ABS or Non ABS ?

Griff

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I have just found out that I cannot get an ABS Africa Twin until December or January because of the Earthquake in Japan. The option is to go for a non ABS bike which is available.

I have two bikes with ABS and one currently without. My 690KTM also did not have it but it is gone now.

What are folks views on ABS ? Do You think it is good, bad or indifferent ?
 

Beemerphile

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It is a safety net. If you never need it, you will never know it is there. But that one bad day when you wished you had it will outweigh all of those days before.

I got my first ABS bike this year after 48 years on motorcycles. I think not having ABS make me much better at braking technique that I would have otherwise been. But already I can tell that it takes a level of stress out of riding. I will always have a mixed set of technologies because of my old classics. They are not just limited in braking, but also in power and handling. I have to ride them in a different way. Last week I was aggressively braking for a T-intersection on my 1992 R100RS and the front wheel ran over a piece of gravel. The tire immediately locked and I was skidding towards the intersection on a skate. I instinctively released and reapplied the brake and all was well. A tense moment, but it resolved without issue. Glad I knew what to do.

I'll keep my classics, but any current tech bikes I buy will have ABS. You can't know if that one incident will happen, but it might.
 

2brnut2b

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My opinion on this is that if you are more street oriented riding, ABS is very good (like it should be standard) but if you are more off-road oriented, then ABS is an interesting option but it is better if it can be disengaged on demand. I like ABS a lot and even more on the NC (Combined-ABS). I'm really not sure if I'd buy a big bike like the AT without ABS brakes. But this is only my opinion...
 

Griff

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Thanks for the views. Please keep them coming. Like BP I can live without ABS but if I had an option I would take it. In this case however it is not available for another 8/9 months. I am well used to letting the brake go offroad when braking to the limit and the front end lets go, but having a back up to do that for one is a comfort indeed on the road.
 

Gbjbany

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I personally think abs is the dogs bollocks but then I don't practice braking to the limit enough.

Another way to think of this is, what will it do to your resale potential ? If that matters, i.e will it make it harder to sell without abs ?
 

L.B.S.

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It is my understanding that the AT has selective ABS.

When you switch off the ABS on the model that comes with it, it only deactivates the rear wheel, but leaves the front still in anti-lock mode.

To me that is the best of both worlds.

I would go for the ABS version. :)
 

johnakay

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same here Griff. you never know one day you'll be thankful that you had abs brakes. mine came in handy on several occasions .
I wouldnt be with out if I had the choice.
 

TN Thunder

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First, I've never owned a bike with ABS so from that standpoint I don't have any experience. Since most of my riding is in the mountains on paved roads with lots of curves, I like the idea if it had ABS to be able to turn it off. Don't want to apply equal pressure to front brake going downhill in a curve. On gravel definitely lay off he front brake except to feather it. If I were to change bikes I would look for one with ABS but that it can be turned off when you want to.
 

rippin209

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ABS is great on any vehicle but on the pavement on a motorcycle it's really great to have. Makes up for rookie reactions, having a first full of brake and squeezing as hard as you can LOL
 

670cc

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I would hold out for the ABS version of the AT. Get what you want. ABS is not something to add (easily) in the future, should you decide you want it.

I have never owned an ABS motorcycle, but not because I didn't want it. I've purchased only one new bike (the NC) from a dealer in the past 15 years. Honda chose not to sell the ABS / manual transmission version in the USA, otherwise I would have gotten ABS. It was bundled with DCT for a $2000 (MSRP) premium in 2012. I didn't want to pay 25% more for the bike just to get ABS. The 5 other used bikes I have bought over the past 15 years simply didn't have ABS on them.

Some day. . .
 
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rippin209

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I would hold out for the ABS version of the AT. Get what you want. ABS is not something to add (easily) in the future, should you decide you want it.

I have never owned an ABS motorcycle, but not because I didn't want it. I've purchased only one new bike (the NC) from a dealer in the past 15 years. Honda chose not to sell the ABS / manual transmission version in the USA, otherwise I would have gotten ABS. It was bundled with DCT for a $2000 premium in 2012. The used bikes I have bought over the past 15 years simply didn't have ABS on them.
Same problem. I would have paid the extra $950 for ABS that's how big of a fan I am but I didn't want to pay extra for the DCT. I'm glad everyone (with a few exceptions) has had theirs work great but I was sceptical of the auto trans, always the weak point on modern vehicles
 

supertux1

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It may be possible to disable the ABS by disrupting the signal from the sensor with a switch or something.
I can see this as being an advantage on the rear tire for off roading in the dirt etc... when sometimes sliding it is desirable.
 

L.B.S.

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It may be possible to disable the ABS by disrupting the signal from the sensor with a switch or something.
I can see this as being an advantage on the rear tire for off roading in the dirt etc... when sometimes sliding it is desirable.
That's what the Africa Twin ABS model does- it has an OEM switch that allows you to disable the rear wheel feature so you can skid it to your heart's content, yet retain the front ABS.

I'm not 100% positive on why anyone would need/want to disable the front ABS if they didn't have to (ie: in all ABS systems I know of presently, it's all or nothing, so that's what people are used to. The more hard core off road guys are quite willing to give up front antilock, in order to gain the benefits of a lockable rear wheel)
 

drdubb

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ABS was on my shopping list when i purchased the NC. I've had two offs since I returned to riding and I think ABS would've saved me both times. I'm hoping that i don't find out if "three's a charm."
 

rippin209

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ABS was on my shopping list when i purchased the NC. I've had two offs since I returned to riding and I think ABS would've saved me both times. I'm hoping that i don't find out if "three's a charm."
On my way home today coming around a bend there was a school bus on the side of the road, the driver a few cars up probably wasn't paying attention because at the last second as we were about to pass the bus he dropped from 50 to 20 I was 3 cars back so didn't notice this guy practically locking up his brakes by the time I hit my brakes I was stopping as fast as physically possible and my front tire chirped like I had ABS. Luckily I was going straight at that point and was able to keep from having the tire slip out from under me or rear ending the car in front of me / or being rear ended. And once again impressed with my single disc little front brake doing such a great job
 

ld_rider

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What are folks views on ABS ? Do You think it is good, bad or indifferent ?
Totally depends on your application. If you are dirt riding ABS can be downright dangerous. On the street? It can save your life. Most (all?) quarter-ton BMW, Yamaha, KTM, etc., pseudo dual-sports have the ability to easily disable the ABS when riding in gravel or dirt. There is a reason for that ;-)

The last thing you want when negotiating an off-chamber downhill in dirt or gravel with a drop off on one side is for your wheels to "freewheel" because the ABS kicked in, resulting in zero braking ability...BTDT

If you are going to be riding mostly off road, save the weight, $$, and complexity and get the regular AT...If you are going on the pavement once in awhile I would get the ABS..
 
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bamamate

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The AT has the ability to disable the rear ABS while it retains the front ABS. That is a perfect setup for dirt. I would wait the 8 months and get the ABS. Didn't realize they were even selling the AT without ABS.
 

Griff

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Honda chose not to sell the ABS / manual transmission version in the USA, otherwise I would have gotten ABS..
Does anyone know why Honda chose not to sell that version in the USA. It doesn't make sense when they sold ABS with the DCT version ?
 

HarveyM

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Keeping the price low on the manual model (same reason North America doesn't get the LED headlight/revised forks on the NC)? Pushing DCT sales?
 
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