BMW Motorcycles to Offer Antilock Brakes

After introducing the concept of antilock brakes (ABS) on motorcycles 23 years ago, BMW Motorrad USA has announced that it will be the first motorcycle manufacturer to offer ABS as standard equipment on its entire range of 2012 model year motorcycles.

“Plain and simple, being able to stop a motorcycle faster and more predictably helps prevent a rider from becoming a statistic,” said Pieter de Waal, VP, BMW Motorrad USA.

“It’s time for all of us in the motorcycle industry to embrace the benefits of ABS. Extensive testing by safety experts, law enforcement authorities and journalists around the world consistently demonstrates that ABS reduces overall crashes and saves lives.”

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According to BMW, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that motorcycles equipped with antilock brakes are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than models without ABS.

“I commend BMW for taking the lead in making ABS standard across the board,” said Adrian Lund, IIHS president. “Our research results show ABS on motorcycles saves lives, and riders are taking note, too. A recent survey found that a majority of riders said they would look for ABS on their next bikes.”

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According to IIHS, many factors contribute to motorcycle crashes, but improper braking was identified as a major pre-impact factor in a study of motorcycle crashes.

When brakes are applied too gently, the rider risks colliding with the obstacle. If brakes are applied too hard, the wheels can lock and cause an overturn.

ABS is crash avoidance technology, meaning it helps reduce brake pressure by detecting an impending lockup and then increasing the pressure again when wheel traction is restored.

Brake pressure is evaluated by a sensor multiple times per second, so riders may brake fully in a straight line without fear of locking up.

BMW made the announcement today, April 19.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman