Need Help: ABS or Non-ABS Bike?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by TheJRM, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. TheJRM

    TheJRM Been here awhile

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    Hello everyone,

    So here's my dilemma: I ordered a Honda CB500x ABS model back in May. Just spoke to my dealer and the non-ABS bikes (4 of them) are going to be delivered next Friday and available for pick up the following week.

    The ABS model that I have on order will not be arriving until August.

    The $500 price difference between the 2 models is a non-issue (we make plenty of $$$). I'm more concerned with the safety factor; just had my first child, so I have a lot more to lose these days.

    For what it's worth: I'm 37 and my days of riding fast and recklessly are over. I commute 10 miles to and from work each day and enjoy touring around New England in a controlled manner.

    I have never had a bike with ABS bike or locked the rear wheel up for that matter.

    So... Is the ABS model worth the wait? Saving $500 is always nice, but having the bike you've been drooling over 1 month earlier (I'm a teacher, so I get 2 months off to really ride) is even nicer. Then again, if ABS makes the bike that much safer, I have a wife and son to think about nowadays, so the wait, as agonizing as it may be, might be the best option. :confused:

    Thoughts & feedback are greatly appreciated!
    #1
  2. Tarka

    Tarka Doesn't wave back.

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    So why are you worried about and asking about whether or not to have ABS ?

    ABS just *may possibly* save you one wet and slippery day but that`s only a 'maybe' and ABS won`t save you from dying some other way.
    #2
  3. clapped_r6

    clapped_r6 The Spoad Warrior

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    save the $500 and spend it on a track day or 2.
    #3
  4. TheJRM

    TheJRM Been here awhile

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    Well, I'm stepping up from a 280 lb. TW200 that I can toss around like a rag doll. The CB500x is not a big bike, by any stretch of the imagination, but it's substantially more bike than what I'm currently riding, and, given the knuckleheads I deal with during my commute, I suppose I'm looking for any degree of safety I can find. Based on prior riding experience with bigger bikes (i.e. my DR650 motard), I know that I'll be spending a lot more time in the passing lane again, and speeds > 75 MPH will become the norm once more.

    Lastly, an extra $500, in my book, is cheap money for a bike I plan on keeping around for a while, especially if it pays for a feature that may help to prevent my early demise.

    I'm simply looking for additional objective feedback from members who've gained benefit, or not noted any, from an ABS equipped bike. I have no experience with this feature, so I'm hoping to gain some perspective here.

    This video of ABS's benefits looks pretty convincing to me:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zv3Sacl7JQ
    #4
  5. jms78

    jms78 Been here awhile

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    When the shit hits the fan very few people are as good at emergency braking as they would like to believe. It's at those moments when the ABS is working that the extra money and wait will seem worth it.
    #5
  6. XPADREX

    XPADREX Funslinger

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    I used to be one who would say skip abs... no longer. Get it.
    #6
  7. TheJRM

    TheJRM Been here awhile

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    Already told my dealer that I'll be doing just that.

    July is going to be a LONG month. I better drown myself in house projects to keep my mind off my soon-to-be new bike! In the end, I just can't ignore the fact that a bike equipped with ABS IS a safer bike. Worth the wait and the extra $500.
    #7
  8. Tarka

    Tarka Doesn't wave back.

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    Okay....given the choice of the same bike with or without ABS I`d go for without as it`d save some weight and cut out a system that may fail at some time,although unlike a servo system failing and only leaving you with residual braking,at least you`d only revert to non ABS 'normal' braking.

    Now,despite what I said above,I`ve noticed the ABS kicking in on my 650 Burgman and also on the R1100GS that I used to own.
    But I`m not totally sure if it`s a case of the systems 'saving me' or that they may have been oversensitive.

    Certainly when it did on the Burgie I wondered what was happening...and why...but clearly the system picked up on what it saw as imminent lock up and maybe there was some oil or grease...*maybe* I`d have skidded on a non ABS machine...*maybe* not.

    There`s no doubt that on wet and slippy surfaces the ABS will benefit a non expert/professional rider though.....and maybe even in dry,panic situations as you would likely just grab a handful of brake in a panic and forget all about feedback and modulating the brakes.

    Hey,I`ve currently got a broken right arm from rear ending a car at a roundabout on one of my Vespas....maybe ABS would have prevented that? :evil :evil

    Hope this is of some use to you.
    #8
  9. cug

    cug --

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    Ah, how can you say that? People who decide not to get ABS absolutely know that they can easily brake better than the computer. Easily. Every time. Even when tired, on wet ground, in a surprise situation, after a 10 hour riding day. They just know they are better.

    Doesn't matter that every single test has shown that ABS brakes better than professional riders in adverse conditions. These guys are better than professional riders. Way better. Especially from in front of a TV or computer ... :lol3
    #9
  10. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    Smart move
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  11. cug

    cug --

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    Go break a wrist. Makes waiting 6 weeks to get back on the bike less problematic ... :deal (Don't ask me how I know - and don't ask about worse things to keep you off the bike, I know too much about these, too!)
    #11
  12. TheJRM

    TheJRM Been here awhile

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    Heal up man!
    #12
  13. cug

    cug --

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    Happened a while back for me - surgery last year, no riding for AT LEAST three months, second ride after that I hit a deer and broke my wrist, no riding for another six weeks. Man was I pissed ... :puke1

    But you know: if you wait, the rides after that are sooooo much more fun!
    #13
  14. TheJRM

    TheJRM Been here awhile

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    "But you know: if you wait, the rides after that are sooooo much more fun!"

    This is true.
    #14
  15. Handy

    Handy Sunburnt

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    I just went from and ABS bike to a non-ABS one. It is quite the change, I never even had to think about locking the brakes up before and could stop on a dime, now I am always aware that the back break can lock up easily and my stopping distance is much greater. ABS is nice to have and could easily save you from a hurtin'.
    I can't believe you have never locked up a wheel on a bike. I do it sometimes when I am not even trying to slow down really fast.
    #15
  16. TheJRM

    TheJRM Been here awhile

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    I have locked it up once; I had a set of Dunlop 606's on my DR. If I *TOUCHED* the rear brake lever, the rear would immediately start sliding out on me. I decked (low slide) in a set of S-curves as a result one time. Not fun.

    Never locked it up on touring tires though.

    And on the T-Dub... once again, that bike is so nimble and light that I feel as though I'd have to TRY to lock the rear up. The drum up back makes it hard to do too ;)
    #16
  17. cug

    cug --

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    I guess you never had to brake really hard then. :lol3
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  18. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    If you need to ask, you need ABS.

    Pete
    #18
  19. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    No offense, but I would say its called experience. I've been riding on the road since '76. I've unintentionally locked up a wheel on the street exactly twice. Both times the first time I road a bike in the rain that had a rear disc brake. After I adjusted to the fact that discs, unlike drums, actually worked in the rain, it never happened again. I've made plenty of really hard stops too (yesterday for one - damn deer).

    I practiced braking a lot. Everybody should. BTW, I'm not dissing ABS at all. The fact that you regularly lock up your brakes indicates you should either go practice a bunch or go back to abs. Again, I'm not trying to be an ass, but you shouldn't be having this problem.

    Also, if you read MCN (the American one) they give stopping distances for both ABS on and off. The stopping distances with abs off are routinely shorter, sometimes by a lot, than with it on. Granted this is with a "professional" rider under good conditions.

    Personally I wouldn't rule out a bike because it did, or did not, have abs. But that's just me.
    #19
  20. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    +1
    #20