Friday, May 7, 2010

Insurance Industry Asks Feds For Mandatory ABS on Motorcycles; Motorcycle Industry Not So Sure It’s A Good Idea

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (funded by the insurance industry) is asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (funded by you) to make ABS mandatory on motorcycles, based on a study showing bikes with ABS were about 38 percent less likely to be involved in fatal crashes. But the president of the Motorcycle Industry Council (funded by the motorcycle industry) doesn’t think there’s enough evidence for the usefulness of ABS to justify making it mandatory. Read more about this here.


  1. That's pretty rough. I had the ABS fail on my Camaro and put me into the Armco backwards at 60mph, so when I got a good deal on an FJR-1300 with ABS, I thought about it for a long time.

    I do all my own work and my bikes never go near a dealership, so I couldn't buy something I couldn't take care of.

    Anyway, the FJR saved me a couple times, so I upgraded my '02 SV-650 to an '08 with ABS, and I would like ABS on all my future bikes.

    However, a FJR Forum member just found himself without ABS when he locked up avoiding a jay-walker. The light does what it should, and it passes all the diagnostic tests, except he can lock the wheels at will. He now faces $1200 for a new ABS unit.

    I think worse than not having ABS at all is thinking you have it, and finding out you don't.

    Obviously it adds a non-trivial amount of money for a new bike. I also hear if you don't trigger it every so often, the solenoid valves can corrode and stick. I also find the ABS hits the lever so hard on my SV that it hurts my hand, and diverts my attention from whatever's going on.

    Motorcycles are all about safety/risk decisions and just like helmets, you should be able to choose.

  2. Agree, should not be mandatory. Please don't protect me from me.

    I have a KTM Dual Sport with ABS. While useful on the pavement it is not what I need or want in the dirt. Oftentimes I WANT to slide the rear. You have the option to switch it off however cumbersome it is to do so.

  3. Having been an track day instructor on board a V8
    BMW, rainy day, standing puddles and the ABS failed......

    I opt for no ABS and learning to drive without it, track or street.