After pioneering the concept of antilock brakes (ABS) on motorcycles 23 years ago, BMW Motorrad USA has announced that it will be the first motorcycle manufacturer to offer ABS as standard equipment on its entire range of 2012 model year motorcycles.
“Plain and simple, being able to stop a motorcycle faster and more predictably helps prevent a rider from becoming a statistic,” said Pieter de Waal, vice president, BMW Motorrad USA. “It’s time for all of us in the motorcycle industry to embrace the benefits of ABS. Extensive testing by safety experts, law enforcement authorities and journalists around the world consistently demonstrates that ABS reduces overall crashes and saves lives.”
An analysis of 2010 motorcycle crashes released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveals that although motorcyclist fatalities are down for the past two years, they began to slightly increase in the third quarter of 2010.
GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha noted, “We are concerned that motorcycle deaths may be on the rise again. ABS and other safety technologies and programs can help continue the progress that has been made in motorcycle safety.”
A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that motorcycles equipped with antilock brakes are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than models without ABS.
“I commend BMW for taking the lead in making ABS standard across the board,” said Adrian Lund, IIHS president. “Our research results show ABS on motorcycles saves lives, and riders are taking note, too. A recent survey found that a majority of riders said they would look for ABS on their next bikes.”
Many law enforcement agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, concluded after testing that ABS reduced the number and severity of accidents and now mandate them on their police motorcycles. Internationally, BMW is the largest seller of motorcycles for law enforcement use.
“We commend BMW for taking the lead to improve motorcycle safety,” said
David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration. “Motorcycle fatalities and injuries have been on an
upward trend for the past 10 years, and ABS and other safety
technologies can help reduce these tragedies.”