Antilock Braking System or ABS will be mandatory on all the Indian two-wheelers which are powered by 125cc or higher engine capacity from 1st April 2019. Until now, there were no such rules and many manufacturers offered ABS and non-ABS versions of their products to keep the price low. However, ABS is essential in vehicles, especially in two-wheelers, which can get imbalanced easily. Here is a video that shows why you should not buy a bike without ABS.
This video comes from Biker Abhilash Youtube channel where he can be seen riding on his KTM RC 390. It is the fully-faired version of the KTM 390 Duke and offers dual-channel ABS as standard. Dual-channel ABS works on both the wheels unlike single-channel ABS that only works on the front wheel of the bike.
The video shows the bike riding quite fast on an open highway at night. The speedometer indicates speeds around 135 km/h, which is undeniably quick for any Indian road. The bike can be seen riding on the right lane of the highway and the video taken from the helmet camera of the bike shows a truck moving forward. The truck, as usual, did not have any functional brake lights on it which makes it difficult to know if the vehicle is slowing down, especially when you’re moving at such a high speed.
Luckily, the biker realised that the truck has suddenly slowed down due to an obstruction on the road and applied the brakes. On non-ABS bikes, using the brakes with such force on high-speed could have resulted in the bike skidding away and hitting the truck. There’s no way he could have stopped within the short distance safely on a non-ABS bike. However, thanks to the ABS, the bike came to a halt just behind the truck, almost touching the rear of the heavy vehicle.
It could have turned into a disaster, but ABS saved the day. It should be noted that ABS or no ABS, one should never maintain such speeds on the Indian highways. Especially at night, when the visibility drops down considerably. Indian roads are full of surprises, and almost no one follows the rules or show proper driving etiquettes. One should always maintain the speed limit set for the road and never cruise at more than 100 km/h. Even with ABS, it takes some time and distance before the vehicle can stop and it is known that any vehicle at higher speed takes much more time to stop.
The ABS works by sensing a wheel lock-up and quickly releases the pressure on the brakes and grips it again. This happens within microseconds and continuously, which makes the vehicle stop without skidding even under heavy braking. Apart from other vehicles on the roads, Indian highways are a common spot for stray cattle and dogs, which can cause appear out of nowhere and cause massive accidents. It is always important to maintain the speed limit in a motorcycle or a car whenever you’re on the public roads. Yes, ABS models cost a bit more but it is worth spending a little more on the safety systems than getting into accidents.