Safety is a pressing concern for all road users, more so with motorcyclists. After bringing its initial version of motorcycle ABS – based on the ABS system in a car – to the market in 1995, Bosch began development of a motorcycle-specific ABS system.

Understanding that the requirements for ABS in a motorcycle are very different from a car, Bosch today has its ABS9 motorcycle ABS, along with the ABS10, developed for bikes up to 250 cc, being 30% lighter and 45% smaller than the system for large-displacement motorcycles.

A practical demonstration of the Bosch motorcycle ABS system was given at the Global NCAP “Stop the Crash” campaign and ASEAN NCAP Roadmap, being held at Sepang International Circuit this November 29 and 30. A motorcycle ABS test rig was set up on a scooter, with single-channel ABS.

During the demonstration, the scooter was ridden across a wet surface, to show that with the single-channel ABS switched on, the rider was able to maintain traction and stay upright while coming to a safe stop. With ABS off, the front wheel slid out the moment the rider applied the front brake.

It has also been shown that when applied properly, motorcycle ABS dramatically reduces stopping distance under most road surface conditions. “In Europe, any new motorcycle or scooter above 125 cc is equipped with ABS. This is because it is the customer who demands it, so the manufacturer includes it,” said Christian Grouger, general manager for Motorcycle Application Safety, Bosch Japan.

“Some of this requirement (for motorcycle ABS) comes from the market, but also legislation,” said Grouger. “I feel that motorcycle ABS is necessary for any motorcycle, from a safety point of view, since I also develop these systems, and personally push this forward,” he said.

For Malaysia, ABS for motorcycles is not a compulsory requirement, though most large displacement motorcycles as well as scooters such as the Kawasaki J300 and Vespa 150 come with ABS as standard. According to a source, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), is still in discussions with manufacturers about making motorcycle ABS compulsory in Malaysia, but there is no fixed date as yet.