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Nice link SB. I get it. ABS = good. I owned and rode one of the Harleys equipped with ABS and can say that it responded well to emergency stops but was less than impressive under non-emergency conditions. I don't know how it is around you but around here there are stop signs out in the country with rumble strips in front of them to wake up a rider/driver. Whenever I stopped at one of those on my HD I got to feel the ABS preventing me stopping right. That is right. It interfered with my braking and tried to send me right through the stop sign without letting me stop. It seems that the software was reading the peaks and valleys of wheel speed as a loss of traction so it removed braking forces from my wheels. I came way too close to going through those stop signs without stopping to suit me.
I much prefer the ABS on my Vision that lets me actually stop on those rumble strips. It probably works almost as well in an emergency stop as the HD one but does not give false "locked wheel" signals to the ABS computer.
 

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I like my ABS for when I'm on a gravelly road or anything with a loose surface. However, sometimes it gets a false trigger if I am coming to a stop and the front wheel hits a joint or some other small bump. I'm used to it now, but I definitely notice it.
 

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You fellas ought to tread lightly. The ABS Holy Mother Saints Preservation Society might get all squinty eyed and overchurn the butter and all kinds of calamitous racket if there's too much of an undercurrent of less than complete submission.

I remember when I wondered aloud about removing the ABS decal from my side cover. I was chopped into little pieces with a axe and fed to the pigs. It wasn't pretty. I have learned to know my place.
 

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The victory ABS doesn't work very well.
The tests I have done on gravel proves it adds a massive distance to your stop.

I can stop in almost half the distance if I don't let the the wheel lock.

The pulse width is to wide keeping the brakes off to long.
I bet it would stop faster if the wheel was left locked.

It may keep you up right... At least till you hit what ever it is your panic braking for....
 

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Ok I watched the video
This is a setup. Notice how they let the bike slide sideways with no ABS. THEY DONT EVEN TRY TO STEER STRAIGHT. Total BS video on how well Harley ABS works.

Also notice how much shorter the stop is with ABS... Because they are using the front brake. But not using the front brake when they say the ABS is no active.....
 

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The victory ABS doesn't work very well.
The tests I have done on gravel proves it adds a massive distance to your stop.

I can stop in almost half the distance if I don't let the the wheel lock.

The pulse width is to wide keeping the brakes off to long.
I bet it would stop faster if the wheel was left locked.

It may keep you up right... At least till you hit what ever it is your panic braking for....
I agree.

I also have a BMW - THEY know how to do ABS. The BMW system is VASTLY superior to the Victory system.
 

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As Pop alluded to, it's a pitch from HD for ABS. Interestingly enough the Motorcycle Safety Foundation in their classes trains riders to deal with rear and front wheel lock ups without ABS.

The manufacturers simply install ABS to make up for the lack of training that the majority of riders have. It's a good thing but there's no substitute for proper training in crash avoidance. I've said before and I will repeat myself, if you haven't taken an MSF rider safety course (beginner or advanced) do so. You will be AMAZED at what you take away from the course no matter your experience level.
 

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Ok I watched the video
This is a setup. Notice how they let the bike slide sideways with no ABS. THEY DONT EVEN TRY TO STEER STRAIGHT. Total BS video on how well Harley ABS works.

Also notice how much shorter the stop is with ABS... Because they are using the front brake. But not using the front brake when they say the ABS is no active.....
Watch it again, they are clearly using the front brake for both stops. Rear brake only would not cause that much front end dive. As for letting it slide sideways, meh, that's probably just done for dramatic effect. I'm not saying it's not setup, I'm just saying that basic appearances do show similar, if not the same braking conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Watch it again, they are clearly using the front brake for both stops. Rear brake only would not cause that much front end dive. As for letting it slide sideways, meh, that's probably just done for dramatic effect. I'm not saying it's not setup, I'm just saying that basic appearances do show similar, if not the same braking conditions.
My theory on the sliding sideways bit is that the front wheel tucked in the gravel causing the bike to fall on the outrigger. Had the bike not had the outrigger, the rider would have bitten the pavement about 2 nanoseconds after that tire tucked. Been there, done that.

