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Discussion Starter #1
In a related thread: what do you want from Victory, I posted ABS on all Victory bikes. There was the usual reply from the faction that doesn't want ABS.

I have put 10k new miles on 3 bikes in a little over a year. I am 64 years old. I have taken Lee Parks Total Control One and Two, and his off road course; Streetmasters with Walt Fulton, and the Ride Like a Pro slow speed course; as well as Keith Code's California Superbike School.

I put most of the miles on an R1200R BMW (2007) with modern, integrated ABS. I have about a thousand miles on my new 2011 Victory Kingpin 8 Ball with no ABS. (Yes of course I kept both bikes.)

Here are the specs on my Victory:

Conventional brakes (non-ABS)

Front braking system 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston caliper
Rear braking system 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper

Here on the specs on my BMW:

Integral ABS

Front:Twin disc, floating brake discs, 320 mm diameter, four-piston fixed calipers

Rear: Single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, double-piston floating caliper

The BMW has about twice the amount of brake on the front as the Victory and weighs about 200 lbs less.

____________________________

This is what I'm talking about in terms of brakes.

Yes, please understand, this is all my own point of view. On the other hand even though I don't know anyone on this list personally, I want each one of you to have the safest ride possible.

Ok here's how the ABS system works. You pull on the front lever and you get full front and proportional rear ---at max effort, both go ABS.

If you just apply the rear, you only get rear, until you apply max and then the rear only goes ABS.

In practice the BMW brakes are nothing short of amazing. My Victory brakes don't come close. The brakes on the Victory require me to really think ahead about stopping. The rear brake will easily skid which is not a good thing.

Go to U-Tube and check the videos on ABS vs Non ABS motorcycles. Where the rubber meets the road a rider on an ABS equipped bike is 37% less likely to die than a rider on a non ABS bike.

I am writing this because another poster said he prefers to use the rear brake alone to settle the suspension in cornering. First off, he could still do that with the BMW or similar ABS set up; but, second, applying rear brake in a corner is pretty much a recipe for a high side, or a low side for that matter.

I've read most of the standard motorcycle riding books too. General rule is to kill the speed while vertical coming to the corner then apply throttle through the turn.

With ABS if I come in too hot, I kill speed instantly with an application of the front brake, actuating front and rears, while still vertical; then get into the turn.

Truthfully, both the BMW and the Victory are both very forgiving bikes and will suffer foolish rider behavior by permitting some braking in a turn, but no question it's better not to ever be braking in a turn. The books will tell you why.

Would I pay a grand more for a Victory with ABS. In a heart beat, yes. And, it might be a heart beat issue.

Victory will get there; some of the Victory bikes come with ABS. They could also come with a switch to defeat it. Generally, only place you'd ever want to turn it off would be on an off road bike doing down hill gravel and I'm never going there.

OK, your mileage may vary. This is my very personal view. Best to you all. Ride safely.

PS: I love my damn Victory.
 

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I wouldn't doubt that there were a lot of naysayers when ABS started coming out on cars.

I'm sure Vic will offer it within the next couple of years on he touring bikes.

I doubt it will be on the cruisers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Correction to my post:

Actually you won't low side if you apply rear brake in a turn. Rear brake in a turn will stand the bike up, vs lean it more. On the other hand, front brake in a turn is asking for a low side.


Rear brake in a turn does invite a high side. If you lock up the rear brake, release it, regain traction, all while the rear tire is not aligned with the front tire, you'll have a high side crash. Hence, the advice for a locked rear tire is to leave it locked and come to a stop (you can still steer). Lock the front, release and reapply.
[With thanks to a fellow rider...I was too lazy to get the book out...]

How some ever---in the old I laid it down to avoid the crash school of 30 yrs ago, the lay down was initiated by aiming the front tire in the desired slide direction, locking the rear brake, and throwing body weight to the right to lay the bike down on left side. Basically, a low side.
 

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I agree with everything you mentioned SD.....My ABS advocacy happened during a hail storm on Hwy 46 outside of La Sal Utah I got caught in two years ago. I would have gone down if it were not for the ABS on my 2009 Road Glide. All it takes is one time for ABS to save your rear end, and you become a disciple. As soon as Victory offers ABS on the XC, I will own one.
D2
 

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Victory or a 3rd-party company needs to offer ABS as a RETROFIT for all of us who already own our bikes and like what we have. I'd pay $1K for a retrofit kit for my XC.

It should be noted that I did compare (and pass) on the H-D Road Glide that offered the ABS option. The ABS would have been nice to have had but the other factors countered the beneficial aspects of the ABS. So, in some ways I did have a choice but decided that the '11 Ness Cross Country without ABS was better IMHO than a '11 H-D Road Glide Custom with the trunk , 103, Security & ABS added.
 

