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Mar 12

Posts: 6

CostasM says:

Why is ABS ommited from some new bikes?

I'm new to riding and I want to get my hand on a bigger bike, around 600cc. I keep checking reviews and specs on different bikes and my question is regarding the safety of some 600cc bikes. I really liked the MV Agusta F3 but was surprised to see that it doesn't have ABS, something that nobody cared much about in reviews. Tor's review on the bike stated that it has amazing breaking power and traction control and all.

Can someone tell me why abs is missing from bikes like the MV Agusta F3 and Ducati's streetfighter? Isn't ABS breaking very useful for sportbikes? Am I missing something about the use of the ABS? Can it be substituted by other Electronic safety features on a bike?

Someone with knowledge on the matter please tell me the security info I should be looking for on Sportbikes and how essential they are and their effect if omitted.

Thanks in advance!

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  • Posted 3 years ago (22 March 2012 09:51)

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Dec 10

Posts: 11970

preunit says:

"why abs is missing from bikes like the MV Agusta F3"

ABS on road awesome, price and weight are usually the deciding factor as to wether or not a manufacturer fit them as standard, often they're offered as an option, like on the new Blade.

MotoGP bikes don't run ABS, so more track/sports focused bikes where locking up a rear wheel can aid bike control forgo abs.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Mar 12

Posts: 6

CostasM says:

So ABS is definetly good then

So you're saying I should keep looking for bikes with ABS because they actually do offer a lot of protection.

So out of the MV Agusta F3 and the CBR600RR abs you would recomend the later one?

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Aug 02

Posts: 809

steveb says:

I don't have ABS on any of my bikes.

I don't want ABS.

Lack of ABS would certainly not put me off buying the MV, although the price might :wink:

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Jun 09

Posts: 1050

Amateurcynic says:

Cost & weight

As preunit said are one of the prime reasons for fitting or not. The M/C world hasn't got the blight of "add every safety aid you can think of" just yet. ABS can help get you out of the mire when you make a mistake but as has been prooved in the four wheel world, once you add a safety aid people get the idea that aid will get them out of trouble and so drive in a way as to rely on it. This is one of the main reasons that whilst cars have been created to be safer the KSI numbers (Killed & Seriously Injured) have remained fairly static. This is simply the numpties driving these "safer" cars  then think they're safer and so take greater risks!

The Antithesis to this would be to fit a 10" (255 mm) steel spike to the steering wheel & see if people take more care with their driving!!:blink: 

As I alluded to above; ABS does Not offer you ANY "protection" on a M/C, it may prevent you coming off in a certain amount of cases in others it won't. It's certainly not something that will make you safer if your riding is poor!

Personally I'm of the opinion it should be an option for people to choose but if you do choose it, don't go thinking you can rely on it, you may put yourself in a situation it has no hope of getting you out of!:ph43r:



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Dec 10

Posts: 11970

preunit says:

"So out of the MV Agusta F3 and the CBR600RR abs you would recomend the later"

Have you ridden both? if not then do so, as you've got to live with the bike, your decision on which to buy will vary on your own criteria ,Comfort ,fun,purpose, looks or the lack of ABS, but i would agree with steve a lack of ABS would not put me off a bike purchase.


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Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:

As with Amateurcynic

ABS is not, and should not be seen as, a "get out of jail for free" card.

The point of ABS is NOT to reduce braking distance as many people think, its purpose is to allow you to keep a certain amount of steering control when things go pear shaped. It does not compensate for tyres that can't grip on a diesel-sloshed roundabout or haring round a bend too fast and panicking.

 Bear in mind many new bikes tend to be tested on tracks (which uses different tarmac from the road), and that should be factored into account. A bike which is in its element on track might not be that well  suited to commuting to work at 5am on a cold, damp day.

