What is ABS?

ABS Sensor

The Importance of ABS on Motorcycles

The award for the most valuable motorcycle feature goes to: The anti-lock brake system (ABS), according to Consumer Reports. We tend to agree. Take a look at a few statistics and you’ll see why.


The statistics might look great but what is ABS and why do you really want to ride with it? Let’s dig in.

How it Works

motorcycle brake

Before you can gauge whether ABS is right for your bike (it is), let’s take a closer look at how it all works.


In its simplest definition, ABS stops the motorcycle’s wheel from locking while braking. It does this by using speed sensors to detect when the wheel is about to lock. As the rider applies pressure to the brakes, the ABS will distribute the pressure evenly around the wheel. When this is done on two wheels (as opposed to the four in a car), it helps maintain stability of the motorcycle and (most of the time) shorten the distance to stop.

Why You Want to Ride With It

slippery road

In a car, ABS prevents the vehicle from skidding to a stop. On a bike, skidding isn’t as important as stability.


Riding a bike without ABS requires careful balance, not just to stay upright but also to know when and how hard to hit the brakes.


Motorcycles have two separate controls for the brakes - one in the front and one in the back. Balance in controlling these brakes is vital. If the rider hits the brakes too hard, the wheel will lock and the rider will lose control. On the flipside, if the brakes are not pushed hard enough, the bike will not stop in time.


When something crosses into the pathway of a rider and he needs to stop quickly, he’s forced to suppress his gut reaction to slam on the brakes and instead must maintain complete control when stopping his bike from hitting something in the road. If he can’t, the results could be catastrophic.

Getting ABS for Your Bike

burnout
Photo courtesy of Victory Motorcycles

Europe recently imposed a mandatory law that all bikes sold on the continent must have ABS. In the United States, this feature is still optional despite being so beneficial.


If you’re on the fence about adding ABS to your bike, consider the benefits:

  • Better stability
  • Safer riding
  • Easier braking

This feature is worth the extra money to have put on your bike. It could save your life one day


Contact us to learn more about your motorcycle brakes and how we can help keep them in top shape, making your ride smoother and safer.