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

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

  1. daq7

    daq7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    571
    Location:
    Denver Colorado Area
    I activate my abs a couple times on my f800 every time I ride. It doesn't bother me but I have the distinct impression that it activates way before loss of traction. I have spent a lot of time practicing panic braking on my honda rebel, and I take it to the point where the tires actually start to slide. I always get the sense that the ABS on the 800 kicks in WAY before it needs to. But it is just a feeling and I could be wrong.
    #21
  2. Bayner

    Bayner Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,014
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    I also think the ABS engages a little quickly for my liking. I'd prefer a bit more slip before it takes over. You can really feel this on dirt, as it can be hard to load the front suspension before the anti-lock activates and prevents that extra braking the loading provides.
    #22
  3. cug

    cug --

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,722
    Location:
    Sunny California
    First of all: ABS is not good on dirt. It will make your braking less controlled and give you much longer distance to standstill.

    Second: You don't want the tires to slide at all as the friction is much higher if it doesn't slide at all. There is a threshold in friction, when this breaks you get much less power transferred to the street. "Stiction" is much better in a braking situation than glide friction.
    #23
  4. Lobster Grrl

    Lobster Grrl Ground feeder

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,491
    Location:
    Bangor
    Won't get to try out the ABS until next week. My bike won't start and it's been hauled 3 hours south to the nearest dealer. Am watching all the ABS videos I can find though. Thanks for the links.

    lg
    #24
  5. frtzl

    frtzl Mors longa, vita brevis

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    233
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE
    I think that the F800 ABS system is based in part on differential in speeds of the front and rear wheel. Often this can indicate that one or the other is locked, but I get front brake ABS kicking in when slowing on pot-holed roads in Baltimore. If the rear wheel does any sort of bounce, it runs fast relative to the front and "whirr!"

    On gravel roads I always turn it off since I know that a bit of slip and skip is part of the bargain.

    Regardless of the sense of early or awkward ABS engagement, I have been very happy to have it the few times on the road when I had to brake hard under suboptimal circumstances.

    F
    #25
  6. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,925
    Location:
    Playa del Carmen
    It took me a while to remember I have ABS (F650gs twin) never having ridden a bike with ABS. I have always ridden dual purposes bikes with knobs, and braking is a totally different experience.

    Does the ABS kick in too fast, yes, it works immediately, it is supposed to. Do I expect “a slide”, yes, it is not supposed to. It took a few days to get used to the “tack, tack, tack, tack” of the ABS, especially on the rear brake, that one definitely kicks in hard. I have other bikes without ABS, and now it is the opposite, I have to remember I do not have ABS on my Yamaha, and when I forget? Sillliiddeeeeeeeeee !

    I also have to remember to turn the ABS off in gravel (always forget), sand, mud, anything off road, or it does the complete opposite of what it’s supposed to do.

    Personal feeling? I like the ABS feature, but it’s making me very lazy. I mean, can you imagine a bike that will not slide from under you in slippery wet roads? We drive on cement roads, and when it rains we get a thin film of salt that feels like ice. Everyone I know either parks their bike when it rains, or is superparanoid while driving (and they should be) I, on the other hand can brake, and will not slide, pretty neat feature……

    The purists will of course say that one needs to know how to brake in all conditions, and I totally agree with that. ABS is taking a lot out of riding skills. I cannot imagine experiencing the opposite, of going from an ABS environment to a bike without ABS for the first time, I would have killed myself!

    This video shows the differences, of course the rider without ABS is exaggerating (I hope) and just cranked on his brakes without a proper “panic stop” on wet roads….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zv3Sacl7JQ
    #26
  7. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,474
    Location:
    On a RTW ride - currently touring the U.S.
    Does anybody know if the ABS will still work well if you change the volume in the brake system, i.e. by putting on a 4 piston caliper with matching MC on a F650GS?
    #27
  8. raider

    raider Big red dog

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,581
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    That's exactly how it works, which is why the manual cautions that wheelies and stoppies will cause the ABS to fail (!).

    There's scope for the system to allow some slip between the front and rear - I believe the 800's "dirty" calibration allows a lot more difference between the two than does, say, the big 1200RTs which want both wheels as close as possible while still allowing you to steer.

