Author Topic: To ABS or not ABS  (Read 3847 times)

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Offline S Smith

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To ABS or not ABS
« on: October 04, 2009, 05:59:00 am »
The other day I overheard a safety professional say that ABS on motorcycles stands for Absence of Braking Skills. Do you think that having ABS could lead to losing braking skills if you ride a non-ABS motorcycle?    
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Offline Ranger Jim

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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2009, 07:27:00 am »
I must say that I would have some serious issues with this alleged professional.  IMO, ABS is one of the best advances in motorcycling in decades. It is an unfortunate fact that the majority of riders aren't skilled in emergency braking as they do not practice braking. While a highly skilled rider can potentially outperform ABS most riders overestimate their abilities and can not come close to matching the performance of ABS in emergency braking maneuvers.  
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Offline Ken_Fader_ON

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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2009, 07:34:00 am »
I think that ABS is a grteat thing for bikes, have been riding for more the 30 years and have ABS on my new 14 and love it. Take away a skill I think not, gives time to learn other riding skills. and there is still learning with ABS.  

Offline Nosmo

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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2009, 10:22:00 pm »
NO  
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 01:46:00 am by Nosmo »
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Offline Zorlac

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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2009, 11:03:00 pm »
So I take it you want ABS on that wheelchair?  
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2009, 08:14:00 am »
I think ABS goes the way of the hand written letter. For us folks that spend lots of time typing, go see what your handwriting looks like.  Take some time and WRITE that letter.  See if your elementary teacher would approve. Usually not.    Go spend all your time shooting on a Wii.  Then go spend some time on the range.  Yeah, same thing.     Go spend your days riding a bike with ABS, then about a year from now go hop on an old RD or GT or even a ZG and see how you fare.  Unless you're the one in a million that doesn't lose skill, you're not going to fare as well on that either. What happen if you lose that gadget in the middle of an incident?  Yeah, blame it on the ABS not working.    Skills like that require muscle memory, that memory needs exercised on a regular basis.  You don't, you'll lose that skill measureably each and every time you rely on ABS, computer keyboard or Wii...or anything else.    I'll (I'd) stick to muscle memory that I have to exercise on a regular basis.  Folks have been able to keep these things on 2 wheels during trying times for many years.   People have also been wrecking them for as long.  Nature of the beast. Relying on another system to save your a** due to driver error (too fast, too much bike, too much whatever)....well, no thanks.  Ride within the limits of your skill level, not the bikes abilities. You don't do that, you'll find yourself in situations that your precious ABS et al won't help you with, and that your old skills are too weak to handle.    Personally, no ABS/TCS/GPS/KI-PASS or other BS.  I enjoy honing my skills and not relying on gadgets. Used to be what motorcycling was about. Some folks seem to have forgotten about that.    Again, just my opinion and the facts as I see them, and they've been known to PPO.    http://millerized.com/pegs  I'll be in the garage  COG 6425, CDA 111 a through g    
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 11:18:00 am by millerized »

Offline Cap'n Bob

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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2009, 11:41:00 am »
 I screwed up. I hit the yes button instead of the no because the yes was already clicked on the poll before I read it close. I am definitely a NO. If you could change that Steve, I would appreciate it.    I try to practice my braking skills even though I have ABS. I use it as a tool. I don't depend on it solely. I use it like a radar detector. Use have it, but would be foolish to totally depend on it. But having good braking skills and still having a mishap that left me with a permanent disability made me think otherwise.    Then I bought the C14ABS. Then besides having good braking skills, the ABS absolutely saved my life. Now there is no doubt in my mind, ABS is always better. I of course still practice proper braking. But it took a accident to make me aware of my ignorant attitude thinking I was just as good or better. Then it took the ABS saving my life to proof it. Don't learn the hard way like I did.    Bionic Bob  COG & AMA member  First C14 CDA member #0220  2008 C14 & 2003 Mean Streak  

