Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

ABS on motorcycles

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by takagawa, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. Are there any form of ABS on motorcycles? I ask because on my '95 ZZR250, when I emergency brake at relatively slow speeds (about 30km/h) the front brakes 'pulsate', similar to how anti-lock braking systems work. So I'm wondering if there is some sort of ABS there, or if I have some wierd quirk with my technique, or my bike's brakes.

  2. There is ABS on motorcycle - particularly for BMW's motorcycles.... but I'm not sure about ZZR though.

    I find that my ABS comes in when I brake quickly from relatively high speed not at 30kph.

  3. i'm no pro so dont kill me ok?

    yeh thier is ABS for bike BMW's and such have em

    a zzr250 wouldnt, its probably ur brakes, warped disks?
  4. I dont think that you have ABS as that is an option on more expensive modern bikes, putting it simply, if you had it you would know about it as you would have paid extra $$ for it.

    I too have experienced the 'pulsating' you speak of on my current bike and to a lesser extent on others. I think it might have to do with brake rotors, brake pads, suspension or a number of different reasons. I know after upgrading the springs on my current ride it didn't pulsate as much.
  5. Some disk brake systems use a deliberate amount of warp, or taper in a disk rotor to "knock" the pistons back into the calipers, creating a clearance between rotor and pads.

    Other systems use a square section seal on the piston to do the same, the piston twists the square seal onto its edges as it's forced toawrds the rotor, then slides further thru if more movement is required. on return the seal returns to square, effectively creating the clearance again.

    What your feeling is could be built it taper in the rotor, pulsing back thru the hydraulics, it could also be too much warpage, pay to be safe and get it checked

  6. Joels correct. ZZR's do not have ABS. There are very few ABS equipped motorcycles on the market due to the need for a brake booster which can affect the "feel" of a motorcycles brakes. BMW does employ this system, but in my opinion its technology for technologies sake. The best ABS you can get is a riders brain.

    Warped disks will be causing the pulsating you experience. If your brakes have pelnty of meat left you can actually get ur bike disks machined like a cars rotors. If not you will need new disks which are awfully expensive. Go try some wreckers. ZZR's are pretty popular so there should be a few around. Do some research first tho. Find out how thick ur disks are when new and what the minimum thickness of them are. Also find out how much they are new as some wreckers will try and flog u a set for only slightly less than a brand new set.
  7. my 1990 model k100rs has abs but I haven't tested it yet

    I rode an R1150S the other day and it had power assisted brakes - every time you touch the lever you hear a little whirr like a servo motor or similar

    airbags on bikes and rider clothing - either on the market or nearly there

    what next?
  9. Yes, BMW/Honda had ABS for a long time already, mainly their top-shelf tourers (Goldwing/ K12 LT etc).
    The ZZR250 definitely HASN"t got ABS.
    Pulsing: A TINY bit of pulsing (you'd just about have to take the gloves off and then go and look for it) is normal.
    Ride another ZZR if you can, just for a minute or so for a comparo.

    If it's really noticable, gloves and all: Warped disc/ disc out-of-round (if it's a floating-dics the rivets might be sticky), one or both caliper bolts very loose or one missing, changed brake-fluid lately? checked the piston seals at the caliper? (could be filthy with brakedust and sticky), checked the piston-bore for crud/ corrosion?

    There are a few possibilities...
  10. There were a few Suzuki Bandit 1200's imported into Australia with ABS as well... I had one. It was a $2000 option.

    Technology for technologies sake? nah... it saved my life once (or at least serious pain) in the 30,000 kms I owened the bike.

    I reckon it paid for itself.
  11. Yeah forgot the B12 :) Bit of an orphan though....
    Rode a K12LT ABS for 4 weeks through the Euro-Alps some years back...and still undecided about ABS.
    Saved me once...then just about got me undone twice...decided to call it even after that.
  12. I agree, I love the ABS on my K1100 although I would like the option of turning it off when in the gravel.
    I am not so sure of the newer bikes with linked braking. Problems in gravel especially if you are applying brakes (front brake) and go back a gear. The extra engine braking locks the back wheel even if you haven’t applied the rear brake!! But then again nice braking on the blacktop.
  13. It only ever happens when I grab the brakes at those low speeds. In all honesty, I haven't done it at greater speeds (ie 60km/h+) yet. If I just brake normally such as, getting to an intersection, nothing feels wrong. Only when I grab for them.

