July 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm #5801LifeCycleParticipant
I supposed this could be applied to any motorcycle with ABS but specifically the Vitpilen 401 for this one. I’m new to motorcycles and haven’t used the front brake as much as I probably should. I am slowly learning to use it more but I have a fear of being thrown over the top and it doing an endo if I grab too much brake. Is that even possible on this bike? Does ABS have any affect on that? I wouldn’t think so but I don’t know much about this stuff yet. I do have to say, it has amazing brakes… So good that you really need to brace yourself to slow down with it!
Thanks!July 2, 2019 at 7:49 pm #5822rlarueParticipant
Hi LifeCycle, there’s a few things to unpack here.
First, there’s really two main types of accidents that can occur in regard to tires and traction and neither of those is an endo. An endo is basically a reverse wheelie, a stunt move that you’ll eventually see some sport riders try to pull in traffic and wreck their bike, but it’s not a common accident. You see endo accidents on bicycles because a bicycle is light and weighs less than the rider, so at a sudden stop the rear wheel lifts up and the inertia of the rider tosses them end over.
The 1st accident is called a lowside and if you’re wearing proper gear it’s probably not going to be that bad, unless you like slide off a cliff or something. Lowsides can happen if you take a turn too fast and your tire slides out from under you, and you and the bike end up sliding on the road. It can also happen when using the front brake, which is where ABS comes in. This happens when slamming on the front brake which can cause your tire to lock up, and that is what ABS keeps from happening. It’s really handy for common traffic type scenarios, like cars pulling out in front of you. The ABS releases the right amount of brake to keep the tire from locking up so you stay upright instead of sliding.
The 2nd of the two accidents is called a highside, which is kinda similar to endos because the rider is flown over the bike, it’s just more sideways than straight over. This usually happens due to a loss of traction in the rear followed by an immediate recovery of traction by the rear tire. Basically, if the rear tire slides you should actually keep hold of the brake until you come to a full stop, but instinctually people often end up releasing the brake once the rear starts to slide so when the wheel captures traction again, unless the rear is directly behind the front (like a straight line,) it’ll jerk the bike in the opposite direction you were sliding and most likely toss you off it with the bike following behind you. It’s the worst of the two accidents, and this kinda thing happens in races because racers go fast through corners and those extremely cool looking angles so when the rear loses traction the bike isn’t straight and catastrophe happens. Just don’t ride on the streets like you see them ride on track days. I don’t believe ABS can help with highsides.
No safety feature makes up for the skills you need to learn for accident avoidance and recovery. I recommend taking basic or intermediate motorcycle safety and training classes. You can practice hard braking without endangering you or harming your own bike. If you aren’t willing to do that then at least find an empty parking lot and practice stopping hard in the 30mph range. However if you do take safety classes you’ll also get a discount on your insurance.July 2, 2019 at 8:03 pm #5823LifeCycleParticipant
Awesome! Thank you! Yes, I have the motorcycle safety class scheduled in a couple of weekends from now! Can’t wait! Yes, I really want to go to a big parking lot and slowly build up speed and hitting the brakes hard and harder each time – increasing the speed along the way. I just really want to see how the bike behaves and have confidence in knowing what to expect to some degree.
Thanks again for taking the time to explain that!July 2, 2019 at 9:25 pm #5827rlarueParticipant
Cool, happy to help and glad to hear you are taking that class. There’s a pretty good book by Lee Parks called Total Control that is helpful to read. You can find it here and it’s available on kindles too if thats your thing https://www.amazon.com/Total-Control-Performance-Street-Techniques/dp/0760343446/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=total+control+lee+parks&qid=1562102659&s=gateway&sr=8-1
Ride safe and have fun!July 3, 2019 at 1:38 pm #5831MaclovenParticipant
I took a class and was able to try full speed front braking in a safe lot. Try as I could, the abs prevented a lockup. It was predictable and a very powerful stop. The rear did start to lift a tiny bit but no way going over the bars.
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