Honda XRV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 78 Posts

·
Truffle shuffle king
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Was pondering the idea of ABS on a bike - new to riding I haven't much experience but I know that the instructor that took me for the DAS and Enhanced Riders Scheme was against ABS.
The theory being that you shouldn't get yourself into a position to need it.....

Now I can see two sides to this argument what's the feeling out there FOR or AGAINST..... best thing since slice bread or just another rider aid to take the fun out of riding.

Over to you :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
I have ABS on the Varadero and have found it useful. Its a system that definately saved me in the car on one occasion and can't see why anyone would be against it? Anything that makes riding a bike safer cannot be bad.
Linked brakes are the same in my eyes, some folk complain about how they should decide front to rear braking but I've always found linked brakes a benefit. Both my Varaderos and my VFR had linked brakes and were excellent.
"Shouldn't get yourself in that position"? Do you really think that he, or anyone else riding a bike can afford to be so smug? The next time a car pulls out on you remember to blame yourself for putting yourself in "that position"! We don't always put ourselves in situations but life can dictate them to us.
I'm all in favour of anything that makes life safer so put me down as for ABS.
 

·
Fine, upstanding member
Joined
·
2,296 Posts
Your instructor, I regret to say, was a moron.

You should not get yourself into a postion that you need a helmet on a motorbike; nor seatbelts or a passenger safety cell in a car; nor knee pads while roller-blading; nor a face mask when fencing; nor eye-protectors when using a chain-saw; nor a strap in your baby's push-chair. Have I made the point yet?! :rolleyes:

My Pan is far too heavy and fast for me to feel entirely safe without ABS. A big Vara would be the same. When cars had two wheel braking, some folk complained that new-fangled four wheel brakes would cause accidents. Luckily they were ignored. On this similar issue, your instructor should be ignored too. :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Bet he was a member of some 'advanced driving/riding' jobbie. The thing with abs is that you should forget you have it and ride/drive as you would normally. People that rely on it to get them out of trouble are the ones that should watch out.

I do hillclimbs in an old car and when I brake hard for a corner I know it will probably lock up, releasing the brakes and applying them again (cadence braking I think its called) is second nature in those situations. When a car pulls out on you on the road it's a totally different matter. You just stamp on the pedal as hard as you can and hope for the best. It's just a natural instinct and it would take some doing to release the brakes as you are heading for the side of a truck!

The only time it can be a bit dodgy is in snow(in a car) or off road at slow speed but for the rest of the time I'd rather have it than not.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
I wouldn't be without it now. I'm sure in perfect conditions you could probably stop quicker but perfect conditions generally don't exist and certainly don't have a car or van pulling out in front of you.

Have a look at the quote below from a few years back it tells of the first (and last so far) time I used the ABS in anger. I know things would have turned out differently had I had conventional brakes. As I said I wouldn't be without it now.


Boris said:
I must admit I was really sceptical about the merits of ABS on a bike but any doubts I had were put to rest when, not long after getting the bike, I was out with my 13 year old son and a van pulled out to do a 3 point turn and stopped blocking both sides of the road leaving me nowhere to go.
Now after years of sports bike riding I reckoned I was pretty good on the brakes and I braked as hard as I dared but I could tell we weren't going to stop in time and this was going to be a sore one for both of us. Then in a flash I remembered the ABS and just grabbed handfuls (and footfuls) of brake and bugger me did the bike not stand on its nose and stop in a distance I didnt think possible for such a heavy bike 2 up. We stoped with less than 1 foot to the side of the van and breathed a sigh of relief.

It was then at that point that my son learned for the first time, via the intercom, exactly how many swear words his dad knew.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
In the case of that instructor, the arguement for not ever needing ABS was, I suspect, one of those points of view held by people who wish to seem infallible and oh-so-much-the-better-rider-than-you.

It is also BS.

Having ABS does not suddenly make you think you can brake anyhow, anywhere. Learn to ride defensively, hone your road sense, but when it comes down to it and you do need to make an emergency stop (and you WILL need to make an emergency stop at some point, no matter how careful you are), ABS may the difference between a scare and a fall.

Nothing wrong with ABS: a decent safety feature on a vehicle that will have you off if you lock up the wheels....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
I like ABS.

But I also like locking and spinning up the rear off road.

So, something I could turn on and off with a simple switch, rather like traction control, would be ideal. On for the roads, off for when I'm on dirt.

