Non News – ABS

Non News – Move along nothing to see here – Thousands of European motorcyclists did not take to the street in disgust at the news of a 125cc motorcycle fitted with ABS (Advanced Braking System) even if it costs £200 more than the non ABS version as llisted for the Yamaha MT-125 ABS.

Mandatory braking systems from 2016 – New motorcycles of more than 125 cc are to be equipped with an enhanced ABS (anti-lock braking system), whereas the incorporation of anti-lock or combined brake systems for motorcycles under 125 cc will be left to the choice of the vehicle manufacturer.

A European riders organisation said previously in 2011 that they did not deny the safety benefit of ABS but they opposed the mandatory measures in general. They also highlighted that currently in 2011 the price difference of a motorcycle with and without ABS ranges between 500 to 1.500 Euros (excluding increased maintenance costs). Prices for 125cc scooters and motorcycles range between 2.000 and 4.000 Euros. Mandating ABS means a price increase of at least 20 % for this low performance motorcycles – a category originally intended to provide European citizens with a cheap and sustainable means of transport.

They also mentioned that it remained to be seen if the main producers of 125cc motorcycles in the EU, France, Spain and Italy, are willing to accept the changes.

Also in 2011 the European Commission and Parliament have argued that ABS will reduce casualties by 20% over the next 10 years. This is in our view, reckless because it may lead motorcyclists and safety organizations to believe that ABS will reduce casualties in ALL braking situations, rather than stop the motorcycle safely in specific scenarios.

Back in 2013 at Right To Ride we asked the question – So did riders ask for all these new technological systems? Like the latest tablet or phone technology when it is announced to the buying public and clambered over, as a must have, to a degree as riders hold some decorum, there is a want for new technology!

Riders cannot cry out that there was no consultation as the issue of ABS was discussed, debated politically, published from as far back as 2008 and well lobbied by Bosch to certain MEPs, in a public hearing, in publically accessed committees and working groups with politicians, technical experts, government representatives and riders groups, through to acceptance in 2012. The European Commission before the end of 2019, will decide, whether to propose extending the mandatory fitting of anti-lock braking systems to categories of smaller motorcycles – les than 125cc.

There is of course the rhetoric that these systems and legislation to introduce them as compulsory, removes the freedom of choice – for riders to choose to have or not have the system on a bike – we have to be careful here in case of a back lash on the freedom of choice issue.

However with over 27 million PTWs (motorcycles –scooters – mopeds) in use in Europe and their riders – the average rider – the majority of riders, want the freedom of choice to have these systems on their bikes and do not care that there is no alternative.

For these riders there appears to be no concern of these systems being fitted or the inconvenience or cost if there are electronic failures, these riders do not care, it is a part of modern acceptability and they want their bikes to have the latest technology fitted.

It looks like in this instance that Yamaha, as the motorcycle industry does generally to sell bikes, just innovates and moves on!

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Yamaha MT-125 ABS – Click Here

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ABS may well reduce casualties, but only if riders have been trained how to use it. Has that additional training also been factored into the costs?

Not that I’m aware of. They need to be trained on CBS for sub 125’s and then again on ABS for over 125s.

Just another change, not much to do, if you dont like the ABS, buy an older machine, just my opinion, ABS might be good for very late braking lol, every second counts when you are racing.

According to a professional collision scene investigator, when the motorcycle goes down, there is no control. Anything to keep the bike upright means that potentially that there is a better chance of avoiding an impact. But if he/she goes down and slides, they keep going to the left oright, whereas if they were able to stay up, it is possible that they would be able to go around behind the hazard and the collision would have been avoided or over the top of the hazard (e.g. OV) – which in any case would be less likely to kill than going under the wheels of the OV. The purpose of ABS is to prevent the wheels from locking and to keep the bike upright. PS if you are racing – presumably you would be on a race track 🙂

If you are advocating that riders be trained on the use of ABS then you are putting in anthor layer of training for new riders and riders who have purchased their first bike with ABS or CBS.

What would that training consist of – therory and practical skill training – who would pay?

If you are suggesting practical skills then that surely would either be at a speed that would bring any system into force – higher speed emergency braking – considering the speed that emergency braking and brake and swerve takes place in the training to take the motorcycle test in the UK.

Or on a surface that would bring any system into force eg wet road conditions.

Perhaps also considering if ABS comes on in a braking event then you have actually “overcome” the braking system and tyre grip.

My own experience is that when ABS comes on, the ABS triggered event is over in an instant or less, I have been fortunate not to have continued to crash after this.

I have ridden motorcycles equiped with ABS since 1997 so although it may be “nice” to have training, do we need this regulated, adding to the expense of motorcycling – “factored costs” – without any or little gains in safety.

Other maybe that to make a point that the legislators have made this mandatory when before there was no great outcry on riders should be trained to use ABS, in fact there is none now.

Is it down to riders to take control after passing a test or current riders to get post test training that will develop their skills?

Or are we all happy riding around with what we have got?

Trevor.B – Right To Ride

The lesson hard learnt in aviation is that new technologies may solve a problem, but they bring new problems along in their wake. The Investigator that Elaine quotes is partially correct in saying that ABS will keep a bike upright, but sadly there is still no chance of avoiding an impact. Once ABS kicks in as the result of a panic response there is no longer a human being on board the bike to make any steering corrections that might save the day. If a control is fitted to a machine then it would be a good idea for the machine operator to learn how to use that control. We have to learn how to use all the other controls on the machine so why not this one? One of these statements is correct. 1) If the ABS kicks in the operator should maintain the brake lever pressure. 2) If the ABS kicks in the operator should increase the brake lever pressure. 3) If the ABS kicks in the operator should release the brake lever pressure. The answer you pick will determine your fate. 🙂

First of, I hope legislators didn’t make the error of distinguishing between “more than 125cc” and “less than 125cc”, leaving the 125cc (regardless of power?) bikes in a void.

As to ABS … Do car drivers get extra training for using ABS? How many car drivers even know their car has ABS (or not)? It’s supposed to be there and be used *without* thinking about it, so all training has to do is stop teaching people to worry about skidding in a more or less straight line.

I’m surprised Yamaha can offer ABS for only 200€ extra: not that long ago it added about 800€ in material costs to the bike.

What are those extra maintenance costs? The couple of minutes longer it takes to purge the brake line circuit?

I would say no extra training or for the how to drive in cases of other technology when Electronic Stability Control (ESC) operates.

Perhaps maybe rather than training for ABS would be what does it feel like when it operates so Duncan – There Is NoSurprise 🙂

“The Investigator that Elaine quotes is partially correct in saying that ABS will keep a bike upright, but sadly there is still no chance of avoiding an impact.” Not the point. If you read what I wrote, I stated that the outcome would be the less deadly – over the top rather than sliding under the wheel. When I spoke to the Commission representative – he effectively said that the reason why they wanted to include ABS in the proposed regulations wasn’t just about safety, but because the industry was artificially hiking up the price of ABS.

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