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2009 CBR600RR C-ABS - First Ride

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
From the East it Comes

The ABS system frees your mind to concentrate on other things in adverse conditions.
I bet you cringe when you see riding like this in the rain. I used to. Believe it or not, the new Honda C-ABS CBR600RR actually made this fun.
The winds of the East have blown the American way and I’ve been converted by the righteous belly of Buddah. Well, not totally, but last Friday sure opened my eyes to a safety feature that I’m sure more and more sportbikes will soon be equipped with. What am I talking about? While I can’t believe I’m even saying this, I’m talking about ABS (Anti-Lock Brake Systems) on a motorcycle – and for the first time in my life I actually have something nice to say about the set up.

Leave it to Honda to be the first kids on the block with the all-new C-ABS linked braking system, one which doesn’t hamper aggressive riding nearly as much as the other systems on the market, including some previous versions found on Honda’s own motorcycles.

I was, without a doubt, one of the world’s leaders of the anti-ABS movement. In fact, in some ways I still am. I don’t like them on any car I’ve ever owned or driven, and I still don’t. But even more so, I despised them on all motorcycles with a passion. Why? Well, even though I may sound pompous for saying this, I’m part of the one-percent of people able to exploit a sportbike’s braking performance beyond that of an ABS system, thus I considered them as a hindrance to the beloved fun-factor and a deterrent for fast lap times.

In the dry I like to back it in and mess around with the occasional stoppie from time to time, which this system totally eliminates. And frankly, in the dry I can brake with more accuracy and quicker than an ABS system (a fact my score sheets from several tests can attest to). Honda also published the same tests for the European market (they wouldn't "officially" show us in the lawyer-ridden U.S.) and their professional rider was able to elapse that of the ABS system, but only just slightly. Plus, the ability to slide a motorcycle on corner-entry can be used to pre-steer or square-up a given corner. This all comes with years of practice and racing, something which ABS isn’t quite ready for just yet.

Wet and wild at HPCC.
HPCC played host to the C-ABS intro and presented an array of challenges.
Maybe growing up on dirt bikes and time spent battling the hordes on AMA road racing circuits have me locked in my ways, but I’ve always preferred to be in total control of the brakes. In a way, ABS leaves me feeling vulnerable, as if I’m only a passenger once the situation arises in which the system takes over. And in all reality, this is true. Once ABS is engaged the vehicle is going to stop only as quickly as the ABS system will allow it. There’s nothing you can do to get it stopped any faster. The key to this equation rests solely on how good the ABS system works as a whole. And, believe it or not, what I sampled at Honda HQ changed my mind enough that I am now a believer.

Honda’s C-ABS linked braking system is what changed my mind. It is now an option on both the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR for ’09 in limited numbers in the States. In Europe they expect it to be a bigger seller and may soon even be mandated by laws overseas. We sampled it on a 600RR at Honda’s top-secret HPCC proving grounds in the middle of the Mojave Desert in Southern California and I think Honda ordered some intervention from the man above, because it rained the entire time, something that happens about once every three years in those parts. But it provided an ideal environment in which to test the new system.

The Tech Side of Things…

Full bike system diagram
The inner working of the full system as it sits in the '09 Honda CBR600RR C-ABS. Notice how much is centralized around the CG of the machine.
Honda’s ABS system has been in development for multiple years in Japan and here in the U.S., so you can imagine it isn’t the simplest thing in the world to explain. Because it’s being employed on a sport motorcycle, which makes weight a major issue, their old hydraulic system had to be abandoned in favor of an electronically-controlled unit. Where a traditional system utilizes a pressure control valve, a delay valve, three-piston floating calipers, parallel brake lines and a front fork-mounted secondary master cylinder, this new electronic setup eliminates the pressure control and delay valves as well as the secondary master cylinder, and uses a standard caliper design. This greatly reduces weight, but this system still adds about 20 pounds to the CBR, most of which remains centered around the motorcycle’s CG. It’s all about mass centralization people.

