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Old 09-06-2014, 11:28 PM   #1
Suncoast OP
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Ninja 300 is ABS needed?

I'm now in the market for a new bike for my wife, the CBR125 that she started on a month and a half ago has done its purpose and given her confidence and made it easy for her to get her licence.
She wants to move up to a Kawasaki Ninja 300. We've been to 3 dealers and 2 of them were trying to push the 2014 with ABS, the 3rd salesman had a good point, he said if you want the ABS then buy it, but on a lightweight bike like the 300 ninja with your wife weighing 110lbs I would think that your braking ability with the ABS would be actually worse than with properly modulated non ABS braking. He stated an occasion that he was riding an ABS equipped bike and crossed 2 railroad tracks and then painted stop lines that were wet, which happens here on the west coast, he said he tried to stop but the ABS engaged and it ended up allowing him to stop much further along than if he had regular brakes and using proper brake control. I can see on a 500lbs + bike with a 200lb rider how ABS would kick in and prevent a lock-up but would it work equally as well on a 370lb bike and light rider? BTW the ABS is about a $4-500 option.
Your thoughts gentleman?
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:35 PM   #2
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A new rider and ABS go together...
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:38 PM   #3
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You can argue that either way.

Pro ABS, its a safety blanket that will teach breaking without the consequences

Non-ABS you'll never learn proper breaking because there are no consequences.

Personally for $500, fuck it, its a safety blanket that takes a lot of random variables out of the equation, it won't make up for a new rider traget fixating, but its worth the med bills if you run across the "shit in the road" that would otherwise put you down.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:17 AM   #4
opticalmace
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I would definitely go for the ABS model, especially as a newish rider.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:43 AM   #5
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First two salesmen had ABS equipped bikes in stock so they naturally recommend buying them. Third guy tells a colourful & unverifiable story about his personal experience on a ABS equipped bike other than the one you were enquiring about. Did he repeat he experience on a non ABS bike in the same conditions to see what would happen? No. Did he test lightweight bikes against heavy bikes with & without ABS to come up with the concept that light bikes are somehow hindered with ABS? No. Do you think he has a non-ABS Ninja 300 on the floor that needs selling & he is spinning a line to move stock? Fill in the answer here………..
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suncoast View Post
I can see on a 500lbs + bike with a 200lb rider how ABS would kick in and prevent a lock-up but would it work equally as well on a 370lb bike and light rider? BTW the ABS is about a $4-500 option.
Your thoughts gentleman?
Oh and this is shit. If the ABS kicked in over a paint line it was going to lock a wheel otherwise, the thing with railroad tracks is utter bullshit, I go over three sets right next to each other, that are filled with a metal plate covered in dew from the marine layer every morning on the way to work....Oh and by the way I'm on the brakes because I have to make a hard, offcamber right JUST after the last track

Do you know how many times the ABS has kicked in for me there......on a 450 pound bike with 200 pound rider.

None.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:23 AM   #7
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The Ninja 300 brakes are already UBS on the base bike, (Unlockable Brake System), that is why I worked with SV Racing to build adapter brackets to mount 4 and 6 piston calipers!

Seriously, the stock bike can lock either wheel if you have the grip of a pro arm wrestler and the foot of Andre the Giant. If you get the ABS to cycle on that bike get a bus pass, you shouldn't be riding.

ABS I'd not be worried about, getting a decent brake upgrade should be waaaay up on the list of things to do.

Read the 300 thread.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
henrymartin
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Over the past twenty plus years, I only owned one ABS bike - BMW 650GS. The ABS kicked in twice over the three years of ownership.

Over the course of time, I probably owned more than 40 bikes. Right now I'm on a WR250R which locks up all the time (on trails for trail breaking), and a 1200 bandit which I haven't locked yet. And that's a heavy bike.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:45 AM   #9
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Installed this today to make my son's bike actually stop when he asks it to.



Even if you get ABS, upgrade the weak brakes. ABS can only work with what it has on there. Super weak, super fade prone. At least better pads and a SS line.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:40 PM   #10
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Would the ABS still work with the Tokiko caliper upgrade?
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:24 PM   #11
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ABS is one of those strange things to have. You never need it until you need it. pretty much just like wearing a helmet.

I've been in a car crash that wouldn't have happened if I'd had ABS brakes, but that was because the car wheels locked up. The stock ninja single caliper brake is crap and I doubt it has the power to lock up the front wheel in the dry. ABS might prevent you from locking up the front in the wet.

The only time ABS will come in handy is if she's riding in the wet and accidentally hits the front brake too hard.

I suppose that she could conceivably use it since she's a new rider. I would go for it if it were my significant other and the option was there.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:40 AM   #12
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Would the ABS still work with the Tokiko caliper upgrade?
Possibly, if the new calliper has the same piston area as the old calliper. But then there would be little point in swapping the calliper (except for the bling). Of course changing a calliper for one with a different piston area requires a change of master cylinder to maintain hydraulic ratios, ordinarily no problem if you change both, but ABS works the same way as cadence or threshold braking (only much more subtle, accurate & fast) with minute pressure variations via the accumulator. Personally I wouldn't fuck around with that relationship.

In reality I wouldn't swap the calliper/master-cylinder on the 300 before I had exhausted ALL possible brake pad compounds available. Of course if ultimate performance in a small sport bike is the goal I would walk past the Ninja 300 & pay the premium for the KTM RC360 rather spend bucks & hours hyping up the 300
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rotoride View Post
ABS is one of those strange things to have. You never need it until you need it. pretty much just like wearing a helmet.

I've been in a car crash that wouldn't have happened if I'd had ABS brakes, but that was because the car wheels locked up. The stock ninja single caliper brake is crap and I doubt it has the power to lock up the front wheel in the dry. ABS might prevent you from locking up the front in the wet.

The only time ABS will come in handy is if she's riding in the wet and accidentally hits the front brake too hard.

I suppose that she could conceivably use it since she's a new rider. I would go for it if it were my significant other and the option was there.
Well said. 300's brakes are designed to be benign for the clumsy learner, not the last of the late brakers on a track day.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:03 AM   #14
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You can read Navin's many posts in the Ninja 300 thread, but to be short I think he's done most things that can be done to a 300, so probably worth hearing him out.

If it were my wife, I'd spring for the ABS even if it might never be used. Note that in your post you keep using "if" statements, or at least implying "if." "If" the brakes are properly modulated, then you will stop just fine, but beginners and perfect form rarely go together.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:10 AM   #15
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I'd would instead look at the Honda CB500 F or R with ABS you choose. The 500cc parallel twin is going to be a much better street bike and will cruise at freeway speeds more easily. Seat height is about the same and weight is not much more.
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