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Bmw Introduces Cornering Abs For Supersport Bikes


ktk_ace
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I think it's important for drivers to learn how to control a motorcycle and not to take the responsibility away from them, ABS itself is a good thing because it's defensive, but cornering ABS can give a false sense of security going into blind corners.

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Neat feature. According to the article it only works in sport or rain and it depends on information out of the DDC system so it will be HP4 only.

 

Hopefully in the future when DDC becomes available on the S1000RR we will get this feature.

 

What's interesting is the availability of this feature does point out some of the chinks in the armor of the ABS system that I never thought about. When the bike is in a corner the standard response of the ABS system is not optimal and lockups are probably still possible. In a "committed" corner ABS is sort of irrelevant anyway because just the roll off alone will crash you when the weight transfer shifts back and overloads the available traction in the front.

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If the ABS fails the brakes will work as normal brakes. I do not think many people will rely on the ABS for general riding, it's a feature to hopefully save your bacon in a panic situation, and now also when leaned over in a corner. The way I see it, it's a street feature, not a track feature - although it may help slow people be a little less slow. MOTORRAD did a test some years back and told students the ABS had been disconnected, and the invited readers all braked very gingerly on the test track until they had the feel for how hard they could stop. Once they were told ABS was back on, everybody stopped much quicker, although none managed to hit the ABS threshold if memory serves.

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Imagine : you're in a right turn (blind corner) and an oncoming car cuts the corner, driving right at you.... it's too late for a hook turn, even a sudden roll off would be fatal in that kind of situation, all you can do is keep your nerves, not chop the throttle and give a very hard steering impuls... but what's someone who has been conditioned by a cornering-ABS going to do in that kind of situation?

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Imagine this scenario.

 

You are heading down a steep hill on a narrow wet road in a wide long curve at a somewhat sane road speed. All of a sudden you see a fallen tree blocking the entire road. The curve in the road is sharp enough so standing the bike up is to get on the brakes is is not the best option.

 

In a situation like that regular ABS might not help you if you had to maintain a bit of lean angle to make the corner. If you were "surprised" by the tree you might make a sudden bad decision. The BMW ABS Pro system would come in handy giving you the confidence that you had predictable ABS response when the bike was cranked over. It gives you the option to be able to slow the bike with confidence and maintain the lean angle until you could come to a complete stop and start breathing again. :)

 

It's not a perfect solution for all situations but it's a step in the right direction for sure. While it's a bit of an edge case use I certainly would LOVE to have it on my bike. It's also possible the technology will evolve into a track enabled version. Imagine ABS that's so fine tuned that it's able to save even the most aggressive people from "trailbraking" themselves straight into the gravel. It's just a question of data collection and building the parameters for the electronics and a LOT of testing. :)

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Oh. One other thing. I read a couple of responses about "depending on" the technology and I agree with that. The key is how you use the technology. If the ABS light is coming on every time you are braking that's probably a bad situation. If it comes on only when you make a mistake and you maintain good technique that's a good thing.

 

I probably should not share this if I want to keep renting CSS bikes but it's relevant. Years ago at Barber Motorsports Park I got distracted heading into the museum complex of corners on one of the school's S1000RR's. Before I realized it had happened, I was well past a sane place to brake safely and my SR's triggered and suddenly I grabbed a handful of brakes. The bike slowed an I was able to make the turn and got a big orange ABS light that came on letting me know that some electronics had saved me. If I had been on one of my bikes I would have most certainly crashed. At that very moment I realized the "correct" way to use electronic rider aids and my opinion of them changed greatly.

 

Do I ride harder on my personal BMW S1000RR than I do on my older bikes? Yes. But at the same time I don't "depend" on the electronics to be there and still use the best technique I can. If they activate (I have yet to see the ABS or TC light while riding) I know I have reached the "limits" or have made an error and the electronics have given me a helping hand. It's easier and safer to get close to the limits on the BMW but I don't ride around with the TC and ABS lights flashing at me all the time. To me doing it that way is depending on the electronics. I have noticed that the confidence the BMW has given me because of it's ABS and TC has translated over to some of the other bikes. Electronics there or not the feel is the same as you are still dealing with the same elements of traction.

 

The best way to think about electronics is like flying a plane with a parachute on. The parachute can't help you learn to fly the plane but it certainly comes in handy when you make a mistake learning. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, VW still manages to foul up the automatic transmission gearbox software on some models, so maybe it's not so easy...

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Nobody get it perfect all the time. Mercedes Benz and their stellar reputation for rock solid cars has produced some turkeys as well. The 350SDL and S350 3.5L turbo diesels that destroy an engine block in 50K miles comes to mind. :)

 

Back to the topic though. I'm really glad to see BMW working to further the capabilities of ABS. This might be a extra add on feature for now but give it some time. When the standard S1000RR eventually gets DDC as standard they might throw this in as a freebie and give the HP4 a more advanced track intended version of the same ABS system. Full ABS support as deep as you dare into a corner is a game changer. Much like the S1000RR was when it was released.

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