For each wheel the C-ABS features a hydroelectronic valve unit which contains a stroke simulator designed to relay the feel of a traditional brake system back to the rider. This is done by routing the brake fluid through a two-piece rubber cushion system that is less resistant early in the stroke and more as the lever is pulled harder. Because the system no longer directly connects the rider to the brakes, this is put in place to provide feel and feedback. Inside each of these units are two sensors that detect rider input pressure on the brake lever/pedal and relay the data to the ECM. (There are two sensors as a safety precaution in case one malfunctions, at which time the system will default back into a traditional braking system and a warning light on the dash will light up.)
THe full C-ABS system weights in at a mere 20 pounds.
The full C-ABS System weighs only 20 pounds.

The ECM deciphers the signals and sends them to the front and rear EPUs (Electronic Power Unit). Within each EPU is a motorized gear-driven ball screw that applies pressure against a piston to produce hydraulic braking pressure that is then transferred to the respective brake caliper. Still with me? When ABS mode is engaged, the ECM reacts to changes in wheel speed, detected from front- and rear-mounted wheel speed sensors, to rapidly decrease and increase braking pressure in an effort to maintain traction at the threshold of wheel lockup. Because the ECM is capable of hundreds of calculations and changes every second, the system is designed to work nearly seamlessly, with no vibration or detection through the lever/pedal whatsoever.
Control Unit breakdown 1
Diagram of the hydroelectronic valve. One is needed for each brake system.

Also incorporated is their linked braking system, which Honda has used for some time now, but has totally updated for these sporting applications. Where the old system used to the link the two brakes almost instantly when either brake was applied, the new one only does so when lockup is detected. If the bike is ridden in a traditional manner within its limits, it will feel as if there is no linking of the system at all. It is not until one of the wheels is just about to break traction that the system links the two brake units together to help the rider stop faster, with more control.

As mentioned above, this whole system is electronic, and the first of its kind on any production motorcycle. The reason for it being elecronic? To save weight. Though to counteract some of the 20-odd pounds it does add, the 600 Double-R gets the new mono-block Nissin calipers from the CBR1000RR. A redesigned shock was needed in which they change the placement of the remote reservoir was need to accommodate the mounting of the rear ECU unit under the seat, and slightly larger side fairings are now in place to cover the front ECU unit. On the 1000RR a higher-capacity alternator with updated oil-cooling and a larger battery are needed to support the system, while the rear under-fender is enlarged to accommodate the bigger battery and a new, larger left-side engine cover is in place to hide the rear EPU. Everything else stays exactly the same.

EPU Control Unit
Honda's C-ABS EPU unit.
Bikes are being shipped to the dealers as you read this and should be available in a matter of weeks (Sometime in February 2009). As I said earlier, Honda is only bringing in a small number of C-ABS machines in an effort to gauge how the American market responds. Retail for the 600RR C-ABS will be $10,799, while the 1000RR will run $12,999. Both will be available in red only.

All very interesting techie info, but let’s get back to the good stuff...

It is, without a doubt, the best ABS system on any motorcycle or car yours truly has ever sampled. And considering the list of machines I’ve tested in my tenure on the job, this is quite impressive.

We started off on the quite dangerous 4.5-mile road course, which is a true testing facility. It’s far more akin to a mashing of public roads into what resembles a racetrack than a ture race circuit of any kind. Giant jump-like bumps at the apex of 80-mph corners, 20-foot wide sealer patches, tar stripes from edge to edge and massive hills with painted lines throughout are the norm, thus riding in the rain quickly raised one’s blood pressure in a hurry. It’s designed to put cars, trucks and motorcycles to the test and it does exactly that. Only problem? It’s 10-times more dangerous in the rain as all the variations in pavement make grip levels extremely inconsistent.
Hard on the brakes in the wet with total control.
Grab and handful of both brakes in any conditions and the C-ABS will control the rest. It take awhile before a trained brain will allow one to do so.

