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Harley to offer ABS

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' started by TonyE, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. in Brake-ing news on ABS (sorry) :roll:

    The Age reports

    Harley-Davidson offers antilock braking

    July 10, 2007 - 8:05AM

    Harley-Davidson, the maker of classic American motorcycles, will offer an antilock braking system for the first time next year.

    The offer gives customers the chance to make their rides a little bit safer by providing antilock brakes as an option on 10 new 2008 models.

    The braking system will be invisible, the company says, so it won't spoil the look.

    The announcement, along with the unveiling of three new models, coincided with the motorcycle maker's annual dealer meeting, held this year in Nashville, Tennessee.

    The Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker introduced an antilock braking system on two police cruiser bikes in 2005, said Paul James, director of product communication.

    But the 2008 models will be the first time the average customer can outfit a ride with the system common in many cars.

    The $US795 ($A930) add-on is available on three models of V-Rod bikes and seven new Touring bikes, the larger and most popular type of Harley-Davidson. ABS also will be standard on three new models, including the Screamin' Eagle Road King.

    Customers had asked for the ABS option, James said, because they recognise how difficult it can be to respond to emergencies when there's bad weather or road conditions.

    "It's more peace of mind when you have that ABS system," he said.

    The braking system isn't visible on the outside of the bikes, as it was on the two police cruiser models, he said. Instead, speed sensors are embedded in the wheel bearings.

    The sensors monitor how quickly the wheel is turning, and the ABS responds to reduce brake pressure so tyres don't lock.

    "It doesn't detract at all from our styling," James said of the new system.

    Harley also announced three new 2008 models on Monday, including the Dyna Fat Bob, a new model that has dual headlights, a first in the Dyna family, and a thicker front tyre.

    The company also unveiled two new Softails, the Rocker and Rocker C, which feature a floating rear fender that moves with the tyre.

    In addition, fuel tanks on the Touring models will now hold one more gallon of petrol, for a total of six US gallons (22.7 litres).

    Harley's 2008 models will be available in 15 new colour combinations and 14 models will be available in a limited edition colouring of copper and black. Those are Harley's trademark colours and will commemorate the company's 105th anniversary.

    The company also announced plans to celebrate the anniversary next year, along with the 25th anniversary of the Harley Owner's Group, or HOG.

    Harley will establish 105 starting points around the United States that Harley riders can join for a trip to Milwaukee.

    The group will merge into 25 major routes and arrive on August 28, 2008 for four days of events. The new Harley-Davidson Museum will be open in time for the anniversary.

  2. So how long until ABS starts to appear on Sports Bikes?? It's been pretty much standard on 99% of cars for a few years now.

    One side effect with ABS in the Carrera Cup (Porsche) race cars here is that the previous model used had ABS and the drivers used to just plow into the corner and jump onto the brakes letting the ABS do all the work only to get caught out by water & oil on the track all the time. The current model used doesn't have ABS and I have to say the driving standards have improved somewhat this season.

    I can just see the weekend warriors diving into a corner on the spur and squeezing the life out of the brakes and letting the ABS do the work and that will result in problems but for normal Oops moments I can see it reducing the number of off's due to over use of the front brakes.
  3. Yeah if they're going to fit ABS to bikes (and Honda's claiming that they will to their entire range, including sportsbikes) then ideally it should come with a simple on/off switch on the bars somewhere.
  4. There's a "real-world" feature on ABS here. It's fairly old and it's the first generation ABS systems it discusses (1990's). Some interesting conclusions. In the dry an experienced racer could stop in a shorter distance - in the wet the braking distances for the same rider dropped from 298ft without ABS to 193 ft under full ABS control. For less experienced riders the improvement was even more dramatic.

    Given Honda's and Harley Davidson's decision to go with ABS as standard - at least on some models - and the fact that Piaggio, BMW, Ducati, Triumph, and all Japanese manufacturers have ABS braked bikes I would suspect that within 3 years you won't be able to buy a bike over 250cc without it. Even the GTS250 Vespa has it as an option in some markets now.

