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Old 06-21-2013, 08:33 PM   #16
TheJRM OP
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Originally Posted by Handy View Post
I just went from and ABS bike to a non-ABS one. It is quite the change, I never even had to think about locking the brakes up before and could stop on a dime, now I am always aware that the back break can lock up easily and my stopping distance is much greater. ABS is nice to have and could easily save you from a hurtin'.
I can't believe you have never locked up a wheel on a bike. I do it sometimes when I am not even trying to slow down really fast.
I have locked it up once; I had a set of Dunlop 606's on my DR. If I *TOUCHED* the rear brake lever, the rear would immediately start sliding out on me. I decked (low slide) in a set of S-curves as a result one time. Not fun.

Never locked it up on touring tires though.

And on the T-Dub... once again, that bike is so nimble and light that I feel as though I'd have to TRY to lock the rear up. The drum up back makes it hard to do too ;)
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:22 PM   #17
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Never locked it up on touring tires though.
I guess you never had to brake really hard then.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:00 AM   #18
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If you need to ask, you need ABS.

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Old 06-22-2013, 07:13 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Handy View Post
I just went from and ABS bike to a non-ABS one. It is quite the change, I never even had to think about locking the brakes up before and could stop on a dime, now I am always aware that the back break can lock up easily and my stopping distance is much greater. ABS is nice to have and could easily save you from a hurtin'.
I can't believe you have never locked up a wheel on a bike. I do it sometimes when I am not even trying to slow down really fast.
No offense, but I would say its called experience. I've been riding on the road since '76. I've unintentionally locked up a wheel on the street exactly twice. Both times the first time I road a bike in the rain that had a rear disc brake. After I adjusted to the fact that discs, unlike drums, actually worked in the rain, it never happened again. I've made plenty of really hard stops too (yesterday for one - damn deer).

I practiced braking a lot. Everybody should. BTW, I'm not dissing ABS at all. The fact that you regularly lock up your brakes indicates you should either go practice a bunch or go back to abs. Again, I'm not trying to be an ass, but you shouldn't be having this problem.

Also, if you read MCN (the American one) they give stopping distances for both ABS on and off. The stopping distances with abs off are routinely shorter, sometimes by a lot, than with it on. Granted this is with a "professional" rider under good conditions.

Personally I wouldn't rule out a bike because it did, or did not, have abs. But that's just me.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:13 AM   #20
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if you need to ask, you need abs.

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Old 06-22-2013, 08:49 AM   #21
Pecha72
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Okay....given the choice of the same bike with or without ABS I`d go for without as it`d save some weight and cut out a system that may fail at some time,although unlike a servo system failing and only leaving you with residual braking,at least you`d only revert to non ABS 'normal' braking.

Now,despite what I said above,I`ve noticed the ABS kicking in on my 650 Burgman and also on the R1100GS that I used to own.
But I`m not totally sure if it`s a case of the systems 'saving me' or that they may have been oversensitive.

Certainly when it did on the Burgie I wondered what was happening...and why...but clearly the system picked up on what it saw as imminent lock up and maybe there was some oil or grease...*maybe* I`d have skidded on a non ABS machine...*maybe* not.

There`s no doubt that on wet and slippy surfaces the ABS will benefit a non expert/professional rider though.....and maybe even in dry,panic situations as you would likely just grab a handful of brake in a panic and forget all about feedback and modulating the brakes.

Hey,I`ve currently got a broken right arm from rear ending a car at a roundabout on one of my Vespas....maybe ABS would have prevented that?

Hope this is of some use to you.
I had non-ABS bikes for 15 years. Now ABS bikes for 5 years, and I won't go back. For street riding and even mild gravel the pros so much outweigh the cons it's a no-brainer for me.


BUT, you still need to know how to brake, and how to combine quick braking and some evasive maneuvers. Do NOT think ABS is gonna save your ass, you still need to do that yourself. So practice. A lot. On an ABS bike, that's also easier to do, especially when you ride two-up and with lotsa weight on board (without having to worry that practicing could lead to an embarrassing situation). I practice a lot more during everyday riding, and also closer to the limit with ABS, simply because going accidentally over that limit won't usually result in a crash.


About 150k kms on ABS bikes now, and I'm still waiting, when the system will malfunction for the very first time. Might have to wait a bit more, as I got my first ABS-brake car in 1990, and haven't ever had it go bad on four wheels either.

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Old 06-22-2013, 02:24 PM   #22
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I would not wait for ABS. I have one bike that has it and I all my cars have it. In all my years of riding or driving with it I have never needed it. If you are a competent alert motorist the need for it is greatly diminished.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:48 PM   #23
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Which is better has been argued many, many times. The bottom line is, so many people are convinced they need it, that it will effect your ability to sell the bike if you decide to later.

I don't have it on my bike, I can even conjure up 1 situation where not having it saved me from crash with another vehicle. Abs won't let you skid the rear in curve, standing up the bike before getting nailed by a drunk on your side of the road.

