ABS failure- stop riding or is it safe? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2009, 1:55 pm Thread Starter
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ABS failure- stop riding or is it safe?

My ABS has given up the ghost after less than 30,000kms(18,000 miles), I am less than happy that my dealer tells me that the bike is fine to ride, "it's just that the ABS wount work!!!!"

The feel at the lever is now inconsistent, and I am sure that whilst the brakes may work, the whole system is compromised.

I don't think it should be ridden, period, what do you think?

Would you ride it knowing that a major fuctioning element of the braking system has failed? How long before the rest packs up?

My '06 also has the assisted brakes, which is even more worrying.

Am I being paranoid or just sensible?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2009, 2:27 pm
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You are sure to get a lot of opinion here, but the fact is that most all vehicle ABS systems have a "bypass" mode: If the ABS system fails, then the brakes will continue to function without it. An exception is the 2002-2004 BMW servo assisted ABS systems, which require a powered up functional servo system to work properly.

Remember Long Way Round? They had to take Charly's bike out of service because they fried the electronics on the servo ABS and he had no brakes whatsoever. Very poor and unsafe design, and I think BMW has retired that exact system.

You say that the lever is "inconsistent". Does the bike stop or not? If you can still stop the bike normally, then you should be fine riding the bike without the ABS system.

With the ABS computer out of the picture, it's just a standard hydraulic brake system.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2009, 3:10 pm
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As long as the servo assist is functioning then it should be safe to ride. The ABS is designed to default off in case of a failure and allow normal braking to be retained. MY guess is the feel at the lever is more mental than physical; you know soemthing is wrong so your brain is telling you thee is a problem. If you're unsure go to ao large parking lot and get up to 20 - 30 MPH and do some straight line braking drills, starting with gentle braking and working up to full power panic stops. IF it survives that you should be fine.

I would press the dealer to get your parts overnighted to the shop so the reapairs can be done ASAP. He has the capability with BMW to do that.

David Taylor
San Jose, CA
2010 BMW R1200RT Polar Metallic
2008 Ducati HyperMotard 1100S Red (of course)

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