After those first scary laps it was off to the skid pad for a few passes to get acclimated with the C-ABS system in a controlled environment. My my firmly-shut eyes began to open, following which I bit the bullet and headed back out on the road course. This is where it all really came together, mading me a believer. I was instantly more at ease while riding as I suddenly no longer had to worry about crashing on the brakes, in turn relieving one of the most stressful elements of riding in the rain. I knew if I got in deep all I had to do was keep it on the racetrack and the ABS would keep me on two wheels. And it did. I was braking like it was dry, hammering on the binders at the end of the half-mile, 160mph front straight with vigor and aggression – no problem. This allowed my mind to concentrate on corner speed and throttle modulation with much more focus and made riding in the rain quite fun. Never thought I would say this, but I actually had a really good time riding around a dangerous test track in the rain, staying out right up until I was booted off at 5 p.m.

I must say, it really changed my mind about ABS. My days of doing less than smart things on public roads disappeared when I found the racetrack and because of this I would take the ABS unit as a canyon carver or daily commuter in a heartbeat. The additional level of safety it potentially provides in less-than-ideal road conditions is awesome. Be it sand, gravel, water – you name it, this system will make street riding much safer. As would it in the rain at the racetrack; it’s no coincidence Honda is homologating both bikes for competition in the AMA/DMG Series next season. Watch out when it rains people as anyone on one of these motorcycles will surely have an advantage.

Let me tell you why. Where the upper percentile of riders will always be better at stopping in the dry, as they are in tune with levels of adhesion and the ability to slide the bike some becomes an advantage, in the rain, unless you are literally Valentino Rossi (remember that amazing Suzuka win in the rain?), riding to that same limit in the wet is extremely unfeasible. The level of wet grip is so low and the wheels are so quick to lock up that it’s nearly impossible for a human to brake perfectly in the rain on a consistent basis. On the new Honda system, however, it is possible to do so – every time.

The new CBR with ABS is a potent weapon in the wet.
It's almost impossible to tell this bike is equipped with ABS. The system is very small and Honda has tucked it away quite nicely.
This same concept can be applied in the dry, and for those street guys and occasional trackday riders who aren’t able to exploit every last ounce of braking without getting in trouble, this bike will do wonders for your riding, and in turn make the roads and racetracks much safer. You can literally slam on the binders – front, rear or both – with every last ounce of your might and the machine stops with the precision of a doctor’s scalpel every time. All the rider needs to do is steer the bike in the correct direction.

Where it might create an issue, and this is the same thing ABS has done with automobiles, is to make riders/drivers dependent upon it. If one only learns on a motorcycle in which you can simply slam on the brakes and it will essentially take care of the rest, how will he/she do when it comes time to ride something without a crutch? That’s the question. Either they will be extremely cautious and slow, due to not knowing the limits of adhesion, or they will not know what to do and end up on their head.

A lot of car drivers are guilty of never really knowing how to brake properly, thus when they first start riding it creates a big hurdle to overcome. Hopefully people will realize this and take it easy when a new situation arises. Though, much like the car market, the writing is on the wall. More than likely all motorcycles will be equipped with ABS in the years to come per some yet-to-be-seen form of government regulation. That’s my conspiracy theory anyway. And while I’m torn on government regulations as a whole, there’s no doubt it will save lives.

Riding in the rain and actually having fun!
ABS freed our mind to think about more important things - namely not crashing on the extremely slick 4.5-mile road course.
Picture this for a munuite: You're cruising to the office, late and need to get there in a hurry. Thank goodness you're on a motorcycle and can split lanes (at least here in California). As you weave in and out of traffic thoughts of how mad your mad boss is going to be that you are late for the third time this week run though your head. Then, next thing you know, an oblivious woman who is putting on makeup while text messaging makes a wide-swinging left turn right in front of you without so much as a glance over her shoulder. Your instantaneous reactions are all you have at this point. And the first reaction for most is to slam violently on both brakes as quickly as possible. It’s what most of today’s drivers have learned growing up with ABS-equipped cars their whole lives. But on a non-ABS motorcycle the consequences can be disastrous. Until now that included every purebred sportbike on the market. Thankfully Honda has came out with a system to aid people in situations like this while still maintaining the sporting abilities of the machine – all of this for only $1000 more than the standard model!

