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Discussion Starter #1
I just did a search on this, and holy crap there are some very strong opinions about ABS! I do not want to start another rant fest. My 2011 has ABS, I didn't have a choice.
My question is this: with cars, there is a technique called "threshold braking" in which a driver learns a particular vehicle's braking point for ABS intervention through repeated practice. The driver can then maximize braking force without engaging ABS which would extend stopping distance. Theory being that said driver can maximize braking into curves, etc without upsetting the vehicle's stability by kicking in ABS. With me so far?
OK, in a car the driver can do this pretty much without any risk given a closed safe area. Just cost you some tire and brake wear.
I wanted to do the same thing with my 2011 Wee. Took it to a safe closed area, and couldn't get ABS to engage on dry pavement. Wee stops great when you put the gorilla hands to it. Or DID my ABS engage and I didn't notice? I was kind of expecting the familiar pulse/sounds that car ABS makes. Does the Wee not do this when ABS engages?
I have no reason to believe the ABS is not functioning properly and that fact that I also couldn't get a wheel to lock tells me that it must work. Anyone tell me the deal? Motorcycle ABS non-intrusive?
Forgive my ignorance, the Wee is my first ABS bike. Before anyone gets exited about threshold braking, it's a skill taught to us at EVOC for work. I drive for a living, and threshold braking WORKS, especially in a hard braking to swerve situation. Just looking for a bit of insight on how the Wee ABS works. Input appreciated, flaming about your views on motorcycle ABS is not. Thanks!
 

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I have had it on 2 other bikes and it can be problematic to get it to engage on a dry surface. Try to just use the rear brake. That always works for me, and yes it feels much like you would suspect an ABS vehicle to respond and it can be felt.
 

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A bike ABS isn't as effective in turns as the 4 wheeled versions.

It gives you more margin, but it can't save you completely if you are turning/leaned over when it cuts in.

Braking hard in a straight line first THEN swerve is still the best option.

You'll get away with more with ABS than not - but there are limits :)

Pete
 

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I have had it on 2 other bikes and it can be problematic to get it to engage on a dry surface. Try to just use the rear brake. That always works for me, and yes it feels much like you would suspect an ABS vehicle to respond and it can be felt.
+1 on the rear brake, purposely use more rear during a practice stop and you will feel the rear lever pulse as the ABS stops the rear wheel locking, I think this is the safety advantage on tar roads if a panic "stomp" on the rear lever occurs, ABS will stop the loss of traction from a rear lockup.
Its harder to get the front ABS to pulse in practice emergency braking,,,, guess I need the adrenaline factor of a real emergency to purposefully brake that hard !
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I braked (front and rear) as hard as I would have in a controlled/not quite full-panic situation as I have with prior bikes while learning their characteristics. In an adrenaline fueled :yikes: situation I have no doubt ABS would engage. Not willing to go that far in practice I guess. I suppose the moral is that I am happy that the ABS doesn't engage before necessary-to save my bacon by keeping the rolling friction in a panic situation. Thanks for the input. I will try a rear only just out of curiosity.
 

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+ 1 on PeteW

The ABS is great but it is still not good enough to kick in in a turn before you loose traction. Do not brake past your traction pie in a turn. Supposedly if you get ABS to kick in, you can then preform strong maneuvers as long as ABS is still assisting. I still wouldn't recommend it though unless really necessary. Your suspension and weight distribution will have become very upset due to the hard braking so quick maneuvers might still lay you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
gotcha, same thing in a car. brake THEN swerve, with appropriate application of throttle to settle the chassis, keep weight on the rear tires. Bike is similar, but no such thing as understeer or oversteer-just lowside or highside. I was trying to find the point that ABS initiates, to then avoid that threshold. In any vehicle ABS initiation is to be avoided (panic/extremely slippery surfaces the exception) as that ABS intrusion usually means you entered with too much speed then overbraked. Thanks for the help. I will fiddle around with it hopefully without trying out my new frame sliders.
 

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+1 on easy to induce rear wheel locking therefore ABS activation. your brake pedal or break leaver will pulsate - u will definitely feel it. The good thing about ABS is that it will unlock the wheel for you once u lock up.

If u cant cause the front to lock (and therefore ABS activation) using the classic squeeeeeeze action, then u are not braking hard enough yet. Squeez harder. I practice 80km/hr to 0 lm/hr with foot down exercise a few times at least once a month. you will find just about all the compression travel of fork will be used up in the exercise.

like your 4 wheel machine, i am always of the opinion that, brake very hard first and wait until the last minute to decide whether u should release or ease off the brake and steer around the obstacle. Sometimes, it might be better to hit the obstacle at say 20km/hr than cause more problem (like hit opposite traffic)
 

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I wouldn't practice at any more than 30kph/20mph. That's what is used in the MSF braking practice exercise. You need to develop the stop and practice it until it's a reflex. Higher speed stop practice is needlessly dangerous. You use exactly the same technique to stop from lower speeds as you do from higher. Higher speeds just lengthen the distance and increase the pain if you make a mistake.
 

