Author Topic: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes  (Read 1236 times)

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Offline Harry Martin

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Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« on: April 06, 2017, 02:42:19 pm »
Found this on LinkedIn...

I've never had to brake hard enough to know if motorcycle ABS was any better than Non-ABS.
I've never had to lay a bike down, and I'm not sure what to make of this report.

Report here:
http://www.righttoride.org.uk/documents/Effects%20of%20ABS%20on%20motorcycle%20%20crashes%2025_03_17.pdf
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Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 04:09:29 pm »
It looks like they're not to sure what to make of it either.  Maybe not a large enough survey sample.  Seems somewhat inconclusive and sounds a little like the discussions that used to happen on the forum about ABS when it was first becoming more common place.  SOme folks thought it was good, others thought they could out-brake it, etc..  In any case, it's interesting to read the commentary.   :)
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Offline ron203

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 07:08:08 pm »
I did not read it thoroughly because I think they included too many if/ands/but/maybes but I saw two fairly obvious things ( I think):

-Most riders had at least jackets, gloves, and boots.
-Most limb injuries were to the lower limbs, although shoulder injuries were common.

First conclusion to me: ATGATT, not just MOTGATT. 

Second: most of these crashes were at relatively slow speeds 25-45 mph (converted roughly from KPH) and the rider separated from the bike, left/right/straight mostly - crash, stick out your arm, hurt your shoulder. ( I might be wrong on this one but I got bored...)

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Offline Fais

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 09:11:33 pm »
Any one of us can out brake abs if we are doing so to prove a point, planned it and set out to do it. It's the sudden braking after a surprise that makes ABS great on any surface at anytime. My C14 is the only ABS bike i have bc it's my only anytime anyplace bike. The guys with abs were out braking me on the track because it was easy to do (brain off squeeze lever hard)  - but I was really ridng  IMO. Life gives us choices and some people research and publish silly stuff that muddys the water.... 

Like: corn chips vs potato chips - neither is healthy but one is healthier than the other lol. Too many factors and variables relating to weather and surface condition - not to mention rider experience and bike condition.

Just opinionating ......  :beerchug:
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Offline ron203

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2017, 09:28:22 pm »
The one time I engaged it by necessity was, like the article alluded to, about 25-30 mph in the burbs in front of a shopping center. Car jammed on it's brakes in front of me and I was a little inattentive and a little too close. erk..erk..erk...erk... Stopped right now fortunately a foot from the Toyota. Had I been looking, I never would've  needed it. Not a substitute for awareness and skill, but still saved my bacon.
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Offline Fais

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 09:54:59 pm »
Life is full of distractions and surprises and no (not even us COGgers) perfect people. Ya done well and taking responsibilty makes it a learning tool. 

If we were perfect we wouldn't need lawyers; medicine or ranch dressing  :))

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Offline Jorge

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 12:08:37 am »
I agree with that new guy, Fais. :)
The situations are too many where ABS can save your butt (and skin). You're braking hard and the pavement surface changes, can you anticipate how much friction will change, and adjust your braking pressure accordingly?  I'm pretty sure most of us cannot... what if there is a little moisture on that courtesy line at the intersection?  or your tire rides over a squashed pop can?
I'll take ABS; it's one of the main reasons why I have a C14.

Ron, I can attest that you don't have to stick your arm out to get a shoulder injury. It matters greatly the angle at which you hit the pavement. In my case, it was my front tire that lost traction when the Tip Over bar contacted the pavement, and I was moving almost "face forward", rather than "feet first" when I hit  :-[

Jorge

Offline ron203

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 12:28:48 am »
Ron, I can attest that you don't have to stick your arm out to get a shoulder injury. It matters greatly the angle at which you hit the pavement. In my case, it was my front tire that lost traction when the Tip Over bar contacted the pavement, and I was moving almost "face forward", rather than "feet first" when I hit.

Oh I totally get that. All I was saying that the natural thing to do when you fall is stick out your hands to catch yourself. The article pointed out that almost all the riders had at least a jacket, but most of the limb injuries were lower limbs. Something protected their upper bodies better than the lower and somehow the resulting impact hurt their shoulder but not so much their arms. :truce:

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Offline Bilbur

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2017, 04:48:25 pm »
I've had to lay a bike down to avoid melding with the side of a mini van. That incident was on a 2003 C-10. Obviously non-abs. Would ABS have made a difference? Probably not since I was only going 30 miles an hour.

I haven't had to use my ABS on my C-14 and I hope I never do. From what I gather about ABS systems on motorcycles is they are really designed for those 'OH s***' moments.