Offline Slybones

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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2009, 02:43:00 pm »
I think the problem with the safety professional and comments like millerized is they presume ( IMO ) that people who do not have ABS are always practicing and those who have ABS dont practice because they are gadget happy.    Myself I think people who are not going to practice, are not going to practice with or without ABS on their scoot. They either dont or have done it twice and are fooling themselves. There is a large section of the M/C population that is absent of braking skills with or without ABS. ABS is not the cause of this.     The problem with the whole computer keyboard, wii, ABS argument is it assumes that people used to have those skills to begin with and now technology has taken they away. My opinion will be that people who know how to shoot will still keep shooting to the range regardless if they own a wii or not. And those who have never been to the range dont have any sklls to loose in the first place.  2003 Concours, 56K  COG #6953  IBA 28004  http://home.comcast.net/~slybones/Concours/connieMain.htm  
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Offline 2linby

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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2009, 12:04:00 am »
ABS. I think all bikes should be equiped with this fantastic device. Puck muscle memory. The average joe doesn't practice correctly anyway so out goes that theory. Remember drum brakes? People said hydraulic brakes would diminish feel? Gimmee a break1 HA!  ABS is DA BOMB!  I wish my old 2001 had them. I'd give up practice makes perfect, for perfect anyday.  AKA "2linby" That's 2-lin-by folks!  Northwest Area Director  COG #5539  AMA #927779  IBA #15034  TEAM OREGON MC Instructor  131K and counting!    http://community.webshots.com/user/2linby  http://tinyurl.com/njas8 (IBA BunBurner Gold Trip)  http://tinyurl.com/lwelx (Alaska trip)
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Offline David_Clancy_ON

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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2009, 09:26:00 am »
I remember reading some time ago about braking with ABS and skilled car racers - now they were talking cars not bikes. They said these ultra skilled drivers, i.e. not your average driver or even above average driver, could out brake ABS on good dry pavement, BUT, on wet, sandy or otherwise slippery pavement ABS was better even for them.     ABS helps control. When a wheel is locked it won't steer, ABS will keep steering possible. It might help high sides which sometimes happen when the rear looses traction and suddenly regains it when not aligned with the front when sliding.      
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 12:26:00 pm by David_Clancy_ON »
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Offline S Smith

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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2009, 11:21:00 am »
Why are most responses off the mark to the original question... Do you think that having ABS could lead to losing braking skills if you ride a non-ABS motorcycle?     Jim Miller nailed it when it comes down tot he issue the person I was talking to is concerned about. Loss or ignorance of braking skill.  I was surprised at Ranger Jim & 2linby's response. As instructors they nderstand the need for skill development and practice. Sure, many riders out there have never learned to brake properly, and if they did, do not practice. But that does not make it right. I agree with the sentiment of drum brakes are worse than disk, but ABS does not help to decrease braking distance like disk brake do.    Consider that when ABS kicks in it usually increases total stopping distance. It's just physics of the way the system works. it prevents wheel lock up by allowing it to continue to roll.  Shorter braking distances will be attained if proper braking technique is used as to NOT have the ABS kick in.      Who would fair better in a hazard/crash avoidance? Someone who has ABS and relies on it entirely to save their bacon, or someone like BBAR who practices technique?              --  Steve Smith, COG #3184  COG Northeast Area Director  (somewhere in south central CT)    If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.  
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 02:24:00 pm by SSmith_3184 »
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Offline Slybones

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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2009, 03:32:00 pm »
Sorry, but the way I see it is that you determine the remarks are off the mark because you would appear to agree with the guy, where most of us dont.     My short answer is NO. ABS does will not lead to loosing braking skills. For the 80% that never practice, you cannot loose what you never had. And for the 20% who do practice will keep practicing anyways. ABS is not leading to a decline.    IMO of course, Jim Miller nailed it if you agree with the original guy. The comments IMO presume that people who dont have ABS are always practicing, and then suddently stop when they get gadget happy. I dont believe this is the case and therefore the comments didnt nail a thing for me.    To be honest I dont even 2linby's comments as an instructor some kind of suprise. I dont see where they claim that riders should not practice any skills at all. And that we should not be performing any skills development what so ever. -- What I see is a guy who understands in this specific case, that no matter how much braking practice we all do only 1% of us will ever be better than ABS and the other 99% are all going to benefit from them regardless.       2003 Concours, 56K  COG #6953  IBA 28004  http://home.comcast.net/~slybones/Concours/connieMain.htm  
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Offline Slybones