Two years ago Honda’s President Mr. Fukui promised that by 2010 all Honda motorcycles will be available with ABS as an option. Well done Fukui-san and Amen to the Big Red Machine for putting their money where their mouth is and progressing motorcycle safety.
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2009 Honda CBR600RR - First Ride
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2009 CBR600RR/C-ABS Spec Chart
2009 CBR600RR/C-ABS
Engine: Liquid-cooled Inline Four
Displacement: 599cc
Bore x Stroke: 67 x 42.5mm
Compression Ratio: 12.2:1
Clutch: Wet, slipper
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front Suspension: 41mm fork, fully adj., 4.7-in trv.
Rear Suspension: Single shock, fully adj., 5.1-in trv.
Rake/Trail: 23.5 degrees /97.7mm (3.8 inches)
Front Brake: Dual 310mm discs
Rear Brake: Single 220mm disc
Front Tire: 120/70-17 Bridgestone or Dunlop
Rear Tire: 180/55 Bridgestone or Dunlop
Wheelbase: 53.9 inch (1369mm)
Seat Height: 32.3 inch (820mm)
Wet Weight: 412 lbs. / 434 lbs. (C-ABS)
Fuel Tank: 4.8 gallon (18 liter) 
Honda's Comparative Claimed Weights
CBR600RR non-C-ABS – 412 lbs.
CBR600RR w/C-ABS – 434 lbs.
Kawasaki ZX-6R – 428 lbs.
Suzuki GSX-R600 – 434 lbs.
Yamaha YZF-R6 – 422 lbs.
Non-C-ABS Tribal and Red/White
As are tribal and white red color options.
Keeping up with the tattoo generation and adding a few new color options will help sales for Honda in '09. A lime green color option completes the lineup and may ruffle Kawasaki's feathers a bit.
Other Honda Sportbike Reviews
2015 Honda CBR300R Comparison
Honda beefed up its 250R platform to make the 2015 CBR300R, resulting in a motorcycle which has better performance all around.
2014 Honda VFR800F Interceptor Comparison
Honda revives its classic sport-touring platform with the return of its VFR800F Interceptor ($14,473.95 as tested). Powered by a purring and super-efficient V-Four engine, the new VFR gets sleeker body panels, wheels and instrumentation, as well as a reworked cooling and exhaust system.
2015 Honda CBR300R First Ride
Honda ups its game in the small displacement sportbike segment with its 2015 CBR300R, which features more juice than the outgoing CBR250R and styling to match its larger CBR siblings.