But in hindsight, the money spent up front, I would get back at sales time.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:07 PM   #24
t30
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This is a no brainer. Get the ABS. The old adage better to have it and not needed it rings so true here. I get tired of reading articles about riders who crash into on coming cars that turn right in front of them because bikes are invisible. Would ABS save you? Maybe, maybe not. One thing is for sure. A rider on a bike with ABS will always out stop another rider on the same bike without ABS. So given that under calm conditions ABS bikes out stop non-ABS bikes, what do you think the difference in performance is when the SHTF? I will never again buy a street motorcycle without ABS. I have to live without it on my lighter dual sports.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:20 PM   #25
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This is a no brainer. Get the ABS. The old adage better to have it and not needed it rings so true here. I get tired of reading articles about riders who crash into on coming cars that turn right in front of them because bikes are invisible. Would ABS save you? Maybe, maybe not. One thing is for sure. A rider on a bike with ABS will always out stop another rider on the same bike without ABS. So given that under calm conditions ABS bikes out stop non-ABS bikes, what do you think the difference in performance is when the SHTF? I will never again buy a street motorcycle without ABS. I have to live without it on my lighter dual sports.
I agree with you whole-heartedly.

I don't feel that I need it, at all, on my little TW200. Basic physics here: The heavier the object, or in this case, the bike, the harder it is to decelerate quickly in an emergency situation.

I raced road and time trial (pedal) bikes for the nearly 20 years, with the tail end of that period as a pro/elite triathlete here in the US. I spent more time "in the saddle" than most people did in their car seat each week. Every time I stepped out the door, I was in defense mode while training, and the "heads up" attitude I used as a cyclist has most definitely helped to keep me on my toes now that an engine does all the work for me these days during life on 2 wheels :)

Regardless, there is no denying the fact that the heavier the bike is, the harder it is to stop it, safely, in a clutch situation. My road (pedal) bikes were extremely easy to stop (and I have crested 70+ mph numerous times on descents - with my torso hanging over the front of the bars so don't start talking about the differential in speeds here.)

My T-Dub; easy to decelerate when I have to hit the brakes hard, but not as easy as my pedal bikes, that's for damn sure.

My old DR650: It was a night and day difference when jumping between the T-Dub and the big DR, even with the benefit of that rear disc; the DR just didn't want to decelerate as easily as the T-Dub did at the same speeds.

So yeah, I know I'm not the most experienced motorcyclist out there, but I think the extra wait time and $500 is well worth it in the long run. As safe as I am, and plan to be on this new bike, having that extra degree of safety, thanks to ABS, is, in fact, a no-brainer.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:47 PM   #26
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I lock it up all the time...horsing around in the dirt. Locking up the rear on pavement doesn't seem like a big deal on a light bike either, unless you're cornering pretty hard at the time.

I'd wait for ABS on a still-inexpensive, 400lb+, street-biased moto though.

Stopping distance may be shorter with ABS in some circumstances, and longer in others. Put in a switch to be able to turn it on or off instantly. The main thing is that you could potentially still retain steering while squeezing the brakes for all you're worth. That's one of the big advantages of ABS...possible steering ability while threshold braking, especially on questionable surfaces. Braking distance differences are debatable, depending on the surface. Braking mistakes are probably less likely to put you down with ABS too.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:05 AM   #27
Pecha72
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If you are a competent alert motorist the need for it is greatly diminished.
That's basically true.

But how do you keep 100% concentration, to make sure you deliver your very best braking skills the very nanosecond, that they are required, that's the challenging part. Especially on a long trip. Besides, knowing the exact amount of grip under your tyres that very moment - easier said than done. Even many experienced riders have been caught out.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:42 AM   #28
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That's basically true.
I have ~ 200k miles on motorcycles done in the last 20 years. Track days, touring, safety training, local riding, and so on.

No way in hell can I even reach 80% of the time full 100% concentration and alertness and skills on longer trips or even local commuting. It plain isn't possible and if people think they can, they are kidding themselves.

In these times it's down to a) riding way below all limits (road, rider, bike, environment) and b) sheer luck that there was no situation that required full skills.

I have survived without major injuries so far but I know that ABS has helped at least two times I'm aware of. I have also had situations where I was braking so hard the rear wheel was off the ground for quite a long distance.

And again - if you think you can modulate front and rear wheel at the same time to prevent them from locking: you are bullshitting. It's not possible. Our brains and bodies are neither sensitive nor fast enough to do this. That's why every single safety class will tell you to just lock up the rear and modulate the front in emergency braking, it makes it safer and you can concentrate on the area where 90% (or more) of your stopping power comes from.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:21 PM   #29
Pecha72
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every single safety class will tell you to just lock up the rear and modulate the front in emergency braking
Safety class will tell you to just lock up the rear???

Glad I never took any such safety classes..

(BTW, just in case you got me wrong, Im very much for ABS as far as road-riding is concerned).
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:28 PM   #30
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Safety class will tell you to just lock up the rear???
They tell you to not worry about locking up the rear when you don't have ABS. When you are in a straight line it's actually safer if you lock it up to keep it locked up. If you release the wheel might catch again and if it had drifted even slightly out of line can throw you into a highside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
(BTW, just in case you got me wrong, Im very much for ABS as far as road-riding is concerned).
I got that. My comment wasn't meant against anything you said, just to the general population that thinks because they can out-brake an ABS bike in a constructed situation (and I doubt even that in most cases), they can do it all day every day.

I certainly can't. I consider myself a safe and responsible, and fairly quick rider. But there is absolutely no way I can beat the computer every time. I can prevent about 99% of the cases where I would need it though - and that's nothing the computer can help with. I think riding a bike for years and years makes you smell those people that won't see you ... and that adds more to safety than ABS ever can.
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