Since the outrigger kept him up, he just maintained brake pressure allowing the bike to flail around for effect as you say.

The ABS tire doesn't tuck.

I don't care if you take classes til the cows come home, if you get on the front brakes and that tire tucks on a low traction surface in an emergency stop, there is a very real chance you're gonna fall on your face. That's not a knock on classes. I think learning and practicing techniques are a great use of our time, but it would get awfully expensive having people practice how not to wreck in such situations. I'm not sure given human reaction times that it's even possible.

I haven't test the Vic ABS in poor traction conditions. I have tested a bunch of others and they all seemed to work well to me.
 

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My theory on the sliding sideways bit is that the front wheel tucked in the gravel causing the bike to fall on the outrigger. Had the bike not had the outrigger, the rider would have bitten the pavement about 2 nanoseconds after that tire tucked. Been there, done that.

Since the outrigger kept him up, he just maintained brake pressure allowing the bike to flail around for effect as you say.

The ABS tire doesn't tuck.

I don't care if you take classes til the cows come home, if you get on the front brakes and that tire tucks on a low traction surface in an emergency stop, there is a very real chance you're gonna fall on your face. That's not a knock on classes. I think learning and practicing techniques are a great use of our time, but it would get awfully expensive having people practice how not to wreck in such situations. I'm not sure given human reaction times that it's even possible.

I haven't test the Vic ABS in poor traction conditions. I have tested a bunch of others and they all seemed to work well to me.
That's a damn good theory actually, you're probably right.

And I agree, once the front tire loses traction you're gonna have a hard time keeping the bike up no matter how much practice you've had. It's certainly possible, I've avoided a crash even after a front tire lock but it was sheer luck and resulted in a lot of hip pain for a couple days (used my foot as an outrigger, leg got jammed up hard into my hip when the bike tried to go down).

I've said it before and I'll say it here, ABS is a good thing as are the majority of driver/rider aids. What is NOT a good thing is when people become dependent on them and lose their basic skills as a result (or just get even lazier than they already are). When the aid is used as an AID to improve otherwise poor conditions I'm all for it. When it's used as a crutch to allow inattentive, unskilled, or otherwise incapable people to drive/ride, then it becomes a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've avoided a crash even after a front tire lock but it was sheer luck
I've slid a front tire all over creation doing stupid **** like endos and caught soon enough, on good pavement, that can be saved. In dicey traction like sand, when caught off guard, I'm not a big believer that skill plays a bigger part than luck. The bike can just get too destabilized before we can sense it and make a correction.

When I had my incident, the school bus making a left hand ahead of me just came to a dead stop in the middle of an intersection for no apparent reason. I was probably traveling 25-30 mph and I moved to the right shoulder to prevent someone from running up my butt during a hard stop. I didn't notice the fine silt left over from winter de-icing material.

By the time I did notice and got off the brake, I thought I might be able to save it, but the bike was having none of it and proceeded to body slam me as the bike carried on and ended up under the school bus.

When I got up and went back to look, there was about a 5-10' skid through the silt.

I've said it before and I'll say it here, ABS is a good thing as are the majority of driver/rider aids. What is NOT a good thing is when people become dependent on them and lose their basic skills as a result (or just get even lazier than they already are). When the aid is used as an AID to improve otherwise poor conditions I'm all for it. When it's used as a crutch to allow inattentive, unskilled, or otherwise incapable people to drive/ride, then it becomes a problem.
I'm afraid most don't consider that our activity requires much in the way of skill. Learn to shift and apply the brakes and most figure they got the gig down pat...until the first time they have to make an emergency maneuver anyway. As such, electronic aides provide for more future sales.

While I've never tested how well the Vic brakes worked in gravel, I have tested them really hard on clean pavement and never felt a hint of them pulsing. That they aren't intrusive during normal riding indicates a measure of goodness to me.
 