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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2009, 03:44:00 pm »
Quote
Consider that when ABS kicks in it usually increases total stopping distance. It's just physics of the way the system works. it prevents wheel lock up by allowing it to continue to roll.  Shorter braking distances will be attained if proper braking technique is used as to NOT have the ABS kick in.  
   Consider this. This is only for the 1% of the population who's braking stills are better than ABS in low traction situations. For the other 99% either we are not braking effective enough to beat ABS on overall stopping distance. OR we are going down do to loss of traction and when we finally stop skidding across the pavement it will still be a longer stopping distance that ABS would have provided. Unless of course we get some assistance from a guard rail, tree or other such assistance.    Its not just the physics of the way the system works, by allowing the tire to continue to roll. Not allowing the tire to continue to roll means crashing. Whether it be by Electronic ABS or my friggin awesome braking skills, something has to control the braking to prevent a crash. And in this case the electronic version simply works too well. Far better than 99% of us will ever be no matter how much we practice.    2003 Concours, 56K  COG #6953  IBA 28004  http://home.comcast.net/~slybones/Concours/connieMain.htm  
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Offline Rob

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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2009, 05:45:00 pm »
Why is there the assumption that going to an ABS-equipped machine would result in a loss or ignorance of braking skill?  I cannot possibly see that happening with an experienced rider.  I have had my ABS-equipped V-Strom for about 15 months now, and I do not brake differently when I'm riding it than when I'm on my C10.  I have engaged the ABS when testing it out, and it may well have engaged during an emergency evasive maneuver, I can't say for certain as I was paying more attention to the deer at the time.  It's not like a person goes to an ABS bike and just hammers the lever/pedal and lets the system do the work, at least I damn sure hope not.  That's saying it automatically dumbs a person down, and gives experienced riders much less credit than they deserve.  No way.  I have been riding my C10 for the last week, and it's not like I had to think, "okay, I'm not on my ABS bike today so I've got to brake differently."    And if ABS keeps a new rider on the rubber with some control in a panic/emergency situation, rather than sliding down the road with no control at all, what has been lost with that?  As new riders, we all had that moment or those moments that awakened us to the fact we need to practice skills in some area.  Yes there will be people that just let ABS do the work and go about their day.  There will be many more that realize it's not supposed to kick in every time you come to a stop.  ;)  

Offline 2linby

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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2009, 09:35:00 pm »
As an instructor of course I teach proper maximum braking techniques, but the reality is the beginning student only gets 30 minutes of dedicated and observed practice to this effect during the braking exercise and only 9.5 hours of total saddle time to "get it" all.  OF this group I can't attest the percentage that returns for more instruction,but I will guess there is very few. And sure I know this groups is a great exception to this reality, but we are not the gtroup of riders that this discussion is targeting.     Reality is while this instruction is absolutely beneficial it is not complete and unless a rider is routinely observed by a trained eye during their practicing of maximum braking techniques there is no guarantee the practice is being conducted correctly.     With this in mind and with the understanding that the coefficiant of friction is greater with a rolling tire than a  skidding one it is my contention that the use and application of ABS is overwhelmingly safer to the general ie: 90% of the riders than it would be for the remaining 10% of riders that do regularly and correctly practice the fine art of stopping a motorcycle in the minimum distance possible without skidding either tire.    Sure in a perfect world everyone would practice maximum braking on a regular and routine basis. Yes Muscle memory, otherwise known as unconscience correct behavior, becomes arguably a fixed and permanent skill during this process. But most riders do not practice. Most riders just ride to the minimum expectations and we have to reCOGnize this as the way it is. Oregon has now made it a mandatory requirement to have MC instruction to gain an endorsement and yes this will help reduce collisions, but what is the harm in equiping all machines with the latest and greatest technological safety advances if they can, and they do, reduce collisions?    I see no contradictions in my earlier statement as anything to aid in safety is a good thing even the perhaps added couple of feet in braking distance versus putting the bike down due to a harsh abrupt braking reaction to a set of events that will hurt the biker more than a couple of feet more to safety stop in an upright position.     IN an emergency stop with ABS there is no though required other than to apply maximum braking. With no ABS braking needs to be progressive and increasing front brake pressure and light to lighter rear brake pressure, this is a tough technique to master, even for the trained.    Besides the average rider puts about 5k a year in the saddle. We ride considerably more than that. Why not give these riders the benefit of technology? All in all I see nothing wrong with it and everything right with it.  AKA "2linby" That's 2-lin-by folks!  Northwest Area Director  COG #5539  AMA #927779  IBA #15034  TEAM OREGON MC Instructor  133K and counting!    http://community.webshots.com/user/2linby  http://tinyurl.com/njas8 (IBA BunBurner Gold Trip)  http://tinyurl.com/lwelx (Alaska trip)
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Offline Slybones

