BMW's Motorrad division has made a number of changes to its 2013 model-year range, most of it having to do with paint colors. The preeminent development is that all of its bikes, worldwide, will come with ABS standard.
How far is too far? In a recent press release, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made a plea to the federal government to require anti-lock braking systems on all motorcycles sold in the U.S. The group cites a newly-released study showing 22 percent fewer damage claims are made on motorcycles with ABS compared to non-equipped models, in part, as justification for the law.
The NHTSA revealed the final rules on the mandatory installation of electronic stability control (ESC) to help prevent rollovers on all vehicles by the 2012 model year (September 2011). The legislation applies to all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, and was ushered in without dissent by automakers. Carmakers that produce less than 5,000 cars per year will be given more time to phase in the technology.
A study by Purdue University states that safety systems like ABS and airbags make drivers less vigilant. Fred Mannering, the professor of civil engineering at the university who led the study, brought his team to the water of five years of motor vehicle crashes in Washington State. The students began studying the collisions beginning in 1992, as that was about when airbags and ABS began to be introduced rapidly into the mainstream auto market.
Anti-lock braking systems have come under some mild scrutiny as of late. Frank Williams, a frequent contributor to The Truth About Cars, recently wrote an article detailing the inherent problems with ABS in passenger vehicles, saying that overall they may do more harm than good and that NHTSA should look into its own findings to address the matter.