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Hugh G -ABS is a natural progression of braking technology  April 25, 2010 02:39 PM
There is no question, that eventually all bikes will be equipped with ABS. Brakes are supposed to slow down or stop the bike... they can't do that effectively if they lock the tires up, so it is a natural evolution to develop brakes that will stop the bike and eliminate tire lockup. Only the expert riders will fight the ABS trend because they think they can do it better, but for the vast majority of riders, the technology of ABS far outweighs any cost or disadvantages. My next bike will hopefully have ABS because I am not ashamed to admit that my skills are not good enough to ride without it, and probably never will be.
Knighty -sounds good  September 4, 2009 12:50 AM
I think the e-cabs system sounds like a fantastic idea, i have only been riding for about 6 months and only break as much as i need to to stop before i need to. so the only time the ABS would come into affect for a rider that rides only on the street would be during emergency situations right?
Sam -It's all realitive  July 7, 2009 01:54 PM
I guess we could say that we are now taking exceptional risk if we compare our bikes equiped with bicycle breaks. Technology, whether it be breaks, tires, or suspension, allow us to go faster. Skills will always requre honing as new bikes are put before us as they always have. I think understanding the technology and how it evolved along with an even approch to the learning curve for new riders will ultimately determine whether we are more or less "safe". Safe is a realitive term, though it's possible that we may reach speeds in which any crash would be fatal....then again, technology is not only limited to the motorcycle.
Andy Sinn -Cornering Traction  March 9, 2009 03:53 PM
While wheel sensors can certainly detect impending lockup, I don't understand how a wheel sensor could possibly detect sliding, since a sliding wheel can still be turning. ABS is great when you're stopping in a straight line or nearly straight line, but how could it possibly help if the rider goes into a corner too hot and cornering force exceeds available lateral traction, i.e. lowside? The downside of any new technology which reduces risk is that human beings will modify their behaviors until the risk is once again at the threshhold. In other words, if the bike is perceived safer, people will take great risks, i.e., brake later, go into turns hotter, ride faster in the rain. This has been reflected in the accident rates of ABS equipped cars.
Bo -re: EP  March 2, 2009 06:05 PM
Its not all that uncommon in the nicer or more high end ABS systems to take take two actions that cause intermediate lockups on single tires 1. the system tests the limits of threshold braking for the possible changing conditions under your tires. 2. some systems have been programed to handle slow or loose surfaces by locking the tires up for a short period to build up a small amount of material in front of the tire to help slow you down. or the system could be getting spoofed by the changing conditions ( gravel on the road or rapid changes in contact pressure ie a dip in the road ) my German cars would very commonly chirp tires (no more than 1 at a time)under panic braking but here in Michigan ABS would greatly benefit many riders due to our poor road conditions and great amounts of sand gravel salt and rocks left on the roads and especially intersections from the previous winter. Its hard to see these things before its too late, especially when your eyes are on the cars. just my $0.02
peter ramsey -confused  February 23, 2009 12:08 AM
does abs help in dry conditions really?
Al -Might have saved my last road surfing experience  February 20, 2009 12:23 PM
The other day I was riding in a city and my mind must have been elsewhere because I suddenly realized I was riding right into a red light. I grabbed the brakes and ended up sliding through the intersection. In a perfect world, I'd have more skills, would have paid better attention, etc. But it's not a perfect world. $1k premium is worth it if it saves you one slide...and it's priceless if that slide would have cost your life, as it easily can in traffic. My local dealer has my number to call me when they get a 1k in with ABS.
Hubinatorx -It should be able to be turned off.  February 20, 2009 10:14 AM
It is good thing but i should not be told i have to have it that way. It should be able to turn it off. I to can go play and slide the front and the rear.
Cruiser -re: ABS  February 5, 2009 07:20 PM
ABS may or may not be good on the track. It IS good on the street. Under panic conditions, no-one I know of can consistently manage their braking as well as they do on the track. ABS is ideal for those panic situations where you could easily and inadvertently grab too much brake and cause a crash you could have avoided otherwise. I can think of several instances involving very experienced riders where ABS would likely have saved them a trip to the hospital and months of recovery time.