AS a rider I do everything I possibly can to anticipate, prepare, and avoid those types of moments. But, I sure am glad that I have ABS just in case the worst were to happen so I can have as many tools as necessary to avoid greater injury to myself or others.

Offline Bilbur

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2017, 06:14:32 pm »
I've had to lay a bike down to avoid melding with the side of a mini van. That incident was on a 2003 C-10. Obviously non-abs. Would ABS have made a difference? Probably not since I was only going 30 miles an hour.

I haven't had to use my ABS on my C-14 and I hope I never do. From what I gather about ABS systems on motorcycles is they are really designed for those 'OH s***' moments.

I would say  ABS would have absolutely made a huge difference and those speeds are  perfect for ABS.
 First off we are taught not to lay the bike down- brake  as much as you can first- manage the situation - dont bail.  It is far better to hit a vehicle at 5 mph then slide under its wheels at 30 mph.  You are correct about  ABS is for oh shyte  situations because of  'panic' and lack of experience which causes panic (panic cause us to grab a whole fist full of anything and slam on the rear brake-) ABS is for anytime - wet grass- sand on the road- wet or dry   paint on the road-  anything that is slippery when you do not   expect it like when it is raining.
Try it on grass... it works  and you really need to run the pump every now and then anyway.

I think you placed a few assumptions on me here. I won't try to thread jack with a full on story of my accident but, I was doing a stoppie when I had to decide on laying the bike down or going through a card window and I don't really fancy going through peoples car windows so, down the bike went.

Don't let my "post" count fool you. I've been riding for a long time.

But thanks for the safety review.

Offline Fais

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2017, 06:31:34 pm »
Dang - Daytona Mike just didn't know that when you asked 'would abs have helped me?'  that you were being rhetorical. He just tried to answer your question.

Post counts don't mean anything about miles ridden. We ride and help and learn from other riders around here. No assumptions :truce: More importantly - someone may have benefitted from his response. Activating ABS on purpose once in a while is good advice and some don't think of it.

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Offline Bilbur

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2017, 06:36:30 pm »
Dang - Daytona Mike just didn't know that when you asked 'would abs have helped me?'  that you were being rhetorical. He just tried to answer your question.

Post counts don't mean anything about miles ridden. We ride and help and learn from other riders around here. No assumptions :truce: More importantly - someone may have benefitted from his response. Activating ABS on purpose once in a while is good advice and some don't think of it.

 :beerchug:

Yeah that's not what I was getting back at. His first sentence answered my rhetorical question. To go on about what I should've done in that situation is a pretty big assumption on what occurred during the accident and how I handled it. He got what he got from me because his response was overall belittling.

Offline JimBob

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 07:13:24 pm »
ABS is for far more than the "oh s***" moments.


It's also for inconsistent road surface, like approaching a light. I've never ridden a C14, so I can't attest to how noticeable the ABS is on it - but from working on/driving many cars over the years, ABS has gotten to the point where you don't feel it in the pedal anymore (especially on Japanese cars).


I'd bet most people don't realize how often ABS s functioning for them, at stop lights/intersections, braking around corners/curves, etc.


An anecdotal example:
I had a 90's Ford I was working on which I had driven many times. The ABS fuse was pulled for some work and forgotten. I was approaching an intersection and started braking normally for a yellow light. No panic, not an urgent stop, plenty of time. Under NORMAL braking, without ABS, the rear brakes LOCKED UP on a nice, clean, flat, fairly new, impeccably maintained concrete road.


Previously driving that same car in that area, under those conditions, I'd never felt the ABS kick in. Clearly it had been working without me realizing it. That car was terrifying without ABS, even on dry pavement.


ABS has come a long way, and is an integral part of the braking system now (rather than an add-on).




Offline Lemon

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2017, 10:58:49 pm »
The argument that I always heard from my dad was that ABS was junk. Obviously in some situation it's much needed, but his side was that if you're going in a straight line, you would stop sooner by locking up the tires and sliding than you would by having the ABS keep you from locking up the tires. He is right, you could stop in a shorter distance without ABS, but if you lock up the brakes you can't steer, and that's why ABS is handy. It was made to give you control over your direction while you're skidding. By releasing the brake pressure on the front tires in a slide, it allows you to direct the car instead of just sliding straight.

I assume it would be the same way in a motorcycle. Should you need it? I honestly hope not, but have you ever locked up the front tire on a motorcycle? I did once and it's hard to describe what happened. The bike didn't have ABS on it, but the front wheel slid for a couple feet, then began hopping along the road until I was able to release the brake lever. If I had ABS on the bike, it would have slid for a split second and then unlocked and allowed me to turn.

