Anti-lock brakes: I'm surprised this hasn't been discussed... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Anti-lock brakes: I'm surprised this hasn't been discussed...

So it seems like everybody and their uncle can have ABS if they like, but over here in Canada and the US it's not even an option on the Versys and many other Kawasaki bikes. Honda has it on a few bikes, but BMW seems to be the only manufacturer to systematically offer it on every single model.

We probably all have opinions about safety equipment like helmets, jackets, etc. but what about this safety feature which could help us avoid ever even having to test out all that fashionable gear in certain circumstances? Roughly calculated, ABS would cost about 500$ on the V, so here's the question: Would you get it if you had the option and why?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 01:28 AM
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If Kawasaki offer an ABS version, I would buy one! The reason is safety. Unless you are an expert, ABS can stop the bike quicker. Especially wet road, and what not.

May be our fellow riders from Europe and give us a reviews of their ABS version Versys...

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 02:07 AM
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I hear "they" are likely to make ABS mandatory on bikes in the nearish future.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 07:22 AM
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I most definitely would have gotten ABS if it had been offered.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 07:45 AM
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Me three!

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I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 12:30 PM
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For me the answer is, "NO". I've played with a friend's GS that allows you to turn them on or off. (Now it seems the off switch is an option)

I could stop the bike faster with them off, and off road they SUCK, and caused me to do more sliding unexpectantly until I turned them off.

Then there is higher cost of maintenance and tuning, BMW's being the worse.

I started out as a teenager riding off road, and can appreciate the need to brake with just the back wheel, or alternate between the two due to road conditions. Also I'm the type that has found road bikes have fantastic brakes compaired to some off road bikes. From my perspective, the Versys has the best brakes of any bike I've ever owned. Of course, I've never owned a sport bike, and I found a friends ZX10 to be frightening on brake power.

In short, if they make them mandatory, I'll find a way to disable that feature.

Maloy

I have even gone as far as disable the ones on my truck. They caused me more close calls before I disabled them.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 12:41 PM
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Yes, I would consider it. The only disadvantage (or so I'm told) is that it's difficult for slow speed manouvers because you can't slip the clutch and brake at the same time. Suzuki sells the V Strom in Canada with ABS but I doubt if we will see an ABS Versys. The Versys doesn't appear to be a big seller so it makes sense that Kawasaki would market the lower priced bike and limit the options to bolt-on accessories.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 01:06 PM
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Personally I wouldn't buy a car without ABS, I've yet to find any circumstances where ABS would be detrimental to a car... but I don't drive off road. when I have braked and found the ABS kick in I've been eternally grateful.... on one occasion I was grateful the car behind me also had ABS, but sadly for him the car behind him didn't.

I think theres a lot of BS talked about ABS, often of the style "I'm an experienced rider I don't need ABS", or "ABS is no good off road", but then for me I rarely go off road on my bike, the bast majority of the time I ride my bike its on road, the only times I've been going fast enough for ABS to be of use was on road.

Theres some interesting footage on the MCN channel on youtube demonstrating the difference between ABS & non ABS even on sand on a new Honda.. forget which.

I know one person who claims his recent accident was caused by the Versys ABS kicking in as the bike unweighted going over a hill causing him to loose control.

I wouldn't actively go out and seek an ABS bike over a non ABS, I don't think the safety case has been made. however if the two prospect bikes were identical and the price was similar I'd buy ABS. the difference between a Tiger 1050 with or without ABS is around 800..1000. the Difference on a Versys is around 500.
most ABS systems don't kick in below a certain speed threshold
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 01:33 PM
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Healdem,

I would never claim to be an, "Experianced rider". It is only from my perspective from having problems with ABS systems. Admittedly it was with four wheel vehicles, and all involved Ford, GM, and Chrysler products.

My latest was this last winter when the wheel sensors on my truck started pulsing the brakes long before I was close to a normal stop. I nearly rear ended a car, and if there would not have been room to swerve to the right, I'd have hit them. This was the third time in 9 years that the ABS failed on my truck.

So rather than pay for an expensive repair, (which is bogus, the sensors are plug'n'play) I disabled them.

In short, I've had ABS brakes fail because of a bad sensor 5 times in twelve years. As for a real brake failure in the same time period, ZERO. I keep my vehicles in great mechanical shape, and usually get 10+ years out of one I like and suits my needs. My current truck is 11 years, and nearly 170,000 miles, and I'd not hesitate to take it on a 3,000 mile trip, (Right after I change the oil. )

However, I do advocate, if you like ABS, then get it. As for me, I want the choice.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 02:49 PM
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that sounds more like a production control/design qaulity.
in the last 15 years I've had ABS, driven (I reckon) around 250,000 miles and used the ABS some 10..20 times.
its never failed on 2 vehicles (one even a Citroen Xantia).

so it sounds to me as if the manufacturers are not specifying good enough components, or you are using their vehicle in a manner the designer didn't expect, something I find difficult to believe.

so perhaps its time for US consumers to stop letting US manufacturers get away with selling crap, or is that what happened last year? As has been shown time and time again if your finances are rocky you tend to make choices for cost reasons, rather than functional reasons.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 03:27 PM
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Would I get it? No I wouldn't
Why? I've been riding for 35 years and haven't had it before and don't think I'll miss it now. I also don't need the extra weight, expense or added complexity.

