Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Rise of Antilock Braking Systems in Motorcycles

The Rise of Antilock Braking Systems in Motorcycles
Last year, the European Union drafted legislation to make antilock braking systems a required technology in motorcycles starting in 2016. Consequently, many global motorcycle manufacturers are beginning to integrate the technology more frequently in larger bikes and mid-level bikes, according to Consumer Reports. Antilock braking systems increase a motorcyclist’s safety. Safety is a huge concern, especially since a large portion of traffic accidents worldwide are among motorcyclists.
Antilock braking systems allow for the motorcyclist to apply much force on the brakes without worrying if the wheels will lock up. Without the technology, a wheel could lock if the brakes are hit too hard or if the rider applies the wrong front/rear distribution on the brakes. This is a common way motorcyclists lose control and fall off the bike. Antilock braking systems, however, reduce pressure again when the biker gains control. In a bike with antilock brakes, normal braking performance isn’t affected by the system, and it’s only noticeable in an emergency situation. The antilock braking system can be used in both conventional and combined braking systems.
Motorcycles equipped with antilock braking systems have a 31 percent less chance of becoming involved in a deadly accident than those same models without them, according to aInsuranceInstitute for Highway Safety (IIHS) brochure. According to the IIHS, motorcyclists who utilize antilock braking systems file collision insurance claims 20 percent less often than motorcyclists without the technology. Further, collision claims for motorcyclists with antilock braking systems and combined controls are filed 31 percent frequently. The brochure also illuminated test track performance, in which motorcycles with antilock braking systems have been proven to stop more quickly. These motorcycles are also superior with stopping distances on both wet and dry surfaces.
Despite press and evidence in favor of antilock braking systems, many members of the motorcycling community have conflicting views on the value of the technology, the New York Daily News reports. A lot of motorcycles say the technology is a waste of money because it’s not fail-safe. They say it’s not beneficial for new riders because they would not know what to do in variousriding conditions if the technology were to fail. The riders become reliant on it, they say. Still, proponents argue that antilock brakes prevent accidents and further guarantee the safety of motorcyclists.
Globally, antilock braking systems are slowly taking over. Research of fatal crash statistics, insurance claims and test track runs demonstrate that antilock braking systems are an effective means of improving road safety for motorcyclists. Even though many dispute its usefulness, antilock braking systems will continue to gain exposure.

By: Sarah Parr

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