Originally Posted by HarvRead
After two hours riding in the rain, I exited the freeway and slowed to 20 mph. Applied brakes, front end went sideways! Didn't feel the ABS. Immediatly released front brake, bike shook it's head 3 times and straightened out. Within a minute I pulled over, shut off bike, turned key back on and verified that the ABS test (dash) light worked. 1/2 hour later I decided to try a "parking lot test" and ABS worked. Has anyone else had this happen? Bike is a low miles 2002. I was scared Bleepless, and prolly needed a change of underwear.
Not being a [email protected]
$$ with the title -- but before everyone condemns the ABS system, consider that the ABS probably *did* work, and probably *prevented* your crashing.
Yeah, it was scary, and yeah, it probably felt like the system wasn't "working." But in the situation you described, it's almost certain that you exceed the limits of the available traction (who knows why -- diesel spilled on the ground, excess water/hydroplaning/too fast for conditions -- doesn't matter). If, as I strongly suspect, the ABS released the brake pressure to keep the front wheel rotating, that prevented the front wheel from locking up and slamming you to the ground.
The biggest difference between today's ABS system and the version available in, say, 1990, is that it now cycles *so* fast that you don't feel the familiar pulsing that "confirms" to your mind that the system was working (at least for the 99.9% of riders that haven't taken their bike out to a safe place and worked their way up to ABS activation to find out what it feels like; with the LT, if feels like the brakes momentarily "go away").
Unfortunately, because ABS can't rewrite the laws of physics, when it is activated stopping distance will increase (makes sense: hydraulic pressure decreases, less brake force retarding the wheel). But consider the alternative: essentially NO chance to keep the bike up! *Very,* very few riders have the skill to keep a bike upright with a front locked up -- even fewer can do it with no warning/preparation.
So, here's a thought to consider: Next time your ABS activates and you overshoot your desired stopping point (even if that means running into traffic!), don't "blame" the ABS system -- THANK IT!
The fact that it activated means that your wheel was already past the point of traction. Regardless of whether that is the result of an unforeseeable condition or driver error, the ABS system does what it is designed to do -- keep the front wheel rotating so you can steer/keep the bike up (BTW, contrary to many folks' thinking, ABS was never designed to shorten braking distance -- it's *all* about maintaining the ability to steer). If you feel it working (i.e., feels like the brakes "failed" by momentarily releasing), it's at least giving you a chance to survive the front wheel locking "event." Yeah, that may put you into an intersection, where you have to deal with the chance that you may still be in trouble from other traffic -- but at least you'll have that chance! In my book, that's better than the near certainty of sliding into the intersection on your side.
This isn't aimed at the original poster, but the unvarnished truth is that the fact that you and/or the road conditions may have put you in a lousy position isn't the ABS's fault -- and therefore, IMO, it's simply wrong to maintain that the ABS "failed" or "caused" a braking problem when the real issue is that you're just uncomfortable with its reaction to the situation -- a reaction that has at least given you a chance to survive what 30 years ago would have most likely been a crash.
p.s. -- in answer to the "should I fix it" post -- yes! This system design isn't defective -- despite some folks discomfort/unpreparedness to deal with the "sensation" as it is working, it can really help save your tail. There will always be situations where *no* system can prevent a crash -- physics still governs -- but in those situations where you're right on the edge of control (or even slightly past it), the ABS intervention might save ya -- it certain has for me several times over the years in my daily commuting.