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Name Tag Guy
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Just to change the direction from tollerating the GPS to get the ABS, I'd love to hear comments about ABS in general.

I've never owned a bike with ABS, although I understand and appreciate its value and how it works (try buying a car without ABS these daze).

I'd like to hear some objective comments about ABS on a bike. In 30 years of riding, I honestly cant ever remember having any sort of anxious moment that could have been made easier or safer by having ABS..., as opposed to "proper" emergency braking without ABS.
 

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BrianH said:
as opposed to "proper" emergency braking without ABS.
If you can "properly" emergency brake 100% of the time you don't need ABS. Since we are human and not on 100% of our game 100% of the time, that's impossible. I can't control the road surface 100% of the time either.

Sounds like you have been lucky over the last 30 years or you don't ride much. I ride 25-30,000 a year. A bunch of that getting out of Pinellas. LOL....

My behind has hit the asphalt a few times over the last 40+ years of riding on the street. A few of those times ABS might have kept me up, including this past May. If My RK would have had ABS I might not have had over $100,000 in bills plus a lifetime of pain because of the get-off! Again, I had no control over the van full of illegals that turned left in front of me. I expected them to turn in front of me, but I didn't expect them to turn left when I was right in their face. Bayflighted to St Josephs Trauma Center for a 13 day stay from the Pasco/Hernando County line! :( Bayflight alone, $8,100! OUCH!!

I've seen what ABS on the 1800 is capable of. I was SB on McMullen-Booth a few years ago around Enterprise. Out of nowhere a Mercury Marquis had turned in front of me. Luckily the old boy saw me and stopped where he was covering about 1/2 my lane. The ABS kicked in and I was able to slow down enough and lean the bike to miss him. I was busy watching other traffic around me and missed him. Without ABS and with all the adrenaline going through my right leg, I know the bike would have hit the road.

ABS is a "tool" that might save your bacon. To me the "Nav" system for non-commercial use is nothing but a toy! I paid the extra bucks to have the ABS on this 1800. The Nav & heated items, for me, are useless baggage.

Just my opinion..... You'll get a few. LOL....
 

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The best info I heard on it was a very, very small increase in braking distance in optimum conditions and a quite a bit better in wet and slippery.

I opted for it, haven't needed it yet.
 

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I have a Harley without it and a Goldwing with it. There are times on the Harley I wish I had it and times on the Wing I am thankful it has been there. I do a lot of riding in good and bad weather and there is a noticable improvement in breaking ability on wet pavement. It also comes in handy whenyou have to make an emergency "all out stop" on dry pavement when someone cuts you off. It has nothing to do with rider "ability". The system reacts much faster than any riders reflexes can.

I think it is a great system.
 

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Brian --

I, too, paid extra for ABS on my '05. Why? Michael Kneebone (IBA President & founder) wrote an article in 1992 for Rider (I think), "No Fault Braking -- A Real-World Comparison of ABS Systems." It's pretty comprehensive and probably too long to copy here. I can't find a web site that has the article. But I'd be happy to send it to you as a Word attachment, if you'd like.

The one place ABS really stands out in spades is in wet conditions.

"The results from our non-ABS stops were shocking. Three riders rode through all 350 feet of water-soaked pavement before stopping on a dry portion of road at the other end.
The improvements in stopping distances when riders counted on ABS were almost unbelievable group averaged 120-foot shorter stops! Not one of our riders on a non-ABS motorcycle could outstop an ABS machine. None were even close! Riders that had never been on an ABS motorcycle were amazed at the amount of traction available for braking before the ABS needed to take over."


Anyway, his conclusion: "In the end, everyone could hardly believe just how good ABS really is. It's certainly not a sales gimmick. This is clearly the biggest advance in braking safety since the advent of the disc brake. Our group of testers had just one complaint: Why is ABS not available on more motorcycles?
At least part of the answer to that question lies in our own resistance to change and, in particular, to bikers' reluctance to abdicate any amount of control of their mounts to "technology." We're a fairly independent lot, and take a certain amount of pride in the fact that we regularly rely on our own abilities and talents to get ourselves out of trouble.
Still another part of the answer comes with the rather large cost of ABS. High-tech braking has a price, and it's one that is high enough to make most of us stop and think twice about purchasing it. BMW's system adds $1000 and 20 pounds to the equivalent non-ABS models. Honda's system weighs 11 pounds and raises the ST's price tag by $1900 (though to be fair, that also includes the Traction Control System, which we will test in a future issue). The Yamaha is the light-weight king at 9 pounds, adding $1200 to the FJ's retail price.
I guess in the end the only real question is not whether or not you can afford ABS, but can you afford to ride without it?"
 

