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IIHS study: Motorcycles with antilock brakes are much safer

Consumer Reports News: April 05, 2010 02:23 PM

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Motorcycles equipped with anti-lock brakes are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than models without ABS, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Backing up the study is another analysis by the affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute, which found that ABS-equipped motorcycles have had 22 percent fewer damage claims than those without ABS and 30 percent lower injury claims. Both studies looked at crashes between 2003 and 2008. (Also read: “How to reduce the risk of getting hurt on a motorcycle.”)

While the studies point to the safety benefits of ABS for motorcycles, the feature remains available primarily only on larger, more expensive bikes and can add $1,000 or more to the purchase price. But it is becoming more widely available, and the IIHS lists some 60 models that offer ABS as either standard or optional equipment. An IIHS survey concluded that more than half of motorcycle owners plan to get ABS on their next bike.

We would like to see ABS offered on more motorcycles and become more affordable. In particular, there is the need for this important safety feature on smaller, entry-level motorcycles that are likely to be chosen by newer, inexperienced riders.

2010 Motorcycle models equipped with ABS
Aprilia Mana 850 Optional
BMW F650GS Optional
BMW F800GS Optional
BMW F800S Optional
BMW F800ST Optional
BMW G650GS Standard
BMW G650x Challenge Optional
BMW G650x Country Optional
BMW G650x Moto Optional
BMW HP2 Megamoto Optional
BMW HP2 Sport Optional
BMW K1200LT Standard
BMW K1300GT Standard
BMW K1300R Standard
BMW K1300S Standard
BMW R1200GS Optional
BMW R1200GS Adventure Optional
BMW R1200R Optional
BMW R1200RT Standard
BMW S1000RR Optional
Can-Am Spyder Standard
Can-Am Spyder SE5 Standard
Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic Optional
Harley Davidson Electra Glide Standard Optional
Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Limited Standard
Harley Davidson Night Rod Special Optional
Harley Davidson Road Glide Optional
Harley Davidson Road Glide Custom Optional
Harley Davidson Road King Optional
Harley Davidson Road King Classic Optional
Harley Davidson Road King Custom Optional
Harley Davidson CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide Standard
Harley Davidson Street Glide Optional
Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide Optional
Harley Davidson V-Rod Optional
Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle Optional
Honda CBR1000RR Optional
Honda CBR600RA Optional
Honda DN-01 Standard
Honda Gold Wing Optional
Honda Interceptor 800 Optional
Honda Reflex Optional
Honda Reflex Sport Optional
Honda Silver Wing Optional
Honda ST1300 Optional
Kawasaki Concours 14 Optional
Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager Optional
Kymco Xciting 500 Optional
Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 Standard
Suzuki Bandit 1250 Optional
Suzuki B-King Optional
Suzuki Burgman 650 Optional
Suzuki Gladius Optional
Suzuki GSX650F Optional
Suzuki SV650/SV650S/SV650SAF Optional
Suzuki V-Strom 650 Standard
Triumph Sprint ST Optional
Triumph Tiger Optional
Yamaha FJR1300 Standard
Yamaha FJR1300 Electric Shift Standard
Source: IIHS

Jim Travers

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