ABS off road??

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Nevada, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    Good point man. I agree with you.
    I was making a reference to that particular video.
    #61
  2. NateLePain

    NateLePain Long timer

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    And again are you speaking from experience?

    nlp
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  3. NateLePain

    NateLePain Long timer

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    I was not aware of this feature. Thx...nlp
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  4. Nerb

    Nerb Been here awhile

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    Can you post a video of you locking the front wheel to mound up gravel?
    I also note that you do specifically say "loose dirt conditions"... how loose would you say? Loose enough to pile up gravel in front of the wheel in the second or less that you have it locked?
    I think people have a weird perception that ABS releases the brakes completely when actually it only prevents lockup. Granted, some people are awesome and can ride around with a locked front wheel, but for the rest of us mortals, there is never a time when we want the front to lock. The rear... yes, disable the ABS, but not the front.
    #64
  5. pdxmotorhead

    pdxmotorhead Long timer

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    On most Auto ABS systems, if you pump the pedal during braking the ABS stops.. Do any of the bike systems?



    Dave



    ANd just to stir the pot:
    Ever seen the fastest braking contst they did with F1 drivers ABS vs NON ABS? ABS won every time in the wet about 50% in the dry. They discussed ABS being banned many times in FIA.
    #65
  6. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I don't think that's the issue we are discussing here. I hardly think it's a real world issue as far as motorcycle fatalities are concerned when the most prevalent scenarios for a fatal crash are motorcycle runs wide in curve. Even with the dreaded left turning cage the issue is the motorcycle was going fast when the crash happened. It's not like stopping 5 feet shorter would have helped since the bike is nowhere near stopped when the crash happens.

    ABS on the street seems to mostly help not dropping the bike when someone panics and grabs a big handful of front brake.

    When ABS first came out in cars, there were many cars on the road simultaneously that had both ABS and non-ABS versions. The accident rate wasn't any lower with the ABS versions. People still drove straight into things with their foot on the brake whether they had ABS or not. Stops 5 feet shorter seldom actually makes a difference.
    #66
  7. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I have invoked the front ABS off pavement numerous times. In loose off-pavement conditions it definitely drastically reduces braking effectiveness. As I noted, I have gone into the ditch and into the weeds due to this, when I otherwise could have braked normally and made the corner. The way it "prevents lockup" is by briefly RELEASING THE BRAKE for that wheel. The problem in some off pavement conditions is that it releases it for so much of the braking time that there is MUCH less braking.

    I'm not awesome, I'm an old man with cancer. I don't "ride around" with the front locked, I lock it and release it during hard off-pavement braking. For anyone with much dirt experience it's not such a big deal. Actual dirt bikes never have ABS and the front brake still provides the majority of braking power. Sometimes the front starts to lock up and then you ease off and keep going. When I am riding my dually as a dirt bike, I prefer it to have dirt bike brakes which means no ABS on either wheel. The more-dirt version of my big bike comes from the factory with no ABS (as well as a taller suspension).

    When I took MSF-ERC for the insurance discount (which of course is on pavement) on a non-ABS V-Strom 1000 with knobbies, out of boredom I was intentionally locking up the front and pushing it the last 10 feet into the "stop box" every time, until they asked me to please not do that.
    #67
  8. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    ABS isn't about stopping shorter its about maintaining control of the vehicle. ABS allows you to steer clear while applying maximum braking. If you don't know how to control your vehicle in the first place ABS isn't much help, which is probably why it didn't reduce any accidents.


    When ABS was first introduce with cars people still pumped the brakes like they were taught in drivers ed....this negated the ABS.....
    #68
  9. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I have had it happen several times on maintained dirt roads (that conventional cars go on) that merely had a layer of "marbles" (small round gravel). It's not like it has to be deep sand or gravel or deep ANYTHING. It just has to have loose stuff.

    Of course soccer mom would be driving her car 15-20 mph on that road and maybe I'm trying to come down from 45 to make that curve, I want all the braking I can get. There are specific places where I know it can be done with a non-ABS bike because I do exactly that on my non-ABS bike on that same road. If I turn off my ABS on my ABS bike, I know it can also be done on my big bike because I have done it, on that same road. But the first time when I didn't know to turn off the ABS, or the other time when I forgot? Pucker time into the weeds with both brakes mashed and no fucking stopping power.

    I've also had it happen on a powerline trail where I forgot to re-sequence the ABS-off procedure after a stall and restart. Yes my error but it would be more user-friendly if there was a simple throw on/off toggle. And descending a chute lined with smaller round loose rocks (not baby heads but more like golf balls to baseballs) on a now-trail that was a road decades ago but only a rock-crawler Jeep could do it now.

    The ABS has nothing to do with going 60 mph or more down a straight firm dirt road where you aren't braking anyway, any more than ABS on pavement is involved when cruising down the interstate. All I know from experience is that ABS in loose off road conditions provides MUCH less braking than I am used to when riding non-ABS bikes in the same conditions. I have had both ABS and non-ABS Big Bikes. I would rather not have ABS in dirt for when it matters, but most of the mileage it doesn't come into play so I don't stop and turn it off every time I turn onto a dirt road. Unfortunately there have been times I wish I had.

