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Old 12-12-2013, 05:55 PM   #1
keiPHadventure OP
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Smart/Stupid ABS

I been riding two-wheeled vehicles since I was 2 years old and ridden proper motorcycles for eleven years. I've preferred to ride my bikes more than drive my cars as well. I've taught myself all the information I can get so I could maximize my riding/driving skills. In short, I'm a defensive rider at any given moment. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened.

I have a BMW XChallenge with ABS. I got it a few months ago. I've already tested out my other sibling's BMW's before I got mine (all equipped with ABS). I found the ABS system too crude, unrefined to like it. I've always been a purist of motorcycles, I don't want electronic nannies to do the decisions and control the bike for me (ABS, TC). My greatest strength is braking(everything is relative of course). From the get-go, I've always know that the BMW's ABS is too sensitive. Hit a bump during medium braking, it activates immediately even though you know that the tire hasn't even lost contact with the road yet, lengthening your braking distance and giving your sphincter a good exercise!

I was headed to work yesterday during rush hour. I spotted a car stopped on the side of the road on a 6-lane avenue. When I was near, the car suddenly made an illegal U-turn! Being hemmed in on both sides by two cars, I didn't have enough space to swerve and avoid the car in front of me. I started top brake, but then I hit some rumble strips. The ABS kicked in and I lost my braking control of the bike and plowed straight into the car's left-side rear.

My face wasn't protected enough by my three quarter helmet. My face hit the car's D-pillar, dented the sheet metal too. My ribs hit the handlebar before I fell off my bike. Right now, my jaw's a bit misaligned and I have a nasty gash below my lower lip after my teeth ripped through the flesh. Fortunately, no stitches necessary and no broken bones. I can't eat anything larger than my finger because I can't open my mouth wide enough and my gums have bruises and my front teeth hurt, even the softest bread is excruciating to chew.

My bike only suffered a cracked fender and bent handlebars(which I righted after I left the hospital). Tough bike, that.

But here's the point: even if the car did make an illegal U-turn, I know I could have stopped with enough space to spare if the ABS didn't kick in. I can brake hard enough to make my front tire chirp but not lock. I hate the ABS. I've posted my bike up for sale immediately. I don't want to live with stupid ABS. It didn't help me at all. I'm really disappointed.

I sincerely hope something so simple like this doesn't happen to anyone else. Please be careful out there, everyone...
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
dovetailredux
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Why don't you just pull the fuse for the ABS instead of getting rid of the whole bike? Heal up fast, man.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dovetailredux View Post
Why don't you just pull the fuse for the ABS instead of getting rid of the whole bike? Heal up fast, man.
+1. Assuming you otherwise like the bike, ABS can usually be disabled. Of course, it's always nice to have an excuse to buy a different bike!

Glad you weren't more seriously injured - hope you heal quickly and completely!
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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Sounds fishy, cars on either side avoided the car you hit? Try taking responsibility for your lack of experience
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:53 PM   #5
keiPHadventure OP
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@dovetailredux: I usually turn the ABS off, it's a PITA if I keep doing it every time. Before I crashed I was already here on the site looking for solutions to delete the ABS. Unfortunately, I only got the answer the evening before I hit the car. Too bad, really.

@SloMo228: Yes, it's a good opportunity to change bikes for me. I do like my bike, but a friend of mine is selling his F-GS at a good price. I think it's a good deal, so it's a timely decision for me.

@eric: Those cars on either side almost hit the car, too. I wouldn't have hit the car if my ABS didn't activate at the wrong moment. Read the post again please. And lack of experience? Really? So you've never crashed or dropped your bike at any point in your life? You must be an amazing rider. You should start a riding school. Enlighten us with your talent, please.

Anyway, thanks for the well-wishes. Just wanted to share my story here.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keiPHadventure View Post

@eric: Those cars on either side almost hit the car, too. I wouldn't have hit the car if my ABS didn't activate at the wrong moment. Read the post again please. And lack of experience? Really? So you've never crashed or dropped your bike at any point in your life? You must be an amazing rider. You should start a riding school. Enlighten us with your talent, please.

Anyway, thanks for the well-wishes. Just wanted to share my story here.
Glad you're alright...wondering if you will be wearing a FF helmet from now on?? And I think what Eric was trying to get at is that you didn't leave yourself an "out". I realize we do not live in the philippines and have no idea of the roads/drivers there.....but I'm always adjusting my speed and position to make sure I've got a spot to my left and right to swerve into if needed.

hardwaregrrl screwed with this post 12-13-2013 at 02:04 PM
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:10 AM   #7
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I hate to sound like a shit, but if you can brake hard enough to make your front tire chirp but not lock, I assume that is on good ground. If you hit rumble strips, you wouldn't have been able to make them chirp either, I dare say. Meaning, the ABS got you stopped as fast as conditions allowed, which weren't good ie rumble strips. IMHO, braking without ABS would have likely resulted in the same outcome at best.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:01 AM   #8
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I hate ABS too... I had a deer run in front of me on some slick roads, and I just could not get it to slow down quick enough... Luckily I did not hit it or crash but came awful close. First thing I did when I got home pulled the ABS off had napa make me some brake lines...
I am with you ABS sucks, so sorry to hear about your misfortune Get Well Brother!!!
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:41 AM   #9
keiPHadventure OP
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@hardwaregrrl: Yeah, the road conditions here are actually shite compared to what your first-world countries have. I know the standards. I could only hope for the best out here, and maybe pray that the worst won't happen! I'll make sure to keep wearing my FF helmets from here on end, too! The "out" that you guys mostly have doesn't happen here a lot, and most of the other drivers here really don't care about other motorists espacially when one rides a motorcycle here. Ask/read some F1 driver's testimonials who've visited here, they'll have a lot of comments about the traffic conditions in my country... Really scary stuff.

@_Davi_: Quite right. The ABS did try to help me out in its own way... I don't hate the concept of ABS, really. But on my bike the system isn't as refined as the new ones. I've used my brother's Panigale and the ABS was magnificent, not overreactive and only starts to intervene when the situation is really on the serious situations... Same goes for the other newer bikes I've tried out. All I'm saying is I wish my XCh's ABS wasn't so careful and protective that it had to intervene at the worst possible moment. By the way, our pavement here's 90% bumpy and the rest are still only somewhat smooth, so braking on uneven surfaces are quite normal for us here. I wish you guys could see how the sportbike riders suffer here even on short rides!

@Rock Junkee: It really gets to you, doesn't it? The scare that you get when that one in a million moment comes up to kiss you and remind you how vulnerable you are in any given moment. I never wanted to have to post here but it just happened.

Again, I wish what happened to me doesn't happen to any other riders out there. It could be worse for them... Thanks again. Ride safely, everyone!
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:12 AM   #10
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F800S & ST have the same problem...

Never braked hard enough to have it happen to me, but on the F800S/ST forums several riders have complained of partial and even total loss of rear braking on "stutter bump" like surfaces.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:29 AM   #11
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Eek

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl View Post
Never braked hard enough to have it happen to me, but on the F800S/ST forums several riders have complained of partial and even total loss of rear braking on "stutter bump" like surfaces.
Hey, GearHeadGrrrl, how's the wrist feeling?

I have a Sertao and the front ABS is near perfect. Under any condition it will stop the bike as fast as is possible. I used to be a road racer and I know about braking, controlled slides, etc. and the front ABS will pull the bike down faster than anyone without can on the same road and the same tires.
The rear ABS is not so good. For some reason it hammers hard and the wheel will sometimes lockup and pop free about twice a second. SO, just like my old race bike, I ignore the rear brake or just use it lightly to drag the rear end. We will see how well I can do that in a real panic when the adrenaline kicks in, but I stay pretty calm always.
Wish I could simply disable only the rear ABS.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:52 AM   #12
L.B.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keiPHadventure View Post
I been riding two-wheeled vehicles since I was 2 years old and ridden proper motorcycles for eleven years. I've preferred to ride my bikes more than drive my cars as well. I've taught myself all the information I can get so I could maximize my riding/driving skills. In short, I'm a defensive rider at any given moment. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened.

I have a BMW XChallenge with ABS. I got it a few months ago. I've already tested out my other sibling's BMW's before I got mine (all equipped with ABS). I found the ABS system too crude, unrefined to like it. I've always been a purist of motorcycles, I don't want electronic nannies to do the decisions and control the bike for me (ABS, TC). My greatest strength is braking(everything is relative of course). From the get-go, I've always know that the BMW's ABS is too sensitive. Hit a bump during medium braking, it activates immediately even though you know that the tire hasn't even lost contact with the road yet, lengthening your braking distance and giving your sphincter a good exercise!

I was headed to work yesterday during rush hour. I spotted a car stopped on the side of the road on a 6-lane avenue. When I was near, the car suddenly made an illegal U-turn! Being hemmed in on both sides by two cars, I didn't have enough space to swerve and avoid the car in front of me. I started top brake, but then I hit some rumble strips. The ABS kicked in and I lost my braking control of the bike and plowed straight into the car's left-side rear.