The problem is with different tyre temperatures and road conditions you're never going to be braking at 100%. ABS allows you to get really quite close to that number. I know I don't know how hard I can break on the front without it locking, that's because I very rarely use it, even rarer in anger. I'd really appreciate ABS in that case so I can grab major fistfuls of brake in a panic situation and stay relatively upright.
 

·
one of the lost boys
Joined
·
6,127 Posts
Ahh brakes, every one has there own likes dislikes to brakes, how much front how much back?
most of it depends on what your riding.
Jarl above uses the back most of the time I rarely touch it, linked braking on the Vara the front is enough (even in anger) on an advanced riding skills course the dero would stop in the same distance as the other bikes with just using the front, the only ones that stopped shorted where the ABS fitted bikes.
You only have to look at the road bikes being turned out now, most of them have ABS, its not law but it makes sense to keep their customers alive to buy another bike.

As for the instructor, winch & anchor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,811 Posts
... I know I don't know how hard I can break on the front without it locking, that's because I very rarely use it, even rarer in anger...
I'm not sure if I understand what you're saying here. If you rarely use the front brake then you are missing out on a whole load of braking power. On a dry road you will almost certainly never be able to lock up the front wheel; the bike will pull a stoppie before the tyre looses grip.

In fact I can't even imagine bringing a middling to large bike to a halt without using the front brake. It would either require the distance of a super-tanker, or guarantee a rear wheel lock-up that risks causing a high-side. :confused:

As an experiment I once tested the ABS by braking really hard on a damp (deserted) road; the bike came to a halt completely without drama in far less distance that I would have thought possible. If it had been an emergency situation I would probably have applied far less braking effort for fear of locking up and thus taken further to stop. That's the beauty of ABS: it works on all road surfaces, wet, damp, gravely, icy...

I believe on BMW's GS range you can turn ABS off for off-road use. Unfortunately you can't do that on the Vara.
 

·
Craigypops
Joined
·
6,747 Posts
"Shouldn't get yourself in that position"? Do you really think that he, or anyone else riding a bike can afford to be so smug? The next time a car pulls out on you remember to blame yourself for putting yourself in "that position"! We don't always put ourselves in situations but life can dictate them to us.
Your instructor, I regret to say, was a moron.
Agree.



Never pay again for live sex! | Hot girls doing naughty stuff for free! | Chat for free!
 

·
Last of the Minoans
Joined
·
1,503 Posts
It makes sense to keep their customers alive to buy another bike.
Genauso!

My view on this is probably irrelevant because I've never ridden a bike with ABS. However, I have driven cars with it and, except on snow where locked wheels often slow you faster, ABS is certainly a step forward. I've controlled rear, front and all-wheel lock ups on various bikes in the past, but I wouldn't be arrogant enough to think I could do that every time.

My concern would be that a new rider who has never learned to deal with locked wheels will never gain that skill. Of course you could argue you'd never need it if you always have ABS, and sometime in the future every bike will very likely have it. After all, double de-clutching used to be taught for cars, but it's a skill we don't need now.

That said, ABS is a complex system even on a bike, and it can and does break down. While (so I've heard) certain bikes cannot even be made to run in the event of a malfuction in the ABS circuit, if you were (un)fortunate enough to be riding a bike that lets you carry on with just a fault indicator showing, you could be in trouble when you have to stop in a panic if you haven't learned that skill. I wonder how older ABS systems (e.g., 10 or 20 year old BMWs) have held up over time? Anyone any experience of this out there?

So, ABS - great so long as it works. When it doesn't, the back up computer in the the rider had better be up to scratch.
 

·
Bloody furriner
Joined
·
5,009 Posts
That's the beauty of ABS: it works on all road surfaces, wet, damp, gravely, icy...
That remains to be seen, especially the latter...

I believe on BMW's GS range you can turn ABS off for off-road use.
...Because features like this didn't get added to get rid of some some parts in the warehouse. ;-)

As somebody upstairs already mentioned, it's a nice safety net as long as you ride as if it isn't there. Start relying on it and it'll bite your head off one day. (If only because a loaner bike might not have it.)

And all that depends on the abs system as well. There have been reports about certain (older?) abs systems releasing the front brake whenever the rear locks up, which might make sense in the lab but leaves pucker marks in seats in real life if you're braking properly with both front and rear, say on the little washboardy bit in front of traffic lights. Getting the abs to think the rear locks up isn't that hard, apparently.

