ABS vs Non-ABS in Bike

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 17/07/2023

A bike’s braking system is perhaps its most important safety feature. Consequently, motorcycle braking systems have evolved a great deal. ABS, or the Antilock Braking System, is one such advancement. In today's world, motorcycles with and without ABS are available. The ABS vs. non-ABS motorcycle debate has arisen as a result.

Remember to buy insurance for a two-wheeler, regardless of whether you buy an ABS or Non-ABS bike. Tata AIG’s bike insurance policy can protect your finances during unexpected times of accidents. You can calculate and select the suitable insurance coverage after you compare two-wheeler insurance with Tata AIG.

Read on to learn more about the ABS vs non-ABS bike, ABS brakes vs non-ABS brakes etc. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of non-ABS vs ABS.

ABS in Bikes – Overview

  • The ABS feature has been around for some time and is not a new technology.

  • In 1908, railway carriages used a rudimentary version of it.

  • In the 1920s, aircrafts began to use this feature.

  • The first use of ABS was in Royal Enfield Super Meteor motorcycles in 1958.

  • These days, ABS is a standard feature on almost all motorcycles above 125cc engine displacement.

How Does ABS Work?

In essence, ABS aims to prevent wheel lockups. On applying the brakes, the wheels do not lock, and the bike does not skid along the road surface. As a result, motorcycle control increases significantly. Various parts of modern ABS work together to prevent wheel lock. A typical ABS unit has three main components:

  • An ECU (Electronic Control Unit)
  • Wheel speed sensors, and
  • Controllers and hydraulic valves.

ECU compares the vehicle speed with the wheel speed. Whenever the wheel speed drops considerably, the ECU temporarily releases the brakes to prevent the wheel from locking. When the wheel starts speeding up, the ECU automatically applies the brakes again; it happens around 15 times per second once the wheel has regained grip.

A motorcycle with ABS on both wheels, also known as dual-channel ABS, measures the speed difference between both wheels during braking. If the speed difference is significant, the ECU will temporarily increase or decrease the brake input to keep the motorcycle in control if there is a considerable discrepancy between them.

ABS – Pros and Cons

Listed below are the pros and cons of ABS in bikes.

Pros

  • On slippery roads, this feature is very helpful.
  • ABS improves safety in case of panic braking.
  • Novice bikers can benefit significantly from ABS.
  • Nowadays, most models come with this feature.

Cons

  • It can increase the price of the motorcycle due to the added feature.
  • There can be some challenges when it comes to servicing and repairing.

Non-ABS in Bikes – Overview

Alternatively, a motorcycle without ABS is available. The rider has complete control over the brakes. Experienced riders can mimic ABS, but the human reaction time is too slow to compete with ABS. The engines on motorcycles without ABS are usually smaller, and even those are becoming rarer these days.

A motorcycle with ABS is very safe, even if you are a pro rider. When it comes to learning, a non-ABS bike can be beneficial. You are less likely to learn all the finer nuances of braking on an ABS motorcycle. In the case of riding only motorcycles with ABS, this will not matter much.

In some cases, however, this technology will not be accessible. The same is usually valid for classic motorcycles. If you are considering a career in motorcycle racing, consider non-ABS. Braking is one of the essential skills in racing, and ABS can hinder your ability to learn this skillfully.

The final area where ABS would be detrimental is stunt riding. It is possible to get around it, however. When you need a stoppie or wheelie, choose a motorcycle with ABS that you can turn off.

Non-ABS – Pros and Cons

Below are the pros and cons of non-ABS bikes.

Pros

  • Motorcycles without ABS are usually less expensive.
  • It is easier to service and repair them.
  • Helps riders develop good braking techniques.

Cons

  • There are safety risks associated with non-ABS motorcycles.
  • It becomes riskier to brake in an emergency or panic.

Difference Between ABS and Non-ABS Motorcycles

Below is a direct comparison between ABS vs non-ABS motorcycle counterparts in a few different use cases.

1. ABS Brakes vs non-ABS

Following is the comparison of ABS vs non-ABS brakes. Riding a motorcycle requires many nuances when it comes to cornering. For that, braking stability is essential. It is one of the most dangerous motorcycle crashes to have an imbalance that causes the front to wash out from underneath you or to the high side. Even if you misjudge the braking, ABS controls the motorcycle, and the tires remain gripped. Your confidence will increase as you go around corners faster and safer.

2. Safety with Minimal Weight & Cost Increase

As the price tag increases, ABS adds a bit of weight, but only slightly. The benefits of both of these might seem insignificant at first, but the disadvantages far outweigh them. ABS units typically add 3.5 lbs to a motorcycle, which isn't much. Considering the cost increase, it isn't a big deal but it also increases safety.

3. Enhanced Safety on Slippery and Wet Roads

When grip levels are low, usage of ABS is best. In wet and slippery conditions, even slowing down can result in a crash, so ABS becomes essential. Hence this proves that ABS is not a gimmick but works on motorcycles.

4. Helps to Ride Safely

Even in perfect conditions, ABS can save your life since emergency braking can happen anytime. Even inexpensive motorcycles equipped with essential ABS do an excellent job keeping riders safe, thanks to technological advances.

Conclusion

Almost all automobile companies, like Bajaj, etc., now offer ABS options, which has become common in India. In a small amount of time, ABS pumps the brakes many times. Because this system uses computer-aided software to control pumping, the driver must continuously press the brake pedal so that the ABS will activate and bring the vehicle back to a controlled steering state if it skids. The benefits of ABS are now clear to you.

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