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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I looked on the MB's and couldn't find a discussion on ABS so I am asking. I have been DIRECTED BY MY WIFE to buy a new black GL1800. We all have to follow their directions you know. So, my question to you experienced GL 1800 riders is should I get one with ABS or not? I have had 5 Gold Wings and have never dumped one. (Thank you, Lord). We have ridden from the Baja to Alaska and love the Rockies and Sierras even though we live in FL. I haven't owned a car without ABS in 10 years and I KNOW it has saved collisions with them. Guidance would be appreciated. :lol:
 

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I am not an experienced rider, but I opted for the ABS because I thought it was worth the cost versus one time down with the bike. If it saves me once it was worth it several times over in my opinion.
 

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ABS yes

If you are NOT a professional road racer, abs IS THE WAY TO GO. Many comments about a good rider being able to stop faster, but they are always tested under controled situations. For average rider, ABS is the ticket. It has proven well worth every single penny in a couple of situations. No way I could have reacted and bought the bike to a safe stop and I have been riding 40+ years. ABS reacts faster than we can........
 

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If you can afford ABS, then get it.
 

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No question about it, ABS is the only way to go! It saved my bacon once in 42,000 miles and it was well worth the extra $$$.

I found out that you can apply the ABS as hard as you want and you can still steer/lean the bike at the same time. One of our Blue Hairs turned his Mercury right in front of me taking up half my lane. I missed him by a hair! :) I can handle a Wing with the best of them, but I still think ABS was the edge that got me around that situation!

Welcome to the board. Let me know when you get the 1800 and I will meet you in the center of the state somewhere so you can buy me a cup! LOL....
 

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Don't leave home without it... ABS. I am a full time, highly experienced MSF Instructor/RiderCoach and practice braking regularly. I can stop with the best of them. However, my decision to buy my '02 with ABS was the best one I have made. Despite "walking the walk and talking the talk", a few weeks ago, a large deer standing in my lane cause me to do just what everybody else does when startled... over brake on the rear, underbrake on the front. I was pulling my trailer and a rear wheel skid would have caused a jackknife and loss of control. The ABS kept the rear from fully locking (I could really feel it dancing from side to side trying to skid but never actually breaking loose). I was was successful in avoiding the deer only because the ABS kept the rear straignt. My biggest concern then became the ability of my friend behind me to match my braking intensity with his 1500. Without ABS, I am sure I would have either gone down or hit the deer. Another factor is that the GL 1800 is a high performance machine which will, without a doubt, get your juices flowing from time to time (or all the time). The throttle response is guaranteed to trash about 40% of your maturity and common sense (At 58 years old, the gray went away and I have my pimples back... LOL). The ability to stop fast without skidding is real important when you are riding like a teenager.
 

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Skipreb,

Welcome to the meeting. :luck: I dont plan to give you a long lecture about ABS. :banghead:
If you think anything of your LIFE or the LIFE of the person who may travel with you on your 1800. ABS is a MUST. The PRICE :money1: does not enter the equation. May you have many save (S)miles on your new 1800. :capwin:




:yes: :rw1: :yes:
 

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I avoided ABS for one reason and one reason only: I can't seem to train myself to use it correctly, even in an auto. There was an interesting research study done recently showing that many of the "old timer's" who are used to pulsing the breaks "by hand" don't work ABS effectively because they don't stomp down on the brakes as required for them to work correctly. Since I couldn't seem to train myself in a car, I figured I should avoid it on a bike.

If I had to do it over again, I would have gone with ABS, as hindsight is usually 20/20 and I think now that with enough intentional practice I could break old habits.
 

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You misunderstand, I am aware of this. Here's the problem in a nutshell: by the time ABS starts to kick in, I'm already letting up on the brakes to prevent wheel locks. By letting up on the brake, ABS disengages.

That would be the wrong way to use ABS, as I see it.
 

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Storm.....
Nope, didn't misunderstand you! LOL... What I was trying to say is having ABS will not affect your braking in a negative way vs non ABS if you don't use the ABS feature.

I can tell you it isn't a hard habit to break. When you panic there is no such thing as Braking "habit". :( I rode 36 years without and now a couple with ABS. The ABS is a nice safety net when you need it.

If you used the ABS in a way other than it was designed, full on, it wouldn't help you vs the non. How many people can keep their brakes on that "threshold" in a panic sitiation? I always clamped onto all brakes with the grip of a mad man. It's just that instinct takes over as soon as you hear the rears lock. Hopefully you will have enough sense to release the rear and reapply before you highside yourself. ABS takes the highside pretty much out of the picture.

Many people also think the braking system is totally different on the two models. It's not. The ABS model just won't let the wheels lock up. They squeal and chirp like crazy, but they won't lock.

I look for the next model of Wing to have ABS standard, not as a option as we have now.

Take care and be safe.....whatever you ride! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks, gentlemen for your input. I especially paid close attention to BOB C who explained his personal experience while towing a trailer. What price safety? I have no reason not to buy ABS after this forum. This is why we love to have a communty of GL1800 riders. Any one of you may be responsible for saving mine and/or my wifes life as we ride. Thank you all.
 

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Red,

I guess I'm one of the lucky ones - I don't panic in bad situations, and after 21 years of riding I've had a few close calls, including one where I slid about 30-40 yards sideways down a hill on black ice. (Some finese work with the brakes and stearing got myself straightened out before hitting the dry pavement at the bottom.) I've even been shot at, three times total now and I did not panic in any of these situations. About two hours or so after, I get the shakes really bad! :shock: I guess I have some kind of delayed reaction syndrome or something.

Again, the point is sort of moot, if I had it to do over I'd get ABS now. As it is, I didn't. :)

But speaking of which, does anyone know if there is an upgrade path, short of trading in for a new bike?
 

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my vote is for abs...I have it on my 02 and has come in handy two times. well worth the investment. One thing most responders lose sight of in this braking issue is the fact that steering is always maintained with abs. Not so with standard brakes. You lock up standards...you lose steering..no arguement about it. Without steering what do you have????????? You have a 900 lb unguided missle is what you have.
 

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abs or not

I think if you have the money it's the best way to go. I think it's much more important on a bike than in a car. you don't lose control of your steering ability if wheels lock accidently.
 

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I'm in Storm's camp and have ridden too long without ABS. In a panic stop situation I would result to what I've always done over the years and work the brakes in a manner to keep the bike from breaking loose. The only time the ABS will help you is when you are riding straight up in a straight line on a slippery surface. I'm not too panicked in this situation. If you are on a slippery surface leaning into a curve, ABS will not help. Most of the members on the board go to any extreme when it comes to safety, which isn't all bad. I like my motorcycle as uncomplicated as possible. If you go without the ABS, I doubt that you will be riding down the highway fretting that you don't have it. Just think of all those poor Harley riders out there who are riding around without this feature. They look pretty happy.
 

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Curt Fesler said:
The only time the ABS will help you is when you are riding straight up in a straight line on a slippery surface.
Curt....You might want to learn how ABS actually performs on a bike before making a statement such as that. That statement is way off! :(
 
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