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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all. I currently have a Suzuki DR650 as my first bike, and after dropping it about 9 times I am looking to switch to a bike with ABS. I was originally looking at BMWs but the ABS on their lower end models suck(ice patch effect) and I'm not going to have a big G K or S1000 as my next bike after 2 months of riding.

I have read that the Honda CBR600RR ABS has no issues freewheeling over bumpy pavement and I am hoping that ability has been passed on to the 250.

If you're not familiar with the freewheeling I am referring to here's some information:
Motorcyclist Magazine says "freewheeling is common" on motorcycle ABS... - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry...
 

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ABS isnt a cure all for dropping your bike. If your having issues dropping a bike its may not change getting a different bike. Try taking motorcycle safety course and maybe look at a smaller bike like the CBR abs to learn your skills with. good luck
 

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TBC is right, man. 9 times in two months means something much more serious is going on than faulty ABS. I'd say the problem is between the seat and the handle bars. Take the MSF Basic Rider Training (BRT) course. From what you've said, it WILL save your life!
 

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No point getting a fully faired cbr, the DR crashes so much better,
so keep dropping it and keep learning from it.
 

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^ what Aufitt said. DRs don't have 400+ dollar plastics to break every time you drop the bike, and ABS isn't a cure to not drop it. ABS was never intended to replace good braking skills; it's to be a safety net in case you did something wrong occasionally, not every day.

Have you tried to look at why you dropped the bike all those times?
 

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No point getting a fully faired cbr, the DR crashes so much better,
so keep dropping it and keep learning from it.
Your humor may be too dry for Americans, Aufitt. They will likely take you literally. It would be very dangerous for this particular fellow to continue riding without taking Basic Rider Training.
 

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Your humor may be too dry for Americans, Aufitt. They will likely take you literally. It would be very dangerous for this particular fellow to continue riding without taking Basic Rider Training.
Heh. yeah you are right.

There is always a message in my posts tho.
 

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I haven't dumped my CBR yet (non-ABS) and I one-foot pretty much every stop, but even when I was dumping dirtbikes "all the time" I didn't dump them that often. Go slower, work on your braking technique until you can stop without dumping/dropping the thing.

You don't need a new bike, you need a new approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone. This seems to be not a well known issue about the freewheeling here. I think Honda's ABS is probably a bit more advanced than the BMW systems then
 

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Thanks for the replies everyone. This seems to be not a well known issue about the freewheeling here. I think Honda's ABS is probably a bit more advanced than the BMW systems then
I don't even know what this "free-wheeling" you're talking about is, I only know what that term is in the 4x4 world WRT hubs, which certainly doesn't apply here. In any case, most of the posts on the forum thread you linked to are other riders saying they don't have any such problem.

From what I gather, "free-wheeling" is a perception that the brake has failed when ABS kicks on, which even if it were true, is not a reason to drop the bike. If the ABS failed in a way that caused the caliper to seize closed then that would be an issue, but given the design of ABS systems, it's basically impossible for this to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
From what I gather, "free-wheeling" is a perception that the brake has failed when ABS kicks on, which even if it were true, is not a reason to drop the bike. If the ABS failed in a way that caused the caliper to seize closed then that would be an issue, but given the design of ABS systems, it's basically impossible for this to happen.
Well nobody drops the bike because of the freewheeling. The issue happens like this:

You're going the speed limit on a straight road in the dry and you see ahead the light turns yellow, you start coming to a gradual normal stop, you're down to about 10mph maybe 20 feet from the stop line and roll over a few bumps. All of a sudden both brakes release and you continue to roll right into the intersection and stop when the brakes finally come back. Luckily you don't get t-boned by the cross traffic and luckily there was not a car in front of you you had to avoid.

I've only read about R1200 and F800 bikes having this issue.
Though if you take a look at this thread:
Starting to lose respect for MCN (USA) bike reviews. - BARF - Bay Area Riders Forum

In the latest issue of Motorcycle Consumer News (May 2012) they tested, and lauded, the new WeeStrom but noted that the ABS, (which cannot be turned off ), seemed to add 10+ feet to their stopping distances over less than smooth pavement due to "freewheeling." They gave it their highest rating of five circles nonetheless.

10 feet unexpectedly added to a stop can be the difference between business as usual and holyfreakingchrist.

I had this experience on my F800ST ABS and promptly traded it in on the non ABS version.
Apparently the Vstrom also has the freewheeling issue over bumpy pavement.


