Join Date: May 2016
Location: Green Bay WI
Year/Make/Model: 2003 Vulcan VN1600 Classic
Color: Pearl Ivory
Understand your ABS system
especially as it pertains to what your ABS system CANNOT do during an ABS assisted stopping event.
I have been riding ABS equipped bikes since 94 on a BMW R1100RS, and now on my 07 BMW R1200RT. Though, not all of my bikes are ABS equipped. This coming season I'm adding a Kawasaki VN1600 cruiser to the herd, and it does not have ABS. In the MSF and Road America cycle classes I teach we always discuss ABS systems, especially for what ABS can and CANNOT do.
I just viewed the Harley ABS video, which I bought on Ebay (I don't own a Harley). Via email last week I discussed ABS with Jerry Paladino of Ride Like a Pro. He suggested the video, but he also said he has not met a Harley owner with an ABS equipped bike that has viewed the ABS video. This video is provided to every Harley owner that buys a bike equipped with ABS. the video is very good at showing what ABS can do, and it emphasizes what motorcycle ABS cannot do. Interesting too, that over and over in the video it emphasizes control as the primary function of ABS. It is a very good video for any rider to watch to better understand ABS function, design and application. It does a good job of explaining the basic function and control of the ABS system to the point of detailing the components. What is really good is how Harley showed that a motorcycle with ABS cannot be steered like a car with ABS while engaged into an ABS assisted braking event.
Harley ABS systems on their newer models are unique in that Harley designed the tone wheel function into the wheel bearings so that an obvious added stamped or machined tone wheel is not visible. Harley strove to not have the tone wheels detract from the looks of the wheels as compared to a Harley without ABS. Neat idea, but it is a compromise because the limited pulse reading capability of a much smaller diameter tone generator limits how well the ABS system can read wheel speed, and consequently how quickly it can respond. The video details that the ABS system can pulse the brakes far faster than any rider can achieve, up to seven pulses per second. That pulse rate emphasizes the limitation of using a small diameter tone wheel system like the wheel bearings, in that most ABS systems pulse the applied brakes at ten per second which gives better overall control results.
This video is good enough to add to classroom discussion of motorcycle control assisted with ABS systems. I bought it for $8 on Ebay, it is titled "Harley Davidson ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEM" copyrighted 2007.
When life throws you a curve, lean into it!