    Maybe my comfort zone and perspective are different from a lot of other folks here. I rode dirt-only for four years before I was even old enough to get a street license, and then didn't even get on a street bike for another 30 years. I only went to more pavement oriented bike when I started to get old. I know what I expect dirt braking to be, and with ABS I know I don't have it.
    #69
  10. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Yet the pro-ABS folks always bring up braking contests where the ABS stopped a few feet shorter most of the time.
    #70
  11. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    Braking distance is less of a factor on 4 wheels than it is on 2. For the average rider ABS will brake quicker and with more control than with out.....think panic braking. Grab a handful off brake and the ABS will let you keep control of the bike and will stop the bike shorter than a non-abs bike when you grab the brake lever with the same force....basically because a tire with traction will stop shorter than one that is skidding. Obviously an expert rider can modulate the brake enough to create the same effect as ABS. Most of us don't have that skill....I know I don't.

    Off-road the systems need to be more intuitive I think they have come along way in improving the systems....as i stated earlier Yamaha seems to be on the right track or the left track depending on what country you live in.
    #71
  12. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    With an ABS car you can mash the pedal to the floor and still swerve. The average rider can't do that with an ABS bike (can anyone?). AFAIK the braking contests are straight line? What ABS does for the average rider is reduce chances for a drop when he panics and grabs that handful of brake. I'm pretty skeptical that it helps the average rider avoid a collision. If you consider a drop from washing out the front without hitting the other vehicle an "accident", then in that sense it would reduce "accidents".
    #72
  13. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    I've only been riding dirt bikes since the early 70's and whenever my front brake has locked it is a sign to me that I have over-braked. My goal is always to ride up to that fine line, but to not cross it. And, when I do, immediately release it and reengage.

    The only bike I have ridden with ABS is the Tiger 800XC and I routinely dive deep into corners on unpaved roads keeping up with my buddies on their knobby-clad DS 400 and 600 cc dirt bikes with mine shod with 80/20 street/dirt tires.

    I've never engaged the ABS on the front with this bike except for emergency braking on pavement.

    It should be possible to program any such system to react well under varying conditions and speeds. From my experience the Tiger seems to operate like it has been set up this way.

    In the long run, as long as it is providing as good of braking as a non-ABS on dirt, I'm satisfied to leave it on all the time. If it in no way compromises my aggressive riding style it is fine with me if the front never locks up.

    On the flipside, putting ABS on a dirt oriented bike that doesn't allow rear lockup and releases the front at inopportune times would be useless, if not outright dangerous.

    I think that despite MC ABS having been around since the 80's we are just now seeing significant improvements in deployment of advanced systems.
    #73
  14. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Yes.

    Of course it depends on the gearing for 1st, compared to how fast is comfortable in that section. A comfortable speed to coast through the Starbucks parking lot may not but what you want coming down a steep rough hill covered in loose rocks under the powerlines.
    #74
  15. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    It's ironic. I've not engaged the front ABS on pavement except once on purpose, looking for it to see if it was there.
    #75
  16. Icecold Dan

    Icecold Dan Been here awhile

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    Out of curiousity, what bike are you talking about Viverrid?
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  17. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Now, my 990 Adventure. Note that the more dirt-oriented factory version, WTF do they call it, "R", which also has taller suspension, has no ABS.

    I also used to have a BMW F650GS that had ABS. The ABS on the 990 is better off pavement than the F650's but I'd still like to have it off in dirt. I'm not against having it for pavement which is where most of my mileage is, otherwise maybe I would have disconnected it entirely. But I don't feel like I "need" it on pavement either.

    I used to have a V-Strom 1000 with no ABS yet somehow managed to never crash into anything on pavement. And of course my DRZ has no ABS.
    #77
  18. tapdiggy

    tapdiggy Been here awhile

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    ABS in the "Adventure" motorcycle market is, to an extent, a marketing object. The bikes are meant to go well down the road, and on unfinished, less-maintained surfaces, with a level of parity.
    It sounds like there is an implied assumption on the consumers' part that the ABS on these bikes is intended only for that road portion of the travel; the reason why not having a deactivation procedure (or even a less involved one) can be a mark against that particular bike in the eyes of a customer who wants more dirt bias.
    The people who buy a given bike, who intend to use it for something beyond its intended purpose, but who fail to consider the need to alter it to suit their desire, are probably not going to consider the ABS-dirt relationship either.
    #78
  19. HH

    HH Hurricane Harry

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    Motorcycling in off road conditions is about rider skill and experience. Using the excelerator, clutch, front and rear brakes, balance and body language are part of what makes the sport challenging, fun, and not for everyone.

    Please don't take that away by forcing me to use ABS. :cry
    #79
  20. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    I felt exactly the same way. Especially after having read some of the horror stories of those with ABS that couldn't stop. It was the only thing about the Tiger 800XC that I had qualms over, and in the case of this bike turned out to be a non-issue. I have yet to find a scenario where I would want to turn it off. It really works that well in the loose stuff.

    If ABS is designed to accommodate true dirt-style riding, and still provide all the advantages, it isn't a compromise.

    We are on the cusp of technology that gets smarter as it goes along. For example, the reviews I've read about electronic off-road suspension sound like it will work well. Having a bike with suspension capable of constantly adjusting to changing conditions and ABS that does the same, may not be worth throwing the baby out with the bath water over. If it works well.

    The early adopters will always be the ones working out the bugs with these systems. As the systems mature they will offer advantages to a proficient rider as well as to the casual day-tripper.
    #80