    Lukas M, that should answer your question - yes, the ABS will still work. However, it's possible the ABS pump might not have the pressure to modulate a larger caliper - not sure here, I'd seek professional (not internet) advice.
    #28
  9. skamikazee

    skamikazee Noviço

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    245
    Location:
    Portugal, Lisbon
    I don't like it!

    ABS doesn't process well irregular surfaces, once i was doing a large fast turn, and found an accident with two stoped cars almost bloking the road, the tarmac was in bad shape and the ABS wouldn't let me brake, i was lucky i had enough distance to brake.

    It hapen's all the time on bumpy roads, even in light braking i feel it working when it clearly shouldn't. Way to soon
    I even tested braking at the same speed on some roads on the same place, and i can brake MUCH harder with no traction loss without ABS.
    I'm much hapier and relaxed when i have the ABS off.

    I'm amazed to see people here who even consider braking using ABS while offroading, specialy downhill!

    How i wish i hadn't bought ABS for this bike....

    Cheers :freaky
    #29
  10. reinerka

    reinerka Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    350
    I've got quite different experience(s) to yours. Granted not on the F800GS but the breaks far outperform the stickiness of any tire combination you can mount.

    One time I was following my wife on her GL1800 with my old GL1200 along a twisty road when coming around a blind corner a cager decided he wanted to make a U turn and blocked the full road. My wife was able to break rather nicely when I suddenly felt the front wheel getting "squishy". No big deal - release breaks and reangage - only problem now is that my wife is stopping far faster than I do and is now in my direct path.

    End result is that she stopped way before me. She would have avoided the accident with the car while I nearly brought both of us down or hit the car which made a VERY FAST ESCAPE.

    We stopped and I walked back and could see TWO skid marks - one from the rear and one from the front (front one about 1 foot long).

    ABS is not a magical save each and everyone feature. It prevents wheel lock up. A good rider can recover from that but it just killed any potential advantage over an ABS equipped bike you might have ever had.

    In your scenario you will never know if ABS off would have saved you something. You can claim it would, but I doubt very much that it would have. You would have ended up like me on the GL1200 - locked up wheel and recovering. At that point your breaking would have been certainly worse than the ABS.

    Until you run SIDE BY SIDE with ABS and WIHTOUT ABS any comparison is mute and useless. Feel of the pants is just that - a biased feeling with no scientific substance. There have been numerous tests that show a race driver can outperform ABS (given multiple tries) on dry surface. Once conditions change(d) even the race drive has not been able to outperform ABS.

    As to offroad with ABS - yes, you should switch it off. That's why the BMW GS bikes have this handy switch allowing it to be disabled.

    Reiner
    #30
  11. skamikazee

    skamikazee Noviço

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    245
    Location:
    Portugal, Lisbon
    Granted, but you also might agree, that in potencial, a bike brakes better if ABS does not intervein, specialy, as i notice on this bike, the ABS kicks in to fast.

    I'm only refering to badly paved tarmac roads, as i believe ABS does a great job on a good road.

    I did try and make an objective experiment of braking with/without ABS, and realized that on rough roads, i brake far better with ABS off, and i'm by no means a racing driver. Probably experience from downhill cycling.
    Offcorse i can't put the "scare" factor in this comparisson, but in day to day use, i've had to many close calls witch i only managed to avoid colision thanks to engine braking!

    As i described, on rough bumpy roads, sometimes by just aplying the slightest pressure to front brakes, it won't let you brake, nor decelerate, completely out off control!

    Exept you have to turn it off EVERY TIME you turn your engine goes off.
    It took a while to get used to that, it took some scary moment's to get used to that. Now i don't make that mistake that often.


    I don't want to give the impression that i'm all against ABS, or that i'm just "flaming", i just think that in this case, it doesn't work all that well in this bike, at least that's my opinion, everyone is entitled to one.

    Cheers :freaky
    #31
  12. raider

    raider Big red dog

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,581
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    If your ABS was active, it's because your tyres were slipping. If you'd not had ABS in these circumstances, you would have locked up. It's scenarios like this that are exactly what ABS is for!

    ABS doesn't make the tyres any more or less grippy. If you brake on a sealed road, and the ABS cuts in, then you braked too hard for the available traction. Blaming your bike for the subsequent untidy riding is like a carpenter blaming his tools for a bad job. (Comments apply to road only.)
    #32