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Anti-lock brakes: An option for motorcycles?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents |

Anti-lock brakes are now standard on all cars throughout the United States. Europe has taken the same path with all their motor vehicles, including motorcycles, a segment that the U.S. has yet to embrace regarding potentially life-saving technology.

Motorcycles have separate brakes, one for the front and the other for the back wheels, that are separately controlled. Maximum application of the brakes can result in locking wheels and potential loss of control.

Is ABS effective?

ABS involves a small metallic ring gear attached to the wheel’s hub. The attached magnetic sensor generates an electrical signal sent to the unit. Sensors identifying a lack of locking will allow brakes to increase in pressure.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted a study from 2003 to 2019, revealing that motorcycles with ABS reduced fatal crashes by 22 percent. The technology has the potential to solve many of those potentially catastrophic accidents throughout the nation. Riders can brake fully without fear of wheels locking. Instead, they stop suddenly while maintaining much-improved control.

However, with the technology comes increased price tags. Motorcycles that have the technology installed cost more than those without, to the tune of hundreds of dollars. Two-wheel transports that are cost-prohibitive may stay on showroom floors while non-ABS motorcycles are flying out of the dealership.

Overall, ABS provides significant benefits, particularly when it comes to larger bikes, as opposed to those riders who enjoy off-road activities.

Ultimately, motorcycles with or without ABS still require operators who adhere to the highest standards of defensive operation while riding responsibly and exercising judgment that keeps everyone safe on roads throughout the nation.

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