What is Motorcycle ABS? – Doubts, Queries and FAQ

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18 November 2023

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Long story short – Get all doubts related to motorcycle ABS right here, and we will explain in the simplest terms.

ABS or Anti Lock Braking System is becoming standard in most Indian motorcycles except commuters. Thanks to the rule brought out by the Honorable Government of India, which has brought the prices up but also the safety of the rider. ABS avoids wheel locking, which contributes to a significant percentage of accidents. However, several misconceptions about the ABS exist, and we are here to clear them.

How Motorcycle ABS works?

How Motorcycle ABS works
How Motorcycle ABS works
  1. Wheel Speed Sensors: Each wheel has a speed sensor attached to it, which continuously monitors the wheel’s rotational speed.
  2. Control Unit: The ABS control unit receives data from the wheel speed sensors. It analyzes this data to determine if a wheel is about to lock up.
  3. Hydraulic Pump and Valves: If the control unit detects an impending lockup, it signals the ABS hydraulic pump and valves to regulate brake pressure.
  4. Pressure Modulation: The ABS pump and valves rapidly reduce and increase brake pressure, creating a pulsating effect. This prevents the wheel from completely locking up while maintaining maximum braking force
  5. Rider Feedback: The rider may feel a slight pulsing sensation in the brake lever or pedal during ABS activation. This is normal and indicates the system is working correctly.

what are the different types of motorcycle ABS?

Table comparing the different types of motorcycle ABS
Table comparing the different types of motorcycle ABS
  1. Single-Channel ABS: This is the most basic type of ABS, which operates on the front or rear wheel only. Single-channel ABS is often found on smaller motorcycles and scooters.
  2. Dual-Channel ABS: As the name suggests, dual-channel ABS operates independently on both the front and rear wheels. This provides better control and stability for motorcycles that require more precise braking.
  3. Combined ABS (C-ABS): C-ABS integrates the ABS system with the motorcycle’s braking system, allowing the rider to apply both brakes simultaneously and distribute braking force effectively.
  4. Cornering ABS: This advanced ABS system is designed to optimize braking performance while cornering. It considers the motorcycle’s lean angle and adjusts brake pressure accordingly to maintain stability and prevent loss of control.
  5. Regenerative Anti-lock Brake System (eABS): This system is specifically designed for electric motorcycles. It utilizes regenerative braking to recapture energy while applying ABS, improving efficiency and extending range.

What is the difference between dual-channel ABS and single-channel ABS

Dual channel ABS comes with front and rear sensor units, while Single channel ABS consists of only one wheel speed sensor in the front section.

What is switchable ABS?

Switchable ABS allows the rider to disable rear-wheel ABS to make the ride adventurous and exciting for experienced riders, especially in off-road conditions.

What are the advantages of ABS?

  1. Reduces stopping distance.
  2. Averts locking of tyres.
  3. Prevents skidding of motorcycle in all sorts of conditions.
  4. Improved vehicle stability.

What are the disadvantages of ABS?

  1. Increases the cost of a motorcycle.
  2. Added kerb weight.
  3. Ride becomes less entertaining.
  4. High maintenance cost.

Does ABS activate each time when we brake?

ABS comes into play only when sudden hard brakes are applied. The rider can feel increased resistance on brake levers while ABS is on.

Does Motorcycle ABS provide 100% safety?

No. ABS does help the rider to get out of tight situations and lose control of the motorcycle, but not in every scenario. It brings an extra layer of safety for the rider.

How does ABS feel for the rider?

Rider will feel a vibration or rattle at the lever accompanied by some sound from the brakes, which is very normal. With ABS, a hard pull on the brake lever will bring your bike to a safe stop. Do not let go of the lever when there is pulsation or vibration in the lever. Keep the pressure on the lever steady until the bike has slowed.

When was motorcycle ABS introduced in India?

Motorcycle ABS was first introduced in India in 2011 when TVS Motor Company launched the Apache RTR 180 ABS. This was a significant milestone in Indian motorcycle safety, as it made India one of the first countries in Asia to mandate ABS on two-wheelers.

Is ABS mandatory for all two wheelers in India?

Yes, ABS is mandatory for all two-wheelers sold in India with an engine capacity of 125cc or above. This rule has been in effect since April 1, 2019. For two-wheelers with an engine capacity of less than 125cc, combined braking system (CBS) is mandatory. CBS is a system that links the front and rear brakes together, so that when you apply the rear brake, some of the braking force is also applied to the front wheel. This helps to prevent the front wheel from locking up, which can lead to a loss of control.

What is the difference between Two-wheeler ABS and CBS?

CBS can work on disc-drum combo while the ABS works only on disc brake combo. ABS improves and reduces braking distance, while CBS reduces rider reaction time.

Is there a driving style change needed while ABS is fitted?

No change in driving style is required.

What if the ABS unit fails?

If any of the components fail, it gets switched off automatically without affecting the normal working of the brakes.

Does ABS improve braking performance?

ABS won’t magically improve your braking performance. It would help if you continued estimating braking distances, as ABS only helps avoid wheel lockup. That’s all

Does ABS work the same in all road conditions?

ABS gets triggered more easily on rough or loose surfaces. The rule is simple – the lower the grip available, the sooner ABS will engage. Conversely, stickier tyres on a smooth surface will generally reduce ABS intervention levels.

Can a motorcycle with abs do a stoppie?

No. You cannot do a stoppie on a motorcycle with ABS on. It would help if you switched off ABS, so the bike needs switchable ABS.

Do all motorcycles have ABS?

All motorcycles under 150cc do not require ABS as mandatory starting from 2019 onwards. All motorcycles above 150cc must have ABS as a standard.

Misconceptions about bike ABS

ABS makes brakes less powerful

An ABS does not lessen the brakes’ effectiveness. It increases the preventing power and reduces the preventing distance.

ABS is beneficial handiest on wet surfaces

ABS in motorcycles and scooters may be effective in various road conditions, inclusive of moist, dry, and choppy terrain. Irrespective of the sort of terrain, ABS is observed to be more potent than motorcycles without ABS.

ABS is unnecessary as we all recognize a way to brake

Anti Lock Braking System is designed to offer a further layer of protection and safety in the course of hard braking. Even skilled riders can stumble upon sudden situations or make errors, and ABS can assist in mitigating the consequences.

ABS is best for beginners

Anti Lock Braking System gives riders self-belief since it mitigates the possibility of slipping because of harsh braking. ABS is an important safety function for all motorcycle riders, whether skilled or beginner.

ABS increases the bike’s weight

The extra weight of an anti-lock braking system is negligent. It might not impact the overall bike’s balance and management.

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If you have any other doubts or queries about the same, email us at bikeleague2017@gmail.com. We are always eager to help and assist you. Also, here are several social media platforms of Bikeleague India to raise your suspicions.

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