ABS Mandate: My Thoughts

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by HappyPlace, Sep 16, 2018 at 8:18 AM.

  1. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Adventurer

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    Hi everybody, long time lurker here, first time poster.

    From the AMA press release last week it looks like an ABS mandate is likely coming whether we like it or not. I would like to get this group’s thoughts on it.

    I understand that this can be a very polarizing subject when the government gets involved on limiting freedom of choice and I also respect the flip side of the coin on requiring features that can save lives. Personally, I would like to have a choice on weather a bike had ABS or not but that ship may have sailed based on the direction of the rest of the world is taking. Some of my bike would definitely have it, others wouldn’t have it.

    Here is the Australian mandate model. I believe that this is the same for Europe and the US would likely follow this model.

    · All new motorcycle models sold in Australia from 2019 must have ABS.

    · All previous generation motorcycles sold in Australia must have ABS by 2021.

    · This means popular machines like DR650 must have ABS by 2021 or be phased out.

    · Enduro and Trials Motorcycles are exempted.

    · Trailbikes with a 21″ front and designed primarily for off-road use and with no pillion capability are also exempted.

    · Adventure Motorcycles can have switchable ABS but it must default to on.

    · There is no pending legislation for mandatory traction control.

    · There are no requirements for retro-fitment of ABS to secondhand motorcycles.


    As someone who rides many different types bikes and various terrains I find some of this scary. If we have to have a mandate shouldn’t we work towards a structure that fits everyone’s needs and not let the government dictate what is best for us?

    The issues that I see with the above from AU are: Why can’t all motorcycles have switchable ABS? Why must it default to on for ADV bikes? Does the cost and complexity of an ABS system really make sense on a lightweight 125 or 250cc bike?

    My current “go to” bike is 2011 GS. I like the ABS system, sort of. I think it is great on the street, in the rain on the street it’s awesome. But there are also many conditions where it is dangerous, poor pavement or dirt roads, fire roads, and single track.

    I absolutely hate (and have had a few resulting get offs) that it defaults to on every time the key is switched off. Just the other day I did long, steep, climb up a loose gravel hill. At the top I decided to take a photo and took the key out to get my camera out of the side case. Jumped back on the bike and forgot that the ABS had shut itself off again. It was a pretty scary ride down since I couldn’t even get the bike stopped to be able to shut the ABS down again. I realize that this was completely my fault for forgetting to turn the ABS off again but still it can create some pretty dangerous situations.

    Having a system that was able to be disabled “on the fly” and / or remain on the setting that it was last used on would be a good compromise in my opinion, but I’m sure this may not meet everyone’s needs. What would be the down side of this?

    My hopes would be that if we, the people that would be most affected by a mandate, could agree on what the contents of said ABS mandate should contain then maybe our united voice could help dictate any proposed legislation. This is a large group that can have a loud voice. My fear is that if we, as motorcyclists, cannot agree on some compromises and leave it up to the bureaucrats we will end up with legislation that hurts rather than helps motorcycling as a whole.

    I look forward to any thoughts!
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  2. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Pretty much, I agree with you. Though I do understand having it default to on with every start up. I would almost like a momentary kill switch on the likes of the front brake lever. Similar for my cars btw, as there are times I want the abs off.
    #2
  3. Drop_Center

    Drop_Center Long timer

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    All I care is that there's a fuse to disable it.
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  4. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Adventurer

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    A momentary kill would be great! That would have saved my ass a few times!
    What would be your thought if on start up there was an annoying tone or beeping of 10 seconds or so in conjunction with the flashing warning light if the ABS was off?
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  5. AzB

    AzB Fattest thin man

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    Other than dirt/dual sport bikes and really cheap bikes, the market looks to making abs more or less a standard feature anyway. The law seems pointless.
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  6. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Adventurer

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    The fear I have is that not only will the law dictate that it's there but how it will work. I love my GS but if another bike had a ABS system that was able to be switched on the fly or would not default to "ON" every time started, or even the momentary kill mentioned above, I would take a serious look at it. I would hate to see legislation enacted that takes choices away from the consumer.
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  7. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    Wait a minute,
    All previous generation motorcycles sold in Australia must have ABS by 2021.

    Is that proposing previous models built prior to 2019 must be retrofitted with ABS? IF that is true it is the dumbest ass law proposed. There is NO way all previous models could effectively and economically fitted with ABS.
    #7
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I think what that means is that a bike already in production such as a DR650 can go until 2021 without ABS but any new model requires it.
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  9. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I believe what it's calling for is that models existing prior to 2019 have until 2021 before they must have ABS. Not that bikes built prior to 2019 must be retrofitted.

    I
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  10. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Adventurer

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    Thats my understanding also.
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  11. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    Thanks, my old brain sometimes gets well ahead of me.
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  12. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

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    That would be scary.

    My personal concern is the rumble strips that have appeared everywhere at the edge, and at the center line of highways (even in passing zones!). My previous FJR would activate the ABS when braking hard on top of one of these ground-into-the-pavement rumble strips. I have not yet repeated the test on my Gen III.

    I think any ABS off-switch should not reset itself until the rider resets it.
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  13. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

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    Is it hard to figure out a switch?
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  14. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    This argument has been beat to death in Europe (or when discussing the European model.) Small bikes are usually exempt and for larger bikes, the latest technology makes the ABS systems cheaper, less intrusive and more effective. Apart from the luddities who whine on about their personal freedom to keep buying old technology, it's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. The other frequent moan is that new riders won't learn how to use their brakes properly when they have an ABS "nanny". As most new (and many old) riders never get even close to mastering braking technique anyway, that is also a non-issue.
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  15. Walterxr650l

    Walterxr650l Long timer

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    Do you have a link to this AMA press release? I have seen nothing about this in recent issues of the American Motorcyclist, and a search of the AMA website came up empty.

    Walter
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  16. mtech1950

    mtech1950 Been here awhile

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  17. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Adventurer

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    #17
  18. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Adventurer

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    No fuses with a CAN buss. No relatively easy way to disable it.
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  19. Plawa

    Plawa ¿ʞO ǝʞᴉq ʎɯ sI

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    LC GS with the PRO plug installed will not reset ABS even after cycling ignition.
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  20. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Adventurer

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    #20