BMW Makes ABS Standard on All 2012 Models

04/19/2011 @ 7:35 am, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

Another cog in the wheel has turned, bringing us closer to complete adoption of anti-lock brakes as standard equipment on motorcycles, as BMW Motorrad USA has announced that all 2012 BMW motorcycles will come standard with ABS. It was 23 years ago that BMW brought the technology to motorcycles, so it seems only fitting that the company would be the first to implement the technology across its full line-up.

To the chagrin of some motorcycle enthusiasts, ABS has slowly seen its way onto a variety of motorcycles over the years, including the sportbike segment. It seems only a matter of time before it becomes standard across all manufacturers, not just BMW Motorrad.

“Plain and simple, being able to stop a motorcycle faster and more predictably helps prevent a rider from becoming a statistic,” said Pieter de Waal, Vice President, BMW Motorrad USA. “It’s time for all of us in the motorcycle industry to embrace the benefits of ABS. Extensive testing by safety experts, law enforcement authorities and journalists around the world consistently demonstrates that ABS reduces overall crashes and saves lives.”

Adding further weight to the ABS argument is a recent study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which revealed that motorcycles equipped with ABS are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than models without ABS. “I commend BMW for taking the lead in making ABS standard across the board,” said Adrian Lund, IIHS President. “Our research results show ABS on motorcycles saves lives, and riders are taking note, too. A recent survey found that a majority of riders said they would look for ABS on their next bikes.”

Like it or not, ABS seems destined to stay, and it is expected that soon the European Union will mandate the technology on all new motorcycles. For those still concerned about the technology for off-road use, although we had no issues with Yamaha’s implementation of ABS on the 2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré, BMW’s off-road oriented bikes will come with an on/off switch for the ABS module to appease your Luddite ways.

Source: BMW Motorrad USA

  • Jesse

    I think they should just start like they did with Pickups, ABS in the rear only and start with super-sports and other bikes which maintain a large amout of forward-weight-bias. Seems highly unnecessary on the front, plus the whole system isn’t linked like it is in a car. Lockup is mostly a rear-wheel problem.

  • I know there will be lots of carping about this, but for me I see it this way: Really good ABS is virtually invisible, and I’m not Ben Spies or Kevin Schwantz. I will take every advantage I can to get home in one piece. I practice and take my riding seriously, but in that case where there’s no time to think or get set up, you won’t hear ME griping about ‘old school’ being better.

  • Jim

    ABS has been a nearly mandatory option on BMW’s for sometime. While usually referred to as an “option” few bikes have been available that didn’t have the option. Additionally a few dealers have told me that they’d never order a bike for inventory that didn’t have ABS as most buyers sought the technology.

    As far as gripes about motorcycles becoming too complicated with all the electronic gear, a fair point, but would the complainant also give up tech like EFI, variable valve timing and digital motor controls that allow motorcycles to have in excess of 160HP/liter that start easily and are extremely reliable?