I've never had a bike with abs, so it's all theory here... I wouldn't mind having it, as long as there's no such silly linking between rear and front. Ditto for all the linked brake nonsense that applies all the brakes from either input. Gerrroff.
 

·
one of the lost boys
Joined
·
6,127 Posts
Ditto for all the linked brake nonsense that applies all the brakes from either input. Gerrroff.
Dont knock it till you've tried it, it may well be a load a Shiite off road (never tried) but on the heavy Vara they work a treat
 

·
Bloody furriner
Joined
·
5,009 Posts
I'm sure it'll be fine for most normal road conditions, that's why they put it on.

What bothers me about it is that it takes control away. I cannot choose to apply just the rear brake anymore, or just the front, both of which I do a lot. That combined with the linked ABS I described above would make me very wary about riding a bike equipped with those systems.

That won't go for all bikes as they'll have different setups by different manufacturers, but how do I know that beforehand? How do I know the manufacturer isn't trying to be clever with ever more complex interlocking systems that have unknown failure modes and/or unwise input combinations?

It's a matter of trust, then. I don't trust that stuff, or more to the point, I don't trust the manufacturers to get it right without bugs, and it's all in a black box so I can't fully figure out for myself what goes on in there.

Fortunately I could always pull the entire sheite off and fit straight brake lines if I don't like it. It'll save a ton of weight, too. ;-)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
There have been reports about certain (older?) abs systems releasing the front brake whenever the rear locks up, which might make sense in the lab but leaves pucker marks in seats in real life if you're braking properly with both front and rear, say on the little washboardy bit in front of traffic lights. Getting the abs to think the rear locks up isn't that hard, apparently.
I'm just back from a test ride on a 2010 BMW GSA1200 and I can confirm the BMW ABS does this. It's a bit odd at first but by automatically releasing the front brake (a little) it does stop the rear wheel lifting. You know it's doing it and it feels strange but it doesn't feel if it's releasing the front brake completely.

The other comparison to the Varadero is how easily the rear abs cuts in on the beemer. Just stopping a bit sharpish had the rear brake pedal pulsing as the ABS kicked in. This could be down to tyres though.

In my view and based only on a couple of hours and a hundred miles the Honda ABS is better
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
that's because I very rarely use it, even rarer in anger.
i interpret this in relation to my own riding as "i prefer to use engine breaking to slow, so rarely use the front, and when i do use the front its rarely in anger... ie an emergency stop"
 

·
Craigypops
Joined
·
6,747 Posts
Ive only ever had to do one emergency stop and that was on the way to the second welsh invasion to stop me hitting a van head on,i dont have ABS on the strom and i just pulled the front brake as hard as i could whilst also dabbing the back. I didnt have time to think about the front wheel locking up and was lucky that it was a dry road, ABS in this situation would be better as i just squeezed the brake hard as i was in a panic.

I also learnt how fast the bike could stop when it had too, oh yeah, and that you should always take extra underwear :D



Never pay again for live sex! | Hot girls doing naughty stuff for free! | Chat for free!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
i interpret this in relation to my own riding as "i prefer to use engine breaking to slow, so rarely use the front, and when i do use the front its rarely in anger... ie an emergency stop"
I use the rear brake almost exclusively. Most the front brake work I do is at low speed (<10mph), I've used the front brake 3 times at high speed in the last few weeks- it's there if I need more braking power (well, half the lever is in my top box at the moment after I surfed into a kerb this morning but let's not go there :rolleyes:) but I find with a bit of forward planning I can get by with the rear for most my riding.

Also, IMO in a panic situation it's far easier to add in the front brake to get more stopping power than it is to add in the rear brake to get more stopping power, what with the weight transfer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I dont have ABS and chose not to have ABS. Its complicated and not needed. as a safety featurs its marginal better to pay the money and learn to brake like a pro. as the bike gets older and gremlins set in ABS is just something else to go wrong. Adding "safety features" to things just allows people not to think for themselves. I am a great believer in the risk compensation theory and see it every time at the side of the road in thge first signs of frost where cagers over cook corners because of poor training and an over fed sense that their car can do anything. I believe in two things i know i can trust every time experience and training nough said:thumbup:
 
1 - 20 of 78 Posts
Top