ABS works... -...even if everyone doesn't want to admit  February 5, 2009 05:35 PM
Jonas - IMHO ABS implemented properly is far superior said "Formula 1 cars used ABS until is was outlawed. Formula 1 has the best performance based technology and best drivers on the planet. If ABS wasn't a performance advantage they wouldn't have used it." F1 eliminated ABS because it was a "driver's aid" -- in effect saying it was TOO GOOd, not the opposite like you suggest. If Steve Atlas, with all that riding talent, says ABS is a worthwhile street environment, than for those with less talent (me, and likely everyone else that responded here) it is too.
tcwild -ABS is not for clean/dry conditions  February 4, 2009 03:10 PM
The author states he can outperform an ABS equipped vehicle (bike or car) - which may be true under clean/dry conditions. I'm pretty good too; but my cars with ABS have saved my butt more than once under conditions other than clean/dry. There is no way a person can outperform ABS if conditions are less than perfect. Good for Honda.
Dave -Cbr not nearly as porky even with abs.  February 3, 2009 01:27 PM
Another site weighed all the 09 motorcycles instead of relying on what the manufactures were putting out. Without abs the cbr was the lightest. With it the cbr was only 2 pounds heavier than the next heaviest bike which was the gsxr600. So superior braking ability without a significant weight penalty sounds like a win win to me. @ x2468 I have a car that has no abs and while I do take pride for driving without incident and braking properly in bad weather..... I would'nt mind having it around. Safety wins over pride any day.
steve -abs  February 3, 2009 01:58 AM
and id also like to add the extra weight believed to be an extra 20lbs is not something that would interest me in this option as well...
steve -abs  February 3, 2009 01:57 AM
this is an nice option for a sportbike..however i have to agree with an earlier comment made that the prices are getting out of hand.. a 1k cc bike should not be 13k and 11k for a 600 is just insane..this is a great option i have gone down and abs might have prevent my personal incident, but with experience i have learned the proper ways to brake.. knowing how not to lock the brakes up as a skill people will need to learn over time to become better ridiers. this will not help braking skills people need, especially since not all bikes will have this option, and will alter ones ability to learn how to keep themselves off the pavement. its a nice option but i dont think too many people will buy it due to the price jack of all bikes that will come with this option.. thanks ride safe everyone..
Valter from Brazil -Believe it or not  February 1, 2009 08:43 AM
Here in brazil you can grab on those for only US$27.5k ;) Thats why I love to live here.
Junior -Paraguai!!  February 1, 2009 06:51 AM
Me gusto mucho la moto por la potencia del motor, por el modelito de la moto y por la estabilidad que tiene... I from paraguai, my name is Junior Mussi, I have 15 years. I loves bikes..
Joe Blow -No thanks...  January 31, 2009 10:10 AM
20 lbs extra for a device that mimics a skill riders should already possess? Not for me.
EricG. -what do you want more x2468?  January 29, 2009 06:45 PM
dont get disappointed at the sight of someone being able to break well with this technology. The point is safety. it seems like if you were side to side with another rider and you both had to immediately stop because of some careless driver that you dont think that he should be able to stop in time just because he paid more money to be able to do so. This technology can save an unskilled rider's life, i think that's a little more important than your ego.
ep -hrm.  January 29, 2009 09:03 AM
i understand why you can't turn it off. you get used to grabbing a handful of brake. it becomes a reflex. now suppose you decide to turn it off for some reason, and you end up having to make an emergency stop. reflex = disaster. i'm curious what would happen if the system failed. my car still locks the wheels in very slippery conditions, even with the ABS. but i don't have to worry about 3500lbs flipping end over end. it's a great idea though, and i'm glad honda is doing at least ONE thing new this year.
Dan the Canadian -Good thing.......  January 29, 2009 07:12 AM
Well I went down once, because I lock the front, then lowside the bike ont the street.... I was'nt paying attention to the car in front of me..... Thist could of maybe safed it???????
Jonas -IMHO ABS implemented properly is far superior  January 29, 2009 05:54 AM
I am not an expert by any means. I am one of those guys that there is no doubt is better off with ABS. I just have one fact to point out. Formula 1 cars used ABS until is was outlawed. Formula 1 has the best performance based technology and best drivers on the planet. If ABS wasn't a performance advantage they wouldn't have used it.
