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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine became victim of the dreaded left turner last week. He came through with a broken foot, and a totaled bike. After hearing the story, it sounds like the turning driver didn't see him due to a car in front. He is an ERC instructor so I'm sure his evasive move, swerving to the left, saved him from further injury. He says he had no time to brake, so he swerved to the left but ended up taking off the rear bumper of the car. He couldn't go further to the left because of oncoming traffic.
My question to those with ABS. If you were to brake hard enough to activate the ABS, would you still be able to swerve without losing control of the bike?
Wingher

P.S. Prayers for BEV!!
 

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I have only had to do it once but yes I was able to turn and apply brake at the same time with my ABS. I had it happen to me on my Valk Interstate and all I could do on it was lock up the brakes. Fortunately, in both cases I managed to miss the car. The event with the wing was potentially more serious and a lot easier to maneuver out of.
 

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A friend of mine became victim of the dreaded left turner last week. He came through with a broken foot, and a totaled bike. After hearing the story, it sounds like the turning driver didn't see him due to a car in front. He is an ERC instructor so I'm sure his evasive move, swerving to the left, saved him from further injury. He says he had no time to brake, so he swerved to the left but ended up taking off the rear bumper of the car. He couldn't go further to the left because of oncoming traffic.
My question to those with ABS. If you were to brake hard enough to activate the ABS, would you still be able to swerve without losing control of the bike?
Wingher

P.S. Prayers for BEV!!
Swerving to avoid a hazard can often be a more effective maneuver than braking in many situations. The swerve is essentially two successive countersteers, one to avoid the hazard or object and another one to get back on the path of travel. A motorcyclist never wants to brake before or during the countersteering process, much like in a turn there is less traction for braking and also more speed (rather than less - and of course within reason) is beneficial to the movement of the motorcycle in the swerve and through the path of travel (just like the motorcyclists feels countersteering on a motorcycle with more speed as opposed to less). Once the motorcyclist has completed the swerve and the bike is upright and the handlebars square, then it is far far safer to apply both brakes properly.

If you haven't taken a MSF BRC or ERC course, you might want to take one soon to get more familiar on how to properly do this potential life safety motorcycle technique. Done correctly, it can save your life and done incorrectly you and motorcycle will likely go down. Once you learn how to do it, you need to practice it regularly so you are always well-practiced to use it in a potential emergency.

Sorry to hear about your friends collision. This type of accident at an intersection is quite common and happens far far too often. It's a large part of why intersections represent the greatest potential for a motorcyclist to have a collison. Even when motorycyclist's have the right of way and there are any other vehicles or motorcycles around you are always better off to assume the other driver(s) or rider(s) doesn't see you and expect and have a strategy for the unexpected. It happens with uncommon regularity for all of us when we are on our bikes.

DaleC
MSF RiderCoach
 

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ERC classes teach you that when you are braking you have to right the bike. You can't brake while in a turn because when the bike stops you would be leaning which would cause the bike to fall over.

As for braking while swerving, as long as the front wheel is rotating you have control of where you are going, no matter what the speed. Lock up the front and you loose control.

I really don't think you should do both, either counter steer or stop. Plus looking far enough in front of you to see this possability before it happens. Being prepared for a blind driver, a car you can't see because it's behind the car you can see especially when entering an intersection.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ERC classes teach you that when you are braking you have to right the bike. You can't brake while in a turn because when the bike stops you would be leaning which would cause the bike to fall over.
I am asking this question from the technical/mechanical view, rather than the practical (how to avoid an accident) view. Rather, is the bike capable of maintaining control in a swerve while the ABS is activated?
Having experienced the value of unconscious reaction (swerving instead of braking) I appreciate the value of proper training, as does my friend.

P.S. Prayers for Bev!
 

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Think of traction as a whole pie.
Going in a straight line you can use 99% of the pie for braking.
Swerving severly you can use 99%.

You "Could" theoretically use 49% swerving and 49% Braking before
loss of traction. This is not to say you can do both together at 49 % of their capability as one will affect the other adversely.

You could NEVER use full braking and full lean angle for a swerve
and get away with it.

Remember also anti lock brakes only protect you while going in a straight line, a slide out sideways is very possible if not imminent with bull brakes on in a leaned over situation.
 

