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Paulfun,

No doubt that the advice the experts give will not work 100% of time - i think we all understand that, but a lot of people argue against ABS simply becuase it's newer technology the same way many still argue against fuel injection.

Saying we shouldn't rely on technology is fine, but if we really believed that, we still be living in caves. What that statment usually means is that I like the technology I grew up with, but not the new stuff. I can understand that from a familiarity standpoint, but its a subject response, not a objective response based on the numbers
 

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As a kid I had plenty of minibike crashes, but to answer Paulfun's question I have only been in one accident on a full size motorcycle.

What happened to Paulfun's cousin is certainly tragic, and I am very sorry for what happened to him. Still this example does not offer enough information to justify that the bike rider should have laid the bike down. For all we know he wasn't paying attention, and by the time he hit the brakes it was too late. In general I believe if you actually have time to consider laying the bike down, then you have time to find a better solution as well.

I'll give Paul the one about the guy who hit the tractor trailer though. Obviously once he reached the point that the impact was inevitable then he should have tried to slide under the truck. The same rules of physics apply here though. Dropping the bike would still have increased the stopping distance. This is just a rare example where that is actually the better outcome.
 

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Probably the smartest response we shall ever see concerning the subject -

"On important matters such as safety I think it's useful to consiser and learn from as many sources as possible. There may not be "just one right answer".
 

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Probably the smartest response we shall ever see concerning the subject -

"On important matters such as safety I think it's useful to consiser and learn from as many sources as possible. There may not be "just one right answer".
True. Every circumstance is different. The more information you get on a subject like safety/survival the more information you have to use when you react in that split second.
 

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Consider this:

A couple of days ago I finally had the Triumph heated grips installed. They are great! My fingers used to be wooden twigs by the time I got to work - today they were nice and warm.

HOWEVER ... I did notice something disturbing.

I virtually always ride with the first two fingers on my right hand covering the front brake. Covering the brake is a basic safety procedure and a habit I've intentionally cultivated ... But today I had this irresistible urge to wrap them around the toasty warm grip instead!

This new, wonderful, warm technology ... and using it might actually make me less safe in traffic.

On the ride, my brain started rationalizing (something it seems to do effortlessly) ... "Don't worry, warm fingers on the grip will be quick enough to grab the lever if you need to. Do you really need to cover the brake all the time anyway? C'mon! That's paranoid! For crying out loud its WARMER to grab that grip!? Isn't that what you paid for?"

Are heated grips a wonderful technological advancement in motorcycling? Of course!

And yet that technology might actually be making me less safe.

Something to think about.
 

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Consider this:
And yet that technology might actually be making me less safe.

Something to think about.
Not to hijack (no pun intended ) but on a similar front the airline industry has discovered that pilots who are constantly exposed to highly automated flight systems are losing their basic flying skills. :eek:

I could see how this could happen with vehicles where the operator relies upon a set series of feedback experiences to maintain operator skill levels and safety.
 

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Draeger,

it might be less safe for you, but I don't think that most people cover the brake all the time. In fact many people, especially newer riders, tend to squeeze the grips too hard.
 

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I laid it down once. I had been riding too long, it was hot, late in the day, I was in an unfamiliar area, and cruised right through a stop sign into an intersection. Before I knew what was happening, I was on the ground. I had hit my brakes, I think gradually like I practice, but something happened (maybe I laid it down a a reflex to turning away from the side of the SUV in front of me and wanting to put my feet toward it). Would ABS have made a difference? I don't know since I barely knew what had happened, but when I went to buy my 'bird the guy asked if I wanted ABS for additional $$$. I went home and looked at some youtube videos, thought how much my life was worth, and if I only used it once, it would be worth it.

And as Draeger pointed out about heated grips, I love them, and I cover my brakes nearly all the time too, but when I'm on the highway and there's nothing around, I do wrap my fingers around them, loving the warmth. They're also good for that at stops.
 

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Looking to trade my speedmaster for a new thunderbird at some point in time. I have never had a bike with ABS before and would like to hear what everyone has to say about this in general and about Triumphs' ABS system. I know some things are personal choice but would like any input to help me decide which way to go. Thanks for any input. Mark
Before I bought my SE a number of folks said that ABS was a good idea. i had already put it on my wishlist of whatever I was going to get. Either way depending on the out the door price of the bike, I figured I'd be okay.

