When braking hard, we all know that locking up motorcycle wheel(s) will create unbalance and will easily put you down. ABS systems, via their sensors, are supposed to detect when a bike’s wheels are about to lock up, rapidly releasing and reapplying braking pressure to allow the motorcycle to slow while the wheels keep turning because the gyroscopic effect of the 2 rotating wheels helps keep the machine upright.
Still, the motorcycle industry and most of you are arguing about the real safety advantage of ABS technology on motorcycles. Is it because bikers are by nature opposed to more federal safety requirements? Are slow to embrace any new technology? Or had a non convincing experience while using ABS? Or all of the above?
Federal Highway regulators and motorcycle manufacturers, also for reason of liability, are concerned for your safety and are looking for a re-evaluation of the benefits provided by ABS systems on motorcycles. Are they, as initially described and justified to be offered now as either standard or optional equipment, a significant new tool to prevent fatal accidents?
Much more needs to be discovered, and for the first time the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is about to launch a study funded by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation —a nonprofit group— that will use bike-mounted cameras and other instruments to record riders’ behavior as they travel and use their brakes. I think a very good initiative because I always wondered why safety regulations have often been established from “after accident” studies instead of “in situation” ones. The new study will probably takes 2 years before conclusions can be drawn.