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Swerving to avoid a hazard can often be a more effective maneuver than braking in many situations. The swerve is essentially two successive countersteers, one to avoid the hazard or object and another one to get back on the path of travel. A motorcyclist never wants to brake before or during the countersteering process, much like in a turn there is less traction for braking and also more speed (rather than less - and of course within reason) is beneficial to the movement of the motorcycle in the swerve and through the path of travel (just like the motorcyclists feels countersteering on a motorcycle with more speed as opposed to less). Once the motorcyclist has completed the swerve and the bike is upright and the handlebars square, then it is far far safer to apply both brakes properly.

If you haven't taken a MSF BRC or ERC course, you might want to take one soon to get more familiar on how to properly do this potential life safety motorcycle technique. Done correctly, it can save your life and done incorrectly you and motorcycle will likely go down. Once you learn how to do it, you need to practice it regularly so you are always well-practiced to use it in a potential emergency.

Sorry to hear about your friends collision. This type of accident at an intersection is quite common and happens far far too often. It's a large part of why intersections represent the greatest potential for a motorcyclist to have a collison. Even when motorycyclist's have the right of way and there are any other vehicles or motorcycles around you are always better off to assume the other driver(s) or rider(s) doesn't see you and expect and have a strategy for the unexpected. It happens with uncommon regularity for all of us when we are on our bikes.

DaleC
MSF RiderCoach
As another Rider Coach :agree: :thumbup:

Unlike a car, you are not "steering" a motorcycle so it's not the same thing as maintaining control when the brakes are applied and "steering"..
Hope he heals quickly.. Ask him when he's had a chance to replay it if there's anything he could have done to avoid the crash!!

IMHO there's no such thing as "Right of Way" because it doesn't hurt less and wounds don't heal quicker when the other guy was wrong..
 

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That's the whole idea of ABS, to be able to brake hard and not loose your stearing.
 

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Simple Answer

Braking and swerving don't mix. Either brake, then swerve, or swerve, then brake. NEVER brake and swerve together.

ABS does not work well in any turn. See 'Proficient Motorcycling' by David Hough.
 

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My take is to hammer the brakes, then swerve.

On the other hand, I'm not afraid to hit the gas to save my butt.

I usually take the right lane at intersections and try to make use of a blocker.
 

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sorry to hear your friend had an accident and i hope he recovers well to ride again

the way i see it you can lean and brake at the same time but you cannot use the same amount of braking power for both situations, its far easier to lock the wheels while leaned over and you know locked wheels are also a lot more dangerous while leaned over

i think ABS could help in the leaned over situation but i've never been there myself so really couldn't say for sure, current wing is non ABS but my next wing will have ABS
 

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ABS brakes are great. That is the sole reason I originally purchased the Wing. You just have to forget all you know, all you have been taught and even those who teach the advanced courses are just like us, set in their ways and beliefs.

ABS will not lock up, will not slide, maybe crow hop a bit on wet roads but will not lock up and put you into a slide.

Naturally you should always if there is time get the bike up straight and then romp on the brakes as hard as you can, relax, it is not going to slide, not with ABS.

You can brake some in a curve or an emergency swerve, it is not really the brakes that get you doing that it is the other forces at play. If you have to swerve most of the time it is better to use the throttle and take an escape route.

We all have our moments, I know I have mine, be daydreaming a bit or not really as alert as I should be and that is when the car will turn in front of me. I will talk to myself for a week after I pull some silly stunt like that, as really the only defense is to see it setting up and avoid it to begin with.

I am glad your friend is okay, and not seriously injured. So many things to watch out for for sure.

Respectfully

Kit
 

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Braking with with a left turner and ABS

I have had this conversation with a couple of MSF Instructors as well. In all of their years of training they have never had any ABS instruction.

I had a left turner pull in front of my wife and I when I was going 50 mph and I ended up having to brake as hard as I could too lose as much speed as possible before impact, the ABS took over and kept the bike up and gave me enough stability and movement to swerve around the vehicle at the last moment when the driver finally saw us.

After the event I was talking to my MSF friends and I got the same story of how I was lucky and you should never do that on a bike. I did not want to just argue without some backup and found that the government has done studies on the ABS braking system in bikes and has found that it is safer in all situations compared to normal braking because it allows the bike to remain manuverable while also dropping speed dramatically.

