The European Parliament passed a proposal to make antilock brake systems a requirement on all motorcycles over 125cc. Final approval awaits a review by all members of the union, but judging from the commentary in Europe, it looks like it will become law by 2016.
I tried to read through the actual legislation (pdf), but it is written in the usual format which makes any intelligent person run screaming from the room. Though many of us don’t regularly follow the goings on in European legislative bodies, it’s important to understand, requiring European motorcycles to be so equipped, means all motorcycles, including those made in Asia or the USA, will most likely conform. If you are a manufacturer who wants to sell in Europe, your motorcycles will meet the European standard. Including ABS on every bike is a lot easier than having separate versions for each country, so I expect in a few years, ABS will be everywhere.
ABS is an effective technology that allows riders to brake safely and in a shorter distance than on bikes without the anti lock capability. Complaints from those who don’t want it on their bike are usually related to cost and complexity along with a general preference for choice instead of government mandates. But, regardless of where you stand on those issues, it seems likely any new motorcycle you buy in the not too distant future is going to be the ABS model.