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Discussion Starter #1
Most of you already know just how simple it is to tell if a bike has ABS brakes, but I put this together just in case some folks don't yet know. Includes how to tell on a Harley (which is quite different - go figure). Personally, I hope they add ABS to the 900 for 2020, but that's just me. :)

 

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It's probably just a matter of time before all new bikes are required to have ABS. I rode a 900 for 10 years. I now have a Vaquero with ABS. It took me a little while to get used to it because I have a tendency to stay on the brakes a bit as I corner and you can feel the front let go at about 10 mph. But like MC Rider says, you should really only feel a difference when you need it. So far I haven't needed it, but it's good to know I have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's probably just a matter of time before all new bikes are required to have ABS. I rode a 900 for 10 years. I now have a Vaquero with ABS. It took me a little while to get used to it because I have a tendency to stay on the brakes a bit as I corner and you can feel the front let go at about 10 mph. But like MC Rider says, you should really only feel a difference when you need it. So far I haven't needed it, but it's good to know I have it.
I've heard a rumor that the 2020 Vulcan 900 will offer ABS as an option. Not sure whether I believe it or not, but I'm hopeful.
 

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ABS has been required in the EU for several years. I have it on a couple of other bikes and value it greatly for the backup resistance to a lock-up at the wrong time. I will say that without it, the Vulcan 900 suffers safety-wise on worn tires... a fresh sticky set really adds to the traction budget available for turning and hard stops. Skill at progressive braking adds a lot to stopping power. But ABS would be great on the bike. I think N. America will have it soon by regulation.

I've never had an off because of locking up the brakes on a bike, but all it takes is the right puddle of oil, antifreeze or horse s**t in exactly the wrong place, and wham... at least when going fairly straight, ABS will get you through a lot of those places when you might not have let off the brakes fast enough with a sudden trip through zero traction.
 

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he started yelling and screaming, come on bike go, go, dam it he screamed, That was a guy infront of our motel yelling at his bike stopped in the middle of the highway as a transport truck came barrelling down on him, ya ABS right, we helped him with his abs bike on the ferry, he has problems with the front caliper so my friend did a make-shift fix for his to keep going when we got off the ferry, ya abs right, once one wheel detects a problem the whole braking system wants to lock up which he experienced 1st hand, ya abs right, your method may vary
 

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he started yelling and screaming, come on bike go, go, dam it he screamed, That was a guy infront of our motel yelling at his bike stopped in the middle of the highway as a transport truck came barrelling down on him, ya ABS right, we helped him with his abs bike on the ferry, he has problems with the front caliper so my friend did a make-shift fix for his to keep going when we got off the ferry, ya abs right, once one wheel detects a problem the whole braking system wants to lock up which he experienced 1st hand, ya abs right, your method may vary
I'd still rather have abs. The odds of having a caliper seize from an abs malfunction is very slim. I would bet there was other variable in play for that situation

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It's the first I've ever heard anything about ABS seizing a caliper.

ABS is a fused system. Remove the fuse, the system is disabled.

With a wheel sensor or other failure, the default behavior is, the ABS light flashes and the system is disabled. An error code is written to the OBD.

It sounds like btom's friend had a seized caliper piston.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
he started yelling and screaming, come on bike go, go, dam it he screamed, That was a guy infront of our motel yelling at his bike stopped in the middle of the highway as a transport truck came barrelling down on him, ya ABS right, we helped him with his abs bike on the ferry, he has problems with the front caliper so my friend did a make-shift fix for his to keep going when we got off the ferry, ya abs right, once one wheel detects a problem the whole braking system wants to lock up which he experienced 1st hand, ya abs right, your method may vary
Your one example doesn't stack up well vs. the thousands of instances where ABS has saved the day.
 

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It would seem to me that ABS would be good on a VN900 but it is most useful in hard and emergency stop situations. I ride so that I try to avoid those but sometimes hard stop situations occur when unexpected. If ABS on both wheels is activated by braking on only one wheel that would be useful in emergency stops.
 

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I am pretty sure ABS operates "per wheel". There are linked braking systems where if you stomp the rear it will activate one piston on the front, and vice-versa. These systems are good for providing more braking without a lockup. But you can still lock up the front or back wheel and risk going down.
 

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I had ABS on my ninja 650 and I loved it.

I would love to have ABS on my 900, I think kawasaki has left off a very important safety feature.
 

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I guess we've all been through an evolution with it. At first it was, "What is it? What does it do?" and then, "well I've never had it and don't see why I would need it," plus, "it's just more technology and more expense" and a dash of, "that sounds like something for weenies who don't know how to ride." Which, technically, the don't know how to ride part is true, as in, do not understand progressive braking and getting the most stopping power from the bike.

But eventually when you get a bike with ABS you figure out what it does and doesn't do, and what it does is a potential lifesaver. It isn't like training wheels for the bike, more like belt and suspenders. It is backup traction if your bad technique or a very slippery surface is about to put you on your ass.

