A report from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) discussing upcoming safety features for cars, also says the agency will decide by next year whether or not to make ABS a required feature on new motorcycles. According to the Detroit News:
An insurance institute study showed that the rate of fatal crashes was 28 percent lower for motorcycles equipped with optional anti-lock brakes than for those same motorcycles without them.
Motorcycle deaths have more than doubled since 1997, from 2,116 to 5,154 in 2007. The motorcycle fatality rate has also nearly doubled from 21 per million miles traveled in 1997 to 39 in 2007. Injuries also have doubled.
Some riders will welcome the proposal while others will say it's just one more system that can fail. ABS is a fairly well proven technology so it may be more an issue of cost than anything else. Currently, some models give buyers a choice between ABS and non-ABS equipped bikes, but, this indicates the choice may soon be going away.
Will this apply to all models or will it just mean those offering ABS as an option must now have it on all units? Which models would be included in this requirement was not stated and may not have been decided at this point. No specific timeline was specified.
Link: Detroit News
UPDATE: IIHS Study pdf file of study cited in this post. Thanks, zip22.