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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2009, 09:59:00 pm »
OK. So this thread has a bunch of us ( well I can hope ) all realizing we dont practice our braking near enough. And that we must also practice properly. Can someone please give us some guidelines for proper practice. I realize as 2linby as mentioned that we wont have a trained eye watching over us. But maybe at least knowing some do's and dont's, maybe a good speed to practice at, how often. Some tips like dont do it on the road with a car right behind you.  2003 Concours, 56K  COG #6953  IBA 28004  http://home.comcast.net/~slybones/Concours/connieMain.htm  
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Offline 2linby

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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2009, 10:25:00 pm »
Fred,    Don't practice on the road with a car behind you. :eg:  AKA "2linby" That's 2-lin-by folks!  Northwest Area Director  COG #5539  AMA #927779  IBA #15034  TEAM OREGON MC Instructor  133K and counting!    http://community.webshots.com/user/2linby  http://tinyurl.com/njas8 (IBA BunBurner Gold Trip)  http://tinyurl.com/lwelx (Alaska trip)
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Offline 2linby

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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2009, 10:41:00 pm »
1. Start in a safe environment. ie: daylight, dry good pavement etc....  2. Head and eyes up looking where you want to go not down to the ground.  3. Set up a target ie:traffic cone to "start" the braking from.  4. Start at a consistent and comfortable speed at first: ie: 10 mph  5. Work on making quicker and more consistantly shorter stops  6. Use both brakes EVERYTIME!  7. Trust your front brake. Squeeze it firmly and progressively as weight transfers forward apply more braking right up to and prior to skidding the tire. (this is not as easy as it sounds) USE FOUR FINGERS!!!  8. Apply light to lighter pressure on the rear brake was the weight transfers to the front to reduce a rear tire skid (also tough to do on a heavy bike)  9. Once you have this down do it again at leasst 28 TIMES! (serious on the reps).  10. During the braking work on downshifting to first gear by pulling in the clutch and working the shifter all the way down. Don't rely on engine braking as this is an emergency braking technique not a casual stop. First gear is necessary to be in just in case the car behind you doen's stop in time adn you have to get it on again!  11. Repeat at 15 mph, 20 mph, 25 mph, 30 mph etc..... I don't advocate practicing this at speeds greater than 40 mph as by then you will have the technique down and any additional speed just increases your risk greatly.  12. Do this at least once a month, but do mini practices whenever and whereever possible.  13. Check your equipment often as this will wear down your pads!    Best of luck....er..... Skill!  ;p    Oh and USE FOUR FINGERS!!!      AKA "2linby" That's 2-lin-by folks!  Northwest Area Director  COG #5539  AMA #927779  IBA #15034  TEAM OREGON MC Instructor  133K and counting!    http://community.webshots.com/user/2linby  http://tinyurl.com/njas8 (IBA BunBurner Gold Trip)  http://tinyurl.com/lwelx (Alaska trip)  
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 01:47:00 am by 2linby »
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Offline Nosmo

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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2009, 10:48:00 pm »
SSmith_3184 wrote:  Why are most responses off the mark to the original question... Do you think that having ABS could lead to losing braking skills if you ride a non-ABS motorcycle?     I stand corrected, you are right, in my tirade I did not answer the original question.  I have editted my post to reflect this error.  
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Offline S Smith

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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2009, 11:57:00 pm »
 
Quote
 Its not just the physics of the way the system works, by allowing the tire to continue to roll. Not allowing the tire to continue to roll means crashing. Whether it be by Electronic ABS or my friggin awesome braking skills, something has to control the braking to prevent a crash.  
   Sure, but this only addresses crashing due to overbraking/tire skid.  What about crashing due to extended braking distance due to poor braking technique or allowing ABS to do its thing? I am curious if anyone knows how much extra braking distance activated ABS adds to a 60 - 0 quick stop.    Please do not get me wrong. I think ABS is great stuff... especially in combination with good braking skills. Yes, I am also one of "those" who practice braking, swerving, etc.      --  Steve Smith, COG #3184  COG Northeast Area Director  (somewhere in south central CT)    If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
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Offline Slybones