You figure out that if you ever activate the ABS, you have failed to get the minimum stopping distance from the bike: stopping distance is always longer with ABS working than if you brake right up to but not past the traction limit. Which is great if you never misjudge the traction available. But in a lifetime of riding we all make some mistakes, and when we grab a fistful of brake in a panic that is a major mistake and ABS will usually spare us the consequences... unless we compound the stupidity by doing it when leaned over.

But I have owned 7 bikes over a long riding career, the first 5 without ABS and the last two with. I have never crashed from locking up the front or rear tire, but boy I had some close calls. I don't think I'd buy another bike without it now. I like traction control too. ABS doesn't take any of the fun out of street and road riding and eventually it will save your bacon.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It would seem to me that ABS would be good on a VN900 but it is most useful in hard and emergency stop situations. I ride so that I try to avoid those but sometimes hard stop situations occur when unexpected. If ABS on both wheels is activated by braking on only one wheel that would be useful in emergency stops.
It is. Referred to as linked braking.

Love me some ABS.
 

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It is. Referred to as linked braking.



Love me some ABS.


Actually those are two different things, ABS refers to the controlled pulsing of both wheels brakes under emergency stops; whereas reflex linked abs is functional at speeds above 25mph where the computer controls brake input; so either the rear brake pedal or hand brake can produce a gradual slowdown.

Excerpt from HD Touring Manual-
The ABS monitors sensors at the front and rear wheels to determine wheel speed. If the system detects one or both wheels are slowing down too quickly, which indicates they are close to locking, the ABS reacts. If the deceleration rate does not match a criteria stored in memory, the ABS also reacts. The system rapidly opens and closes valves to modulate the brake caliper pressure utilizing only the brake lever/pedal pressure being applied by the rider. During ABS activation, the system provides the electronic equivalent of manually pumping the brakes. ABS is capable of cycling up to seven times per second.

Reflex Linked ABS is more responsive than conventional ABS and allows for more balanced front and rear braking under a wide variety of brake applications.
At speeds greater than 32–40 km/h (20–25 mph), the system dynamically adjusts the linking for the amount of brake applied as well as vehicle speed to achieve an optimized brake balance. The system provides more linking when the rider is applying heavier braking and reduces or eliminates linking for light braking and low speeds.
NOTE
When applying both brakes, the rider may detect slight feedback in the front brake lever or rear brake pedal while the dynamic balancing occurs.
When linked, applying the front brake lever alone causes the system to also dynamically apply an amount of braking to the rear. Applying the rear brake pedal alone causes the system to also apply an amount of braking to the left front caliper. When applying both brakes, the system attempts to dynamically balance braking across both the front and rear wheels.
At speeds less than 32–40 km/h (20–25 mph), the brakes are not linked so that low speed maneuverability is not adversely affected, such as when riding the motorcycle in a parking lot.


Having used all types including bikes sans ABS I prefer the reflex linked ABS. That being said I still slowdown with both brakes(even though mine are linked)


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Discussion Starter #16
Actually those are two different things, ABS refers to the controlled pulsing of both wheels brakes under emergency stops; whereas reflex linked abs is functional at speeds above 25mph where the computer controls brake input; so either the rear brake pedal or hand brake can produce a gradual slowdown.

Excerpt from HD Touring Manual-
The ABS monitors sensors at the front and rear wheels to determine wheel speed. If the system detects one or both wheels are slowing down too quickly, which indicates they are close to locking, the ABS reacts. If the deceleration rate does not match a criteria stored in memory, the ABS also reacts. The system rapidly opens and closes valves to modulate the brake caliper pressure utilizing only the brake lever/pedal pressure being applied by the rider. During ABS activation, the system provides the electronic equivalent of manually pumping the brakes. ABS is capable of cycling up to seven times per second.

Reflex Linked ABS is more responsive than conventional ABS and allows for more balanced front and rear braking under a wide variety of brake applications.
At speeds greater than 32–40 km/h (20–25 mph), the system dynamically adjusts the linking for the amount of brake applied as well as vehicle speed to achieve an optimized brake balance. The system provides more linking when the rider is applying heavier braking and reduces or eliminates linking for light braking and low speeds.
NOTE
When applying both brakes, the rider may detect slight feedback in the front brake lever or rear brake pedal while the dynamic balancing occurs.
When linked, applying the front brake lever alone causes the system to also dynamically apply an amount of braking to the rear. Applying the rear brake pedal alone causes the system to also apply an amount of braking to the left front caliper. When applying both brakes, the system attempts to dynamically balance braking across both the front and rear wheels.
At speeds less than 32–40 km/h (20–25 mph), the brakes are not linked so that low speed maneuverability is not adversely affected, such as when riding the motorcycle in a parking lot.


Having used all types including bikes sans ABS I prefer the reflex linked ABS. That being said I still slowdown with both brakes(even though mine are linked)


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Very aware they are two separate things.

But thanks for the post - very informative.
 
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