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My 2 cents. I would want any new non-track bike I buy to have ABS. Why? Not because I don't know how to use my brakes... But because that's one less thing I would have to worry about. Which would in turn free up attention for other things.
 

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I think I'm a pretty good braker. I practice my threshold braking regularly in parking lots and can stop my bike very quickly in a safe manner.

That said, when a car pulled out in front of me and all of my practice kicked in, I braked perfectly, forks compressed smoothly and I was slowing down safely. But then I hit a pothole, and that split second of hangtime the front tire got was enough for it to lock up and take my ass down faster than I knew what happened. All the skill and practice in the world won't help you when the public roadways throw you a curveball. My bike was totaled, had I had ABS, I probably never would have crashed.

If my next bike purchase has it as an option, I'd get it. That said I wouldn't not get a bike I wanted if it didn't have it.

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Cars? Hundreds. Bikes, none, about a couple dozen trackdays.

So tell me, how do you practice threshold braking? Or when you became a "trackday enthusiast or racer", did someone hand you a magic ticket that made you a perfect braker? And how do the other 95% of riders who never see a track get that magic ticket?

KeS
"Threshold braking", hmmm...this term probably means different things to different types of riders. "threshold braking" to me is when the front starts to slide (tuck) when you are trail braking on entrance to a turn, I do this all the time (on a track), it sometimes leads to a lowside crash. To a street rider, "threshold braking" is when the rear loses traction from braking or it lifts off the ground but this happens straight up and down, not when leaned over in a corner. Street riders (on sportbikes) often make the mistake of depending on the rear brake, they don't realize that it is useless in most situations. No one is perfect at braking, but you will never even come close to being perfect if you never practice, and say "oh I'll just get ABS and forget about it". To each their own, but I like to be in control of my own bike, rather than let an algorithm sort it out. Perhaps street riders would be "safer" with ABS, but it doesn't really improve stopping distance for skilled riders. Hell if you REALLY want to be safe, lets all just drive cars. Hell lets not even drive, lets just go buy a driverless car and get taxi'd around by robots.
 

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"Threshold braking", hmmm...this term probably means different things to different types of riders. "threshold braking" to me is when the front starts to slide (tuck) when you are trail braking on entrance to a turn, I do this all the time (on a track), it sometimes leads to a lowside crash. To a street rider, "threshold braking" is when the rear loses traction from braking or it lifts off the ground but this happens straight up and down, not when leaned over in a corner. Street riders (on sportbikes) often make the mistake of depending on the rear brake, they don't realize that it is useless in most situations.
Threshold braking on the street is getting the bike stopped as quickly as possible in an emergency situation. That means, on a single-rider sportbike on clean dry pavement, modulating the front wheel at the point of lockup while monitoring the rear wheel for lift.

How do you practice that without ABS?

How do you recommend that a new rider like the OP practice that without ABS?

Think carefully about your response, because this is exactly where most of the "ABS sucks" people fizzle out. The last guy (steingar) came back with a multi-part answer of:
- He doesn't need to threshold brake because he uses spidey sense to avoid the need
- Threshold braking isn't hard and he doesn't need to practice it anyway
- The last time a year ago he tried it, he says he stopped at a rate which calculated out to the max deceleration MotoGP riders get on hot slicks

The reality I've observed is that most track riders aren't particularly good at braking. They are focused on trail braking, which isn't particularly hard braking because you've got a lot of your traction tied up in lateral acceleration. I was at a Lee Parks track school last year where they had a braking exercise in the paddock, and with full electronics on my S1000RR I stopped shorter than the instructor (a WERA racer) by about ten feet from 25mph, which is a very significant amount.

People without ABS typically practice threshold braking by stopping as hard as they can without scaring themselves. Maybe some few racers and track guys are comfortable with locking or slowing the front wheel briefly to know when they've actually passed the traction limit, but now you are just bragging, not contributing to a valid opinion on training skills, because only .0001% of riders do that at all, and doing it on the street, on the real pavement with the real street tires and the real conditions, is much too risky.