    It's also fairly unlikely that it will be switchable - except on Adventure tourers like GS BMWs or Triumph Tigers etc.
  5. I've only had to use ABS brakes in a car once in an emergency. Wet day, low visibility and a broken down truck on a motorway. Being able to brake & in a car with ABS saved me from a World of pain. Not sure about bikes though...
  6. The new Honda Hornet 2007 model has an option for ABS.
    How good/bad is it?
    here's some comments from the Hornet's nest:

    "Thanks god for ABS! If i had been on the '06 i would have been slidding down the road testing the bungs.
    @#%$ pulls past que of traffic to get down turning and it's on a bend aswell."

    "I'm hearin ya!

    Sunday I was out blatting around country roads as you do and came round one corner to see about 6 horses coming toward me! Slammed on the brakes to try and not scare them and pootle passed. If it wasn't for abs I think I would have been trampled and the bike written off.

    I didn't want the abs version, but am so thankful I got it now. Saved me once, it's made it's money back instantly. "

    "The ABS did its job last night, very convenient...
    It's worth it, every single €!!!
    Instead of slipping while I was accelerating from a low speed and then braking in a panic (when the front car's "lady"-driver tried to enter to the gas-station and suddenly stopped in front of me!!!) - my Hornet stopped in a sec. Just like that. Thank "Honda" for the ABS! "
  7. No doubt many pro/anti ABS arguments will arise from this! :)

    From my experience, in good conditions and with practiced skill, non-ABS cars and bikes will stop sooner than ABS cars and bikes (unless you modulate the ABS with even more ability). Relying solely on ABS to stop quickly can be a mistake - I remember demonstrations at Sandown between ABS vs ABS-disabled cars, then braking as hard as possible, cars without ABS stopped sooner, so much so that even my elderly Jag stopped before an ABS car (with the driver standing on the anchors)! Lock the wheels, however, and the result changes...dramatically.

    That being said, I know my riding skills aren't as good as my driving skills in less-than-perfect conditions, and that motorbikes become liable to fall over when you lock the wheels up, unlike cars. That's pretty much why I went for an ABS bike in the end. There have been a few times where I would have preferred non-ABS (muddy tracks, etc) but these have been limited. In the few times I have needed to stop very quickly, the ABS has kept the bike steerable and upright, and probably saved a repair bill or two, as well as saving some wildlife, including me!

    In the end, its a personal choice. After riding and driving both ABS and non-ABS vehicles, I tend to be divided - I prefer non-ABS cars, and like ABS bikes. How's that for fence sitting!

    So...there you go! Ride them both and make your own mind up!


  8. That's the idea of ABS, for normal day to day driving/riding you don't even know it's there and even during many emergency situations you wont notice it's there because it doesn't kick in.

    But on the odd occasion when you hit the brakes a little to hard or on a wet slippery road is when it comes into it's own. Mind you if you want to try ABS try stopping in a hurry on wet grass in an AWD ABS V8 Cross8 ute when your in a hurry to get to a race car on fire, it's a bit embarassing when you slide 5 metres past the car on fire :oops: but at least I didn't hit the car which has happened in the past (not to me though) :shock:

    I demonstrated how bad ABS is crawling down a very steep gravel track in the company BA Wagon the other day to a passenger who had never been off bitumen and she is still talking about it :LOL:
  9. ABS won't do much for you when you're going flat out in a car or bike, you know the limits and you are expecting a potential lock up or road hazard.
    The HUGE advantage to ABS is when you're tootling along, minding your own business, enjoying the scenery and something really unexpected happens. It saves you from the fistful of brakes syndrome or the bloody hell, gravel syndrome. The other huge advantake of ABS is the ability to change direction somewhat when it is working. Could mean the difference betwen clipping something or not.
    My car doesn't have ABS, but the fiance's does. I have noticed I brake quite hard in teh ABS car, but I seem to have developed a feel, so the ABS won't come on, but the car will stop REALLY quickly.
    I expect the same situation on a bike, you know where lock up occurs, so you normally will be braking just before it so ABS won't do much for you normally, but will be there ready to go when needed.

