It seems the ABS Honda Fireblade road test in this week’s MCN has caused a big stir among sportsbike riders.
This is the first ever electronically-controlled Combined ABS-assisted superbike and it seems many sports bike riders don’t like the idea of electronics or ABS getting in the way of their riding.
All this is despite the fact that Honda has designed the system specifically not to be intrusive during normal riding, even on the track, and only works in an emergency situation, when it could save lives.
Here are some of the comments we’ve had and the response from Senior Road Tester, Michael Neeves, who rode the C-ABS Fireblade at the world launch in Qatar last weekend.
“Honda will claim this system improves safety but the combined system removes functionality from the standard set-up, for what I can see is no real discernable benefit. If Honda continues to use combined braking systems on their range then all they're doing is ensuring that I won't be a customer of theirs in the future. Honda appears to have so little respect for the ability of its customers that it assumes they can't pull a lever AND press on a pedal at the same time.” Spondonste
“That’s all we need. More systems to make crap riders think they are Rossi. More people showing their skill is a great deal less than they realise.” F6CValkryie
“F*cking rubbish! I don't like the idea of electronics between me and the machine! Riding a motorcycle is about feel, a direct connection of my inputs straight through machine to the ground! I'll let the tingle in the back of my neck be the judge of too much. Playing Nintendo wii is fun, It’s however no replacement for the real thing. “ Reverendwyotech
“Technology designed to protect us and make us safer in our everyday riding, but not interfere with the normal handling of the bike. Excellent job on Honda's part. Nieseba2
“I can understand some of the panic that sports riders must be feeling, when they think of an ABS-assisted superbike. Safety systems like ABS can conjure up stuffy images of motorcycles with leg protectors and airbags and old bearded men on BMWs. Combined braking may also make people think of the systems on touring bikes on Honda VFRs and CBF600s.
“I can assure people that the ground-breaking electronically-controlled ABS system on the Blade and new CBR600RR doesn’t take anything away from riding these incredible sports bikes.
“Aside from the wheel-speed sensors, you can’t tell by looking that the system is there and even riding on the track you’d never know either. It doesn’t take away any feel from your riding and you can still have as fun as you would on a standard Blade. But equally it won’t turn you into Rossi either, because you can still crash when you’re leant over by pushing the front tyre too hard.
“Good riders will stay good riders and bad ones, bad. But even a good rider can get caught out if a car pulls out in front of them and that’s where the C-ABS is worth its weight in gold. It’s worth checking out the road test in this week’s paper for the full explanation.” Michael Neeves, Senior Road Tester, MCN