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You won't notice the ABS activate on the Wing like you do on a car. So you may not know when it has saved your butt.
I like the peace of mind it gives me when I ride on wet pavement or gravel, knowing I don't have to worry about hard braking.
 

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BrianH said:
Just to change the direction from tollerating the GPS to get the ABS, I'd love to hear comments about ABS in general.
I was reading the SM last night (trying to come up to speed with you guys) and found in several places big bold print to the effect of:
DO NOT change the tire size if you have ABS as the sensors are calibrated for what came from the factory.

So if you think the 70 series tires are better than 60 series, your ABS may no longer work as expected if you change the tire.

Unless the sensors can be re-calibrated for larger tires, that seems like a limitation worthy of serious consideration when considering ABS.

Dennis
 

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the brakes on the GL1800 are simply just to powerful not to have ABS

in a little over 200,000 miles i have locked GL1800 brakes only twice but when it did happen i was very surprised, by the time u realize whats going on it could very easily b to late, i was very lucky

my next wing will have ABS
 

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honestly cant ever remember having any sort of anxious moment that could have been made easier or safer by having ABS..., as opposed to "proper" emergency braking without ABS.

But that is the past and who knows about the future. I will take any edge i can get. My next will be a bagger. Red said $100,000 in bills that maybe $2000 extra could have prevented. But the heck with the money, i would give $2000 in a heart beat not to ever experience the pan Red has. IMHO we always have to plan for the worst.
 

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I had a Pittsburgh Police Officer state "I want to be able to drop the bike if I have to in an emergency" so he opt out for the ABS and paid more for one without it.

Think about it!
 

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Bluewoo said:
I had a Pittsburgh Police Officer state "I want to be able to drop the bike if I have to in an emergency" so he opt out for the ABS and paid more for one without it.

Think about it!
I've heard that before. Sounds like a Cowboy making that statement. I think he has seen too many movies. LOL... I wonder if he knows you can steer & lean the 1800 with the ABS engaged?

I ride with a few Motor Officers. They are all excited about getting RK's with the ABS rears this year. LOL... The HD Touring bikes will lock the rear brakes in a heartbeat. :(

I'm no Evil Knievel, so I'll take my chances with the bike upright. :D When you go down you have zero control over where you and the scoot goes.

Why would anyone pay "extra" for non ABS. All you have to do to disable the ABS system on all I have seen is pull a fuse! :?
 

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wingwing said:
I was reading the SM last night (trying to come up to speed with you guys) and found in several places big bold print to the effect of:
DO NOT change the tire size if you have ABS as the sensors are calibrated for what came from the factory.

So if you think the 70 series tires are better than 60 series, your ABS may no longer work as expected if you change the tire.

Unless the sensors can be re-calibrated for larger tires, that seems like a limitation worthy of serious consideration when considering ABS.

Dennis
Think about it, Dennis. The sensor stays the same. How would it know if the tire is bigger in diameter or a smaller tire is revolving faster?

The sensors aren't calibrated for anything except the distances between the peaks and valleys of the pick up ring. The pick up senses the rotation of the pick up ring (the wheel) and if the wheel is about to stop spinning. It then pulses the pressure in the brake lines so the wheel will continue to rotate.
 

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Brian,

I find it hard to believe that in 30+ years of riding you have never locked up a rear tire ever.

I have locked up my 250 and my 750 numerous times - never dropped them but there was a lot of manuvering to keep those bikes up even at their light weight. I once was driving by a car wash that had the soapy water draining into the street byside a gas station. While I was turning into the station at a slow rate of speed the rear tire broke loose and I was all over the seat to counter weight the rear wheel pulling me down. The station attendant was all ready to call 911 for medical assistance. He even commented that I handled the bike better than he had ever seen anyone. That said didn't make the experience any smoother - but I was glad I didn't have to see how much my protective clothing would act.