Ed Patterson -Real world  January 28, 2009 09:24 PM
You may feel that you are soooo good at braking but in the "real world" there are so many variables, surface conditions that 99+% of the riders out there could probably use these systems. If it keeps your carcass off the pavement that one time that ABS system is well worth it. I certainly am a believer having one bike with and one without, not counting the dirt bike. I ride daily all year round in a variety of conditions and have over the years trained about 8000 riders. There are more than a few that could have benefited from this technology that has been heretofore only been widely available on BMWs and a few others (mostly sport-touring) machines. Even the insurance companies are apparently taking notice as the ABS equipped motorcycles are showing up as having fewer braking related crashes. I just hope that more rider will wake up and learn to appreciate this as they have the improved tires, brakes, chassis etc on modern motorcycles.
I. Ramos -I think it is the most important advance in motorcycle technology  January 28, 2009 07:01 PM
Forget about A,B or C switches. Or cross-plane crankshafts. Power is nice, but after over 30 years racing and many motorcycle accidents I can tell you that the most important thing for me is SAFETY. Who cares if another motorcycle has 5 HP's more. Or if it weights 5 pounds less. If that was the case the motorcycle with the lightest riders will always win. Anything that can improve safety without affecting performance is good. In fact I think that for daily use, and even for road racing, an ABS system that works properly is more important than a traction control that is only usefull in road racing when you are leaning and if trying to acelerate in a corner.
Super-Fast-Steve-> -I want one!  January 28, 2009 05:36 PM
Jeez... $13K for a 1000, $11K for a 600cc?? Just a couple years ago a 600 cost $8k. Are manufactures fluffing the prices for stealerships?
GAJ -Multiple bike owners...  January 28, 2009 01:04 PM
would they have "hesitation" in remembering which braking technique to use if only one of several bikes in the garage had ABS? I'm guessing "yes" which is why I will only have non ABS bike for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately I had an ABS bike (F800ST) that would "release" in the dry over bumps...but you never knew when! Got rid of that bike for the same model without ABS and now ride it exactly the same way as my other bikes with no need to adapt different braking techniques for different bikes. Sounds like Honda did a better job on ABS on light bikes than BMW has.
Steve Atlas -RE: Chris  January 28, 2009 11:23 AM
You are right, and while the system prevents lock-up at all times, there is no way for it to act as traction control and keep you on two-wheels while leaned over. Physics takes over at that point and while the wheel still won't lock up it can't prevent the lateral forces pushing front tire from causing a low-side. Just think of it like a car: When the the ABS is on the wheels won't lock up no matter what but if you try to steer the car it will still run wide and push the front. Hope this helps.
Chris -No flaws at all?  January 28, 2009 09:27 AM
It sounds like the ABS works pretty seamlessly, but like x2468 asked, what about performance when leaned over (e.g. you hit the brakes mid corner in the wet, or even in the dry)? Clearly it's not traction control and fix physics, but im curious the limits of what it can do. And how close to max-braking do you think it can get?
Steve Atlas -RE: x2468  January 27, 2009 10:23 PM
You make a good point about the challenges this presents and the skill needed to ride a motorcycle well. Although I agree this will take some away from that, just like with anything, the cream will always rise to the top and you can't buy better corner speed, etc. Also, to answer the other question, the system is unable to be turned off.
x2468 -mixed feelings and questions...  January 27, 2009 09:19 PM
How does the ABS know if the road is dirty, or wet, or anything? It doesn't do that pulsing, on/off thing that car ABS does correct? what about mid corner braking? does it make that easier? can you shut off the ABS? I have mixed feelings about this technology. While i like the thought of being able to pay for piece of mind (locking up the brakes is one of the things that worries me the most, especially in the rain), one of the reasons i love motorcycles is because I enjoy the challenge they present, and the skill required to ride them well. this takes away a lot of them. Does it disappoint you that now any newb can brake nearly as fast as you if they pay an extra grand? after all the practice and skill you've had to acquire.
Trevor -Could save a few front-end washouts....  January 27, 2009 07:23 PM
Sounds like this is quite the system. I can see it being a god-send on the cold pavement we northerners have to ride on frequently.