Willie, are you saying you went ahead and purchased the bike?
Yes like a dumb doofuss I did buy it but not knowing it had the ABS issues -- Read on
If so, best of luck to you. Regarding your rear brake locking up and skidding, that is typical of any brake system on any vehicle w/o ABS brakes. If applied hard and long enough, then the brakes will lock up. That was the whole idea for the introduction of ABS, to prevent brake lock up by minutely controlling the amount of pressure being applied to the brakes, thereby ensuring they would never actually lock up, at least for a time period long enough to enduce a skid. We're talking about hundreds of milliseconds.
Yes and I understand this perfectly. I mentioned to the dealer after my test run that the rear wheel locked up on me and I had thought that ABS was to prevent that. The answer was that it has to be on wet or gravel for the ABS to help and that is basically true in part. The salesman said that the rear wheel locked or skidded on him as well in the parking lot.
So, the point is if your ABS is not functioning correctly, which is definitely what you're indicating w/ the ABS light and lack of a successful self test during startup, then the vehicle behaves as if it has no ABS, which is also designed into the design.
I just took it out for a ride and the ABS is definately not working. The brake failure light comes on and does the rapid flash then the slower flashing and that is it. It does go out completely after I start the engine in about 8 seconds or so. But no other ABS lights come on and there seems to be no diagnostics. The rear brake lights are working and the fluid levels look OK. I can also hear the pumps running when I apply the hand or foot brake. The regular brakes work really well without the ABS and I guess that is why I believed the dealer that there was not a problem. I did not get the owners manual until after I signed the papers so I was not aware of the self diags and what exactly to look for when I was test riding. And they inspected the LT the day I picked it up and I would think it could not pass a PA State inspection with failing ABS. I know the ABS has not been working since I first rode it because of the flashing brake failure light. I mentioned it to the salesman the 1st time he started it up for me and he said "it goes out when you get moving". So I believed him and the brake failure light di go out when I got moving.
In the event of ABS failure, you want to continue to have "regular" braking. Now, if the rear brake is locking up w/ minimal application to the brake pedal, then I'd say you've also got a basic brake malfunction, but I didn't gather that from your original comments about the test drive of 100 miles.
These motorcycles are very expensive to maintain by a professional. ABS problems can quite easily cost you a couple of thousand dollars to have a dealer repair. With this in mind, I hope you got one hell of a deal if you've purchased this already.