Switching Off ABS

The switch for ABS (Advanced Braking Systems) on motorcycles will be optional according to the latest information from the European Commission.

At this stage the proposal requires the mandatory fitting of ABS (Antilock Braking Systems and Combined Braking Systems (CBS) to new motorcycles by manufacturers after 2016.

The issue regarding a “switch off” option, which some manufacturers offer today on ABS equipped bikes, was to allow riders to disengage ABS in certain driving conditions such as driving on loose gravel. This was mainly for those bikes that would be classed as a trail bike or the adventurer motorcycle used mainly on surfaced roads but with capabilities, to be taken off road or ridden on unsurfaced roads from Europe to Africa and all points of the compass.

We have learned today from the European Commission that the fitting of a switch on ABS systems will no longer be opposed.

ACEM said previously that an on/off button for ABS is permitted by the EU legislation, in the text in the Commission’s Proposal and indeed amendments submitted by MEPs in the IMCO committee, there is no mention of prohibiting a switch.

At the last MCWG meeting in December discussions told place on the – Regulation on vehicle functional safety requirements (RVFSR) – this is one of the delegated Acts.

These discussion documents covered – Braking, including antilock and combined brake systems on motorcycles and that for brakes, UNECE ( United Nations Economic Commission for Europe ) Regulation 78 would replace the EU proprietary brake testing and system requirements.

UNECE Regulation 78 has NO requirements (bearing in mind this regulation sets out the technical details for braking systems), regarding the fitting thus the operation of a switch to turn off ABS.

In simple terms it means that we are almost back to the status quo. With regards to motorcycles fitted with ABS, the decision to include the switch is with the manufacturer and ultimately with the rider.

The choice with the rider is simply one of going to the dealer and deciding whether he or she wants to have a bike that is sold with or without a switch. In other words you the rider will be able to choose with your wallet.

After all the angst and grinding of teeth – we are still left with mandatory ABS – as we commented to the Commission’s representative – one of our concerns was that there will come a time when technology will outdate the regulations. Our humble opinion is that the regulations should be updated to accommodate new future technology, in other words, the regulations should be flexible to allow innovations, which ironically, is what these new regulations are supposed to do.

Read the full article and background information on Right To Ride EU – Click Here



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