Harley Davidson ABS lawsuit - does this guy have a case?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by John Smallberries, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    So the light comes on when you have ABS and yes, it's a cutout behind the gauge so you can sort of see it when it's not lit. It remains lit until you move x amount of feet. I've forgotten how far but about 10 I think.

    There is a wire attached to the brake line, a reluctor ring, big ass ABS pumps under the side cover, a frickin DVD that comes with the bike to 'teach' you how to use ABS and I'm sure something else.

    The light does not come on when you don't have an ABS equipped bike.

    People will sue for anything just like rolling the dice... he might win or they might settle.

    It's why every other sentence in the HD manual says "failure to do so may cause serious injury or death"

    I'm sorry for his loss, but dammit, quit making it our problem.
    #21
  2. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

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    Absolutely, and I'm not aware of any bike or car that has that. However, the gauges are the same whether or not you have ABS. You'll find that's the case on any bike.
    #22
  3. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    I don't see how a functioning or non-functioning ABS system is grounds for a claim in the event of a crash. ABS systems don't eliminate driver or rider error. People crash ABS equipped vehicles all the time. People crash non-ABS vehicles all the time too.

    This is particularly peculiar because, as one poster stated, ABS is supposed to provide superior braking power. There must be another reason the passenger fell off the bike. Maybe she wasn't holding on and the driver used up all his brakes to maximum effect?

    Motorcycle manufacturers shouldn't be held liable for rider error.
    #23
  4. señormoto

    señormoto Supermoto Abuser

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    REAL ISSUE THAT WILL BE PROVED IN COURT (caps because I hate this topic due to the idiot HD rider and his idiot claim):
    ----
    judge: "expert witness, please tell us from the photos and statements taken at the scene of the accident, what caused this accident to occur?"
    expert: "well sir, the photos show the motorcycle engaged the brakes too heavily due to his excessive entry speed into the corner. the tires locked up and the bike skidded into the guardrail, where upon the passenger was thrown from the bike. unfortunately, the passenger's helmet was not sufficient to absorb the impact and that is what caused the sustained injuries."

    judge: "would ABS on the bike have prevented this accident?"
    expert: "ABS would not have factored into this accident due to the excessive corner entry speed, which can be proved by start location and amount of rubber left from the tire skid points on the pavement. ABS would not have sufficiently slowed the bike down to prevent this accident, although ABS would have prevented the duration of the skid it would not have changed the point of impact."
    ----

    I'm sorry for this guy's loss, no one deserves to have a loved one hurt from two-up riding, but the claim about ABS is just ridiculous. Every time I get on my F800 I look at the ABS switch light up and I verify it's functionality. On my bikes that don't have ABS I don't see that light - simple logical assumption that ABS doesn't exist (aside from factually knowing about the existence or lack there-of on the different bikes).
    #24
  5. frontiercat

    frontiercat on the wheel

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    Litigious morons are everywhere. Sucks about their issues, but it is, after all, a motorcycle and they can be dangerous.
    #25
  6. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    The road is straight where the accident happened.

    Perhaps the bike wasn't assembled properly and his abs light was coming on during key on?

    I've seen people wire the seatbelt light on cars into the check engine light to pass smog.

    Maybe Harley will do linked brakes after they settle this case?
    #26
  7. Mr S Venom

    Mr S Venom Adventurer

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    Accidents happen but its not always someone elses fault. Too many people mess up and then want to be paid out for their mess. Bad for his wife but its a bike not a cuddly toy.
    #27
  8. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Sigh... I don't know. I am a believer in personal responsibility and taking ownership of your own errors. However, this isn't so cut and dried.

    If a bike has ABS and there is an emergency, you hit the brakes hard. Because you don't have to worry about them locking up, there is no problem with letting up on the brake if conditions allow it. A person who knows they have ABS will use them as intended. There is no reason to consider negative consequences of letting off the brake in mid-stop.

    On a bike without ABS, you know that if you lock the rear, you must keep it locked. Letting off is the way to a high-side and propelling your wife 35 feet to her near death. You don't let up mid-stop. It is a different technique for different bikes.

    So this guy claims (note the operative word here), he thought it had ABS and presumably riding with a technique that is perfectly appropriate for a bike with that system. According to the article (which could be wrong), he was riding correctly for a bike with ABS.

    So now Harley is claiming that it is unreasonable to expect them to build a bike with two different tachometers? Really? That doesn't seem to unreasonable to me. They built them with two different braking systems, didn't they? I can certainly see how a person could see a cut-out that reads "ABS" could think the bike has ABS.

    Yes, the owner should have looked into it a bit more and should have practiced with it to ensure he knew how it worked, but this really sounds like something Harley should have been able to forsee. A warning light that doesn't light up tells a lot of people the system is working just fine. That's what the cut-out looked like to this guy.
    #28
  9. IheartmyNx

    IheartmyNx Ihave2draft

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    SOME jobs, you can't out-source:deal
    #29
  10. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    I believe this is a road glide dash. If so, where is the ABS light? I believe that is is on the warning light strip between the instruments. Just guessing, is that the neutral and battery lights we see lit? In any event, these instruments do not seem to be clearly labeled.

    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Bad angle on that pic. The green is a big N and the red is an oil can.
    #31
  12. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    According to the article, the ABS cut-out and/or light is on the face of the tach.
    #32
  13. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    They are scammers and should have been kicked in the ass for even bringing such a frivolous lawsuit.

    No reasonable person would overlook the fact that ABS brakes cost $1195.00. (if they had paid for it they would KNOW)

    She is a lying bitch and should get NOTHING. :deal
    #33
  14. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    15 months of owning and riding the bike,the owner still thought it had ABS? ABS costs more at purchase time, it would be on the sales bill. If the ABS light on the dash doesnt light up you dont have ABS,plain and simple. It would have never lit up in that 15 months. The lawyers won here and set a new bar for dumbshit owners of bikes who want to get some one else to pay for their stupidity. Too bad about the wife,Im guessing they were wearing the skull cap helmets as that is the uniform for a Harley rider. Not a good choice for protection. The *alleged* remark by the sales person happened or ?

    I smell pure bullshit here.
    #34
  15. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Not sure if the dudes 2008 is the same:

    [​IMG]


    #10 is the ABS light.
    #35
  16. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Yeah... you're right. At least for a new bike and I think that is the situation in this case. But what about a used one? If your average HD rider is looking at a used bike and notices a cut-out in the tach that shows "ABS" and it doesn't light up, they could reasonably assume that it didn't light up because there is nothing wrong with the system. It seems just stupid for HD to claim they can't make different face-plates for the tach, depending on the equipment.
    #36
  17. HappyCRNA

    HappyCRNA AllTalkNoAction

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    How did the jury decide? Sorry if someone posted it already and I overlooked it.
    #37
  18. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    You can take all the shots you like at the motor company, but I'm pretty sure that any helmet with the HD logo on it will meet at least DOT standards.

    Harley won't let just anybody use the logo to sell just about anything (almost anything, but helmets, I don't think so)!
    #38
  19. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Not yet - from what I could find. Another article said the case went on for six weeks before going to the jury last Thursday. You would think they would want to come to a verdict before Christmas...
    #39
  20. DarthJ

    DarthJ Been here awhile

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    I don't know about the HD ABS system, but on a Honda Silver Wing 600, they have the ABS light come on when the ignition is turned on and does not go out until the bike is doing at least 6 MPH. They even distinguish between ABS and non-ABS in the model #s. The non ABS is the FSC600 and the ABS is the FSC600A.
    #40