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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2009, 12:26:00 am »
Quote
Sure, but this only addresses crashing due to overbraking/tire skid.  What about crashing due to extended braking distance due to poor braking technique or allowing ABS to do its thing? I am curious if anyone knows how much extra braking distance activated ABS adds to a 60 - 0 quick stop.
   Lets try a different approach. Do you believe that with just a little bit of practice, that you can out brake ABS in all possible conditions. Not just straight line dry pavement, but wet pavement, while turning, leaves, gravel etc.     I will agree that if you can brake perfectly every time, in every one of these situations, then YES its entirely possbile that the extended braking distance that ABS gave over the perfect braking distance is the different between stopping short of the obstacle and hitting the obstacle.     However I sumbit that 99% of us are simply are NOT that good. If the extra distance ABS added is the difference between hitting and stopping short, then I submit you were going to crash anyways. ABS did not cause the crash. You were going to crash anyways. Either from over braking and loosing control. Or from the extended distance your even quite good braking skills will have provided. Because IMO you simply are not good enough. ABS will have done better than you. Unless you are that rare 1%.      AND that is even of you do practice.    2003 Concours, 56K  COG #6953  IBA 28004  http://home.comcast.net/~slybones/Concours/connieMain.htm    
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 03:29:00 am by Slybones »
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Offline Slybones

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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2009, 12:32:00 am »
Thanks Bob.  2003 Concours, 56K  COG #6953  IBA 28004  http://home.comcast.net/~slybones/Concours/connieMain.htm  
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To ABS or not ABS
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2009, 12:39:00 am »
Having said that, I still believe in practice. Follow what 2linby says.     Just maybe the different between hitting the obstacle and stopping short is not the difference between perfect braking and ABS braking. Maybe its the different between good skills and no skills. In this situation all that practice just saved your a**.  2003 Concours, 56K  COG #6953  IBA 28004  http://home.comcast.net/~slybones/Concours/connieMain.htm  
2003 Concours, 121K
2005 GL1800ABS, 52K
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Offline 2linby

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To ABS or not ABS
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2009, 01:02:00 am »
Ask and ye shall receive!    Here is a great article on the subject of ABS versus non-ABS braking.  Enjoy!    http://www.msf-usa.org/imsc/proceedings/a-Green-ComparisonofStoppingDistance.pdf      For those that wish to "cut to the chase" here is the studies conclusion.    CONCLUSIONS  In general, the test results demonstrated an improvement in braking performance with the use of ABS, whether braking on a dry or wet surface even compared with the best stops obtained without ABS.  Without ABS, the rider required numerous attempts to approach the maximum deceleration performance of the motorcycle.  With the use of ABS, however, the rider was able to quickly obtain consistent maximum deceleration results, whether the vehicle was loaded or lightly loaded. Despite this advantage, the rider must remain alert because the ABS may not detect dynamic  instabilities such as the rear wheel becoming airborne, possibly requiring the operator to  reduce the brake control force to prevent a fall.  With respect to CBS, its advantage was most evident through shorter braking distances,specifically when braking with the rear wheel only, whereby the CBS activates a portion of the front brake to assist in the deceleration of the motorcycle.     In the real world, the emergency braking maneuver is   likely to be an infrequent occurrence. Obtaining a high level of braking performance depends on a multitude of variables including weather conditions, road surface, condition and type of motorcycle  brakes and tires, and operator expertise.    The testing described above has shown that the operation of the ABS may not be as simple as
"2linby" Get it? "Tooling by" "Everything is simple, but nothing is easy".
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Offline oldsawfiler

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To ABS or not ABS
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2009, 01:56:00 am »
I think a lot of the posters are missing an important point.  As long as the wheels are turning you have some control over the direction of travel.  Once she is locked up, you are pretty much done for.  I learned to drive a car in north Idaho Ice roads.  You learned to pump the brakes or you didn't learn to drive. period.  If ABS helps to keep the wheels turning even at the expense of distance traveled accident avoidance is still possible in many cases.  NOT ALL.    COG # 8062  AMA # 1084053  ROMA or Scarlet harlot acording to my wife
Well...even if you fall on your face you're still moving forward.

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