Mandatory ABS: Why Every Street Motorcycle Needs an Anti-Lock Braking System


  • What Is ABS?

  • Arguments Against ABS

  • Mandating ABS Is Critical

  • All Articles About Mandatory ABS

Every motorcycle designed for on-street use should be equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), and it baffles me why Congress hasn’t federally mandated it already.

What is ABS?

ABS is a piece of electronics that prevents your tires from locking up. When the ABS system detects that a tire is about to lock up (skid), it automatically reduces brake pressure to that tire. ABS has been mandated on cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. for years.

The Wrong Argument

The only reason I can come up with that explains why Congress hasn’t mandated ABS is that proponents for ABS are using the wrong argument.

ABS supporters argue that ABS allows most riders to stop faster, while ABS haters say that some riders can stop faster without ABS. In this case, both sides are correct—so Congress does nothing.

But here’s the part that’s been missing from the debate.

The real benefit of ABS on motorcycles has nothing to do with stopping distances and everything to do with preventing most rider-induced lowside and highside crashes!

In the articles below, I’ll present the arguments for and against ABS.

I’ll also explain why mandating ABS on all motorcycles sold in the U.S. for on-street use is the single most important thing that could be done to reduce motorcycle fatalities.

Making ABS mandatory is so important that I’m asking all riders to share this information with their Congressional representatives.

Together, we can do this.

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About the Author

David Mixson writes about the topics other motorcycle books gloss over. He worked as a NASA engineer for over thirty years and is the author of three books.