What is Honda’s Combined ABS? Q
Answered by Steve Scully, GT Motorcycles Honda’s Combined ABS or C-ABS is an anti-lock brake-by-wire system that takes the hydraulic pressure a rider inputs to the brake lever and pedal and converts it to electronic signals that are fed to an Electronic Control Unit (ECU). This ECU then works out and manages the distribution of the front and rear braking forces based on the rider’s input and the rates of deceleration of the front and rear wheel.
Each wheel has a conventional magnetic ring with a series of holes in it and a sensor uses the voltage change to measure wheel speed, but then the rest of the system is located near the centre of the bike where it has less effect on the suspension action.
The strength of C-ABS is its ability to counteract an individual’s braking habits, for example a rider who likes to use a lot of rear brake, or someone who just loves grabbing a handful of front brake and ignores the rear brake. The C-ABS will direct some of the braking force to the rear wheel, which will have the effect of lowering the rear end and keeping the bike more stable.
Another benefit is that the rider doesn’t feel any pulsing through the lever or pedal. This is because the C-ABS units that moderate braking pressure are very powerful electronic pumps and can deliver the differing hydraulic pressures very rapidly. Even if you slam on the rear brake in the wet, the C-ABS will sense this, stop any lock-up and direct the optimum amount of brake pressure to the front end so that the forks will still dive and the bike will pull up without locking up.