BMW Motorrad and their North India dealer Deutsche Motoren have demonstrated the technological superiority of ABS brakes and traction control systems available on their K1300S, R1200GS and S1000RR bikes, with BMW ex-racer Curt De Maeseneire at the handlebars, as the BMW certified bike trainer.
BMW are the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to have introduced ABS for motorcycles back in 1988.
Starting the day, Curt rode the tall R1200GS (without ABS) adventure motorcycle on a dry surface at 60kph, jamming the brake levers to apply full brake force from a marked point. It was easy to see his bike meandering and skidding dangerously for over what totaled an approximate distance of about 25 meters before finally coming to a shaky stop, with Curt’s expertise and experience contributing a lot in preventing his crashing the bike. Curt then repeated the same on a K1300S with ABS brakes and managed to stop the bike within about 18 meters, without skidding and with minimal loss of control. The bike visibly stopped smoothly, coming to a standstill from speed without incident.
How did ABS contribute?
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), is a crash avoidance technology that functions on responses generated by sensors monitoring the motorcycle wheels and changing brake pressure, etc. These sensors react instantaneously under hard braking, instructing the onboard computer system as wheels lock, this intervening to safeguard the rider at the point when the bike begins to skid. While the rider squeezes the brake lever as is a natural reflex, the computerized system sends instructions to the brake system to release and re-apply brakes rapidly so as to prevent wheel lock and subsequent loss of tyre traction. This happens really fast, repeating every fraction of a second and helps the bike to come to a rest without skidding. ABS brakes ensure that rider can remain focused on the immediate threat without having to worry how to manage their braking and so avoiding any skid and loss of control over the machine in the case of an emergency which calls for aggressive braking.
Curt then gunned the K1300S and made another stop from 60kph, and this time the bike responded to stop at what he measured to roughly be under about 15 meters, followed by another even more impressive stop from the same speed. Curt explained the rider of an ABS equipped motorcycle should blindly be able to brake at any speed without worrying. A similar exercise performed on an ABS enabled supersports S1000RR resulted in the routine sounds of an abrupt braking maneuver as the ABS system functioned and helped bring the bike and Curt safely to a stop, while Curt also informed us of a slight pulsing the system passes on through the brake levers, as the bike stops seamlessly.
We were then shown what traction control does for a bike on a wet surface while riding the BMW K1300S and the S1000RR. The traction control system works seamlessly to ensure the S1000RR and K1300S deliver maximum power to the road, while avoiding all wheelspin even when giving hard throttle input on a wet surface.
How does traction control work?
An electronic traction control system puts a check on the wheel from skidding, meaning it prevents from uncontrolled spinning thus avoiding the loss of stability of the bike. In BMW bikes, this is achieved by a detection of free wheel spin or difference in the wheel spinning of rear and front tyres. This is followed by an automatic cut in the ignition and hence the delivery of power is chopped until the right traction is available.
BMW Motorrad has long been acknowledged for their excellent technological safety advancements on motorcycles. The German company has over the years successfully
adapted and transferred several key car technologies to bikes.
We’ve come away from this brief demonstration with the knowledge BMW Motorrad motorcycles are certainly amongst the safer premium bikes one can own today.