Yes or No to ABS - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Yes or No to ABS

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
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post #2 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 11:35 AM
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It's not something I absolutely must have, but if the bike I was considering had ABS, it wouldn't be a deal-breaker.
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post #3 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 11:54 AM
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My new Monster has ABS as standard. You'd never guess until that heart stopping moment when it kicks in (hasn't happened yet) then you'll be glad it's there. Anyway, if Triumph's system is similar to Ducati's system, you can always switch it off (!) if you don't want it. I certainly wouldn't see it as a deal breaker.

Last edited by M.G.Vig; 11-11-2011 at 12:51 PM.
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post #4 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 12:34 PM
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I don’t think you can switch the Triumph system off, from memory.

I’ve got it on my Thunderbird. It’s probably not essential for a bike like that, as it doesn’t get ridden in an aggressive way. In fact I don’t think it’s been activated yet.

My view regarding ABS in general is, why not? Okay, it costs a little more but the resale price is correspondingly higher. And it only (potentially) has to work once to be worth the extra.
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post #5 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 01:50 PM
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it is not possible to switch off the thunderbird ABS system.
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post #6 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 02:45 PM
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If its available now on a bike you want and you can afford it then go for it .

Cant hurt can it.
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post #7 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 03:28 PM
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I've been drivin two wheelers consistantly now for almost 50 years and have never owned or driven a motorcycle equiped with ABS until 16 months ago when I bought my brandy new Tbird SE which comes standard with ABS.I have driven it over 27,000 miles since buying it and have only had to panic stop one time,which did,infact, activate the ABS system.And all I can tell ya is that,unlike the ABS systems used in the automobile which pulses like he** when ya stand on the pedal and maybe stop ya in time,Triumph's ABS system does not pulse, but STOPS ya real quick and without loosing control of the machine.Now I am not an advocate of ABS on any vehicle, but even I was impressed with the ABS system used on Triumph's Thunder Bird.So IMO,if ya have the choice,go for it.If not,then if ya just use common sense when riding it,ya should be ok.ABS is NOT somethin that ya really need or can't drive without. Dave!!!
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post #8 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davetac1 View Post
I've been drivin two wheelers consistantly now for almost 50 years and have never owned or driven a motorcycle equiped with ABS until 16 months ago when I bought my brandy new Tbird SE which comes standard with ABS.I have driven it over 27,000 miles since buying it and have only had to panic stop one time,which did,infact, activate the ABS system.And all I can tell ya is that,unlike the ABS systems used in the automobile which pulses like he** when ya stand on the pedal and maybe stop ya in time,Triumph's ABS system does not pulse, but STOPS ya real quick and without loosing control of the machine.Now I am not an advocate of ABS on any vehicle, but even I was impressed with the ABS system used on Triumph's Thunder Bird.So IMO,if ya have the choice,go for it.If not,then if ya just use common sense when riding it,ya should be ok.ABS is NOT somethin that ya really need or can't drive without. Dave!!!
I have only gotten the rear to activate and it pulsed like hell!

If the front actually activated it might not pulse but I doubt it activated and I was very displeased with the fact that it cant be turned off.

If I had a choice when buying I would have saved my cash and opted for no ABS as it seems by the performance of the rear that it will only function as a method to prolong my stopping distance and not allow me to slide the rear out quickly and efectively when the stopping distance is not there and you have no choice but to lay it down!
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post #9 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 04:33 PM
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Ahhh ABS on motorcycles. One of my favorite topics of discussion. I have thought long and hard about this question ...

My Tbird does not have ABS.

It wasn't an easy decision. There is always a trade-off with technology: It works great and its also proven to make people just a little bit stupider.

There have been countless studies done on this phenomenon, popularized in the Freakonomics books and others. The bottom line is that safety technology subconsciously often leads human beings to take more risks.

All the studies show: Throw a helmet on an average person, and they will much more readily undertake a risk they normally wouldn't take. When the NFL brought in mandatory helmets, neck injuries increased because players started leading tackles with their heads.

And its not just about helmets: Safer ski boots have led to more knee injuries as novices tackle slopes with overconfidence. People go into unsafe areas of town more readily if they have a phone or are armed, because they think technology is protecting them, when if they didn't have those devices they probably would have made a wide detour around a bad spot and avoided trouble completely.