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Correct me if wrong, but the ABS doesn't engage at all under a certain speed?
 

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You can really get a sense of threshold braking in an open- wheel race car since you can see the wheel just reaching the point of lockup before you ease off the brake pedal.

I practiced a lot of hard stops on my Wee and never could get the front ABS to kick in. Then an SUV came to a hard stop in front of me on the street and the Wee ABS worked just fine. All it took was that little extra adrenalin.
 

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+1 for getting it to engage with the rear brake only. i've not been able to get the front to engage, but the rear works fine. it's pretty obvious when it kicks in, there's a definite pulsing you can feel in the pedal.
 

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Try slow speedy on wet grass. You will go into ABS activation very easily and you'll get an idea on how it will "feel".
 

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Get the front to engage with a really quick, hard squeeze of the lever...max effort before the weight transfers to the front. Somewhat smooth pavement helps...anything to get the front tire to skid.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Played with it today. Never got the front to engage, but rear only braking did the trick-and I was able to feel it happen. That's what I was after. I suppose it's kind of a moot point, as I don't think the Wee ABS will engage in anything but the hardest of panic stops on regular/dry pavement. In my work car (or any car I guess) I want to know where ABS starts to thereby avoid it and keep my rolling friction for the swerve (if possible). I have spent lots of time training NOT to simply dynamite the brakes under stress but to take appropriate action be that steering input or even throttle. Was thinking along the same lines with my Wee.
After all your input and my own little test, I think it matters much less on the bike as by the time you get into ABS, you will WANT it! By the way, this isn't my first bike by a long shot but it is my first with ABS-and the first bike I have owned that I view as a good handler. Thanks for your thoughts. :thumbup:
 

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Correct me if wrong, but the ABS doesn't engage at all under a certain speed?
I think that is correct, different threshold speed for different road conditions.

I wonder, is the ABS brain looking for a differential in wheel rotation or does it pulse the brake pressure if it finds the rotation does not match the sensed speed or that it could not have slowed the rotational wheel speed in such a short distance/time?

The down hill wet grass test I have also done when I first got my 07ABS. I did it one rainy day in my front yard, you'll find out what speed the ABS turns off as you slow down.
 

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ABS doesn't work under 5kph/3mph. You do want to be able to stop after all.
 

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I have no problems getting ABS to engage at the front under full braking. Feels a little disconcerting at first, though.
 

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I remember the first time I felt the front ABS cycle. I was coming to a stop when the front tire climbed up a small piece of branch on the road. For a split second, the wheel stopped on the branch and the branch slid on the road. The ABS cut in, the tire rolled of the branch back on the road and the brakes went active again. It was just a little hiccup near the end of the stop with a little lever feedback but who knows what may have happened if not for the ABS. Branches don't steer well and bikes that don't steer fall down.
 

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Played with it today. Never got the front to engage, but rear only braking did the trick-and I was able to feel it happen. That's what I was after. I suppose it's kind of a moot point, as I don't think the Wee ABS will engage in anything but the hardest of panic stops on regular/dry pavement. In my work car (or any car I guess) I want to know where ABS starts to thereby avoid it and keep my rolling friction for the swerve (if possible). I have spent lots of time training NOT to simply dynamite the brakes under stress but to take appropriate action be that steering input or even throttle. Was thinking along the same lines with my Wee.
After all your input and my own little test, I think it matters much less on the bike as by the time you get into ABS, you will WANT it! By the way, this isn't my first bike by a long shot but it is my first with ABS-and the first bike I have owned that I view as a good handler. Thanks for your thoughts. :thumbup:
It's good that you're playing with it now while you aren't having an emergency, but you seem to have somehow got the exact wrong idea about actually using it. The goal shouldn't be to not use it if you find yourself with the need to stop quickly, or to know when it's going to kick in and brake just under that level. If you do that, you're not using it as intended and your stopping distance will be unnecessarily long, NOT what you want to practice. The whole point of having ABS on your bike is to allow you to fearlessly immediately go to very hard braking without any worry of locking up your brakes and going down. Yes, it's nice to know what the level of braking is where ABS will kick in, but not so you can avoid that level if you have to stop quickly. ABS allows you to keep your rolling friction because it prevents the wheels from locking up, so you don't need to worry about that like you do with a nonABS bike. If you are braking and swerving at the same time, whether you have ABS or not, the swerving and braking have to share the available tire to pavement friction so you are likely to run out of it and that means your tires are skidding and you are probably going down. So, with your ABS bike, if you have to stop very quickly, just grab your brakes HARD (you probably will anyway, whether you want to or not), and if you feel the ABS cycle, keep braking hard until you are safe or have to let up on brakes to serve. When you feel the ABS cycle, it DOESN'T mean that you've done anything wrong as far as braking technique, just that it's doing its job to keep your wheels from locking up and causing your tires to skid.
 
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