OTOH, WITH ABS you can cross that threshold every ride. On wet slippery pavement. Over manhole covers and paint lines. You can actually learn where the braking limit is, and how to approach it. Safely.

So again, serious questions here - how do you practice threshold braking, what makes you think you're any good at it, and how do you recommend that new riders, like the ones in this thread you're posting in, learn how to save their lives in emergency braking situations?

KeS
 

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Threshold braking on the street is getting the bike stopped as quickly as possible in an emergency situation. That means, on a single-rider sportbike on clean dry pavement, modulating the front wheel at the point of lockup while monitoring the rear wheel for lift.

How do you practice that without ABS?

How do you recommend that a new rider like the OP practice that without ABS?

Think carefully about your response, because this is exactly where most of the "ABS sucks" people fizzle out. The last guy (steingar) came back with a multi-part answer of:
- He doesn't need to threshold brake because he uses spidey sense to avoid the need
- Threshold braking isn't hard and he doesn't need to practice it anyway
- The last time a year ago he tried it, he says he stopped at a rate which calculated out to the max deceleration MotoGP riders get on hot slicks

The reality I've observed is that most track riders aren't particularly good at braking. They are focused on trail braking, which isn't particularly hard braking because you've got a lot of your traction tied up in lateral acceleration. I was at a Lee Parks track school last year where they had a braking exercise in the paddock, and with full electronics on my S1000RR I stopped shorter than the instructor (a WERA racer) by about ten feet from 25mph, which is a very significant amount.

People without ABS typically practice threshold braking by stopping as hard as they can without scaring themselves. Maybe some few racers and track guys are comfortable with locking or slowing the front wheel briefly to know when they've actually passed the traction limit, but now you are just bragging, not contributing to a valid opinion on training skills, because only .0001% of riders do that at all, and doing it on the street, on the real pavement with the real street tires and the real conditions, is much too risky.

OTOH, WITH ABS you can cross that threshold every ride. On wet slippery pavement. Over manhole covers and paint lines. You can actually learn where the braking limit is, and how to approach it. Safely.

So again, serious questions here - how do you practice threshold braking, what makes you think you're any good at it, and how do you recommend that new riders, like the ones in this thread you're posting in, learn how to save their lives in emergency braking situations?

KeS
How do I recommend they practice threshold braking on a motorcycle? Buy a dirt bike and go play around in the dirt. You will find out what modulation means in the dirt. On the street I've locked my front tire PLENTY of times and recovered fine (its easy to do straight up and down), the only times I've been able to lock the front straight up and down is on shit tires, on gravel/grass, or in the rain. Not really sure what the big deal is. Braking is EASY compared to mastering rear traction. On the track, slowing from 160 mph to 30 mph at Summit Point lap after lap forces you to "practice threshold braking" (giggle). You know you cannot slow down any faster when the rear becomes unstable from the weight transfer and engine braking (or if someone passes you on the brakes you will realize that you can slow down faster). If you actually think YOU can slow down on your ABS laden bmw faster than an expert wera racer you are smoking some awesome shit. Take your BMW to a wera race and see how well you "outbrake people". One of the "skills" required in street riding is judging the compromised surfaces on which you are riding. Obviously if you see something in the road that is slippery, you must prepare for a breach in traction. If you rather let a robot do this for you, go right ahead. I do not feel I would benefit greatly from this kind of system, and in fact would feel it would take away from the "fun" of riding. I personally like to lock the rear and go sliding around parking lots sometimes (I guess you could turn it OFF to do this). DO I think ABS would help newer riders? YES. Do I think ABS would help experienced riders? Not really. To consider yourself a "technical" rider you should be experienced enough to go "beyond" the threshold and fend for yourself.
 

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So you're saying: No, you don't have any suggestions for new street riders, and people who want to be able to stop effectively should buy dirt bikes and become track racers.

So why are you posting in this thread at all?

