Over the past few years we’ve seen motorcycle OEMs adopt anti-lock braking systems (ABS) as optional, or in some cases standard, on certain models. It’s not uncommon today to see model names like GSX-R1000 ABS, Vulcan S ABS, or Ninja 300 ABS, but alongside those models, you've also got the non-ABS versions for a few hundred dollars less.
According to the latest report from the National Transport Safety Board, that is about to change. The report calls for requiring ABS technology on all new motorcycles intended for on-road use sold in the United States.
The recommendation from the NTSB however, isn’t limited to ABS. It also calls for research to evaluate the effectiveness of stability control systems on motorcycles. Based on the outcome of this research, the NTSB wants to develop a set of performance standards for stability control systems which would then become a requirement on new motorcycles.
While the addition of standard stability control systems on new bikes may yet be a few years away, we can expect to see the rollout of ABS implementation in the next two years.
Sure, some of you may lament the inability to lock up the rear wheel and slide into a stop in style if you have ABS; but a vast majority of riders will benefit from a bit of safety technology that drivers have taken for granted for the better part of three decades.
ABS was actually developed for aircraft way back in 1929, and it wasn’t until the 1960s that it first showed up in automobiles. Early development and adoption was slow, but by the mid-eighties, most passenger cars were being equipped with ABS technology. For the uninitiated, ABS effectively keeps your wheels from locking up under heavy braking via sensors that detect the lock up of a wheel and retards braking just enough to keep the wheel rolling. This allows the driver/rider to maintain steering ability even under heavy braking.
We'll get into a deeper dive on motorcycle stability control systems in the near future, so stay tuned.
Source: National Transport Safety Board