As you state you're a relatively new rider, my advice is to leave the sporty, high performance stuff for the time being: if you make a mistake, they can quite easily tie themselves in knots (f'ing scary at best, tragic at worst), the insurance will almost certainly be sky-high (high-performance + lack of experience + desirability to theives = ££££), there's a good possibility you'll drop it (repairing the damage to a fully-faired bike will make your eyes water), they can be bloody uncomfortable over distance, esp if you're tall (low bars and high pegs mean you'll likely be all scrunched up).

Have a look for more sedate bikes (Bandit 600/650, Kawasaki ER6, SV650), which won't kill you and will be easier to get on with at an early stage.

I personally wouldn't want a machine with ABS; my view is that if I need ABS, then something is wrong with my riding style (ie, not allowing for the unforeseen).

Hope that helps.

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

ABS won't save you quite often...

I guess the main reason why not all bikes are sold with ABS is that early generations of ABS weren't very good on bikes and it adds significant weight (e.g. about 7KG or so) as well as cost (Typically £500-£1000). In addition some of them went wrong and cost a lot of money to fix... They also need a lot of testing and development - bikes that are made in small production runs like the MV struggle to recover the development costs so it would raise the price even more... Also if you have ABS it is frequently advised to restrict your tyre choice to one of the few that the manufacturers tested with...
This is why many bikers oppose the coming EU regulations...
Then there is the bike concern - If you have ABS and you slam on the brakes going around a corner it would be a very good system that kept control instead of  throwing you off - from what I have heard maybe the Honda CBR600 one. Most of them really only work in a straight line...Even ABS on a car doesn't work well around corners - if you use it it just stops steering and you hit whatever is on the outside of the corner...
You can't substitute anything else for ABS they don't work on the brakes...
Bikes like the streetfighter have a lot of instant grunt and if you are too aggressive mid corner with the throttle you would be likely to come off as you would lose traction and flip. So frequently they are fitted with some form of traction control but its up to you. You need to be attentive when riding and look and smell carefully the road ahead (diesel smells) and don't give it some unless you are sure...

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Aug 02

Posts: 3277

eatcs01 says:


In 20 years of riding road bikes, I've only ever ONCE crashed through braking too hard.

I've also only ever has ABS save me from crashing ONCE. I still crashed, but that's another long story.

ABS on cars is designed to let you steer around the obstacle while braking hard. ABS on a BIKE is designed so you can brake hard in a straight line. You DO NOT brake hard while turning on a bike.

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Jul 11

Posts: 244

MakemRider says:

ABS & other safety features.

I would agree with others that ABS is a feature that riders/drivers should not use, good anticipation & riding skills should make the use of almost all safety features unnecessary.

It's like a skydiver having a reserve parachute. He gets it checked & repacked every 6 months, practices his reserve drill so he can do them without thinking & with his eyes shut, but the last thing he wants to do is to use it so will do his best to ensure that the need does not arise. If it does then it may save his life. 

If things do go wrong then ABS etc. may well help but those who use them on a regular basis do so to cover their bad riding/driving.

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Feb 09

Posts: 4759

philehidiot says:

As a newbie

ABS could save you a crash.

Experienced riders can make the decision for or against. The F3 is not a newbie bike.

The above have all trained themselves exactly what to do if the front locks. Odds are you'll panic should that happen and ABS gives you that safety net.

If you find a bike you really want and it doesn't have ABS then fine, but personally when I was looking for bikes I wanted one with ABS as it gives you that safety net if you do cock it up. That's all it is, it's there for if you brake too hard for the conditions and nothing more. In my book, it's money well spent for new riders and for year round riders I think it's probably worth it.

Those who have a lot of experience can take it or leave it. I'm not there yet. And no, you should never use it but when it does kick it, you know it's quite possibly just saved you an off and a big bill.

These aids exist and whilst they should never be activated but people do cock up, hence why people crash. To ignore them and the advantage they give or to suggest that a new rider wouldn't benefit is a little luddite-like. These things are here and here to stay so let's take advantage of them. They're not going to cause any harm if you're a good enough rider to not activate them.

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