Anti-lock Braking System

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) Explained in Detail | Importance Of ABS

Hello Buddies..!! Happy to see you here..!! Here is a Quick question for you, well, have you ever come up a situation that when you are Riding your Motorcycle and found some Animals or Zombies (Human beings) on the road?? What is the Immediate reaction you would do ?? The obvious thing you do is pulling the Front Brake lever¬†hardly so as to stop the bike, Right?? But what happens when you pull the lever such hard ūüôĀ No need of Explaining that scenario. The wheels get¬†locked up and you will end up kissing the Earth ūüôĀ So as to avoid these scenarios Anti-lock Braking System comes into the picture.

Today let us discuss how Anti-lock Braking System works on Motorcycles and Its Importance. ABS helps the rider to make his ride comfortable and safe on the highways. It actually helps in avoiding the wheels to lock when the rider pulls the brake lever very hard so as to stop the bike to avoid a collision.

Who Invented Anti-lock Braking System:

Anti-lock Braking System inventer

Anti-lock Braking System¬†was invented by Gabriel Voisin in 1929. He experimented with the systems to modulate the hydraulic braking pressure on his aircraft brakes to reduce the tire slippage. At that time it was yet untested on Automobiles. However in today’s Anti-lock Braking System has become far more advanced and we are thankful for such experiments which became a great asset for Automobiles.

How Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) Works :

The term itself says that it prevents the motorcycle wheels from locking when brakes are applied hard. Many of the accidents happening on the roads especially on the wet roads filled with sand or gravel is due to wheels losing traction and wheel get locking up. In such conditions, Anti-lock Braking system helps a lot in preventing the wheels from getting locked and skidding the motorcycle.The ABS is an Integrated system in motorcycles which consists four important parts to be considered.

1.ECU (Electronic Control Unit):

ECU is the brain of the system. It is a kind of computer that acquires the data which is available from the wheel speed sensors. The ECU will decide when to release the pressure and when to actuate the pump which gives the desired pressure to stop the Motorcycle.

2. Wheel Speed Sensors:

These are the sensors placed on the wheel and we can identify them visually which looks like a peculiar ring. In some motorcycles, sensors are placed on both the wheels which monitor and sends the data to ECU individually. Then the Information given by the sensors to the ECU are computed regularly and ECU will decide whether to actuate the pump to give a desired amount of pressure in the brake channel or command the valve to release some pressure if it senses the wheel is going to lock.

3. Solenoid  Valves: 

In modern bikes, solenoid valves are replaced with old valves. The Solenoid Valves has a capability to close and open very fastly. These valves are used to release the hydraulic pressure letting the wheel to rotate temporarily when the ECU senses that wheel is about to lock based on the information given by the sensors which are placed on the wheels.

4. Pump:

The pump usually connects with an Electric motor and the job of the pump is to restore the pressure in the brake line which is released by the solenoid valves. The amount of restoring pressure is decided by the ECU because it is the one which decides the extent of release of pressure through valves.

Anti-lock Braking System

In normal bikes, the brake lever is directly connected to the caliper. As soon as the riders put the pressure on the lever in a panic the total amount of pressure is transferred to the caliper and it tends to wheel locking. But in Anti-lock Braking System the amount of force exerted on the lever is not directly sent to the caliper instead the braking force will be exerted by the ECU.

ABS constantly receives the information from the wheel speed sensors. ECU will compare the wheel speed data given by the sensors with its predicted wheel speed. During Braking if it is found that the measured wheel speed deviates from the predicted wheel speed of ECU then Anti-lock Braking System comes into action. If the measured wheel speed is less than the predicted wheel speed, the ECU will send a command to Solenoid Valve to release the hydraulic pressure to some extent letting the wheel to rotate in order to avoid the wheel locking. On the other side if the measured wheel speed is higher than the predicted wheel speed then the ECU will command the Pump to restore the pressure on the brake line in order to stop the motorcycle. This process continues very fastly and due to this, you can feel the pulsating feeling near the brake lever.

Also Read: Slipper Clutch Technology- How Does It Works | Explained In Detail

Importance Of Anti-lock Braking System:

Anti-lock Braking System helps in many aspects. Let us know its advantages.

1. Stopping Distance: 

Stopping Distance depends on two factors. It is the sum of Thinking Distance and Braking Distance.

Thinking Distance:  Thinking Distance is the distance travelled by motorcycle in between the rider realizes that he needs to apply brakes and he actually applies the brakes.

Braking Distance:  Braking Distance is the distance travelled by motorcycle the moment rider applies the brakes and motorcycle totally stops.

Anti-lock Braking System

So coming to our topic the Motorcycles which are Equipped with ABS will have less Stopping Distance compared to the Motorcycles which do not have ABS. But coming to Off-Road conditions the stopping distance of the Motorcycles having Anti-lock Braking System increases because it is quite common that slippage rate is more on gravel and mud. So as to avoid the slip the process of holding and releasing the brake pressure takes several times which in turn increases the stopping distance. Some Motorcyclists says that it is better to ride NON-ABS motorcycles in off-road because the stopping distance of ABS is high in off-road which may lead to a collision.

2. Sudden Braking:

The motorcycles which are equipped Anti-lock Braking System has a capability to move the handle in any direction even in hard braking scenarios. You can see in the above picture, the motorcycle which is not equipped with ABS met with a collision with another vehicle. But the ABS-equipped motorcycle can avoid the collision and turn in other directions to avoid the collision.

Anti-lock Braking System comes with two variants. In some Motorcycles, Single channel ABS is equipped and in some other Motorcycles Dual channel ABS is equipped.

Single Channel ABS:

In Single Channel ABS, the Wheel Speed Sensor is placed only on one wheel. In a survey, it is found that 70% of the motorcyclists use Front Brake and 30% use the Rear Brake. So coming to single channel ABS the wheel speed sensor is placed on the front wheel. The speed sensor placed on the front wheel sends the data to the ECU and whenever it detects the front wheel is going to lock then it commands the Solenoid Valve to release the pressure to some extent to avoid the wheel lock.

Dual Channel ABS:

In Dual Channel ABS, the Wheel Speed Sensor is placed on both the wheels. The data is collected individually from each sensor and sends to the ECU. ECU will detect the wheel speeds of each wheel and compare with the predicted wheel speed and decide according to the situation. Some of the motorcycles come with RLP (Rear Wheel Lift Off Protection). When we apply the brakes suddenly and hardly there might be chances for the rear wheel to lift causing a stoppie. To avoid the rear wheel to Lift Off the RLP comes into action.

It is said that Indian Government has made ABS as compulsory on the motorcycles which are above 125cc from 2017. If not a dual channel ABS, at least Single channel ABS should be equipped with the motorcycles above 125cc.

Have a look at this video so that you can understand visually how Anti-lock Braking System works

So these are the benefits of Anti-lock Braking System and its working. Please do share your opinion on this and comment below if you have any doubts.

Happy Riding..!!


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