When I selected the SE as my new ride, I was happy that the ABS was part of the package. I'm cruising along at 50 MPH when Dufus pulls out in front of me I'm looking at a 4 ft deep ditch or high siding the bike or slamming into Dipstick's black Mazda. I hit the rear brake harder than I intended. The result was dropping from 50 to 5 in 50 to 60 ft. My 'Bird ran straight and true to the edge of the roadway at the shoulder. I ended up 3-4 ft behind Dimwit's rear bumper at the closest point when I could downshift to first gear, (AND my butt cheeks could let go of the seat :eek:).

I'll never own another street bike that doesn't have ABS.

Happy Trails,

56R
 

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ABS will help in some situations but not all. In a small percentage IMO. There are so many ways to crash and many leave ABS worthless. A sitch where you have no time to stop at all because it's too close, hitting a patch of oil/water/sand, etc. Things like that have nothing to do with ABS. In MY riding experience, and i'm not saying this is true of everyone, but i cannot think of a single incident i have had where ABS would have come into play at all. I am NOT exaggerationg here. And when i was younger i spent my first 5 riding years on the pavement more than on the freakin bike. I was down probably 20 times in that period, maybe 5 of them being collisions with cars. And i am 100% positive as i recall all of them that even one would have had ABS come into play.

Second, i believe there is a device that will literally take safety so far beyond what ABS is capable of it's pathetic. Your brain. It's got a steep learning curve, but if you have an understanding of bike physics and what it takes to go down and how quickly things happen, then by training yourself to be acutely aware ALL THE TIME is something that IMO when combined with the fact most incidents will not benefit from ABS will make the biggest difference in your survival than anything and far far above what ABS is capable of.

Those are IMO facts. So for me, no, i don't feel ABS is the major safety factor many do, at least for me. But the fact is it COULD save you life. You just have to weigh whether or not it's past the point of diminishing returns for you. You can take motorcycle safety to insane extremes if you want to and do a lot more than ABS. Wear a chain mail suit. Paint your bike solid floresect pink. Etc etc. But the point is where do YOU draw the line where the point of diminishing returns is? I draw it somewhere before ABS. Some will disagree and i understand that. I can even fully understand why. I just happen to think there are degrees of safety and till you starts approaching the extremes of one end or the other, it's completely subjective. YOU must weigh the facts and decide for yourself.
 

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Very well put Dazco. Its true that the line we all draw on this one is personal. Sounds like you're the kind of guy I'd love to sit and have a brew with someday. This motorcycling thing is an adventure!
 

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I also agree with much of what Dazco says. I give ABS a little more credit than he does, but fully agree that these issues can be carried to an extreme and ultimately it's an individual choice. We make many other choices that are probably equally (or perhaps more) critical to safety. Examples of these are:
- how far to let the tire tread were down before replacing
- purchase a softer tire compound that grips well or a harder compound that wears well
- check tires daily as is recommened with a good tire gage or occasionally
- how fast we ride - at night - in the rain - when we're tired - I can go on...
- one beer and? ride now, in one hour? two beers and? you get the idea
- wear a helmet? full face or lid?
Zeroing in on ABS as a key safety factor is probably wishful thinking; there are many other choices we make that are equally important. Much depends on your riding style and how far you want to go to reduce risk.
I don't have to ride my bike for work, it's always a choice I make. I avoid riding at night and in any kind of inclement weather. I rarely ride two up. I'm perfectly happy cruising along within the speed limit. Most often I worry about whether I'm going fast enough - not too fast. I'm sure ABS could add to my safety.
Remember, we ride motorcycles; it is a choice. I could suggest trikes as a safer option for some, but that would start another debate - we'd probably end up talking about ABS enhancing the safety of trikes...
For me it was a $1000 decision; I ofted for more "farkles"; color me silly.
Great discussion though.
 

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I'm cruising along at 50 MPH when Dufus pulls out in front of me I'm looking at a 4 ft deep ditch or high siding the bike or slamming into Dipstick's black Mazda. I hit the rear brake harder than I intended. The result was dropping from 50 to 5 in 50 to 60 ft. My 'Bird ran straight and true to the edge of the roadway at the shoulder. I ended up 3-4 ft behind Dimwit's rear bumper at the closest point when I could downshift to first gear, (AND my butt cheeks could let go of the seat :eek:).

I'll never own another street bike that doesn't have ABS.

Happy Trails,

56R
This is exactley why I am such an advocate of ABS. If you read the motrocycle crash statistics, right of way incursions (car pulls in front of you, etc.) Are among the most common and in those cases, as you describe, ABS allows you to stop much faster and safer becuase you simply grab a handful of brakes.

