Husqvarna Debuts Off-Road Anti-Lock Braking System

11/04/2011 @ 7:13 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

Taking the “anti-lock brakes don’t work off-road” mentality head-on, Husqvarna has debuted an anti-lock braking system (ABS) package designed specifically for off-road use. Derived from BMW’s extensive experience with the technology (BMW Motorrad was the first OEM to fit ABS to a production motorcycle), Husqvarna has taken the lessons learned by its German parent company, specifically BMW’s Race ABS from the S1000RR superbike, and adapted the technology for its dirt models for off-road racing.

Continuing to prove our “electronics are the new horsepower” hypothesis and fitting the flagship Husqvarna TE 449 with the new off-road ABS technology, Husqvarna hopes to make a statement not only about the use of ABS in off-street conditions, but is taking things a step further by putting anti-lock brakes on a race-bred dirt bike. The key to the off-road ABS technology from Husqvarna is two-fold. First, Husqvarna’s dual-channel ABS still allows for the rear tire to be locked-up while under heavy braking (this can also be achieved on the S1000RR’s ABS package under the “slick” mode setting). Second, the system, like its road-going counterpart, is extremely light, and only adds 1.5kg (3.3 lbs) of weight to the bike.

With two wheel sensors, one for each wheel, BMW/Husqvarna’s ABS system can analyze wheel lock on the front and rear wheel separately, and adjust braking power accordingly. This dual-channel system is the key component to making ABS work in off-road situations, as it allows the anti-lock braking systems to pulse the front wheel brakes, while leaving the rear either open or locked, depending on the rider’s inputs.

While Husqvarna is touting the off-road ABS as race ready, the real benefit will come to mere mortal off-road riders. Giving added confidence and safety while applying maximum braking force to the front wheel, the Husqvarna anti-lock braking system benefits from letting riders drift the rear wheel as they are already accustom to doing. Husqvarna also hints at the new system’s use in enduro and adventure settings, where two different types of ABS regulation can be selected: one for on-road, and the other for off-road use. With BMW set to debut a new GS-series adventure bike, we don’t imagine that we’ll have to wait long to see that evolution come to ABS.

Source: BMW Group

  • 450

    What for you possibly could need ABS on off-road bikes besides selling bikes to the people who shouldn’t ride with off-road bikes :)

  • Greg

    Well said, Bill. I hope they make it easily switchable though, giving the rider the option to turn it off should they choose.

  • Really helpful cheers, It looks like your current audience will likely want a whole lot more blog posts like this continue the great content.

  • BBQdog

    Seeing this gives me more and more the idea the motorcylce industry (at least BMW) has no idea what their customers want.

  • Pete

    and what if the sensor is full of mud? might happen offroad… :X
    whats next? traction control?

  • Don

    there all easy to turn off just block eloctro magnetic field at censor or unplug and they default off

  • Don

    the sad thing is our grandkids will probally only have elec. bikes to ride but hey they will probally be fast, when I was growing up in 70s we had hp but 4” travel and drum brakes so progress is not all bad. That way we can say [when I was young]

  • Logan

    Too far. I can see the benefits on a street bike, but off-road? Waste.

  • The guys at Husky know what they’re doing when it comes to off-road. I have faith that whatever they have up their sleeve is actually useful, even if it upsets the curmudgeons.

  • Jeram

    hmmm supermoto racing in the dirt section with road racing tires… could this having a real benefit…

    then as you come out of the dirt section, flick the switch over the road mode and off you go!!!

  • JSH

    I’m curious how many riders that hate the idea of ABS on a motorcycle have actually ridden one. After riding late model BMW’s with ABS I can’t understand why one wouldn’t want ABS. If you break like you normally do on a bike without ABS you won’t even notice a difference. That is until saves your butt when you hit a patch of oil or gravel.

    As to off-road bikes, don’t off-road riders loose the front under braking too? I can’t think of any situation where a motorcyclist on or off road would want to lock up the front.

    Motorcycle manufacturers are doing everything they can to bring more people into the sport. Cars have had ABS for decades now and non-riders see ABS as standard equipment. Many younger drivers have never driven a car without it. Convincing them that they want a bike without ABS is a bit like trying to convince them that they don’t want fuel injection. That true riders like fiddling with a choke lever and having to wait to warm up a bike during cold weather. Only about 1% of the US population rides and we are getting older every day.