As expected, Honda has released its new magic "Electronically-Controlled Combined ABS" system for 2009, although unexpectedly it’s available both on the CBR1000RR and CBR600RR.
The system is seriously complex, to the extent that the Luddites among us are going to have problems with getting heads around it.
Instead of using a solenoid-operated valve to open and close a brake line pressure valve – which is basically how every other bike ABS system ever built works – this system uses a complex series of pumps and sensors governed by the bike’s main ECU to assign brake pressure as required (as determined by the ECU programmers’ parameters).
Whether you use your foot or your hand or both, the ECU basically decides how much brake to apply, depending on the pressure being applied to the system.
The anti-lock system has been designed specifically for fast
track riding. Honda claims that in tests of the anti-lock version
against expert riders on non-ABS Blades, the experts needed several
attempts before they could out-brake the ABS bike into a corner.
No pricing yet available, nor even availability in North America ….
The rest of the CBR600RR is largely unchanged – minor changes to the cylinder head, pistons and exhaust have increased torque in the 8,000 – 12,000 rpm range according to Honda, and the fairing has been slightly redesigned to reduce wind noise and increase stability at speed.