Using the brakes correctly under adverse conditions
is the hardest – and yet the most critical - skill to
master for a rider.
Braking is one of the most difficult and dangerous
moments when riding a two wheeled vehicle: the
possibility of falling or having an accident during this
difficult moment is statistically higher than any other
moment. A locked front wheel leads to loss of
traction and stability, resulting in loss of control. The
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) has been developed
to enable riders to use the vehicles braking force to
the fullest possible amount in emergency braking or
under poor pavement or adverse weather conditions.
ABS uses hydraulics and electronics to limit pressure
in the brake circuit when a special sensor mounted to
the wheel signals the electronic control unit that the
wheel is about to lock up. This avoids wheel lockup
and preserves traction. Pressure is raised back up
immediately and the control unit keeps controlling the
brake until the risk of a lockup disappears.
Normally, the rider will perceive ABS operation as a
harder feel or a pulsation of the brake lever and pedal.
The front and rear brakes use separate control
systems, meaning that they operate independently.
Likewise, the ABS is not an integral braking system
and does not control both the front and rear brake at
the same time. If desired, the system can be
deactivated from the instrument panel, using the
"ABS disabling function" page 111.
Use both brake lever and pedal for effective
braking. Never use the brake controls harshly or
suddenly as you may lock the wheels and lose control
of the motorcycle. When riding in the rain or on
slippery surfaces, braking will become less effective.
Always use the brakes very gently and carefully when
riding under these conditions. Any sudden
manoeuvres may lead to loss of control. When
tackling long, high-gradient downhill road tracts, shift
down gears to use engine braking. Apply one brake
at a time and use brakes sparingly. Keeping the
brakes applied all the time would cause the friction
material to overheat and reduce braking power
dangerously. Underinflated or overinflated tyres
reduce braking efficiency, handling accuracy and
stability in a bend.