KTM Duke 390: What happens when ABS FAILS! [Video]

Indian roads are deemed as one of the most dangerous in the world, mostly due to the road sense of the users. In such situations, safety features like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) come in handy to avoid accidents. But what about the times when ABS fails on a busy street? Here’s a video that shows the same.

What is happening here?

The rider on a KTM 390 Duke can be seen riding on a relatively empty road in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. As the biker gains speed, a sedan comes out of nowhere to the middle of the road to cross it. The rider applies the brakes but the rear tyre locks up and the motorcycle comes to a screeching stop just a few inches away from the vehicle. The car driver came in without noticing the moving vehicles and could have caused a massive accident but such incidents are quite common in India.

The rider seems to be doing around 40 km/h when he started braking and it took quite a long distance to bring the motorcycle to a stop. The KTM 390 Duke seen in the video comes with standard dual-channel ABS, which means both the front and rear wheels are modulated by the ABS.

KTM Duke 390: What happens when ABS FAILS! [Video]

The rider did not update on why the ABS did not work in that situation. It should be noted that the 390 Duke comes with switchable ABS that can be turned off by the rider. The feature provides greater flexibility to the rider and allows to turn it off while doing stunt riding or riding on slippery surfaces like snow where ABS can increase the stopping distance.

Safety features are not fool-proof

It is not known if the ABS was turned off by the user or it just failed during the situation but there are many reasons that can cause ABS to fail. The ABS senses a ring placed on the wheel’s hub to detect the wheel lock-up. The system is set-up with the exact rim and tyre size and any change in the wheel or the tyre size can affect the way ABS works. Also, the ABS wire can get damaged due to regular wear and tear or external factors like a dog bite, which can cause the system to fail.

Such systems are quite sophisticated and highly reliable but like all electro-mechanical things, can fail. There is a chance of ABS module failure, which is the brain of the whole system. ABS or any such other safety feature can give away during critical situations and it is all dependent on the rider or the driver to keep the vehicle under control. It is important to keep in mind that such systems can fail and one should be always cautious on the road.


Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)