F650/800GS ABS--Anybody tried it out yet?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Lobster Grrl, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Lobster Grrl

    Lobster Grrl Ground feeder

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    I just bought an 09F650 Twin and it came with ABS. I'm familiar with this in my car, mostly in the winter time. Is the ABS on my bike similar to the ABS on my car? It took me a while to get used to ABS in my car, I grew up pumping the brakes on snowy roads to prevent the wheels from locking up. I've used it a few times now, in the car, with success. The car stayed in a straight line and the tires didn't lock up.

    So what's this like on my bike? I haven't practiced any panic stops yet. I wanted to get some insight before I hit heavy on the brakes.

    Anyone used it yet? Words of wisdom? Did it work? Is this all a big farse?

    I live in the deep woods of Maine where the moose like to play in the road. So odds are that one day I'll need to stop hard and fast.

    Whaddya think?

    Oh, and the ABS button, I've been keeping mine on all the time. What are some instances when I would want to turn it off?

    lg
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  2. gpracer171

    gpracer171 Kodak Courage

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    Granted, i just got it myself. I had not felt it, thouhgt my brother feels his often (not sure what ihe is doing wrong). IT does work quite well and in my experience, just like a call (though the "pulse" felt is a bit harsher than in my car). I tested it by crushing the rear brake. I figured if it did not work, a rear wheel skid is less risky and easier to control than a front wheel skid ( and likely tuck). Try out on the rear and then move on to the front.
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  3. cug

    cug --

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    It absolutely does work. I had a critical situation on Saturday where an asshole car driver decided to pull over to the LEFT side of the road to take some photos (Highway 1 heading north, looking down to Stinson Beach) without signal and of course without looking. And going 20mph just before that made me pull out and accelerate to pass. I was at around 45mph or so and hit the brakes full force. ABS kicked in and kept me upright.
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  4. raider

    raider Big red dog

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    It's kicked in for me on the rear, but not the front. Pedal pulsing is quite violent compared to the car.
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  5. M N B

    M N B would rather be riding

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    ABS is a double edged sword.

    Sometimes I feel it does a great job and makes something easier or it saves my bacon. At other times the awkward feedback in the levers raises my adrenaline level and it's a very unpleasant feeling.

    Most say turn ABS off in the dirt. I agree. Although I've found in some situations, it makes things easier. Like a steep downhill that's not rugged terrain, but has a loose surface.

    In general, for off road use I'd say turn it off. It's good to develop a strong feel for your brakes. ON pavement, I always leave it on.

    Just remember, if you get that strange feeling in the lever and you want more stopping power... release/reapply!
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  6. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Absolutely you should use and get to know your ABS. It works great but has limitations.

    The limitations are while turning or on extremely slick surfaces such as wet ice.

    Also, if you don't use it, you will loose it. Brake fluid absorbs water and forms acids. Over time these acids cause corosion to build up in the abs pump and valves, occasional activation of the abs system clears these deposits and keeps it working. If you go years without using abs, it won't work the first time you need it.

    P.S. I activate abs at least 10 times a day every day because I ride hard and like to. I use it over bumps, on ice, snow, wet pavement, and sometimes while turning. The only time ABS may cause loss of control is during turns or on slick ice. I have never ever needed to reapply it to increase braking.

    Where ABS is NOT ideal for stopping is on loose surfaces where the quickest stop can be achieved by locking up both wheels and mounding the loose surface up in front of both wheels, gravel is the best example of this.
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  7. itsforrest

    itsforrest Ugly bag of mostly water

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    I think it's a good idea to activate the ABS on both wheels just to see what it feels like. If nothing else you won't freak out when it kicks in when you're driving. Try it on dirt or gravel where it kicks in pretty easy. You can make it work going pretty slow on loose dirt or gravel, then speed up a bit and try it again.