There are countless examples of this - rubberized children's playgrounds lead to more sprains and broken bones than the old fashioned steel and wood ones we grew up on because kids subconsciously think they can jump off from higher up.

When I started reading about and studying this phenomena, I was forced to admit that sometimes I too see this effect at play in my life.

I don't know about anyone else. I only know about myself.

I am SUPER, RIDICULOUSLY careful when riding on rainy roads. I cut the speed waaay down, I practice maximum power emergency stops EVERY SINGLE ride in the rain. I concentrate on being smooth and intentional in every aspect with the bike. I leave extra large gaps for myself on the roads. All this to say ... in the wet, I am a completely different rider. I'm freakin' paranoid, bordering on fanaticism, and so far it has paid off. I often watch other riders in the rain and think to myself 'that guy is nuts' when he's probably riding perfectly normally.

ABS is logically safer: There is no doubt that it stops a bike much faster in the rain. On dry pavement its debatable, but probably also better for the average rider.

But on close, HONEST self-reflection here's what I know: I'm a human being. That means that I'm probably going to act like one from time to time.

I have been riding for just under 25 years on dozens of different bikes. Its one of the great passions of my life - for me, nothing compares to motorcycling.

Back when bikes had horrible drum brakes we were taught 'avoidance braking'; to pick either the shoulder or the lane split every time you stopped ... because you knew the bike probably wouldn't. That's what I learned at age 16. And that's still my mentality.

My greatest fear on the road is not other drivers, or rain, or a flat tire. My greatest fear is that I'll slip mentally.

Without even consciously thinking about it, I might just be a *little* tempted to ease off on the positive (and yes, even fun) paranoia that has kept me riding all these years. I might just ride a wee tiny bit faster at night; after all - says the little voice in my head when I'm running late - I can stop faster, right? I might just narrow the gap by 1/3 of a second between me and the car in front.

I know the little voice in my head that shows up at the worst of times would tell me I might not feel the need to practice emergency braking EVERY time I ride ... I mean, isn't that a little paranoid anyway??!?!

Deep down, I know that THAT is the most dangerous thing that can happen to me as a rider - that I subconsciously start to believe that I'm "a little safer". I've lived long enough to know that mentally, I'm my own worst enemy.

I can already hear some people who are reading this saying "But that's stupid. I'm different. I don't take risks I normally wouldn't take because I put on a helmet. I would ride just as safe with ABS. I'd never be lulled into a false sense of security by technology - even temporarily."

If that's really true, well ... good for you. I mean that sincerely. You are an extraordinary person. I truly wish I enjoyed your level of mental and emotional acuity, awareness and self-control.

For now I've decided to stick with a non-ABS bike. The Thunderbird has the most effective, smooth and powerful brakes of any cruiser I've ever ridden. I'll not suffer because of a lack of braking power.

Might I get ABS some day? Sure! Nothing wrong with them! Like all technology, they offer some great advantages.

But for me, "know thyself" is the name of the game. I don't feel short-changed at all because I don't have ABS.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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post #10 of 71 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 05:02 PM
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My opinion is to get ABS AND practice emergency braking.

ABS in a car is good, but its even better on a bike. If I am driving down the road and a deer jumps in front of me (happened twice to me last year) I do what everyone instinctively does - I slam on the brakes. If you lock the brakes on a car, no big deal, but lock the front on a motorcycle and you have trouble.

Dave slammed on his ABS brakes and 1) maintained control and 2) did not hit the object in front of him (a car if I remember from his post on the subject).

Another member, Raptavio, had a car pull in front of him and he hit the brakes too hard, locked the front tire and went down. fortunately he wasn't hurt bad, but did require hospitalization. I haven't seen him post in over a year so he may have given up on riding, but had he had ABS, his wheel would not have locked.

You can search for that post. He didn;t hit the car and one member claims that is because he went down, i.e., stopped faster, but it doesn't work that way. Keeping your bike on the rubber will stop you faster, always, then putting it down. The experts that write about motorcycle safety will tell you that even if you are going to hit an object, keep you bike upright and scrub as much speed as possible and that's what ABS let you do.
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