ABS to be standard on motorbikes
Starting from 2016, antilock braking systems (ABS) will be introduced as standard equipment for an increasing number of motorcycles in the EU. At the beginning of March, the European Union passed legislation to this effect, with the objective of further reducing traffic accident figures. In 2011 alone, around 5,000 motorcyclists were killed on Europe's roads. "A standard-fit ABS can prevent more than one-quarter of all motorcycle accidents with personal injuries," is how Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division, sums up the findings of a Bosch accident study.
Bosch has been manufacturing antilock braking systems for motorcycles since 1994 and has sold around 750,000 systems to date. In 2010, the supplier of technology and services launched a generation of ABS designed specifically for motorcycles. Since then, it has been continuously developing additional functions aimed at improving the system’s performance. In 2010, the German Automobile Association ADAC singled out the system’s contribution to enhancing safety by awarding it the Yellow Angel prize in the “Innovation and Environment” category.
According to the new EU legislation, it will be mandatory to fit an antilock braking system to all motorcycles that have an engine displacement greater than 125 cc. As of January 1, 2016, this will apply to motorcycles that are granted type approval and, from 2017 onwards, to all newly registered models. In addition, smaller motorised two-wheelers with displacement of 50 cc or more are required to have either ABS or a combined brake system. The latter links the front and rear brakes mechanically, with the result that both wheels are always decelerated during braking. However, this solution does not regulate brake pressure – meaning the wheels can still lock. Following ratification by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers, the regulation has now been published in the EU Official Journal and thus officially come into force.
The right solution for all power output classes
Bosch offers solutions tailored to each motorcycle manufacturer’s requirements. The ABS 9 light, due to be launched in early 2013, is the entry-level variant. It ensures the antilock braking control of the front wheel, making it ideally suited to low-cost motorcycles which have only one hydraulic brake channel. This is often the case in the Asian emerging markets. The Bosch program also includes the ABS 9 base, which offers ABS functionality on both wheels, the ABS 9 plus, and the ABS 9 enhanced with additional eCBS function. With this top-of-the-line variant, the rider simply has to apply either the front or the rear brake: ABS 9 enhanced automatically activates the second brake, without any need to adjust the brake lever or pressure.
Other innovations from the Bosch engineering centre for motorcycle safety in Japan will be launched in 2013: early 2013 will see the rollout of a traction control system which improves acceleration on slippery surfaces, along with off-road control, an additional ABS function which adjusts the ABS and traction control settings to the road surface. When negotiating sand or gravel, for instance, this provides greater safety while allowing a more dynamic riding style. Motorcycle stability control will in future ensure optimum safety on high-end motorcycles. “This is the first system to provide support in all braking and accelerating situations – even during cornering,” says Steiger. In order to correctly assess the braking interventions, MSC requires the current lean angle of the motorcycle. This data is provided by the new Bosch SU-MM5.10 lean-angle sensor.