KeS
Here is some advice for new riders: Don't use the rear brake. Use the front until the rear lifts. You will stop 95% as fast as an old geezer on an ABS equipped S1000RR. :banana
 

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Here is some advice for new riders: Don't use the rear brake. Use the front until the rear lifts. You will stop 95% as fast as an old geezer on an ABS equipped S1000RR. :banana
That bit of advice has helped me become a better rider and grow in confidence as a result than all the books, advice, e-advice and videos put together. I know its not instinct, especially when books and people tell you to 'balance' the front/rear. Nevertheless, to properly understand motorcycle braking, that's the best advice I've received, and one of the very few unsolicited pieces of advice I ever give people offline.

That being said, abs is like airbags...they can hurt you in theory but you gotta really be full of it to believe thats the norm. you're better off with it and forgetting you even have it...new or not.

and guys are talking about the track. are you fuckers that good that you prefer no abs? cus if i were really good (I'm horrible, i admit it) i'd still want abs.
 

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For 500 bucks more I should have got the ABS model CBR500R, what is 500 bucks? Its a good set of Tires or a top Arai helmet. So when you think of it that way I was stupid not to spring for 500 more and get ABS. But the dealer had none and I was too lazy to battle Friday Traffic to find a dealer that had red ABS.
 

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*shrug* I don't treat ABS as a deal breaker - hell my most recent bike (2013 Ducati Streetfighter) didn't even have it as an option, period.

I think its a nice to have and does generally make people safer, however, having ridden bikes with and without ABS (and to be fair, most of my riding experience over the past 12 years or so has been on bikes without ABS) I just can't view it as a requirement.

I'm not going to knock the technology, it works and is likely the future; I just don't shun bikes without it. Plus, I think there is something to be said about not using a piece of technology as a crutch. *fans the flames* ^_^
 

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I'd rather have a bike, that you can turn it on or off, or even better, circuit mode.
 

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*shrug* I don't treat ABS as a deal breaker - hell my most recent bike (2013 Ducati Streetfighter) didn't even have it as an option, period.

I think its a nice to have and does generally make people safer, however, having ridden bikes with and without ABS (and to be fair, most of my riding experience over the past 12 years or so has been on bikes without ABS) I just can't view it as a requirement.

I'm not going to knock the technology, it works and is likely the future; I just don't shun bikes without it. Plus, I think there is something to be said about not using a piece of technology as a crutch. *fans the flames* ^_^
The Streetfighter doesn't have an ABS option? I didn't realize that. It has traction control. I'm a little mystified why no ABS opton.
 

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Don't get me wrong, if I found a smoking deal on a bike that just happened to have ABS, I would STILL buy the bike. Same goes for a bike without ABS. Here is a little fact of life: ABS equipped bikes do the same lap times as non equipped bikes. I've actually seen the ABS equipped S1000RR's go FASTER with the ABS turned off (lap times were slower with the ABS). I won't argue about traction control, lap times are definitely BETTER with it on for 99.999999% of riders (including Rossi/Lorenzo/Stoner, pretty much the best in the world). If we are talking about street riding, yes if you don't know what you are doing, you can use the ABS as an "airbag" in case you somehow hamfistedly lock the brakes in a panic situation (potentially saving your life).
 

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You children can have all the assistance you want. Pretty soon the Nips'll have little robots in the bikes that can do all the riding for you, freeing you up for more important activities like texting with your iGadgets and feeling up your girlfriends.

Fuck ABS. Fuck it up the ass. Don't need some fucked up electronic gizmo to get between me and my ride.
 

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You children can have all the assistance you want. Pretty soon the Nips'll have little robots in the bikes that can do all the riding for you, freeing you up for more important activities like texting with your iGadgets and feeling up your girlfriends.

Fuck ABS. Fuck it up the ass. Don't need some fucked up electronic gizmo to get between me and my ride.
Inserr photo of fred flintstone on a motorcycle here.
 

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Speaking of ABS, Harley has now joined BMW as the only makes to offer it on all of their bikes. Looks like Japan needs to step it up if they want to catch up to Harley's ABS technology level. :D
 
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