Advanced braking systems are commonplace in today’s passenger cars, with the majority of new cars featuring ABS as standard. A lesser-known fact is that it has also been available to motorcyclists for more than a decade. Even so, usage of ABS technology amongst motorcyclists lags far behind their four-wheeled counterparts. Continental Teves recently launched its first advanced braking system designed specifically for two wheels. Tyres & Accessories took a look at the technology when it was launched at Intermot 2004 in Munich.
The technology behind Continental Teves’ system is designed to continuously evaluate the signals from the wheel speed sensors, allowing it to identify a dangerous situation before the wheel locks. In a hazardous situation the unit reduces the brake pressure on the affected wheel and quickly boosts it again in order to ensure maximum braking power when the risk of locking has passed. The whole process is completed in a fraction of a second. The company claims that its analog-controlled digital valves make this pressure modulation process both smooth and effective.
The system also allows for variables such as the actual load (solo or with a passenger) and the grip offered by the road surface, so when the ABS system is triggered, each wheel is kept within an “ideal” range. According to the manufacturer, the outcome is the optimum deceleration values with the minimum amount of effort on the part of the rider.
Continental Teves’ integral brake system allows riders to depress the lever or pedal and build up pressure respectively in either the front or the rear brake. At the same time a pump automatically builds up pressure in the brake circuit not operated directly by the rider, taking account of the specific parameters for the motorcycle concerned and the necessary brake force distribution between the front and rear wheels.
The products designers also claim that it will be prepared for the high levels of brake-force demanded by emergency situations. Continental Teves claims that its system can manage the dynamic disparity that occurs between the front and rear brakes in emergency situation. This means that is would be possible for the rider to perform an emergency braking manoeuvre with just one pedal or lever.
One of the additional benefits that the company highlight is its rear wheel lift-off protection function, called RLP. RLP is designed to briefly reduce the pressure in the front brake circuit whenever the sensor signals indicate that rear wheel lift-off is imminent. This maintains the minimum load on the rear wheel necessary for lateral guidance, and prevents against the dangerous affects of a rollover.