    Regards, Andrew.
  10. it is a little known fact that smart and/or trained people who can stop at the top of a steep dirt hill can remove the abs fuse to disable it for the descent and replace it when they are done. These are some unique situations that shouldn't (but does) have some people jumping up and down about the whole issue.

    Vehicles that use it often will come with an on/off switch (the big bmw gs series for example) or different switchable levels (patrol, landcruiser, range rover and disco etc). Those that are unaware of what is involved should probably have abs only anyway. I don't care if an idiot rolls into a tree on their grassy front lawn, but i do care when I hear a car skidding towards me at the lights.
  11. You have got that one ALL WRONG!

    ABS on gravel is a sure fire way to just keep on going.

    Once you get on gravel you have to dig in The serface will always slip. And with abs as soon as you start plowing up some ground so you can get to the hardpack underneath the abs kicks in and rolls you onto more fresh gravel.

    I have seen a 4WD almost go over a cliff because of it. spekaing to people in 4WD clubs they all know where the fuse for tehre ABS is, and as soon as they head for the dirt, out comes teh fuse.

    ABS is good for tarmac, but deadly on gravel.
  12. I suspect he means gravel on a sealed road - especially where it's been carried onto the road from a side road or parking area rather than a gravel road.
  13. ABS is NOT something that makes you STOP ANY QUICKER!!!
    In fact, ABS can INCREASE stopping distance in a lot of cases.

    ABS was never designed to reduce braking distance, it was designed to allow you to steer while under heavy braking. It allows you to maintain control, and to avoid a collision, by retaining grip and allowing you to steer.

    Your wheels need to be turning to allow you to turn, if they're locked, you go wherever the forces shove you.

    But the marketing d!cks don't tell you that, so you get people thinking "I'm alright I got ABS", and driving faster "cos I can stop quicker", and or tailgating "cos I got ABS and can stop rool quick"

    In SOME cases, you'll stop quicker, but that is NOT the job of ABS.

    On bikes, it should be even better than on cars, as we have a lot more variables involved, and a lot more to lose if a front wheel locks.

    Sorry, but that pisses me off, it's a good example of something being implemented for the right reasons, and marketed for the wrong reasons.

    The next gadget that will be forced on us will be "collision avoidance" where the car senses your drifting towards the verge, or too close to the car in front.

    Great! Give the bone head drivers another reason to switch off and take no notice of anything outside th car.
  14. Very true for dry roads and gravel - in wet or slippery conditions though it does improve the braking distance significantly. More than likely though it's because people don't use all the braking power they could on a bike in the wet or slippery conditions. ABS allows them to do this confidently and is probably the reason for the far better test braking distances in slippery conditions (for motorcycles - not cars).
  15. Sorry bloke, but it MAY improve braking in wet/slippery conditions.
    It's definitely better than a lockup, but no-where as good as a skilled driver/rider applying brakes properly. Better to have ABS on cars than not, given the crap standard of drivers, but at least tell people its there for steering, not braking performance

    I was a mechanic of 19 years in a previous life, still qualified, and have taught this subject amongst others.

    Just because it MAY result in shorter brake distances in SOME situations is no reason for its true purpose to be misrepresented.

    By the way, the reason that, in Aus, a lot of the ABS systems are so poor in the gravel is due to the units being sourced from Europe, where the conditions are very different. The frequency that the brakes should be applied/released to control a lockup in gravel is far different from ice/water/oil. Aus has more gravel situations than Europe, much less snow/ice situations.

    In fact in loose gravel it is sometimes beneficial to allow the wheels to lock, this builds up a "wave" of gravel in front of the tyre, too bad if you want to steer tho! The ABS needs to apply/release brakes at a slower rate in gravel than ice, but the compromise of cost/supply/sales etc mean we'll cop north american/european sourced units and not aussie derived.

    On bikes, I agree, ABS should be standard, but I'm not sure about the linked front rear tho... not sure at all. Guess I'll find out about linked brakes when I pick up the VFR :shock:
  16. This is why cars have handbrakes :grin: .