ABS for everyone


ABS for all street bikes?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States is considering a rule for motorcycles that will almost certainly affect Canadian bikes if enacted, according to the Detroit News .

The NHTSA released a report yesterday in which is stated that it will decide by next year if anti-lock brakes should be required on all new motorcycles.

This follows a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that suggested fatal crashes would be reduced by the use of ABS on all motorcycles. Fatal crashes for motorcycles with ABS were 28% lower than for bikes with standard brakes, the study showed.

The NHTSA report also discussed requiring advanced safety features on cars that would warn drivers when they are moving out of a lane and would automatically brake in a near-collision situation.


  1. If there’s any vehicle that should have ABS, it’s a motorcycle.
    And if you don’t like ABS because of the principle, I’m sure you’ve already removed it in your car — along with the data recorder that tracks everything you’ve done just before you crash.

  2. Well I don’t know what you guys are talking about, anti-lock brakes are neither new nor expensive – even with EBC HH sintered shoes I couldn’t lock the front wheel of my ’91 TW200 if I tried! 😡

  3. Personally good ABS, such as what is on the new Honda CBR’s would make it worth buying a new bike. No question on a cold rainy day a good ABS system will be safer than the human hand/brain combination.

  4. If it’s going to be on all bikes whether we like it or not and you don’t want it, pull the fuse. That should disable the circuit shouldn’t it?
    Or just put a toggle switch in the circuit so that if you want to you can occasionally lock up the rear wheel just for fun. :roll

  5. ABS can be a great supplement to proper rider training. It is not and should never be considered a substitute for proper rider or driver training, bike, car or truck.

  6. Just so you know… My ’08 Bandit, with ABS, that works really well…
    Stickered for $10,600, but before tax and interest was $8900. Bags and top box would have been another $1200.

    So… Is an effective ABS system really that expensive???

    Maybe it’s the name on the tank that makes it so…

  7. I wish they required a “bad driver ahead” radar on all new bikes. I sure could use one of those while riding in GTA.
    I don’t like an idea that would add $1000 to a sticker price of all new bikes and increase maintenance costs on simple models.
    And what about dual bikes? ABS on dirt bikes?

  8. Very good point Rob. But even if they compared identical bikes with and without ABS they’d still be a bias – it’s a safe assumption that those who select ABS tend to be more concerned with safety and therefore more focused with better records. In insurance we call that self selection.

  9. I have to wonder if said study also looked at factors like bike type, age of rider, and years the riders were licensed before drawing conclusions? Bikes with ABS tend to be more expensive and ridden by older, more experienced riders. This will have a marked effect on the crash statistics.

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