motorcycle 101 guides

How Does Motorcycle ABS Save Lives?

How Does Motorcycle ABS Save Lives?

Motorcycles with an anti-lock braking system or ABS have become popular in recent years due to their reliability. An ABS offers better protection, and control of the vehicle reduces braking distance and prevents stoppies. This article focuses on how the ABS saves lives.

1. What is an ABS and How Does it Work?

What is an ABS and How Does it Work?

An ABS is equipped with sensors that track the wheels’ rotation speeds to determine whether the wheels are about to lock up.

Motorcycles tend to be less stable than four-wheelers. A motorcycle can become unbalanced and slip if the brakes are applied suddenly, causing the front or back wheels to lock up. An ABS help to prevent the motorcycle’s wheels from locking up.

An ABS adjusts braking pressure to prevent the wheel from locking up and helps maintain stability. An ABS has also helped reduce braking distance, lowering the likelihood of crashing.

In an emergency, an ABS can help the motorcycle slow down or stop.

The ABS’s hydraulic unit decreases the amount of pressure applied to the brakes if suddenly applied on roads with low traction.

2. How Does an ABS Save Lives?

Wheels that lock up when suddenly applying the brakes can cause the motorcycle to slide or fall over. Anti-lock brakes help prevent skidding and reduce braking distance.

An ABS helps save lives in the following ways:

2.1 Reduces Braking Distance

By reducing braking distance, an ABS helps decrease the frequency of crashes.

A motorcycle without an ABS can still travel 30 meters after the brakes were applied if you were traveling 80 km/h. A motorcycle equipped with an ABS would have come to a full stop three meters sooner. This is possible because the ABS ensures the tires will always have traction.

Without ABS, heavy braking systems can cause the wheels to lock up and lose traction. Heavyweight motorcycles slide as a result of the tires being unable to grip the ground.

Even the smallest change in braking distance could make the difference between a safe ride and an accident.

2.2 Prevents Stoppies

Even if you are a skilled stuntman, it is best you avoid stoppies when riding a motorcycle on public roads.

If your motorcycle is equipped with ABS, it will provide better traction even if the roads are slick and slippery. An ABS also ensures smoother braking. Meanwhile, a motorbike without an ABS suffers from more sudden braking, resulting in stoppies, skidding, or tumbles.

Motorcycles equipped with ABS have a hydraulic mechanism that regulates brake pressure and gives warning signs when you are pushing the limits of the brakes.

2.3 Provides Better Control

You cannot steer your motorcycle if the wheels become locked. By preventing the wheels from locking, an ABS ensures better control.

If the motorcycle is equipped with ABS, you will be able to reduce speed and stop immediately without sliding. A motorcycle without an ABS is more likely to lose traction if the brakes are suddenly applied, resulting in the rider having less control in bad weather.

2.4 Improves Confidence When Braking at a Corner

It can be dangerous to brake at a corner if there is debris scattered on the road your motorcycle can slip on. You can ensure more reliable braking at corners by installing a Cornering-ABS or an IMU. An IMU measures the bike's pitch, yaw, and roll, while the C-ABS sends information to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to indicate how much braking pressure you should apply.

3. Why You Should Install a Motorcycle ABS

An ABS is a reliable safety feature that ensures newer riders can learn how to brake with little risk of injury.

Why You Should Install a Motorcycle ABS

According to the 2015 research study conducted by Commonwealth and Victorian Governments:

An ABS can lower the fatality and injury rates due to motorcycle crashes by 31%. About 20% of new bikes come equipped with ABS. At the current rate of ABS motorbike sales from now to 2025, the ABS has the potential to save 22% of riders’ lives. This figure might increase to 35% if the ABS becomes a standard feature in all new bikes starting in 2018.   

4. IIHS Study on ABS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted a study on the importance of the ABrakingS.

Between 2013 and 2019, 65 motorcycle models were equipped with an ABS from ten categories. The findings indicated that fatal motorcycle collisions were 22% lower thanks to the ABS.

According to Eric Teoh, the leader of the study,
“We have known that ABS saves lives and have been saying it should be mandatory for 10 years now.”

Although this latest study covered more motorcycles than the 2011 and 2013 IIHS studies, the earlier studies revealed the ABS had an even greater impact on fatal collision rates. Many owners of newer motorcycle models have ridden more aggressively and at higher speeds, negating the benefits of the ABS. Standard motorcycles and cruisers were associated with a 32% reduced collision rate, while sport-touring and touring motorcycles had a crash rate of about 25% lower. For sport and supersport motorcycles, their collision rates decreased to 19% and 12% respectively.

5. Examples of the ABS Saving Lives

Here are a few real-life incidents demonstrating how the ABS saves lives.

This video depicts motorcycles racing at 100-120 kmph but being saved by their ABS.

This video shows how ABS saved the lives of two people by enabling the rider to quickly and safely apply the brakes.

This video explains how a motorcycle with ABS provides more protection than a motorcycle without ABS.

6. Benefits of Motorcycle ABS

  • Shorter Braking Distance: A shorter braking distance ensures you stop sooner without skidding.
  • Reliable Braking: An ABS prevents the wheels from locking and will respond immediately when the brake pedals are applied.
  • Fewer Accidents: An ABS minimizes the risk of accidents and can lower accident rates.
  • Reduces Insurance Costs: Insurance companies often offer discounts for owners of motorcycles with ABS systems due to being a tested safety feature.
  • High Resale Value: An ABS can increase a motorcycle’s resale value.

7. Last Words

A motorcycle ABS is highly recommended to ensure safer rides as helps reduce braking distance, ensures reliable braking, and lowers the risk of accidents. You can improve the appearance of your motorcycle by adding new saddlebags, fairings, handlebars, luggage racks, crash bars, and sissy bars.

Reading next

What Is Green Laning: All You Need to Know
The Seven Most Important Safety Drills for Motorcycle Riders

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.