    Actually I had a standstill off on thursday because of this problem. I was coming to an intersection, a station wagon in front of me, made a poor assumption and had to emergency brake at about 20km/h. The front wheel shuddered, so I tried to hold it straight. As I stopped, the wheel was at an angle, and I very slowly started to drop to the left. Left foot came out too late, and 'donk'.

    Maybe I should get the above checked out :?
  14. You won't have ABS.

    Some bikes linked the braking system to the folks in an attempt to counter front end dive. The systems had been abandoned pretty much by the end of the eighties, so I don't think yours would have them. If it has it just could need cleaning and seals etc.

    Also check for other front end looseness. It could be steering head bearings or worn folk sliders.

    Also the discs will be floating type. Check they are not floating too much.

    but as others have suggested check the tureness of the discs first.
  15. get those brakes checked out immediately!

    in the mean time, I'd check your tyre pressure, axle nuts, rear wheel alignment, chain slack...

    I think its mainly heavy touring bikes (e.g. CBR1000F) that have ABS and linked systems
  16. The ONLY time that a non-ABS bike may do better than the same bike with ABS brakes is
    1. On dirt (where the ABS brakes - particularly older ones - can have a tendency to cycle - hence you can turn them off on BMW GS's) ; or

    2. When racing - if the rider is experienced rider then there are times that you may want to set up a slide etc.

    You may stop a little quicker on the road sometimes - if you are very very good indeed, the road is dry and free from oil and you have the confidence to hit the brakes hard.

    While I've never owned a bike with ABS (if I did I wouldn't have bits of metal in my arm :D ) I've ridden quite a few BMWs of varying ages and models that have had them. I'm not entirely sure about the power assistance but on balance it's OK and I'm not entirely keen on linked brakes as I like to be able to use just the rear brake at very low speeds. I am certain that ABS is a good thing.

    You have a different feel with the power brakes, the linked brakes and the ABS brakes. Not necessarily better or worse, just different - motorcyclists are a very conservative bunch about things like this and they generally don't like getting used to something that feels different.

    I find it amusing that the majority of people who seem to put ABS brakes down are those that have never really tried them. In years gone by these would have been the same people who claimed that 12 volt electrics were overkill and that electric start was only for those too weak to kick start a Norton ES2 etc. (oh yes, and that motorcycles didn't need disc brakes :D )

  17. Well back in the dark ages when I was being taught to ride(ok, not that long ago :)), one thing that was stressed was correct braking techniques. Set-up and squeeze. Then I went out and practiced and practiced till i could pull my bike up on the front wheel without ever locking the front. If tought how to brake correctly there is no reason you should ever need ABS on a bike.

    A car is different, altho at one of the advanced driver courses I did at the Mt Cotton Police centre I noticed during the braking practice I was always pulling up shorter in my non-ABS(and non assisted disc front, drum rear) 30 year old datsun than 2 other guys, 1 in an ABS equipped camry and one an ABS-equipped XR6 falcon(the only ABS equipped cars there). ABS was developed in Sweden specifically to allow a car to swerve while under heavy braking. Due to the fact that a motorcycle leans, it is not possible to swerve while hard on the brakes anymore with ABS than without.
  18. And just how is one supposed to pull endos with bloody ABS, may I ask?
  19. Could someone who knows please explain the advantage of ABS on bikes.

    I'm a bit sceptical because in a car, ABS is used to allow steering/control during a skid. But since the brakes are seperate on a bike, it's not very hard to just release the rear brake if it skids.
  20. Well for starters it takes you a lot longer to release and re-apply than it does for ABS to, thus greater braking distance.

    The other advantage is wet-weather - ABS is much more likely to stop quicker than you will feel confident doing, because it takes out the variable of grip vs braking pressure.

    And obviously it's still useful in the dry, in that it's much safer in a panic situation where one grabs the brakes hard without setting up or thinking about what they're doing. As said before - only a very skilled rider who practiced emergency braking regularly could out-brake modern ABS.