TECH WATCH

What is Honda’s Com­bined ABS? Q

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garag50e -

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.

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