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I've slid a front tire all over creation doing stupid **** like endos and caught soon enough, on good pavement, that can be saved. In dicey traction like sand, when caught off guard, I'm not a big believer that skill plays a bigger part than luck. The bike can just get too destabilized before we can sense it and make a correction.

When I had my incident, the school bus making a left hand ahead of me just came to a dead stop in the middle of an intersection for no apparent reason. I was probably traveling 25-30 mph and I moved to the right shoulder to prevent someone from running up my butt during a hard stop. I didn't notice the fine silt left over from winter de-icing material.

By the time I did notice and got off the brake, I thought I might be able to save it, but the bike was having none of it and proceeded to body slam me as the bike carried on and ended up under the school bus.

When I got up and went back to look, there was about a 5-10' skid through the silt.



I'm afraid most don't consider that our activity requires much in the way of skill. Learn to shift and apply the brakes and most figure they got the gig down pat...until the first time they have to make an emergency maneuver anyway. As such, electronic aides provide for more future sales.

While I've never tested how well the Vic brakes worked in gravel, I have tested them really hard on clean pavement and never felt a hint of them pulsing. That they aren't intrusive during normal riding indicates a measure of goodness to me.
In theory....(insert comments here)... it is a physical impossibility to lock the front tire of a bike with modern rubber and good surface conditions when at speed. Depending on the bike you may endo but you'll never lock the tire up. Take away the modern rubber or a good surface and that changes of course. That said, I agree that no ABS intrusion during normal riding is good but not necessarily a measure of how good. As long as the tire continues to spin (and presumably at a similar rate to the other tire though I'm not sure how the system actually determines a lock wheel condition) there should never be a reason for ABS to kick in. It's only job is to get the tire spinning if it stops and then allow the brakes to be reapplied. Part of me is truly curious how well the system works and what it feels like when it is working. Another part of me isn't willing to risk self and 18k worth of bike to find out. Hopefully I'll never have cause to discover what bike ABS is like or how effective it is.
 

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That's a damn good theory actually, you're probably right.

I've said it before and I'll say it here, ABS is a good thing as are the majority of driver/rider aids. What is NOT a good thing is when people become dependent on them and lose their basic skills as a result (or just get even lazier than they already are). When the aid is used as an AID to improve otherwise poor conditions I'm all for it. When it's used as a crutch to allow inattentive, unskilled, or otherwise incapable people to drive/ride, then it becomes a problem.
That's a great statement right there!

One of the very first tests I did after getting my new XCT home, was to go to an empty parking lot to find out how the bike reacted while mashing down on the rear brake pedal and then the front brake lever independently, then combined. I ran through some sandy spots and I was impressed how the bike tracked. It's nice to know that front end won't wash out and make me eat asphalt.

However, I'm really not a fan of how the ABS engages during dry, clean surface road conditions. I guess what I'm saying is, I just haven't gotten used to the pulsating pedal/lever action. So, I've adapted to how/when it engages and I apply that to my riding style. In slow traffic or approaching intersections, I cover both brakes and stay aware. I've covered the brake pedal in my cars/trucks for years too.

The majority of today's drivers are not concerned with responsible driving tactics. It's "I'm getting to where I need to go no matter what." In fact, there was a local HD rider that was intentionally knocked over by a 4-wheeler at an intersection two weeks ago. I sounded like a Road Rage incident but, deliberately driving into someone is F'd up!
 

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When I was shopping for a new bike the one thing I was adamant about was that it needed to have ABS. After 37,000 miles of experience on my XCT, given the way it works under normal conditions I'd opt to buy the bike without it if I had the choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In theory....(insert comments here)... it is a physical impossibility to lock the front tire of a bike with modern rubber and good surface conditions when at speed.
Not sure why you think that'd be the case. Very easy (and MUCH safer) to prove that stomping on the rear brake of a non-ABS equipped MC at speed will result in it locking and skidding. Front tire is made out of the same stuff.
 

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My theory on the sliding sideways bit is that the front wheel tucked in the gravel causing the bike to fall on the outrigger. Had the bike not had the outrigger, the rider would have bitten the pavement about 2 nanoseconds after that tire tucked. Been there, done that.