I think if the ABS would allow the rear wheel to actually come to a halt before modulating the brake pressure on it, it would resolve the freewheeling issue.

As it stands, the sensor detects the rear wheel slippage being greater than the allowable amount, releases the rear pressure, sees that it doesn't speed up(because it's in the air), thinks you're doing a stoppie then releases the front brake to get the rear back on the ground. Whereas if it would just hold that thought for a second, the rear would regain traction and speed back up on its own, preventing the need for the front brake release.

This is the only thing stopping me from purchasing a new G650GS, and hence why I am looking at the Honda bikes now.

This article here:
2009 Honda CBR600RR C-ABS - Sport Rider Magazine

states that the honda 600 has no issues freewheeling over bumpy pavement with ABS on. So I am wondering if the 250 also benefits from this. I guess the only thing to do here is to contact Honda.
 

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Well nobody drops the bike because of the freewheeling. The issue happens like this:

You're going the speed limit on a straight road in the dry and you see ahead the light turns yellow, you start coming to a gradual normal stop, you're down to about 10mph maybe 20 feet from the stop line and roll over a few bumps. All of a sudden both brakes release and you continue to roll right into the intersection and stop when the brakes finally come back. Luckily you don't get t-boned by the cross traffic and luckily there was not a car in front of you you had to avoid.
I haven't paid very close attention to my speed when approaching stop lines, but 10mph @ 20ft "sounds" a little on the fast side to me. That said, I still don't understand what the ABS system has to do with dropping bikes, as you said in your initial post:
after dropping it about 9 times I am looking to switch to a bike with ABS
But on to...

As it stands, the sensor detects the rear wheel slippage being greater than the allowable amount, releases the rear pressure, sees that it doesn't speed up(because it's in the air), thinks you're doing a stoppie then releases the front brake to get the rear back on the ground.
This is not what is happening, the ABS system is not nearly that smart, and works in an entirely different way. ABS is only looking at the deceleration of the wheels, there is no stoppie/endo protection nor any traction control. The wheels are not compared to each other nor to the speed of the vehicle - wheel deceleration rate, that is all that ABS looks at.

If the system is single channel, it will apply ABS to all wheels equally when it detects one slipping. The more channels you have, the better, as ABS can be applied to each wheel independently. I can't tell you if the ABS on the CBR250R is single or dual channel, but I suspect it's dual.

More likely what's happening is the ABS is coming on and working as intended, but the rider isn't used to it (on a motorcycle or in a car) and starts to panic rather than simply applying more pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I haven't paid very close attention to my speed when approaching stop lines, but 10mph @ 20ft "sounds" a little on the fast side to me. That said, I still don't understand what the ABS system has to do with dropping bikes, as you said in your initial post:
But on to...

This is not what is happening, the ABS system is not nearly that smart, and works in an entirely different way. ABS is only looking at the deceleration of the wheels, there is no stoppie/endo protection nor any traction control. The wheels are not compared to each other nor to the speed of the vehicle - wheel deceleration rate, that is all that ABS looks at.

If the system is single channel, it will apply ABS to all wheels equally when it detects one slipping. The more channels you have, the better, as ABS can be applied to each wheel independently. I can't tell you if the ABS on the CBR250R is single or dual channel, but I suspect it's dual.

More likely what's happening is the ABS is coming on and working as intended, but the rider isn't used to it (on a motorcycle or in a car) and starts to panic rather than simply applying more pressure.
This is from the BMW F800ST Manual
"To detect the tendency of the wheels to lock up, the speeds of the front and rear wheel are compared."

The F800 has rear wheel lift detection that simply means if the rear is slowing faster than the front, and the rear has no brake on it, then that means the rear tire is in the air. Logic then follows to release the front brake to get it back down.

The freewheeling over bumps thing will happen when just lightly using the brakes. I mean that is part of the reason you're not supposed to use ABS offroad, but it's too sensitive and not programmed correctly to handle rougher on-road situations.

I would greatly prefer an ABS that does not compare the front and rear wheels. If it only checked for greater than is possible deceleration, then that would be great. That also means that you would be able to do a stoppie on a bike equipped with an ABS system of this type in the dry. Can the CBR250R ABS perform a stoppie?

I wasn't trying to imply that me dropping my DR has to do with it not having ABS, that makes no sense. Though you're right I guess it does read that way and makes it appear that I think having ABS would stop me from dropping the thing. That has nothing to do with the topic question, though I do appreciate everyone's concern for my safety.
 