    There's been a video posted around here a few times that shows a rider stopping on dirt with and without the ABS turned on. It shows rather dramatically how much longer it takes to stop on dirt with ABS. By all means I would turn off the ABS on dirt and gravel.
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  8. dukedar

    dukedar 60 easy payments!

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    I would practice with it a little to get the feel of it. Something similar to what I did on rider training last year:

    - Find yourself an open space like an empty parking lot
    - Setup two cones about 4 feet apart (to make a line)
    - Shut the ABS off
    - Make a large loop and approach the cones (through the middle) at 30 mph
    - Start your braking as you pass the cones
    - try it rear only, ABS off
    - front only, ABS off
    - both, ABS off
    - And then do it all again with the ABS on in each case

    Compare your results, and use it to get a feel for it.

    My 2 cents :rofl
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  9. raider

    raider Big red dog

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    Good suggestion.

    The first time I felt the ABS pulsing the rear, I thought I'd hooked a branch or something under the right footpeg. It was very disconcerting and I released the rear brake.

    Now it's happened a few times, I'm used to the feeling and just continue to apply firm, increasing brake pressure and let Mr Bosch do his thing.
    #9
  10. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    experiencing it is so much better then words! Try it dry and wet as well. Bring a cone, pace out your stopping distance, and post your results.

    #10
  11. syaufu

    syaufu Been here awhile

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    Also remember you must turn it off each time you start your bike if you want it off..ie gravel..because it is automatically activated whenever you start your bike..bj
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  12. WOLVERINE

    WOLVERINE Keep her pinned!

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    Tell me about it! During an offroad session last year doing 80Kph I forgot to turn it off after a rest stop and during emergency braking I almost went into a washout.:baldy I don't forget to turn it off now. 1st thing I do before I put it in gear after startup when offroad.

    Try it offroad first as it works real easy as others have mentioned. I demonstrated it to my wife on her F658 in the front access road to our house to show her how it works with/without it activated. Really makes a difference!
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  13. Lobster Grrl

    Lobster Grrl Ground feeder

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    Thanks for the advice. Will keep that in mind. I ride a lot of dirt on my smaller bike. Haven't had this one off the the pavement yet, maybe next week.

    lg
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  14. Lobster Grrl

    Lobster Grrl Ground feeder

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    If anyone knows where to access this or any video on the ABS please post a link. I'll be trying this out by myself and would like to know what I'm getting into beforehand.

    Thx,lg
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  15. Lobster Grrl

    Lobster Grrl Ground feeder

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    Thanks. This what I am planning on trying as soon as it stops raining and the pavement dries out.
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  16. Lobster Grrl

    Lobster Grrl Ground feeder

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  17. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Joel:

    Yeah... what you said.... I had to hop off a mountain road on to gravel/dirt shoulder a while back to avoid a run-away truck. My ABS kicked in big time and I was wishing like crazy that I could lock up the wheels and slide to a quick stop before I ran out of shoulder. Indeed that is the only down-side I have found.

    Thanks for the comment on "exercising" the ABS, I don't have any trouble exercising mine either :lol3 but I'm now thinking that I should probably "exercise" them just before my annual brake fluid flush just to be sure the flush has the maximum effectivness eh? :wink:
    #17
  18. wizze

    wizze Wizze = Wise

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    On my 1st ride on the 800, I discovered a stop sign had been added to an intersection that didn't have one the last time I went thru. As I panice stop both brakes, I was surprised by the feedback from the rear ABS. I guess it's good that it lets you know the ABS is engaged but it can be startling when you're not ready. Definately do some practice stops to get the feel.
    #18
  19. vwdrvr66

    vwdrvr66 Been here awhile

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    So here is my question...
    When the ABS is on are you all hitting the rear brake at all? And should you? It seems like when I have the ABS on the the rear brake seems soft(from the foot lever). When I switch the ABS off and hit the rear brake it locks right up. Does this seem right? This was the first time I had experienced ABS and was not sure how it should feel.
    #19
  20. itsforrest

    itsforrest Ugly bag of mostly water

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    #20