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ABS is an abbreviation for Anti-Lock Braking System. ABS on a motorcycle is similar to the ABS systems used on automobiles, trucks and aircraft.
On Harley-Davidson motorcycle the ABS functions on both wheels . When the rider needs to make an urgent or emergency stop on dry pavement, gravel, leaves, rain, or any slick surface, maintaining control of the bike can be a challenge. The purpose of ABS brakes is to help you maintain control of your bike when braking in a straight-line emergency. Harley-Davidson® ABS can help you maintain control, equipping you with the tools you need to stop quickly, while helping to prevent uncontrolled wheel lockups caused by improper braking.
The Cornering Enhanced Antilock Braking System (C-ABS) is a variant of ABS that takes into consideration the lean angle of the motorcycle. While cornering, the available grip for braking is reduced and C-ABS can automatically compensate for this.
On motorcycles equipped with traditional non-ABS brakes, one or both wheels may lock up if too much braking pressure is applied by the rider. ABS monitors brake pressure and wheel speed and intervenes to help prevent wheels from locking up during an urgent stop.
The ABS monitors sensors at the front and rear wheels to determine wheel speed. If the system detects one or more wheels are slowing down too quickly, which indicates they are close to locking, or if the deceleration rate does not match the parameters stored in memory, the ABS activates. The rider can recognize ABS activation by the slight pulsing sensation in the hand lever or the rear brake pedal. A clicking sound from the ABS module can also be heard. Both are the result of normal operation.
The ABS system rapidly opens and closes valves to modulate the brake pressure. During ABS activation, the system provides the electronic equivalent of manually pumping the brakes. The system can cycle many times per second.
ABS is offered either as an option or as standard equipment for all new Harley-Davison motorcycle models sold in the United States. Harley-Davidson first introduced ABS for some Police motorcycle models in 2005, and first offered ABS as an option for some Touring motorcycle models in 2008.