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If the pavement is bumpy enough to make a tire lose contact, the ABS will modulate pressure until "normalcy" is maintained. The more lightly damped the suspension, the more likely this is to occur. I've never experienced it on a CBR250. A late 90's SUV I used to drive would do this on badly rippled asphalt intersections. Pretty scary, but it was the fault of very lightly damped suspension rather than the ABS.
 

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This is from the BMW F800ST Manual
"To detect the tendency of the wheels to lock up, the speeds of the front and rear wheel are compared."

The F800 has rear wheel lift detection that simply means if the rear is slowing faster than the front, and the rear has no brake on it, then that means the rear tire is in the air. Logic then follows to release the front brake to get it back down.
I see. The Honda manual says nothing like that. I suppose it could be operating that way without them saying so, but I doubt it, especially on such a budget bike.

I would greatly prefer an ABS that does not compare the front and rear wheels. If it only checked for greater than is possible deceleration, then that would be great. That also means that you would be able to do a stoppie on a bike equipped with an ABS system of this type in the dry. Can the CBR250R ABS perform a stoppie?
Dunno, haven't tried (and likely never will), but as with any ABS system, disabling it is really easy even if it doesn't have a switch: Pull the fuse or the sensor out, or install a switch between one or the other.

I wasn't trying to imply that me dropping my DR has to do with it not having ABS, that makes no sense. Though you're right I guess it does read that way and makes it appear that I think having ABS would stop me from dropping the thing. That has nothing to do with the topic question, though I do appreciate everyone's concern for my safety.
Gotcha.. ;)

Good luck, and if you do write to Honda for details on the ABS system, let everyone know what their reply is.
 

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Thx for the heads up on the "free wheeling". Perused through your posted reading material and it is good info. I have rode both non-abs bikes and abs bikes. Frankly, not much difference is noted. I learned proper braking skills, paying attention to the road i'm on, anticipating traffic flow and not braking at the last min etc. Thankfully I have not been in a "holy shite" moment where I have to hard brake thus activating the abs. That said, the abs has a longer stopping distance. Perhaps, if you havn't yet, you might consider an MSF course. Dropping ones bike 9 times in 2 months is excessive and one has to look at where you are riding, how you are riding and what approach to riding you have adopted. If the roads you are travelling on are seriously that bumpy and leading to you dropping your bike as often as you have while coming to a stop, you might consider off road riding. In that case, the cbr is not for you, abs or no abs.
 

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Thanks for the replies everyone. This seems to be not a well known issue about the freewheeling here. I think Honda's ABS is probably a bit more advanced than the BMW systems then
I had a BMW F800 that did the same thing you experienced, "freewheeling" as you call it. It was scary and caused me to come pretty close to rear ending vehicles in front of me a few times. I never had confidence in it and finally sold it. Continuing to coast along with both brakes fully applied can be scary!!
 

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Just to toss something else into the mix here: Does the fact that our abs-equiped bikes also have linked brakes make a difference to the OP's question about stopping on rough surfaces. I don't pretend to know the answer, but I would think that linked brakes would help stop the bike sooner in the scenario presented. Just something to think about, I guess.

Dude! 9 times?!? Are you sure it's the brakes or do you have an inner ear infection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just to toss something else into the mix here: Does the fact that our abs-equiped bikes also have linked brakes make a difference to the OP's question about stopping on rough surfaces. I don't pretend to know the answer, but I would think that linked brakes would help stop the bike sooner in the scenario presented. Just something to think about, I guess.

Dude! 9 times?!? Are you sure it's the brakes or do you have an inner ear infection?
1) wet grass the day I bought it
2) gas station
3) practicing uturns in parking lot
4) deep gravel parking lot
5) practicing uturns in parking lot
6) practicing figure 8 in parking lot
7) gymkhana
8) unintentional stoppie practicing quick stops
9) parking lot lowside at 20mph (I was experimenting with lean angles)

60 bucks to repair all damage. Now that I'm done with that, I can move to a bike i really want. Cbr250r is a consideration since it has ABS I really like standard ergo sportbikes. So you can see my other options are very few. Speed triple abs, Ninja 1000 ABS, Suzuki gsx1250fa ABS, cb1000r ABS which
I don't think is available in the USA, and the cbr250r. I cant afford the insurance.on the bigger bikes, except on the BMW f800st ....but the ABS on them is horrible.
 
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