ABS tips

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by mcpenner, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    I'll be riding with ABS brakes for the first time this spring (DL650). Is there anything I should be watching out for or practicing when I start?
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  2. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Find a steep gravel driveway just to see where you'll stop. May not be where you think.

    But good on you to think braking practices, I do that almost everyday on the road in different situations.
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  3. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    Learn to brake hard enough that the ABS actually kicks in. (On most bikes you'll feel the levers vibrating.) Than learn to STAY on the brakes that hard instead of releasing them.
    Then learn to do that on a perfect, dry, paved road on a warm, sunny day.
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  4. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    ..then learn to brake hard AND steer, while you keep on braking, cos that could sometimes be very handy. With ABS, that's easier to do, ( without landing on your ear I mean). Then repeat the same on a changing surface with uneven traction.

    In general, practice braking a lot (this you should do regardless of if the bike has ABS or not).
    #4
  5. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    Get to know when ABS kicks in and how it feels. Mostly so you are not surprised by it.

    Other than that, just normal braking runs.
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  6. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    Safety comes from attitude and intelligence generated between your ears, not from artificial intelligence installed on the machine you ride.
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  7. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

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    You didn't say which model DL650 and I don't know if there are differences between models.

    On my DL650 (the original ABS model), the ABS will deactivate when braking into bends with a rough entry (which can be disconcerting the first couple of times).

    In this situation, you must release the lever and then re-apply. Squeezing the lever tighter doesn't re-apply the brakes.
    #7
  8. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    If on a steep gravel road, downshift and engine brake to slow down most of the way before using brakes, assuming you have the time - be more aggressive here than you normally would.

    On any of my ABS bikes I have treated ABS engaging as a gotcha, "Dude, you screwed up" in nice, dry conditions. I treat it as a "Dude, you are so smart for buying this bike" in wet, slippery conditions :D
    #8
  9. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Be prepared for the brakes to sometimes not come on at all. Certain bumpy surfaces can trick the computer into thinking you have zero traction, and it releases the brakes completely. Have had this happen more than a few times, usually on gravel roads but occasionally on pavement.
    #9
  10. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    When I started riding my first bike with ABS last year, it felt so weird when it kicked in that my instinct was to "pump" or release the brake lever; this of course is exactly what one is NOT supposed to do! After some practice time (on dirt) I felt more able to keep the squeeze on when it activated, tho it is still not my instinct to do so! While I do think ABS is a great feature for asphalt riding, I remain unsure about it when I am on dirt. I learned to ride/race on dirt as a kid and developed comfort with some locking/skidding/english/releasing of the brakes, and I kind of miss that now.
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  11. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Whenever you get on a new to you bike PRACTICE your BRAKING!!! :deal
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  12. jtw000

    jtw000 Survivor

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    Get used to turning it off! ABS is a triumph of marketing over common sense. I've had it three bikes, it's as dangerous as bolting knives to your dashboard. On the first, a BMW R1200gs it kicked off on road and the brakes failed and I overshot the line by a few meters, enough to mean I had to swerve to avoid an oncoming car. Second, BMW F800gs, the brakes kept skipping every time I went over a bump, I nearly stacked it a number of times. It seems to work fine on my little BMW 650 but I switch it off routinely.
    On my friend's KTM Adventure it failed in Bulgaria where the roads are very smooth. He overshot the stop and rode into the middle of three lanes of oncoming traffic. He was very nearly killed.
    Just learn to ride and pull the fuse.
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  13. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Ha ha. You´re a funny guy.
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  14. jtw000

    jtw000 Survivor

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    Some people like the computers to do all the work of riding a bike for them. Personally I think that's funny. If you need ABS you shouldn't be allowed on a bike. If you think you need it, you probably shouldn't be allowed to vote.
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  15. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    What he said. I haven't pulled the fuse, because sometimes it's good to have it on, but I have certainly practiced turning the key off instantly. The times it hasn't allowed any braking at all far outnumber the times I accidently skid my wheel. Any time the surface is bumpy you may not get any braking at all.
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  16. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Based on your descriptions, I don't think the ABS is the problem.
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  17. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    for example Honda, the biggest 2-wheel manufacturer on the planet, seems to fully disagree with you, since they have declared several years ago they will be equipping all their road-going models with ABS.

    But they of course have not got a clue about anything related to bikes, they just design & build them.. :lol3
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  18. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    I guess I won't be buying any Hondas.
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  19. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Another ABS vs non-ABS thread in the making????:lol3
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  20. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Not from me, I don't mind having it. I just wish you could shut it off on the fly, like a kill switch. Maybe I should rewire my kill switch to disable the ABS as well as killing the engine, being able to brake can be important more often than killing the engine.
    #20