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ABS model, or not? Which do you have?

  • Yes!

    Votes: 20 37.7%
  • Nah

    Votes: 29 54.7%
  • I dunno....

    Votes: 4 7.5%
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· Moderator
745 Posts
I do not want to ever go down again when I apply the front brake, and I want to be able to stop fast on all types of surfaces.
Not trying to start an argument, and promise I won't participate in it if that's where it goes....

The only way to assure that you will never go down when you apply the front brake is to never apply the front brake (a truly bad idea). If your lean angle plus braking force overwhelms the traction available, ABS may not save you - particularly if the surface is loose.

In addition, most tests indicate that while ABS is more consistent, it does not stop faster than properly applied non-ABS brakes in stopping. In fact, the CBR manual specifically states that ABS will take longer to stop than a non-ABS bike. Progressive braking near the limits of adhesion is the fastest way from X to zero.

The above may sound like I'm knocking ABS - but it's a safety system designed to be your last resort. Your goal should be to practice braking until you can swiftly and efficiently stop your bike in the shortest possible distance. If ABS has to save you often, the day will come when even the electrons can't move fast enough to keep you upright.

As always, my opinion - but shared by people who know a lot more about riding at the limits then I ever will.

BTW, yes, my CBR is non-ABS and no, I have no regrets not waiting for an ABS-equipped bike.


· Moderator
745 Posts
Just because your bike has ABS you do NOT want to abandon everything you know about good braking. In fact, you definitely should practice it.

My point has always been is is a bit of a safety net; when the coefficient of friction drops below what you expect, or you "panic" stop applying brakes in an emergency situation & your adrenalin conspires with your grip to squeeze a bit harder than you would otherwise. Peace, brother.
I could have sworn that I made that very same point in the next paragraph: however, let it be written that I agree 100% with what you said.

I teach Fire & Rescue, and the concept of "panic" is something we constantly address. In a crisis, people act instinctively: the only way to alter instincts is with training. The goal is to replace panic with action - people panic when they don't have a solution, and solutions come from having a way out. The old saying "The more thinking you do before things get exciting, the less exciting things are" is never truer than when riding bikes. Every time I have to grab a handful of brakes, I ask myself why I had to: did I look away at the wrong time? Take my attention off the oncoming vehicle? Miss the cue that he was slowing as he approached an intersection? I tell my firefighters that if they're going to make a mistake, make a new one - don't recreate someone else's screwup.

My goal is to never explore the limits of braking unless I'm practicing. There's a section of nice clean pavement right before my last turn to go home - I'm really close to getting a clean "stoppie" there because that's my practice stop (yes, I always check six before nailing the brakes).

So we are in agreement. ABS can be useful, but if you depend on it to the exclusion of awareness and braking skills, you're destined to be road pizza.

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