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I would've forked up the extra money if ABS was available. That being said, I do not regret buying without ABS instead of sitting on the bench and waiting for the ABS bus to arrive. For now I'm enjoying my XR and praying I never need the ABS. Once ABS models come out, if they make the XR in white, I will trade-up for one with ABS.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think it's going to be a trade up situation. I haven't looked at the Victories that do have ABS; I wonder if they have a twin disc set upon the front. Victory really needs a twin disc, 4 piston ABS; 320 mm twin disc set up to bring it to modern brakes.

I think it would have to go on at the factory. OTH I'd be first in line for a retrofit. It has to be more than just ABS, the single front disc on my 2011 Kingpin is just not enough brake for the weight of the bike.

I mean it's adequate, but it isn't what it could be. Do I really need all that brake. Yup. These are not only fast bikes but they HANDLE; subject to ground clearance you can keep up with a lot of supposedly more nimble bikes in the twisties....but I feel more brake would really make the Victories shine...across the line.
 

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All the older folks probably remember when ABS came out in cars and how it was greeted with open arms. Nobody disputed ABS until a year or 2 after it hit the street. It was disputed because the number of rearend collisions and slide-offs increased.

The problem with ABS wasn't with the system; the problem was with the drivers - people with ABS thought they were invincible. Drivers were waiting longer to hit the brakes because they assumed they would stop in less distance.

Unfortunately they were only partially correct; if the roads were dry and the speed limit was not being exceeded their chances of stopping in less distance increased. If speed was a factor and/or the roads were wet/snowy/icy they took longer to stop. In more cases than not ABS brakes had less effect on stopping than the car(s) in front of the ABS equip car did. Needless to say using the car in front of you to stop your car never ends well...
 

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All the older folks probably remember when ABS came out in cars and how it was greeted with open arms. Nobody disputed ABS until a year or 2 after it hit the street. It was disputed because the number of rearend collisions and slide-offs increased.

The problem with ABS wasn't with the system; the problem was with the drivers - people with ABS thought they were invincible. Drivers were waiting longer to hit the brakes because they assumed they would stop in less distance.

Unfortunately they were only partially correct; if the roads were dry and the speed limit was not being exceeded their chances of stopping in less distance increased. If speed was a factor and/or the roads were wet/snowy/icy they took longer to stop. In more cases than not ABS brakes had less effect on stopping than the car(s) in front of the ABS equip car did. Needless to say using the car in front of you to stop your car never ends well...
ABS actually increases the stopping distance since it allows the wheel to spin more when it's ready to lock up. The advantage with a car is that you maintain some steering control during heavy breaking. With a bike, you avoid locking up the wheels which is like a "get out of jail free" card if you're in a tight situation. ABS is especially great for not so seasoned riders. When you panic it's easy to forget about locking the wheels.
 

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sdmax said: applying rear brake in a corner is pretty much a recipe for a high side, or a low side for that matter.

Ricz sez: You say you have taken the Ride Like a Pro course, then you know the importance of dragging (lightly) the rear brake for stabilizing the bike in a tight turn. A very important technique to know when bagging passes in the Alps, or on any corkscrew road. It doesn't surprise me that BMW has set up their ABS system so that one can do that, considering where they are made and ridden.
 

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to be honest i will go back alittle on my statement...i think ABS would be nice on the larger touring bikes, these bikes weigh much more and the need for abs is higher. but i still would not want it on my hammer.

i actually almost ran a stop sign today where the sign was hidden until the last second behind a tree. anyway i did lockup the rear alittle at first then let off alittle and eased back on. i could tell the front traction was being stretched but i didnt break it loose. i stopped about dead even with the sign. in my opinion, i dont think it would have stopped as fast with abs. but had it been raining, i would have crashed and abs may have helped there but i avoid rain.


2 cases for my disliking ABS...
case 1. my 94 chevy pickup, the abs is old as hell and tired, it no longer works correctly, it basically makes the braking a guessing game, it is much worse in the rain, you can hold the brakes in the same place and the wheels will lock up out of nowhere. this makes me not want it because a bike, like my truck will somday be old, abs parts are still expensive and im not gonna fix it, so its worse off than it would be without it at all.
same thing with my 96 ford work truck.

case 2. was in a joy ride in a bmw m3, doing things i shouldnt have been. any way longer story short i hit the brakes hard in a corner out of nowhere the abs kicks on, starts buzzing like nuts, car dosent slow as fast as it had before when i go to power out of the corner the abs is still tripping out and screws the whole corner, luckily i didnt crash, but it still made me hate how unpredictable electronics make driving somthing.

to each their own, i just personally dont like electronics between me and the vehicle, like stupid electric gas pedals drive me nuts!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ricz:

Sorry for the delay re your post on rear braking in turns. I wanted to check my thinking with a friend who has taken the Ride Like a Pro course a couple of times. His recollection was the same as mine. Rear braking in a turn is not standard technique.

