Each year, new car models are launched with some brand-new features or an old feature getting revamped. A few years ago, this norm was limited to just four-wheelers. In recent years, even the two-wheeler industry has been revolutionised with features that have brought it on par with four-wheelers. One such feature is the introduction of anti-lock braking system (ABS). This has probably changed the experience of bike riding for almost each owner. What is ABS? How does it make your bike safer? Here’s what you need to know about this feature.
ABS: An Improvement
In older models of two-wheelers, the braking system was quite basic. They were fitted with something known as drum brakes. The working principle of drum brakes was simple. There was a component known as a brake shoe. When brakes were applied, this brake shoe used to expand and come into contact with the drum lining. The friction created due this contact used to stop the two-wheeler. But there was major flaw with drum brakes. When the brakes were applied, the two-wheeler used to skid. This skidding is a major cause of two-wheelers on Indian roads, especially on jam-packed roads or during wet conditions where the road has a sludge, a mix of water and mud.
So, how is ABS an improvement? Drum brakes operated on the ‘wheel locking principle’. When the brakes were applied, the wheels used to get ‘locked’, i.e., they used to stop rotating abruptly. While the wheels were locked, the two-wheeler often used to skid a little, making the rider lose control and crash into another vehicle or structure. This led to severe injuries and damage to private and public property. Not having a bike insurance
policy can be a disadvantage in such situations. As the name suggests, the anti-locking system in ABS is focused on reducing this locking. This helps in lowering the chances of any mishap taking place.
How Does ABS Work?
The ABS is made up of the following parts:
- Electronic Speed Sensor
Located on the wheel hub, this sensor is used to measure the velocity of the wheel, and the acceleration of the vehicle.
- Toothed Disc
It works together with the speed sensor for measuring the wheel’s speed. This is located in the brake disc
- Electronic Control Unit
This is a micro processing unit and is the main component of the ABS, as it has pre-written commands which help the ABS operate efficiently. It is generally located under the seat of the two-wheeler.
- Controller Valve
This electric valve assists in controlling the pressure applied in a brake cylinder. As it is electrically operated, it is also placed along with the ECU.
The speed sensors which are located on the wheel constantly keep a track of the speed of the wheel and compare it with the speed that the ECU predicts. If brakes are applied the and the braking force causes the speed of the wheel to be greater than that predicted by the ECU, the controller valve immediately takes over, reducing this force while maintaining an optimum deceleration level. This prevents locking of the wheel and furthermore prevents any skidding which might take place. This makes ABS more beneficial during situations where the brakes could kick in suddenly.
In drum brakes, there is the ECU or wheel sensors to monitor the wheel speed and compare it with any other predicted speed limit. When brakes are applied, the force generally tends to be greater. As the braking force brings the speed of the wheels to zero immediately, and with no deceleration, the wheels get locked which leads to skidding.
Advantages Of ABS
Having ABS in your two-wheeler can make the experience of riding smoother and safer in the following ways:
- Safe distance is maintained
A major concern during the braking of a two-wheeler is the distance that it covers after the brakes have been applied. For two-wheelers with drum brakes, the wheel locking which causes the vehicle to skid takes it a bit further than intended. This is due to a lack of friction between the wheels and the roads after braking. If in any unfortunate circumstance, there is a vehicle or person in front of the vehicle, it can get disastrous. As the ABS reduces the brake force and allows the vehicle to safely decelerate, the stopping distance gets reduced by a huge margin, thus avoiding any unnecessary incidents. An indirect supplementary advantage, is that in the future, the probability of accidents get reduced, saving you the need to go through any bike insurance claim process
and cover damages.
- Sudden Braking Becomes Less Risky
The principle mentioned above is applied in situations where sudden braking is inevitable. This can be in traffic or other situations. The ABS ensures that you can control the vehicle, since the chances of locking and skidding get reduced.
- Mishaps Are Averted On Slippery Surfaces
On slippery surfaces (wet surface or a surface containing sludge and potholes), in comparison to drum brakes that can cause you to lose control of the vehicle, ABS tries to distribute the braking force equally on both the wheels, making it easier for you to control the vehicle. This also allows you to stop the vehicle in a straight line.
The benefits of ABS mentioned in this article might make you rethink about the two-wheeler you are looking for. When carrying out research, it is important to check that the two-wheeler has ABS in it to have a safe riding experience. But simply relying on the safety provided by ABS is not enough. It is important to have an additional layer of safety in the form of two-wheeler insurance. Use the bike insurance premium calculator
to get a quote that suits your budget.
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Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.