Do Anti-Lock Brakes Really Increase Motorcycle Safety?

Florida Motorcycle CrashAnti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS), which are now standard on cars, are increasingly becoming an option for motorcycles. While the technology may seem new for motorcycles, in actuality, it is not. BMW has offered ABS on production motorcycles since 1988 and now offers ABS as a standard feature on all of its motorcycles.

But, many motorcyclists are still unconvinced as to the benefits of the technology or are simply not aware of what ABS has to offer.

What ABS does is sense wheel rotation, and if the wheel reduces speed excessively during braking, it pulses the brake pressure to prevent the wheels from locking up. In an emergency braking situation, wheel lock-up is what causes the rider to lose control and go down. By preventing the wheels from locking up, ABS allows a motorcyclist to keep his or her bike upright and straight while braking.

Some myths associated with ABS systems keep riders from embracing a system that can save their lives and the lives of their passengers. Here are a few:

  • Even though ABS offers more control, it takes longer to bring a motorcycle to a stop.
    Riders who believe that locked up wheels offer more traction propagate this myth. It is simply not true. A skidding tire actually has less traction than a tire that isn’t skidding.
  • ABS is always active and affects the riding experience.
    Not true. ABS only activates in emergency stopping situations to prevent wheel lock-up.
  • ABS will make a sports bike stop like a touring motorcycle.
    Not all ABS systems work the same. ABS can be customized for different motorcycles and different riding situations.
  • ABS requires riders to re-learn how to brake.
    Since ABS is only activated in a panic-stop scenario, the way you’ve always stopped in normal situations will not be affected. You may have to change your technique a bit in a panic-stop situation to concentrate on keeping the bike upright.

There is little doubt that if motorcycle manufacturers began equipping anti-lock breaks on motorcycles as standard features and educated the public about its benefits that lives would be saved. If you have questions about the benefits of ABS or have questions about your legal rights following a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, call Farah & Farah at (800) 533-3555. Or contact us online. We are here to help.