Whether the long time riders want to say it is luck or not, I am darn happy that I had ABS, that I did not have to try and swerve in a large intersection at 50 mph without braking and, at least in my case, the speed was reduced dramatically so we would have had a chance if impact occured. It is hard to explain how it felt to have the brakes automatically bleed off speed while giving me the option to swerve around an object and maintaining control the entire time. I will never own another bike without ABS since, in my direct experience, it saved my life or at least severe damage to myself and my wife in an emergency situation that I do not believe would have happened with the training I received on never doing what I had to do to save ourselves.

Hope it makes sense but it does seem like ABS can be used differently in emergency situations than the old training would say should happen.
 

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I have had this conversation with a couple of MSF Instructors as well. In all of their years of training they have never had any ABS instruction.

I had a left turner pull in front of my wife and I when I was going 50 mph and I ended up having to brake as hard as I could too lose as much speed as possible before impact, the ABS took over and kept the bike up and gave me enough stability and movement to swerve around the vehicle at the last moment when the driver finally saw us.

After the event I was talking to my MSF friends and I got the same story of how I was lucky and you should never do that on a bike. I did not want to just argue without some backup and found that the government has done studies on the ABS braking system in bikes and has found that it is safer in all situations compared to normal braking because it allows the bike to remain manuverable while also dropping speed dramatically.

Whether the long time riders want to say it is luck or not, I am darn happy that I had ABS, that I did not have to try and swerve in a large intersection at 50 mph without braking and, at least in my case, the speed was reduced dramatically so we would have had a chance if impact occured. It is hard to explain how it felt to have the brakes automatically bleed off speed while giving me the option to swerve around an object and maintaining control the entire time. I will never own another bike without ABS since, in my direct experience, it saved my life or at least severe damage to myself and my wife in an emergency situation that I do not believe would have happened with the training I received on never doing what I had to do to save ourselves.

Hope it makes sense but it does seem like ABS can be used differently in emergency situations than the old training would say should happen.
Dave i am very thankful for your post

the MSF teaching is very well intended but sometimes they are not 100% correct and i think this current ABS thing is one of those cases

one thing forsure is there is always more to learn
 

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Dave i am very thankful for your post

the MSF teaching is very well intended but sometimes they are not 100% correct and i think this current ABS thing is one of those cases

one thing forsure is there is always more to learn
The fact remains that ABS or not, physics 101 states there's only a certain amount of traction avail on the ground and braking while swerving hard is not a good idea.. Add the fact that you are already in an emergency situation and your fine motor control is compromised and it's a recipe for failure..
 

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I........I did not want to just argue without some backup and found that the government has done studies on the ABS braking system in bikes and has found that it is safer in all situations compared to normal braking because it allows the bike to remain manuverable while also dropping speed dramatically.
100% agreed, ABS is a life saver.. Could you share a link to this study??

I suspect that you were braking hard before your swerve but let off once you started (just as it should be)... If you were indeed braking hard WHILE swerving the tendancy would be to fall over (even at speed)...
 

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Can or would someone who has contact with the MSF work towards getting the training manual, and subsequently the trainers and riders, updated about the use of ABS? I have take the ERC course twice in the 3 1/2 years I have been riding and there has been no mention of ABS.
 

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I don't know the answer. I've never seen a case study that test the ability for ABS to keep a bike upright while leaned over in a turn or in a swerving maneauver. I've also never tried it myself. Everything I've seen with the motorcycle going straight.

However, I will make one observation. It is possible for a bike to start sliding in a turn without its tires stopping or significantly slowing. Once the front-end looses traction and begins sliding (the tire can still be moving or rolling at a significant speed), the bike will crash in short order. This isn't a big deal when the bike is staight (or fairly straight) up and down as there is little lateral force and motorcycles are relatively stable front to back (as compared to side to side).

An ABS system that is capable of being used while a motorcycle was leaning over and still allow the rider to maintain control, would need to be able to accomodate for this scenario. I'm not sure the current breed of ABS systems out there are that smart yet.
 

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in a panic situation its alot of times not what you do ,its what you dont do that saves your bacon!!!
 

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American Rider wrote an article about abs brakes after testing them at the HD testing grounds at Phoenix. Sorry, don't know how to post the link but came up on google under HD abs brake test.
 
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