BMW HP4 gets cornering ABS

BMW's new HP4: For everybody who thought the S1000RR was too slow or heavy.

BMW has announced their HP4 superbike will have cornering ABS, although details are sketchy as to what that will entail.

Here’s what we do know, though: KTM introduced leaning ABS for their 1190 Adventure last fall, allowing riders to lay on the brakes while cornering, while reducing the danger of crashing. Presumably, BMW’s new technology will operate under the same principles.

The new BMW ABS system will be called ABS Pro, and for now it will only be available on the HP4 superbike, their upscale version of the S1000RR.

Once motorcycles started getting automatic stability control and smart suspension, it was only a matter of time until this technology showed up. The ABS Pro system uses all that existing technology; your motorcycle’s lean angle, velocity and other factors when you’re applying the brakes in a corner  (it only works in Sport and Rain mode), and prevents your wheels from locking up, and stops the bike from standing up. (Their press release says “The system draws on the signals for roll rate, yaw rate and transverse acceleration as provided by the sensor cluster.”) It can’t stop the consequences of picking a dangerous line to start with, but it can keep you safer if you have to put the binders on in a hurry.

According to their press release, “ABS Pro was not developed to enhance individual braking performance when braking on bends – especially not on race tracks. Its purpose is to enable safer use of the HP4 within physical limits on public roads, for example in the event of unexpected dangers arising on bends. At the same time, the ABS Pro function can also be used in the “Rain” and “Sport” modes by less experienced riders so as to achieve significantly increased safety when undertaking their first rides on a race track.”

For now, the system is available as a retro-fit on HP4s (costing 380 Euros in Germany), and might not be available in Canada for a while. Eventually, though, this technology is sure to trickle down through much of their lineup.

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