off soapbox now.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:41 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaner32
No ABS for me. No thanks. Personally, I take a "to each their own" stance on this.

I didn't want ABS because of the issues of the system with the F800 crowd, and with having to remind myself to shut it off "everytime" the bike had to be started up.

+1

I am a firm believer in live and let live.

I would not buy a new bike without ABS but you gotta do what is right for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobiker
Several people talk about "panic stops" or "panicking" and locking up the wheels. Ok, here's where I might piss somone off. If you are the type that is prone to panicking you should not be riding a motorcycle. Period. You are going to get yourself hurt sooner or later, ABS or not.

Taking that statement at face value, it raises a question:

Prior to having ABS, did the tester crash once a week? or
I think we are talking semantics.

I am actually a fairly non-agressive rider and my style does not change whether the bike has ABS or not. I do not think about it. Never once has a thought entered my head that began "Since I have ABS I can..."

I use the phrase "panic stop" to describe a situation where you have no other options and unless you can stop you are going to wreck. To me, that is a panic stop situation.

As noted there was on-coming traffic in the left lane and a sheer drop off on the right so there was no where to swerve. The only option was to stop as quickly as possible and that is what I intended.

I do practice "panic stop" situations but in this particular case, I guess, with the adrenalin pumping and the back of that camper looming, I obviously grabbed too much brake in my attempt to stop and the subsequent wheel lock-up and fall happened so quickly there was no time for manual modulation.

With ABS in the same situation there would have been no need for manual modulation.

If you have never been in a situation like this then I am happy for you and hope it never happens to you or anyone else but they do happen.

Curious -- If you do not refer to this as a panic stop situation what is your term for it?

-
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:47 AM   #51
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I chose to get my GS800 w/o ABS. I wanted the simplicity, lower price, lower weight & total control of the basic setup. I did not want to have to do any sort of song & dance to turn it off every time I rode dirt, and didn't want to have my brakes functining differently depending on whether it was on or not. I wanted to learn the feel of this bike and have it stay consistent. So far, I'm very happy with my choice.

ABS is a great idea, and with each new itteration it becomes more refined (witness Honda's newest CBR600). Someday it'll be taken for granted, every bike will have it. Choosing whether or not to by it now is choosing at what point you personally want to move on into another era of the sport. I may be a luddite, but I like excersizing my skills, and like the feeling of using my hardware to it's maximum. Ever been in a car when the ABS kicks in? Talk about 'panic stop', you are along for the ride at that point.

This is a little bit like the transition to full suspension mountain bikes. It makes sense, and as the technology has improved, full suspension has moved into every part of he market, Specialized even won the world cup last season with Sauser on a full suspension Epic. Still, it's been a long transition, with lots of people sticking with hard tails because they like the simplicity, lighter weight, and because they know how to ride a hard tail. Switch over to full suspension and some of your hard earned riding skillls fade away. You don't finesse a bike the same way when it's got a shock out back.

Brakes are a simillar story, except when you are talking about that last minute surprise on poor surfaces like wet greasy pavement, then, depending on your temperment & skills & focus at the moment, it MIGHT save you from crashing.

There is a theory out there in traffic safety that says drivers as a group will always adapt to new saftey inovations by using up most of the saftey margin they provide. The better headlights got, the faster people went at night. The better protected a driver is by crumple zones, air bags & seatbelts, the more comfortable they feel going faster. Better brakes have shortened following distances, and ABS has shortened them further. Thus, ABS only makes you safer in theory, it's still up to you to save your own ass, and a lot of things go into that before you ever touch the brake lever.
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:02 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushwhacker
+1

I am a firm believer in live and let live.

I would not buy a new bike without ABS but you gotta do what is right for you.



I think we are talking semantics.

I am actually a fairly non-agressive rider and my style does not change whether the bike has ABS or not. I do not think about it. Never once has a thought entered my head that began "Since I have ABS I can..."

I use the phrase "panic stop" to describe a situation where you have no other options and unless you can stop you are going to wreck. To me, that is a panic stop situation.

As noted there was on-coming traffic in the left lane and a sheer drop off on the right so there was no where to swerve. The only option was to stop as quickly as possible and that is what I intended.

I obviously grabbed too much brake in my attempt and the fall happened so quickly after the lockup there was no time for manual modulation.

With ABS in the same situation there would have been no need for manual modulation.

If you have never been in a situation like this then I am happy for you and hope it never happens to you or anyone else but they do happen.

Curious -- If you do not refer to this as a panic stop situation what is your term for it?

-
I guess I would call it an emergency stop. As I said I've had some close calls. Everybody who has ridden much probably has. Panic to me basically means your brain quits functioning. In a situation where there is no time to think and your reflexes take over, that's where training and practice comes in. My last really close call was a year or so ago, I came around a corner on the FZ1, not dragging anything or hanging off, but still layed over pretty good, and there was a car making a left turn onto a gravel road in front me. I came down on the brakes very hard -leaned over. While the bike did stand up some, I pushed down hard at the same time as braking to prevent it from standing up to abruptly. I didn't think about it per se, but did it and was aware I was doing it. Of course it all happened in a blink. If I had just "panicked" and just grabbed the brake as hard as I could, I'm sure the results would have been less than optimum.

The point is, when the FZ1 was new, I took it out and practiced my braking. A lot. I do this with all new bikes.