Since the outrigger kept him up, he just maintained brake pressure allowing the bike to flail around for effect as you say.

The ABS tire doesn't tuck.

I don't care if you take classes til the cows come home, if you get on the front brakes and that tire tucks on a low traction surface in an emergency stop, there is a very real chance you're gonna fall on your face. That's not a knock on classes. I think learning and practicing techniques are a great use of our time, but it would get awfully expensive having people practice how not to wreck in such situations. I'm not sure given human reaction times that it's even possible.

I haven't test the Vic ABS in poor traction conditions. I have tested a bunch of others and they all seemed to work well to me.
Yeah I see he is on the front brake. The slid around is for effect.
I still believe they are manipulating the front brake to increase stopping distance.
If there is no manipulation of the front brake going on, then that is the best ABS I have seen so far.

As far as the vics ABS goes...... It will keep up up right but will increase your stopping distance by a rather spooky amount. The pulse is to long forcing your hand and foot off the brakes for what seems like a long time. The Vic ABS doesn't pulsate it forces your hand open on the front lever and lifts your foot up on the back brake. Will catch you off guard and you want to let go of the brake. Its very abrupt and the pulse width is very wide.

I dont understand why the pulse width is so wide when there is so many segments on the tone ring. It should vibrate like a car.

As for practice doing lock ups on slippery surfaces..... I come from the dirt bike segment and locking both the front and the back on dirt is mandatory if your an aggressive rider. So for me ABS is a mute point as I understand how to brake on the edge of lockup....
 

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Not sure why you think that'd be the case. Very easy (and MUCH safer) to prove that stomping on the rear brake of a non-ABS equipped MC at speed will result in it locking and skidding. Front tire is made out of the same stuff.
The rear tire loses traction as brake force is applied. This is why it's so easy to lock up. Weight transfers forward under braking causing the contact patch of the rear tire to reduce. Under extreme braking the rear tire will lift entirely off the ground and lock instantly (zero contact patch = zero traction).

The front tire is exactly the opposite. More brake force = larger contact patch = more traction which is why it won't lock under good conditions. You certainly CAN lock the front tire by stabbing the lever so maybe the way I should have worded my statement is that with proper application of the front brake under good conditions it is impossible to lock it. A progressive (even very fast progressive) application of front brake will allow the tire to squash down from weight transfer, increasing the size of the contact patch and amount of available traction.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The front tire is exactly the opposite. More brake force = larger contact patch = more traction which is why it won't lock under good conditions. You certainly CAN lock the front tire by stabbing the lever so maybe the way I should have worded my statement is that with proper application of the front brake under good conditions it is impossible to lock it. A progressive (even very fast progressive) application of front brake will allow the tire to squash down from weight transfer, increasing the size of the contact patch and amount of available traction.
You bring up another good point that our moderator here pointed out.

Contact patch does not change available traction. It sounds counterintuitive as hell I know, but look it up, it's true.

What contact patch does buy you is rubber. If the rubber is gripping the surface, it will shear off the tire's carcass. Shear too much and you get a big black patch of rubber left on the road. The rubber never lost traction (the fact that it's stuck to the road will attest to that). What it did lose was its ability to slow the tire while under shear.

I completely agree with you about the rear tire on a sportbike. Rear brake is useless. You could stand on the lever of my Ducs and not get them to lock. Guess Duc figured they were more for decorative purposes too. The rear brake on our Vics is a different matter. They add a whole lot to the braking party.

Anyway, I've skidded the front on sportbikes on seemingly good pavement on many occasions. Poor technique? Probably. I never made much of a stunter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah I see he is on the front brake. The slid around is for effect.
Rob, he just stopped the same way in both situations, which is to say he grabbed the brakes until the bike stopped.

Granted, there are skilled people who could likely brake faster than the ABS in low traction. But could they do it when taken by surprise in an emergency situation? Braking into a known corner on a dirt bike is not the same as finding yourself sliding toward the front end of an 18 wheeler on a 900 lb touring bike with your wife giving you an uppercut to the kidney.
 
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