Offline Bob H

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 11:27:28 pm »
I may be mistaken, but I think that maximum stopping power is actually just shy of sliding, when the wheels are still slipping some and not fully locked up.  I think this is also why not even experienced race drivers can stop quicker than ABS any more.  I hate to admit electronics is better at braking than me, but I do believe it is!
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Offline seagiant1

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2017, 11:51:49 pm »
I may be mistaken, but I think that maximum stopping power is actually just shy of sliding, when the wheels are still slipping some and not fully locked up.  I think this is also why not even experienced race drivers can stop quicker than ABS any more.  I hate to admit electronics is better at braking than me, but I do believe it is!

Hi,
         I won't go into why but I totally agree! ;D

I'll never own a bike without ABS!!! :motonoises:
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Offline mattchewn

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2017, 12:15:30 am »
Once you lock the tires up you are now stopping SLOWER than maximum possible braking effect.  Some engineers along the way concluded that about 18% wheel slippage was achieving the maximum rate of deceleration available regardless of surface type, consistency, contamination, what have you.
ABS systems are programmed to maintain approximately 18% wheel slippage while under maximum braking force. This is what you are (or at least should be), trying for on NON-ABS bikes when in a panic stop but for most humans it is unattainable even in non panic moments,  this is the fastest you can stop, PERIOD.
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Offline DarenLine

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2017, 04:29:22 am »
the only case I would ride a non ABS bike is if I'm on a dirt bike off roading, or a little single or twin practicing and drifting, otherwise no ABS = No riding, specially on our 700+ pounds c14s.
I've had more than enough shares of my moments where I felt lucky being on an ABS bike, after all it's always good to have a backup when your guardian angel is on a break! Now it may have some draw backs on unique conditions but overall it's benefits far overweights the flaws (which I'm not aware of any other than off roading), similar to air bags, you may end up with a bleeding or broken nose... but still higher chances of walking out of hospital on your own...

Offline ron203

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2017, 01:13:20 pm »
ABS is for far more than the "oh s***" moments.


It's also for inconsistent road surface, like approaching a light. I've never ridden a C14, so I can't attest to how noticeable the ABS is on it - but from working on/driving many cars over the years, ABS has gotten to the point where you don't feel it in the pedal anymore (especially on Japanese cars).


I'd bet most people don't realize how often ABS s functioning for them, at stop lights/intersections, braking around corners/curves, etc.

An anecdotal example:
I had a 90's Ford I was working on which I had driven many times. The ABS fuse was pulled for some work and forgotten. I was approaching an intersection and started braking normally for a yellow light. No panic, not an urgent stop, plenty of time. Under NORMAL braking, without ABS, the rear brakes LOCKED UP on a nice, clean, flat, fairly new, impeccably maintained concrete road.

Previously driving that same car in that area, under those conditions, I'd never felt the ABS kick in. Clearly it had been working without me realizing it. That car was terrifying without ABS, even on dry pavement.
ABS has come a long way, and is an integral part of the braking system now (rather than an add-on).

I think you're right. I had a 2000 F-250, V-10, 4X4 (6,800# unloaded weight - about 5,000 on the front end) with rear ABS. One time when the ABS computer started acting finicky and would go off at random and I'd brake normally, I'd slide a back tire at slow speeds on dry pavement. I'd reboot the computer by restarting the truck like a PC and it would be normal - no slide. Yes, got that sucker fixed asap.
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Offline Boomer

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2017, 06:51:14 pm »
In my accident last year ABS would definately have prevented me from locking the front wheel and hitting the deck hard.
However, there is every chance that with ABS I would instead have hit the car I was trying not to hit.
Would I like to have ABS on my C10? Yes.
Is it the best way to stop safely in an emergency. Yes.
Is it the fastest way to stop a motorcycle? No. If it was, most race bikes would be using it.
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Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2017, 08:45:26 pm »
I've listened to the casual, "I can out brake ABS" arguments for years and I think I have figured out one thing for certain.  A person, any person, any skill level, and ability, any supernatural ability, etc., anyone... can brake in the shortest possible distance on a bike with ABS.

I believe this logic is irrefutable and here's why.  IF and I mean IF there's even the remotest truth to someone being skilled enough to out brake an ABS equipped bike with another rider on an identical but ABS equipped version... then that skilled braker could do exactly the same on the ABS equipped bike.  You see, because ABS ONLY reacts if the sensors indicate lockup, they do not affect the bikes braking power unless the bike transitions into lockup which a lesser effective mode of braking. 