ABS on is not a bad thing. It wouldn't be deal breaker for me either way.
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:08 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singletrack_mind
This is a little bit like the transition to full suspension mountain bikes. It makes sense, and as the technology has improved, full suspension has moved into every part of he market, Specialized even won the world cup last season with Sauser on a full suspension Epic. Still, it's been a long transition, with lots of people sticking with hard tails because they like the simplicity, lighter weight, and because they know how to ride a hard tail. Switch over to full suspension and some of your hard earned riding skillls fade away. You don't finesse a bike the same way when it's got a shock out back.

Not to thread hijack, but.....back in the nineties I moutain biked. Very little fast stuff, mostly slow technical, trials type stuff. Had a rigid frame, rigid forks. With a couple of herniated discs, I bought a fully suspended Pro Flex (don't think they make those anymore). It was a revelation. Did require a little different technique - like ABS braking - but I lost interest in th rigid frame.
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:29 AM   #54
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I couple of further thoughts. What I'm really trying to say, is if you have ABS and its keeping you from crashing on a semi-regular basis, then you are doing something wrong.

Sometimes bad things happen and there is simply no way to prevent it. I'm not talking about those times.
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:36 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singletrack_mind
ABS is a great idea, and with each new itteration it becomes more refined (witness Honda's newest CBR600). Someday it'll be taken for granted, every bike will have it.
No doubt that soon threads like this will be a thing of the past and it won't be an issue

It wasn't long ago that many thought ABS would never be adapted to a sportbike, but in this case Honda LISTENED to what sport/street riders really wanted out of a system. Same with traction control, and now it's commonplace. When they develop systems that give me more choices on how it's implemented I may be on board. Heck, I might not have a choice .

Great post overall. You also brought up the point of having total control. I think that's part of my reluctance as well. Even if their are times when a machine can do something better than me, part of my passion for riding is being in total control, which includes the ability to screw up, but makes it a much more personal experience of being part of the machine. A roller coaster can give me an adrenaline rush in relative safety, but there's no connection for me as I'm just along for the ride. Would I want to go back to a manual ignition advance on the handlebar? No, that's to far for me.

These ABS threads always amaze me how they can divide groups of similar riders to the point of name calling, and how some can't even fathom how another rider thinks different than they do. Your post is refreshing in this chaos, as well as the others that point out why it works for them or not without saying it's the only way.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex
It is instinctive to steer away from the perceived point of impact...

...With ABS the driver is allowed to make the high G turn because ABS has kept the wheels from locking. The result is a roll over because the force generated by the turn has no place to be dissipated except along the roll over axis of the vehicle.
Just like any other physical skill, this will be reduced by an operator who trains under the real paramaters of use. I wonder how many here have ever engaged their ABS just to see what it feels like? Maybe even done this while doing some simple moves? The idea, really, is to develop muscle memory type reactions to emergency conditions. That takes practice and more is better than less.

At the range and EVOC (emergency vehicle operations course) LEOs learn that we will react as trained when the fit hits the shan. Training is key and due to this post I resolve to begin testing my bike's ABS and handling from time to time (when safe). Enough of that and maybe I will avoid becoming another statistic.

So again, how many here regularly test their ABS when not under duress?
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:09 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Law Dawg
So again, how many here regularly test their ABS when not under duress?
I wouldn't say that I do it "regularly." But riding out here in some of the wide open spaces of eastern Oregon and northern Nevada, it sometimes does give me the opportunity to safely practice emergency maneuvers without fear of tangling with another vehicle. I should do it more often, and this thread is a good reminder of that.

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Old 08-14-2009, 12:52 PM   #58
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:08 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reinerka
Actually this is not entirely true. The kind of vehicle plays a SIGNIFICANT role in this equation. If you drive a regular car your chance of roll over is a fraction of the one if you drive an SUV or PickUp Truck. There is as well a large amount of data on the internet to that effect. The fact that peopke today opt for those top heavy vehicles is the major contributor to roll over accidents - not the fact that ABS is standard equipment today. Roll over tests (i.e. in Sweden) are done WITHOUT ANY BREAKING and proove that ABS has no impact on that. If you lock up your wheels in a car you loose steering - guess what happens if you try to turn and release the breaks in that situation?

I have made an offer several times but have yet to find anyone willing to go for this test:

I decide on a public road where we will test ABS vs non-ABS real world usability to avoid accidents or bike rider separation. You get one - and only one chance - for the test. I will throw an object into the road at a time of my liking on an unknown position to the riders and whoever stops quicker wins. Both riders must travel at the same speed for this test. The one who drops the bikes is automatically the looser.

I won't disclose the road before the test but I can say it will be paved and the test will only be done in dry conditions so that the non-ABS rider can demonstrate his best skills.

Reiner
How come you get to pick everything? What's up with that? What is the prize? This test has some obvious flaws not the least of which is rider skill. I honestly believe I could easily win this test everytime with relative ease. Where are you proposing to conduct this test? I cannot tell where you live from your signature. Maybe the fact that no one has taken you up on it is that the road is in Tazmania.

Relative to your comment above about Swedish roll over tests are being done without any braking and that ABS has no impact - duh? You want to try rewording that. I am sure that cannot be what you meant.
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:21 PM   #60
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The unsold 800GS's on my dealer's floor are the ones without ABS. Hmm...
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