• Jun 14, 2008
Many motorcycles in today's market feature anti-lock brakes, including models from Honda like the Interceptor and Silverwing scooters. Now, though, the red-winged manufacturer of motorcycles has announced a new system which completely removes the rider's direct connection with the front and rear brakes. Instead of a cable connection, the system uses brake-by-wire technology and allows an on-board computer to apply pressure to both the front and rear brakes as it sees fit. This new system is expected to debut on sportbikes first, which raises some eyebrows in the cycle-riding community. The highest performing bikes have ridiculously powerful brakes which are capable of locking up the front tire very easily. Still, hardcore riders have proven very reluctant to give up any control to computers, especially on race tracks, where supersport bikes are expected to thrive. Being Honda, though, there is a prevailing sense that the technology will work. Expect the new combined ABS system to proliferate to all of Honda's two-wheelers in the near future.

[Source: Honda]

Honda Announces World's First Electronically-Controlled 'Combined ABS' for Super Sport Bikes

Honda has announced the world's first electronically-controlled "Combined ABS" for Super Sport motorcycles, aimed at combining ABS and CBS systems into one system that applies the basic advantages of both, while specifically addressing the requirements of a Super Sport context.

In order to achieve this, the particular characteristics of Super Sport bikes, such as short wheelbase, are taken into account. The system also operates without interference to sports riding, and with an emphasis on maintaining full rider control.

The system consists of an electronically controlled combined "brake by wire" system with an innovative stroke simulator. Direct motor control ensures precise operation of the ABS. The components are divided into several smaller units so there are more, but smaller units than in previous systems.

The system's effectiveness is due to four main factors:

1. Electronic control of the CBS, allowing more advanced control of brake force. This provides a more sensitive distribution of brake force over both wheels.

2. Measurement of rider input force on each lever. The ideal brake force on both wheels is generated accordingly, providing optimum distribution and minimising vehicle body reaction.

3. An "ABS modulator" which ensures late triggering of ABS, and smooth ABS intervention.

4. Small size meaning that the system's components can be well integrated in the motorcycle's package. Thus mass-centralisation, a key feature for Super Sport bikes, is supported.

All the basic ABS and CBS functions are provided, including the prevention of wheel lock, improved balance and easy operation. This is achieved without any compromise to stability during ABS operation. Pitching is minimised so that the bike keeps its normal position. Overall, sport riding performance is uninterrupted - cornering feel remains the same and controllability is enhanced.


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  • 24 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Honda is producing the new Hornet 600 here in Brazil and offers ABS with Dual CBS as an option, it costs roughly 9% more than the base Hornet, but is very worthy considering the benefits
      • 6 Years Ago
      Direct connection to what? You don't lose braking feel just beacuse a computer is in the loop.

      Honda's had CBS/ABS on the Gold Wing (and other bikes) for years and the brakes on the Wing are magnificent whether coming to an emergency stop or slowing to turn into a corner.
        • 6 Years Ago
        RE: See4See4

        No, I understand "Brake by wire", but unless you've been using your feet to stop with, your "braking feedback" is how well and how controlled the bike is slowing or stopping. In this system, you're still squeezing fluid, so it's the same feedback as a regular system.

        Here's a link to a further explanation:
        http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/videos/2008/june/jun1108honda-cbr600rr-abs-video/?&R=EPI-101025
        • 6 Years Ago
        Perhaps you misunderstand the phrase "Brake By Wire" all you are squeezing is a potentiometer, whereas a normal ABS system, you actually push the fluid by squeezing the handle.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The way I see it, it's a great thing to have, as long as it's optional.

      That way the overly self-confident morons can kill themselves and the wimps who have yet to hit puberty can drive it like they drive their accords.
        • 6 Years Ago
        one is not a wimp if he doesnt want to injure or kill himself, why cant there just be a middle ground?
      • 6 Years Ago
      seems like an answer to a question no one asked...
      • 6 Years Ago
      They better offer a system that turns it off instantly and doesnt hamper traditional brake feel. This continues the adage that Honda's are the softest of all sport bikes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        9 out of 10 dead superbike riders agree...they'd never ride a "soft" superbike like a Honda.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good for Honda! Perhaps ABS would have save my oldest son's life. He crashed his Honda six years ago (he entered the corner too fast, braked too hard--locking the front brake-- and went over the handlebars, hitting a tree and dying instantly). More about Josh at http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/zekasfamily/
        • 6 Years Ago
        im sorry for your loss
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe it's the traditionalist in me showing through, but I'm pretty cold to the idea of ABS on a sportbike. A motorcycle is one of the purest links between a rider and the road, and taking direct mechanical control away from the brakes has the potential to dilute the experience.

      I'm not saying that I couldn't warm up to the idea, but I hope that Honda is able to absolutely nail the implementation.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well BMW has been doing this for year and many of their bikes are qualified to wear the label of "sportbike". My 07 K1200R Sport certainly fits the bill.

        I won't ride a bike that isn't equipped with ABS anymore. Having have BMW bikes since the 90s I have found that ABS is a lifesaver and a measure of assurance that no level of skill can equal.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I initially thought the same thing about a track experience but I am 100% for ABS for road going safety. It takes years of riding experience to resist the innate response to jab the front brake lever in a panic situation and thereby tucking the front wheel.

        Read Mark Forsyth, of excellent Brit biker magazine TWO fame, quick review and you might change your mind. http://www.visordown.com/motorcyclenews/view/mark_forsyths_review_of_the_cbr600rr_abs/4955.html

        In my opinion, if ABS was fitted to all road going motorcycles, hundreds if not thousands of deaths in the US would be avoid every year in America. It's that important of a driving aid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "ABS brakes" is redundant, like 'ATM machine"
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is not just ABS though, this is complete brake by wire. So unlike ABS, computer is in charge even when there is no lockup. It doesn't just step in to fix mistakes, it's there doing everything all the time. Also, how are they going to have proper feedback without direct connection?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I really do hope they have some kind of feedback motor that pushes back at you proportionally to the amount the actuator is applying the brakes. Or at least, I hope they have something in mind.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I ride a 2006 Honda Interceptor ABS... Say what you want about it, but the ABS saved me one day when a guy cut me off and slammed his brakes to turn into an alley. Thanks to the ABS, the bike stopped, and I stayed upright, and didn't hit the guy. I was adamant about having ABS on my bike, and I'm damned glad I stuck with it.

      • 6 Years Ago
      My 20 year old '88 BMW K100RS has ABS. Granted I don't take it to the track but I did my Ducati (900SS). Anything that would get me closer to the corner b/4 having to hammer the brakes would be a welcome addition as long as feel is maintained. For the street though, it's a must have. You life is on the line, not just lap times.
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