Dave

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 03:44 PM
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Healdem,

I don't know if the parts are crap, as much as our roads are at fault, as well I have to travel some dirt and gravel roads. Which why I have a truck and 4WD, or I'd never get to some of the places I go. This CK1500 Chevy has been the lowest cost to operate vehicle I've ever owned and since it is 11 years old it has been great and still great for its wear. Other than fuel and oil, the only cost this year has been tires and a wheel alignment. It's mid summer and we still have, "Pot holes from Hell".

A lot of road debris seems to find its way into the works. A couple of times I pulled the sensors off, and cleaned the affected parts. It just seems to buy me time.

As for the money part, it is what they do for it that kills me. You pull off the wheels and can remove the sensor with single screw.

$800 USD quote for brake repair was insane. They claim there are test and tuning that have to be done as well as other parts need replaced. In short, I got pissed! I know what parts are good from bad and they were blowing smoke up my arse. So I disabled them.


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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
Would I get it? No I wouldn't
Why? I've been riding for 35 years and haven't had it before and don't think I'll miss it now. I also don't need the extra weight, expense or added complexity.

Dave
Ditto!

Maloy
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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I agree that there seems to be alot of misunderstandings about the purpose of an ABS system. On a car it is meant to allow us to steer away from an object under heavy braking without losing control. On a motorcycle it prevents a wheel lockup which would make us lose our balance and fall to the ground. In either case it can make braking distances slightly longer (compared to a very well performed optimum braking which very few of us can probably accomplish), but better to stop a few feet further out of the path of another vehicle than slam into it or into the ground.

I personally wish I had ABS and am quite anoyed that it's not even offered. After all, offering it as an option takes nothing away from those who don't want the system. But North american markets are baffling to me. It seems we never get the innovative products that europeans get. I do feel that consumers are as much if not more to blame than manufacturers. We put too much emphasis on appearances and performance and not enough on usefulness or safety. Hummers, SUVs and pickups that have never seen a speckle of dirt or a load bigger than a bag of groceries, motorcycles with engines bigger than the average car's or that can do three times any legal speed limit. What are we trying to prove?
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 06:40 PM
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Motorcycle ABS works only in a straight line. Once the bike is cranked over, it's pretty much ineffective. It won't save you from a low side.

The biggest problem is that the government agencies have nobody who understands single track vehicle dynamics. They go on their merry way making regulations that are ineffective or even dangerous. I remember when Joan (Joanie Phoanie) Claybrook was running the whole shebang. She wasted millions on her idea of a "safety motorcycle". It had rear wheel steering, and proved to be totally unrideable. I'm afraid that almost all of the talent is offshore. The only manufacturer R&D operation in the US is Harley, and they don't really make any serious performance machinery.

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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Yes, I would absolutely would like ABS brakes on my Versys. I had a 2002 BMW GS Adventure that had them (Non-Servo) and I loved them. I did turn it off when I went off-road mainly because of trying to stop on steep hills etc. On pavement and gravel they saved my butt more than a few times. I do stop my Versys safely but am careful about brake lock. Never had to even think about it on my GS, wet, dry, gravel, for almost 70K miles. For years most folks (esp. Harley riders) "laid it down" mainly because they panicked and stomped on the rear brake pedal and locked the rear wheel, loosing control of the bike. Hard to do that on a ABS bike. Never had a bit of trouble with the ABS on that big a$$ GS either.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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I have 75k miles on ABS equipped bikes and would absolutely get them on the V if offered. They saved my bacon more than once. They DO help in curves, allowing a change in line, and keeping the tires from losing traction. Ever hit a paint stripe or manhole cover in the rain while braking?
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 03:53 PM
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i ride with abs and had them kick in about ahm o yeah one time and it saved my ass! other than that single time they work like normall brakes just generaly feed the presure and they don't kick in just when you get a shock of someting poping up i your lane animal/human and you grab them full force they come to life (really whorth the extra cash)

o and the MCN test whas the then new cbr 1000 tested by a race driver and he could stop a little better without the abs but then he makes a living of it
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 05:20 PM
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ABS doesn't stop you quicker, it keeps your wheels from locking up, which keeps you from loosing control during panic stops & wet weather. But you probably knew that already...



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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 03:00 PM
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Disable rear ABS?

I'm going on a long ride next weekend that will involve some offroad riding. I'd like some advice on the easiest way to disable just the rear ABS temporarily, as I hit the dirt. So removing the tire is not an option. Can anyone suggest a quick fix?
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