My face wasn't protected enough by my three quarter helmet. My face hit the car's D-pillar, dented the sheet metal too. My ribs hit the handlebar before I fell off my bike. Right now, my jaw's a bit misaligned and I have a nasty gash below my lower lip after my teeth ripped through the flesh. Fortunately, no stitches necessary and no broken bones. I can't eat anything larger than my finger because I can't open my mouth wide enough and my gums have bruises and my front teeth hurt, even the softest bread is excruciating to chew.

My bike only suffered a cracked fender and bent handlebars(which I righted after I left the hospital). Tough bike, that.

But here's the point: even if the car did make an illegal U-turn, I know I could have stopped with enough space to spare if the ABS didn't kick in. I can brake hard enough to make my front tire chirp but not lock. I hate the ABS. I've posted my bike up for sale immediately. I don't want to live with stupid ABS. It didn't help me at all. I'm really disappointed.

I sincerely hope something so simple like this doesn't happen to anyone else. Please be careful out there, everyone...
Buckle up and prepare for many replies by asshats who say: "it can't happen" or: "you're doing it wrong", "you are lying, making it up" etc., etc.

Having owned a brand spanking new BMW F800ST with ABS, I know *exactly* what you are talking about!!!

I've been riding for over 40+ years, and have never crashed or had nasty things happen due to incorrect brake application by me, normal riding or panic emergency situations. I live in the PNW, and commute solely by motorcycle year round. I like to imagine I have just a wee bit of experience with bikes and how to use the brakes on them...

MY ST's brakes were horrifyingly scary. The extended release when braking and going over the tiniest pavement imperfection, had the exact feeling of not only completely letting off the brakes, but cranking the throttle too, lol! WTF! I'm speeding up! I'm not braking, I'm fricking speeding up!!! Auuuugh!

It's difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't had it happen. The sensation makes me shiver and feel ill just thinking back about it.

The first time I disbelievingly rolled straight through the crosswalk and halfway into an intersection with zero ability to stop, was the worst feeling I've ever had. It shook me up to say the least. If there had been pedestrians or any vehicles, I would have run right into them.

That nasty piece of work got traded in on a Honda NC700X, with AWESOME ABS brakes. Take heart that some manufacturers can do the ABS thing properly.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:56 AM   #13
L.B.S.
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Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl View Post
Never braked hard enough to have it happen to me, but on the F800S/ST forums several riders have complained of partial and even total loss of rear braking on "stutter bump" like surfaces.
It's not just the rear brake, it's *ALL* braking that goes away!
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:40 AM   #14
Pecha72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.B.S. View Post
MY ST's brakes were horrifyingly scary. The extended release when braking and going over the tiniest pavement imperfection, had the exact feeling of not only completely letting off the brakes, but cranking the throttle too, lol! WTF! I'm speeding up! I'm not braking, I'm fricking speeding up!!! Auuuugh!

It's difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't had it happen. The sensation makes me shiver and feel ill just thinking back about it.

The first time I disbelievingly rolled straight through the crosswalk and halfway into an intersection with zero ability to stop, was the worst feeling I've ever had. It shook me up to say the least. If there had been pedestrians or any vehicles, I would have run right into them.
German Motorrad magazine had a big ABS article a while ago. There were 7-8 very different ABS-bikes (sportsbikes, tourers, big trailies, customs) compared, and they seemed to notice what you are describing. Bumpy surfaces do affect certain ABS systems more than others. But they never saw the differences as being that dramatic, and this added to the stopping distances, but not that much. I havenดt tried the F800ST myself, so I canดt comment on that.

But my point is, these systems are different from one another (and naturally bikes are also), some bike+ABS-combos handle braking on bumps a lot better than others. So to claim ดABS sucksด is cutting corners, a lot.

(But thatดs always the problem on the net: everything should somehow be seen as either totally black, or totally white, and thereดs nothing in between. (Luckily) this is seldom the case in real life).
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:25 AM   #15
L.B.S.
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[QUOTE Pecha72]

But my point is, these systems are different from one another (and naturally bikes are also), some bike+ABS-combos handle braking on bumps a lot better than others. So to claim ดABS sucksด is cutting corners, a lot.

[/QUOTE Pecha72]


---> "...got traded in on a Honda NC700X, with AWESOME ABS brakes. Take heart that some manufacturers can do the ABS thing properly."

I agree and need no more convincing.
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