In the Ride Course, the emphasis is on very slow speed stuff, tight turns, figure eights, u-turns in that situation the rear brake is used to help stand the bike up.

This is first gear, slipping the clutch in the friction zone rear braking. At normal speed in a turn, rear braking will serve to stand the bike up and widen the radius of the turn.

"Trail Braking" is what I think Ricz is talking about.
Here's a thread I found:

http://www.st-owners.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-33572.html

Whatever works for you is what works. I think that after thousands of miles a lot of what we do is in the "Lizzard Brain" and what we know works on our bike.

It's all worth thinking about....The truly modern ABS stuff on BMW is seamless, you have to really be out there to get it to kick in. Unless it's a rain situation; and, there for sure, ABS helps.

Saw a really nice custom HD today with kicked out forks; really well done. Very damn clean. It also had TWO BIG ROTORS on the front. I'm sure it wasn't ABS but the guy who designed and built it wanted it to be able to stop.

I still suck at the low speed stuff and have lots of parking lot practicing to do this summer.
 

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to be honest i will go back alittle on my statement...i think ABS would be nice on the larger touring bikes, these bikes weigh much more and the need for abs is higher. but i still would not want it on my hammer.

i actually almost ran a stop sign today where the sign was hidden until the last second behind a tree. anyway i did lockup the rear alittle at first then let off alittle and eased back on. i could tell the front traction was being stretched but i didnt break it loose. i stopped about dead even with the sign. in my opinion, i dont think it would have stopped as fast with abs. but had it been raining, i would have crashed and abs may have helped there but i avoid rain.

to each their own, i just personally dont like electronics between me and the vehicle, like stupid electric gas pedals drive me nuts!
It isn't just rain that can get you. I've been riding about 35 years and had my first wreck last year. I was following a school bus who was making a left hand turn. Suddenly, in mid turn in the intersection she slams on her brakes. Wanting to avoid getting rear ended, I quickly veered to the side of the road and hit the front brake. The shoulder was still full of silt following the winter and the front washed so fast, it was all but impossible to save (though I tried).

A bike with modern ABS would have not locked up like that and I would have proceeded around the bus no problem. I've owned a couple with ABS and all this talk about not being able to use the brakes to slow into corners and such is bogus. The ABS kicks on when the wheels slide, not every time one applies the brakes. I have never noticed the ABS on either of the bikes I owned unless I was intentionally trying to get it to activate for my own interest or in a panic stop. And in a panic stop they are much better than me.

I'm one hoping for ABS and a Hammer with a 180 to 200 rear tire.
 

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Sdmax; you're right, I shoulda used the term "trail braking." It not only is beneficial for those tight, low speed turns, it also helps in faster turns and sweepers. The technique doesn't necessarily stand the bike, it stabilizes it in turns. Don't ask me to explain the physics of it, I just know it helps me to keep well ahead of riding buddies on their sport tourers while carving the twisties.
 

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It isn't just rain that can get you. I've been riding about 35 years and had my first wreck last year. I was following a school bus who was making a left hand turn. Suddenly, in mid turn in the intersection she slams on her brakes. Wanting to avoid getting rear ended, I quickly veered to the side of the road and hit the front brake. The shoulder was still full of silt following the winter and the front washed so fast, it was all but impossible to save (though I tried).

A bike with modern ABS would have not locked up like that and I would have proceeded around the bus no problem.
orrrrr if you had been allowing more distance between yourself and the bus, you would not have needed to have done any avoidance at all. I know, easier said than done and "had to be there" but in the end, it's all about HOW we drive, isn't it.

I still think that "beginners" and experienced riders alike could benefit from ABS to help us "save us from ourselves" but more conscientious driving can also help address these issues. I would not sell my '11 XC for a new model with ABS but I would have paid another $1K for the feature had it been available.
 

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orrrrr if you had been allowing more distance between yourself and the bus, you would not have needed to have done any avoidance at all. I know, easier said than done and "had to be there" but in the end, it's all about HOW we drive, isn't it.
You have a point. I was following a little closer than I probably should have been, assuming that the bus would complete the turn and I would make the light. Still, if there hadn't been sediment on the road or I would have had my ABS equipped bike, there wouldn't have been an issue slowing and going around it.

I still think that "beginners" and experienced riders alike could benefit from ABS to help us "save us from ourselves" but more conscientious driving can also help address these issues. I would not sell my '11 XC for a new model with ABS but I would have paid another $1K for the feature had it been available.
I have a cruiser w/o ABS and unless Vic makes me a Hammer/Vegas hybrid with ABS, I'll be keeping mine too. I do try to use the rear brake more on that bike as it is a lot easier to control the slides on. And with the weight distribution of a cruiser, it is darn near as effective as the front stopper anyway.
 
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