Continental has developed a new very small and lightweight anti lock brake system for motorcycles. The system weighs only 2.6 pounds and because it’s so small and lightweight it should be easy to add to a wider variety of motorcycles than those already equipped. This particular system will be on the new Aprilia Mana, Shiver and Dorsoduro coming out this year. This system also has optional RLP (Rear wheel Lift off Protection). Sensors detect a rear wheel about to lift and ease off the front brake slightly.
Now, combine the RLP option with this line at the end of their press release:
“… legislation is pending in Germany to make ABS mandatory for all motorcycles.”
ABS may be a fine thing but making it mandatory, … not so fine.
Continental press release:
Continental Introduces Small, Lightweight ABS for Motorcycles on New Aprilia Models
In time for the World’s largest motorcycle event, Continental, an international automotive supplier, is strengthening its presence in the two-wheel market with a new, compact anti-lock braking system (ABS) for motorcycles. The MAB (motorcycle anti-lock braking system) developed by the Chassis & Safety Division weighs only about 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg) and can be easily installed into the structure of most motorcycle designs.
Continental’s experience developing anti-lock braking systems for passenger cars made it possible to develop the new MAB in just 16 months. The first application will be in the new Aprilia models: Mana, Shiver and Dorsoduro due to hit the market in 2009.
“Widespread use of anti-lock devices on motorcycles and motor scooters would make a significant contribution toward reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities around the world,” said Dirk Remde, director of motorcycle braking systems in the Chassis & Safety Division. “Our systems already are making an important contribution to the European Safety Charter, to halve the number of motorcycle accidents by 2010, compared with 2004.”
In the United States, there are an estimated 5,000 motorcycle fatalities per year. An October 2008 study by the IIHS showed in comparison that the same model of motorcycles with ABS crashed 38 percent less than those without.
Continental’s first motorcycle integral braking system (MIB) was developed in collaboration with BMW, and unveiled two years ago. Currently, 47 motorcycle models in the United States are available with ABS.
“Size provides a decisive competitive advantage in addition to price – even more so with motorcycles than with cars because there is considerably less space available,” Remde added.
Stability is the key for motorcyclists
As with cars, the primary objective when a motorcycle performs an emergency stop is to ensure that it remains stable. A locked-up wheel on a motorcycle will almost inevitably lead to a fall. Continental’s design includes sensors on the front and rear wheels that calculate speed during braking to determine whether a lock-up is imminent. If so, the control unit will reduce the brake pressure to prevent lock-up and loss of stability.
A rear wheel lift-off protection system (RLP) is also available as an option to the basic MAB. The RLP works to detect rear wheel lift during hard braking by employing a brake pressure sensor to analyze hydraulic pressure in the braking system. If the wheel is about to lift, pressure in the front brake circuit is slightly reduced, stabilizing the motorcycle.
Motorcycle accidents: falls triple the risk of life-threatening injuries
Studies by accident insurers, the German Federal Highway Research Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States, have proven that anti-lock braking systems provide great benefits for motorbike riders. One in five motorcycle accidents results in a fall due to a front wheel lock-up. Virtually all these falls (93 percent) could be prevented by an anti-lock braking system. Even if the stopping distance is insufficient to prevent a collision, controlled brake application can significantly reduce the impact velocity and thus the severity of the accident. If the rider falls off, the risk of suffering serious injuries rises considerably. The studies clearly show that fatalities double, and life-threatening injuries triple those accidents in which the brakes are applied under control.
In Germany alone, installing anti-lock braking systems would save the lives of an estimated 100 motorcyclists each year and prevent a further 3,000 serious injuries. As a result, legislation is pending in Germany to make ABS mandatory for all motorcycles.