Recently I had a car come to a sudden stop right in front of me on the 750 and the back tire immediately broke loose. The car behind me that had been kinda hugging my rear tire gave me plenty of leeway after that. But the GL with the ABS would have kept the rear tire behind me and I for one made no reservation when I bought my GL to make sure I had ABS.

IF I get another GL - it will have ABS (and probably the airbag too) since nothing is too expensive when it comes to my health, safety, and enjoyment of riding.
 

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Wanderer said:
wingwing said:
I was reading the SM last night (trying to come up to speed with you guys) and found in several places big bold print to the effect of:
DO NOT change the tire size if you have ABS as the sensors are calibrated for what came from the factory.

So if you think the 70 series tires are better than 60 series, your ABS may no longer work as expected if you change the tire.

Unless the sensors can be re-calibrated for larger tires, that seems like a limitation worthy of serious consideration when considering ABS.

Dennis
Think about it, Dennis. The sensor stays the same. How would it know if the tire is bigger in diameter or a smaller tire is revolving faster?

The sensors aren't calibrated for anything except the distances between the peaks and valleys of the pick up ring. The pick up senses the rotation of the pick up ring (the wheel) and if the wheel is about to stop spinning. It then pulses the pressure in the brake lines so the wheel will continue to rotate.
I was just quoting what's in the book ... but
ok, lets' think about it ...
for a moment, let's just think about some extreme example, sometimes it's easier for me to think about "what if" in the extremes.
... what if we could put a wheel with a 10 foot diameter on the bike.
The peaks would be so far apart the ABS would think the wheel was locked up and release the brake; you wouldn't have ANY brakes.

So it's seems reasonable to me that if the wheel were only slightly larger the ABS would sense a wheel lock up a little bit sooner than it was designed for and not work as designed.
?

I don't know ANY of the the ins and outs of how the thing works
... does it get input from RPM and gear choice
... that is, does it "know" how fast the bike is supposed to be going?

good thoughts,

Dennis
 

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Name Tag Guy
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Discussion Starter #16
Dan18960 said:
I find it hard to believe that in 30+ years of riding you have never locked up a rear tire ever.
Actually, what I said was that I dont recall having any anxious moments that would have been made easier by ABS..., and that's why I asked the question. I know I've had anxious moments in my car over the years that would have been made easier by ABS..., but since I've been able to evaluate both, I'm aware of this. I've never had a bike with ABS, and I know that similar technolgy doesn't always apply from 4-wheels to 2-wheels..., and that's why I asked the question. Im not really interested in a critique of my driving..., only comments about ABS..., and that's why I asked the question. <smile>

Definately, based on many of the responses, I'll have to re-evaluate my opinion (opinions ARE eligible for change). And that's what makes OBJECTIVE comments so valuable..., it gives you (me) a good opportunity to re-evaluate, or not.

There's no question that ABS is a great and valuable innovation.
 

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The GL1800 non-ABS has awesome brakes. Like one of our posters above stated; maybe too good to not be equiped with ABS. I wish ABS were standard equipment. I wish even more that my VTX had ABS - its need it even more as it is pone to lock-up the rear in panic stop.

prs
 

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I have witnessed two accidents this year that happened when the rider slammed on the rear brake, forgot about using the front brake, and laid them down hard. A Yamaha Road Star and a Harley Ultra. IMO the linked brakes and ABS on the Goldwing would have prevented both of these get offs. OTH, one should know proper emergency braking. Your life depends on it.
 

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Great White Wing said:
The best info I heard on it was a very, very small increase in braking distance in optimum conditions ....
With optimum threshold braking, there is NO DIFFERENCE between an ABS and a non-ABS bike. If you compare these two bikes by purposly over-braking the ABS bike (which then activates the ABS), then you're comparing apples and oranges, but your statement would then be true.

Great White Wing said:
... and a quite a bit better in wet and slippery.
I still think that's an understatement! :wink:
 

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All ABS does is prevent wheel lock up when braking. Why would you ever WANT wheel lock up? (Okay, other than once in a great while on a gravel surface.) I wish ABS was standard. It has come in handy on my car several times, don't have it on my Wing but hopefully my next bike will.
 
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