On Balance

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bob, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Bob

    Bob Active Member

  2. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    The writers latest column is regarding ABS.
    As I age and my reflexes/ability lessen while healing from get-offs become harder and takes longer. I am seeing ABS as no longer optional on a my next purchase.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
    Bob likes this.
  3. Trash

    Trash Well-Known Member

    ABS Technology has improved dramatically in the last couple years with the addition of sensors that actually measure lean angle, and adjust brake intervention accordingly. The more sophisticated units also adjust throttle application automatically at the same time. The quality of tires used also have a big effect on system effectiveness, especially in the rain.
     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    Some bikes, like KTM use bank sensors to detect the lean angle of the bike and adjusts the ABS accordingly.
     
  5. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    Bob - had a look at the link and had a peek at some of his articles. Bookmarked for an occasional read, thanks.

    For a street bike. ABS is definitely something I won't do without. As murph says, reflexes (and healing ability) do not seem to improve with age.
    Don't know if I would embrace the advanced ABS stuff. Maybe I'm an old fart but I am a fan of "simpler is better" - especially when it comes to diagnosis and repair of a problem. On the other hand, I ride a bike with electronic display, ABS, FI and a (relatively simple) ECU.
     
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  6. Trash

    Trash Well-Known Member

    I have the lean sensitive ABS / Traction Control on my GS.
    It works seamlessly, particularly in the rain.
    The level of intervention is dependent on the ride mode you are in, with the greatest in “Rain” mode, and then progressively less in “Comfort”, “Road”, “Sport”, and “Enduro” modes. “Enduro” mode automatically disables ABS on the rear brake. ABS and Traction Control can also be manually disabled via a handlebar switch, although I don’t know why I would want to. The level of intervention in “Enduro” mode suits my modest skill level on loose surfaces perfectly.

    My Triumph Trophy also has ABS and Traction Control, but having been first released in late 2012, the level of sophistication is light years behind the system on the GS that was released in late 2016. It is amazing to me how rapidly this technology is advancing.
     
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  7. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    Some people are afraid of the technology in bikes now. For me, anything that can help me ride better, safer is a good thing. As for things failing....well I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. But most of this technology is not new. My 2008 Varadero has linked ABS braking and works very well. And keyless ignition has been in my cars since 2006 and never had any issues.
     
  8. Trash

    Trash Well-Known Member

    I have historically had the same viewpoint as you Ross, but I must admit that I have been converted.
    Features that I wanted no part of, like electronic suspension adjustment, ride modes, quickshifter, etc. are now additions that I cannot imagine not having. Any possible (or even likely) problems that might crop up due to the complexity are well worth the risk to me, just because those features add so much to the ride. It is definitely an awesome time to be able to ride a motorcycle!
     
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  9. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Glad to see some folks are liking that column.
     
  10. Backdraft

    Backdraft Active Member

    I agree Bob. The technology in the new bikes are excellent.
    Not sure if makes me a better driver... Lol
     
  11. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    None of that technology is on any of my bikes.
     
  12. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    I like the ABS but don't feel the need for any sort of needlessly complex adaptive system. Mechanically controlled linked braking system is nice. I want (and have) an aftermarket high end fully adjustable suspension but don't need to be able to adjust it on the fly. Complex and expensive to fix if it goes bad. Manual adjustment is pretty quick and easy. Times when traction control would be nice but would want to be able to turn it off. Drive modes are pretty cool but most people I know choose what they like and leave it there - performance or economy.

    I might change my tune after riding a bike with the latest and greatest stuff but I have not had the feeling that I am missing out on anything that would enhance my riding experience.
     
    Bob likes this.
  13. Trash

    Trash Well-Known Member

    Ross, the next time we meet for breakfast at the Delta Diner, we will switch bikes for the ride afterwards, and you will experience firsthand what I’m talking about. ;)
     
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  14. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Both my current bikes were 'gently used' when I bought them and they have all the options for their respective model year: TPM, ASC, ESA and switchable ABS.
    I'll need to replace the rear TPM on the K13GT this summer and I'll do that when I have the wheel off to service the FD.
    If I could only keep one option it would be the switchable ABS. If I had to give up all technology I'd be comfortable riding 'old school' again in a day or two.

    So, electronic suspension adjustment is convenient when you have a pillion every other ride and for touring but not necessary, just convenient.
    Automatic stability control is comforting in the rain but I still put more faith in the old pucker muscle.
    Tire pressure monitor is reassuring but I've never not known when I'm loosing air...
    FWIW if 'need' the TPM, ASC or ABS at any point I consider that a 'fail' on my part for not paying good enough attention.

    Regrading these systems failing, my only complaint is there's not much you can do in the way of 'preventative maintenance' on them and there's little or now warning of imminent failures like there is with most mechanical problems. In other words it's all good until it's not.

    This don't include the bike immobolizer/halo ignition failures. If that happens trip's over.
     
  15. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    Might take you up on that!! Not sure when I'll be through that way again - maybe this summer if I get to Winnipeg to visit daughter and family.

    That's my biggest concern. ABS is a really important safety feature and some sort of traction control might save you in an "Oh Shit!" moment. Adaptive ABS is a cool idea but an unnecessary complication, IMHO. A half minute to readjust suspension isn't a big deal for me and these systems can be really expensive to repair if they go bad. I admit, I often don't bother to stop and adjust suspension but might do it more if it was at my fingertips. Ride modes (ECU mapping), quickshifter, etc. are items I don't have any experience with so don't know if I would consider them to be valuable or not.

    TPMS (built in) would be nice but an inexpensive aftermarket system would do the trick. Unless there is some audible warning, none of these systems will save your bacon with rapid deflation. In-tire sensors can be a pain - I have seen them mangled by some tire changing shops.

    Stuff like ignition immobilizers are a little scary and some brands have had trip-ending occurrences, especially in the early days. I remember a number of Concours owners who cursed the system regularly!
     
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  16. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    I almost did a purchase last year that ended when I was packing the night before picking it up. He called me and told me it would not start. Another member helped me out as to the workaround on the ignition system immobilizer but it gave me the heebie-jeebies. Electronics are mystical voodoo to me. I did get a friend to drop by and use the workaround for the seller but it scared me off the purchase.
     
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  17. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Sorry RossKean, I totally forgot the 'ride modes'. DOH! I sometimes tinker with them when riding solo as the changes are really noticeable. I usually set it in 'Normal' and leave it alone when riding two up.

    I had a quick shifter on my K1300R. You just hold the throttle open and go click click click. By the fourth click you'd be travelling at an extremely illegal velocity. That thing was basically a naked street legal track bike. I sold it after one season and got the K13GT.

    I like that I can switch off the ABS going down loose hills on the GS. It helps some but I find that weight is still a challenge to control if it gets rolling.

    Most dealer allotments have all or most of the options we're discussing. If you want limited options it will probably be considered a 'custom' build and cost more from the factory. LOL

    Anyway, looking ahead to next bike, if I had my druthers I'd take good Ohlins or similar suspension, switchable ABS (both on; F on R off; both off) and leave it at that for a dedicated dual sport/ADV bike and also for a two up touring bike.
     
  18. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    What it boils down to, buy the bike you want. If a bike scares you, don’t buy it.
     
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  19. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    Agree!
    For the most part, the "scare" is the concern about potential reliability issues combined with the price premium. If an off-road bike had ABS and Traction control, I would like to be able to turn them off if I wanted to.
     
  20. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Thanks Wayne. That's a good responsible piece of advice as it covers both technology, performance and compliments the spirit and intent of the educational column On Balance.
     

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