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Old 02-10-2014, 08:57 AM   #1
mcpenner OP
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ABS tips

I'll be riding with ABS brakes for the first time this spring (DL650). Is there anything I should be watching out for or practicing when I start?
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:30 AM   #2
H96669
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Find a steep gravel driveway just to see where you'll stop. May not be where you think.

But good on you to think braking practices, I do that almost everyday on the road in different situations.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:52 AM   #3
Wraith Rider
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Learn to brake hard enough that the ABS actually kicks in. (On most bikes you'll feel the levers vibrating.) Than learn to STAY on the brakes that hard instead of releasing them.
Then learn to do that on a perfect, dry, paved road on a warm, sunny day.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:57 AM   #4
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..then learn to brake hard AND steer, while you keep on braking, cos that could sometimes be very handy. With ABS, that's easier to do, ( without landing on your ear I mean). Then repeat the same on a changing surface with uneven traction.

In general, practice braking a lot (this you should do regardless of if the bike has ABS or not).
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Pecha72 screwed with this post 02-10-2014 at 10:04 AM
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:17 AM   #5
atomicalex
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Get to know when ABS kicks in and how it feels. Mostly so you are not surprised by it.

Other than that, just normal braking runs.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:19 PM   #6
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Don't think of ABS as your guardian angel

Safety comes from attitude and intelligence generated between your ears, not from artificial intelligence installed on the machine you ride.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:35 PM   #7
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You didn't say which model DL650 and I don't know if there are differences between models.

On my DL650 (the original ABS model), the ABS will deactivate when braking into bends with a rough entry (which can be disconcerting the first couple of times).

In this situation, you must release the lever and then re-apply. Squeezing the lever tighter doesn't re-apply the brakes.
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:11 PM   #8
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If on a steep gravel road, downshift and engine brake to slow down most of the way before using brakes, assuming you have the time - be more aggressive here than you normally would.

On any of my ABS bikes I have treated ABS engaging as a gotcha, "Dude, you screwed up" in nice, dry conditions. I treat it as a "Dude, you are so smart for buying this bike" in wet, slippery conditions
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:26 PM   #9
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Be prepared for the brakes to sometimes not come on at all. Certain bumpy surfaces can trick the computer into thinking you have zero traction, and it releases the brakes completely. Have had this happen more than a few times, usually on gravel roads but occasionally on pavement.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:35 PM   #10
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...practice

When I started riding my first bike with ABS last year, it felt so weird when it kicked in that my instinct was to "pump" or release the brake lever; this of course is exactly what one is NOT supposed to do! After some practice time (on dirt) I felt more able to keep the squeeze on when it activated, tho it is still not my instinct to do so! While I do think ABS is a great feature for asphalt riding, I remain unsure about it when I am on dirt. I learned to ride/race on dirt as a kid and developed comfort with some locking/skidding/english/releasing of the brakes, and I kind of miss that now.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:00 PM   #11
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ABS or NO...

Whenever you get on a new to you bike PRACTICE your BRAKING!!!
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:17 AM   #12
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Get used to turning it off! ABS is a triumph of marketing over common sense. I've had it three bikes, it's as dangerous as bolting knives to your dashboard. On the first, a BMW R1200gs it kicked off on road and the brakes failed and I overshot the line by a few meters, enough to mean I had to swerve to avoid an oncoming car. Second, BMW F800gs, the brakes kept skipping every time I went over a bump, I nearly stacked it a number of times. It seems to work fine on my little BMW 650 but I switch it off routinely.
On my friend's KTM Adventure it failed in Bulgaria where the roads are very smooth. He overshot the stop and rode into the middle of three lanes of oncoming traffic. He was very nearly killed.
Just learn to ride and pull the fuse.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtw000 View Post
Get used to turning it off! ABS is a triumph of marketing over common sense. I've had it three bikes, it's as dangerous as bolting knives to your dashboard. On the first, a BMW R1200gs it kicked off on road and the brakes failed and I overshot the line by a few meters, enough to mean I had to swerve to avoid an oncoming car. Second, BMW F800gs, the brakes kept skipping every time I went over a bump, I nearly stacked it a number of times. It seems to work fine on my little BMW 650 but I switch it off routinely.
On my friend's KTM Adventure it failed in Bulgaria where the roads are very smooth. He overshot the stop and rode into the middle of three lanes of oncoming traffic. He was very nearly killed.
Just learn to ride and pull the fuse.

Ha ha. You΄re a funny guy.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:38 AM   #14
jtw000
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Some people like the computers to do all the work of riding a bike for them. Personally I think that's funny. If you need ABS you shouldn't be allowed on a bike. If you think you need it, you probably shouldn't be allowed to vote.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:04 AM   #15
tkent02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtw000 View Post
Get used to turning it off! ABS is a triumph of marketing over common sense. I've had it three bikes, it's as dangerous as bolting knives to your dashboard. On the first, a BMW R1200gs it kicked off on road and the brakes failed and I overshot the line by a few meters, enough to mean I had to swerve to avoid an oncoming car. Second, BMW F800gs, the brakes kept skipping every time I went over a bump, I nearly stacked it a number of times. It seems to work fine on my little BMW 650 but I switch it off routinely.
On my friend's KTM Adventure it failed in Bulgaria where the roads are very smooth. He overshot the stop and rode into the middle of three lanes of oncoming traffic. He was very nearly killed.
Just learn to ride and pull the fuse.
What he said. I haven't pulled the fuse, because sometimes it's good to have it on, but I have certainly practiced turning the key off instantly. The times it hasn't allowed any braking at all far outnumber the times I accidently skid my wheel. Any time the surface is bumpy you may not get any braking at all.
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