I mean the reason ABS exists is because locking a wheel reduces braking effectiveness by a huge margin... so locking a wheel, while undesirable for numerous reasons is also the only time ABS is engaging and over-riding the system.  Therefore if you are so skilled as to be able to hit threshold braking on both brakes every time, you will stop at the maximum rate and never engage the ABS.  In other words, a bike with ABS will always brake as quickly as one without ABS and unless the rider OVER brakes, the ABS will never engage.  But incredibly rare is the rider who could begin to modulate within the close margins of threshold braking repeatedly and so... over time... the most skilled rider is bound to have his/her butt saved by ABS too.   :o 

To me this is just like folks arguing for manual petcocks vs. vacuum operated ones for carbed bikes... but that's another thread ongoing elsewhere.   :D


PS  I'll probably put ABS on my C-10 when I get the time and money.  Any C-14 guys that don't want theirs should donate it to me.  ;D
PPS  I think it isn't on racing motorcycles for several reasons but most likely is the fact that in racing sometimes locking a wheel is a beneficial way into a corner.  Or possibly they are not permitted by rules do to taking skill away from drivers just as they are prohibited in some auto racing series for that reason.  Just more of my .02  It can't hardly be weight since the sensors are already in place for traction control. 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 08:52:41 pm by Rev Ryder »
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Offline flashback50

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2017, 08:59:28 pm »
I've had to lay a bike down to avoid melding with the side of a mini van. That incident was on a 2003 C-10. Obviously non-abs. Would ABS have made a difference? Probably not since I was only going 30 miles an hour.

I haven't had to use my ABS on my C-14 and I hope I never do. From what I gather about ABS systems on motorcycles is they are really designed for those 'OH s***' moments.

AS a rider I do everything I possibly can to anticipate, prepare, and avoid those types of moments. But, I sure am glad that I have ABS just in case the worst were to happen so I can have as many tools as necessary to avoid greater injury to myself or others.

I would suggest that at 30 MPH if you had time to decide to "lay the bike down" you probably had time to make evasive manuever

Offline Bilbur

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2017, 05:21:00 am »
I've had to lay a bike down to avoid melding with the side of a mini van. That incident was on a 2003 C-10. Obviously non-abs. Would ABS have made a difference? Probably not since I was only going 30 miles an hour.

I haven't had to use my ABS on my C-14 and I hope I never do. From what I gather about ABS systems on motorcycles is they are really designed for those 'OH s***' moments.

AS a rider I do everything I possibly can to anticipate, prepare, and avoid those types of moments. But, I sure am glad that I have ABS just in case the worst were to happen so I can have as many tools as necessary to avoid greater injury to myself or others.

I would suggest that at 30 MPH if you had time to decide to "lay the bike down" you probably had time to make evasive manuever

It really doesn't matter. I'm not going to go into detail about the accident I was in. The original topic is on ABS. Moving along....

Offline gtskev

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2017, 06:02:40 pm »
Will read the article but wanted to give you guys some other uses I found for ABS; practice, practice and more practice without fear of eating pavement.  For me, my braking practice is much more efficient when I have ABS to back me up.  I get to the envelope sooner and learn more about surfaces than without it.  I give a little extra squeeze on wet street markings to feel the buzz of the ABS and get a gauge on how slick those little glass balls they mix into the paint are (quite slick I've found...).  IMHO of course but I firmly believe you can get to better braking skills quicker on an ABS motorcycle than one without.
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Offline TimR

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Re: Effects of ABS in motorcycle crashes
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2017, 06:45:42 pm »
when I was an EVOC instructor in a previous life.  (you've seen vids of the cops knocking cone down in a drivers course I'm sure) An when and Anti Locks were new on patrol cars I would hear the old guys say they could out break the ABS. Now that ABS are standard on cars in general, it's been found the old guys can't out break the ABS. A skidding tire doesn't have the same friction on the road that a tire that is on the verge of skidding but still rolling.

you can still turn when the ABS is activated but you can't with a skidding tire. I can think of at least two instances where the ABS probably saved me from going down or crashing.

I've tried several times to lock the front wheel in gravel just to see what would happen. Dumb I know. But I could not get the front wheel to lock because of the ABS. On my 09 the ABS continued to operate until I was stopped.

Some day ABS will be pretty standard on motorcycles. We might was well try to figure out the best way to use them. Tim
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