If you’ve been paying attention to Harley-Davidson news, you’ve likely heard of the company’s new Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS), but what is it? What exactly does it do? In a nutshell, RDRS is a suite of enhancements —Cornering Enhanced Electronic Linked Braking, Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System, Cornering Drag-Torque Slip Control System, Vehicle Hold Control, and Tire Pressure Monitoring—for HD touring bikes which matches performance to available traction.
New for most 2020 touring models, RDRS is designed to help riders retain control, especially in adverse weather or during emergency situations. As the video shows, RDRS uses bike-mounted sensors to provide feedback to the computer. That feedback tells the computer the general position of the bike; whether it’s upright, leaned over in a curve, on an incline, or a decline. The computer then assists with braking or acceleration depending on the situation.
Cornering Enhanced Electronic Linked Braking (C-ELB) applies the brake to both wheels whether the rider uses the front brake lever, or the rear brake pedal, providing even braking to both wheels. C-ELB takes into account the bike’s lean angle as well and applies proportioned braking to each wheel to help the rider maintain their intended line of travel when braking in a corner.
Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS) prevents the rear wheel from spinning too much during acceleration whether on a straightaway or in a corner. This is especially helpful when riding in wet or slippery conditions or when the rider encounters a sudden, unexpected change in the road surface. It even assists in riding on unpaved roads.
Cornering Enhanced Drag-Torque Slip Control System (C-DSCS) reduces excessive rear wheel slipping during deceleration—such as when downshifting or during sudden braking in wet weather—and adjusts torque delivery to match rear-wheel speed to road speed. C-DSCS tailors the amount of adjustment needed based on the bike’s detected lean-angle to better help when cornering.
Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) applies and holds brake pressure on an incline to keep the bike from rolling back when the rider releases the brakes. This can be a big help when starting to move again after being stopped on a hill as the brakes release automatically when the rider releases the clutch and rolls on the throttle. HD does warn the rider that VHC is not to be used as an alternative to an emergency-brake and that brakes will release when the kickstand is lowered.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is pretty straightforward. Just like the technology featured in cars for years, it monitors and displays your tire pressure and warns you when pressure is low.
RDRS comes standard on all 2020 HD CVO, Livewire, and Tri-glide ultra and freewheeler models. It can be chosen as an option for all 2020 touring models except for the Electra Glide standard at a cost of $995.