The Michigan motorcyle cops do an impressive demonstration of ABS. They line a bunch of people up and run a motorcycle betwen them at 50 mph and and slam on the brakes at a pre-determined spot. The BMW 1200 RT they use for this stops in under 50 feet. It's incredible to see and makes one realize that a stop like that while trying to modulate the brakes simply won't happen.

In car ABS ins't so important since locking the tires usually isn't an issue. On a bike it's a completely different story.
 

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Abs

If the next bike I look at does not have ABS, I will skip buying that bike. My experience is that if you have even one single option on a motorcycle, the ABS option is one of the best choices you can make. You can grab all the brake you need to stop in an emergency situation, and pretty well keep the bike upright. If you try the same maneuver on wet pavment, you will appreciate ABS brakes all the more. As I said before, the ABS will not help you much on sand or gravel, nor will it protect you from stupid riding, but it is a great option to pay the extra money for.
 

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I vote yes on ABS. My first bike was a dual drum type and we had really not much ability to stop-yes they did teach look for a shoulder to run to and bail out. Yes they did teach laying down the bike. Now laying down a bike to slide under a Semi-that would be useful.
There must be a reason why most all Police bikes have ABS? (if not all)

No one has mentioned that the Grannie Nannie Goverments of EU and USA are thinking of mandatory ABS on ALL bikes.

When faced with a potentially dangerous situation, it's generally best to remain upright on your bike. Remember, tire rubber has an immense amount of traction. However, plastic, steel, and chrome (the materials found on the side of the bike) offer almost no traction. Your ground up flesh also might make a nice slippery surface, owie, When you stay on your motorcycle instead of letting it slide, you'll be better able to stop in time or swerve out of the way. The only possible time where it might be a better idea to purposely end up on the ground is when it's better than the alternative, like going over a guardrail down a cliff or into the middle of a ten-car pile-up. Once you lay down a bike, you have absolutely no control over where you will end up.

Locking up the rear brake a good way to lay down the bike. I vote ABS on my bike.

Good ideas about checking Air Pressure-probably a safer bet than ABS.

Better idea is to keep the god damn tires that freaking wear out quckly-stick rubber is softer and wears out quicker.

I vote for long life for the rider, screw the tires. One day in the ER quickly wipes out a decade of tires.

I ride for serenity and peace of mind. It clears out the cobwebs and it's a 100% immersion in survival and living. Dancing with the cars and trucks, turkey and deer. They got texting in steel cages. I get all the safety gear I can pile on and ABS. Come and get me mutha's.
 

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Great discussion!

I fully embrace the merits and safety benefits of ABS, yet I don't own a bike that has the feature. Why is that?

Here's one additional item to consider. I own two bikes (TT Storm, and T100). When I was looking to buy the Storm I also considered the TT SE. The SE is fully loaded for cruising and has the addition of ABS (very cool).

I took a week to decide between the two bikes. One of the deciding factors was the ABS. I chose the Storm in the end, partly because it didn't have ABS. You see I didn't want one bike w/ ABS, and the other without.

Everything I've learned about braking on a motorcycle is about control gained through continued practice. I didn't want to throw a leg over one bike and be able to grab a handful of brake in an emergency and not be able to do it on the other (confusing and dangerous). If you ride more than one bike IMHO they should either both have ABS or both not.
 

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Very interesting perspective; I had not thought of that and I think you make a good point. It seems that these discussion almost always degenerate into opposing camps. "You absolutely must have it", or "I don't want it".
Life isn't that simple, you have to take into consideration experience, riding habits etc. I've owned several classic cars; none had seat belts; that doesn't mean they should be relegated to the scrap heap. I've owned several airplanes; some had shoulder belts and some did not.
I fully understand that there are very good benefits to ABS; it is an advanced technology that can, in many situations, improve safety especially for less exeperienced riders, or riders who drive in "inclement" conditions. That does not mean that a bike without ABS is an accident waiting to happen. Moderation and perspective have to be considered. Absolute and dogmatic statements implying that anyone without ABS is taking their life in their hands strike me as somewhat silly and superficial.
There are millions of bikes out there - yep millions - without ABS. Bikes without ABS will continue to be sold for years to come, say what you like. It's good technology; I'm glad it's available. But it's not the going to make two wheel vehicles more stable than four wheel vehicles.
We ride motorcycles, and they are less stable and more accident prone that motorcars; that is the way it is. It's a choice we make; ride hard and often and be happy. :Fencing
 
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