WHAT IS IT?
An ABS or Anti-lock Braking System is an essential of motorcycle safety.It prevents the sudden lock-up of the wheels of the two wheeler under hard or panic braking,thus preventing a fall. Most modern day bikes are equipped with ABS.
HOW IT WORKS?
Normally when we apply the brakes on a motorcycle it slows downs and eventually stops but when braking is done on tricky surfaces such as puddles or oil spills we risk a fall.What an ABS does is to apply and reapply the brakes in a very short span of time (almost 15 times a second) to prevent wheel lock-up.Applying brakes at such speeds is not possible for us mortals.
The physics behind this is that a rolling body,here a wheel,has more grip or hold of the tarmac than that of a static wheel.When we apply just one of the brakes either wheel slows down faster than the other one and ends locking up.An ABS senses just when a wheel is about to lock-up and momentarily releases the brakes only to reapply it again,it keeps doing so until the bike stops or till the brakes are released,this accounts for the pulsating feel on the brake levers when ABS is activated.It also applies braking to the other wheel in case only one brake is applied by the rider.
WHEEL SPEED SENSOR
It is a circular toothed ring found on the wheel hub.It gathers data regarding the speed of the wheel by a counter.
This thing calculates the data from the sensors to determine when to apply and reapply the brakes based on a pre-defined algorithm.
The disc brakes,master cylinder,valves,and brake pads compose the braking parts.
BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS
An ABS greatly reduces the braking distance and provides greater control over the bike.It increases the tire life and reduces the number of road accidents significantly.
On the other hand it does not guarantee an accident free reckless riding.If someone is impossibly fast around a corner he might sure get thrown away.
THESE IMAGES SHOW BIKES WITH OUTRIGGERS ON WET SURFACES TESTING ABS