Effects ABS – Motorcycle – 2017

26th March 2017

Effects of Advanced (Anti-lock) Braking Systems (ABS) On Motorcycle Crashes

A Survey of 61 motorcyclists who crashed between 2010 and 2015

An online survey was carried out in 2016 focussing on motorcyclists who had crashed while riding a motorcycle fitted with Advanced (anti-lock) Braking Systems (ABS).

The survey was a pilot study to identify specific issues relating to crashes involving motorcycles fitted with ABS.

The objective of the survey was to find out from riders, their experiences which will be used to provide information to improve training and the technical development of future ABS, the wealth and depth of information provided by the motorcyclists who participated allows for a wide range of analysis of the details that resulted from the questionnaire and the responses.

Riders from Australia, South Africa and Europe replied.

They overwhelmingly recognised the risk of injury if they are involved in a crash and thus wore highly protective clothing and helmets.

The typical speed of 32% of the riders was between 41 to 60 kilometres per hour (kph), while 13% indicated that their speed prior to braking was between 61 to 70 kph.

Only four (7%) indicated that their speed was more than 100 kph prior to braking.

In terms of how the speed before braking affected the injury severity, the evidence in this study suggests that the injury outcome appears to be nearly random, or rather it is dependent on circumstances other than speed.

In order to have a more valid understanding of the dynamics of motorcycle crashes with ABS brakes, further  research is required to extend and expand the survey to cover different languages to get a more global response which would thus offer governments, trainers and motorcycle manufacturers an opportunity to improve the quality of motorcycle training and technology in order to reduce potentials risks that riders may face.

Contact: Dr Elaine Hardy: www.righttoride.org.uk

Effects of Advanced (Anti-lock) Braking Systems (ABS) On Motorcycle Crashes – A Survey of 61 motorcyclists who crashed between 2010 and 2015 – Feb – 2017 – pdf – 470kb

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3 thoughts on “Effects ABS – Motorcycle – 2017”

  1. Never ridden a bike with ABS and I don’t think I ever will. If you’re going so quickly that you need to brake so hard that ABS would be deployed you’re going too quickly. I’ve ridden everything up to and including a ZX12R…never felt like locking up the front…have locked the rear a couple of times…that’s just part me of the fun 😉

    1. Hello Simon, The obvious question is – did you read the report and if so, what did you take from it? The study was specific to those riders who had bikes with ABS and crashed… The purpose of the study was to find out what happened in crash scenarios and learn from it. Thank you for your comment.

  2. I would have been surprised if you found that having ABS would lead to more risky behavior. My speed has increased as I have become more experienced and confident not because I’m relying on a particular technology (and I like to think I apply some judgement as to when to use it). I don’t eg. think…mmm since I have air bags in my car I can drive faster and be more wreckless. It is only an adjunct that may ameliorate some situations by maximising the braking efficiency. As speed adds momentum and kinetic energy any impact is likely to be worse at higher speeds, but as you say the particular circumstances, events and mechanism of injury are going to have a major effect on outcome. I’m glad I have ABS on my bike but I don’t go riding with a view to pushing my limits up to the point I must activate it.

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