Mobility Solutions

Powerful and compact New Bosch ABS for all motorcycle types Safe braking with ABS

  • World's first brake control system developed specifically for motorcycles
  • Compact dimensions also allow it to be used in motor scooters and small motorcycles
  • Flexible design allows differing levels of sophistication, from basic system to electronically controlled combined brake system
  • By mandating ABS, EU Commission wants to significantly reduce the number of fatal accidents involving motorcyclists
  • Only 16 percent of all newly manufactured motorcycles in the EU in 2010 were fitted with ABS
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  • July 07, 2011
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

The old argument that antilock braking systems (ABS) are too big and too heavy for motorbikes is no longer valid. “At 0.4 liters in size and 700 grams in weight, the current Bosch generation 9 is just over half the size and weight of the predecessor generation. This currently makes it the world's smallest motorcycle ABS,” says Tobias Fluck, a Bosch expert for motorcycle ABS. The company offers this modular system in various builds, ranging from a basic version to a premium version featuring an integrated electronic combined brake system. This means that the perfect solution is available for every motorbike, from the reasonably priced entry-level machine to the super-sportster. Generation 9 has been in series production since 2010, and currently features in models made by Kawasaki, BMW, Ducati, and KTM.

Safe braking with ABS
At present, if motorcyclists have to brake as quickly as possible in a critical situation, they face a difficult task. On most motorbikes, they have first of all to use the hand and foot brakes separately to control the braking pressure for front and rear wheels. Then they have to prevent the wheels locking up at all costs. The findings of a Bosch study based on GIDAS, the German database of accident statistics, therefore come as no surprise: 47 percent of motorcycle accidents are caused by wrong and hesitant braking. The ABS antilock braking system solves this problem, allowing safe braking by preventing the wheels from locking up. This can both prevent a fall and significantly reduce braking distance. Up to now, however, ABS systems are a rare sight in motorcycles. Where cars have been rolling off the production lines in Europe with ABS as a standard feature since 2004, only 16 percent of newly manufactured motorbikes featured ABS in 2010.

The compact Bosch system is available in three versions
The previous ABS systems of all suppliers were based on passenger-car technology, and were thus comparatively large. While they could be installed in larger machines, this was often not possible in small motorcycles. So while the new generation of Bosch brake control systems was being developed for passenger cars, the engineers at the Bosch Engineering Center in Japan came up with an ABS series especially for motorbikes. The result of their work was the ABS generation 9, only half the size of its predecessor. It is also modular, allowing variants to be produced for different ranges of functions, and its design is cost-effective, which is important if it is to be used widely in all motorcycles with hydraulic brake systems.

Despite its compact construction, the ABS 9 base offers full antilock protection. Moreover, sudden changes in road surface, caused for example by grit or patches of oil, no longer present cause for alarm. ABS allows even inexperienced riders to brake safely. The ABS 9 plus variant is especially suitable for powerful machines. Because it uses an additional pressure sensor, it takes effect even when pressure is being built up during emergency braking This specifically prevents the rear wheel rising, and thus heads off the risk of flipping over.

ABS 9 enhanced, the most powerful version, offers the additional eCBS function. eCBS stands for electronic combined brake system. What this means is a novel combination of front and rear brake. In this integrated version, it is enough for the rider to operate just one of the two brakes – front or rear: ABS 9 enhanced automatically applies the second brake without the rider having to apply more pressure and without changing braking strength. The motorbike can thus brake safely both on wet surfaces and on dry surfaces with a good grip.

Even now, ABS 9 enhanced can help to a moderate degree to stabilize righting moment and banking when braking in an inclined riding position. Moreover, even more functions can be added to the Bosch ABS with eCBS. Successful trials are currently being performed with versions that modulate braking pressure so effectively, even in curves, that the typical motorcycle accident as a result of overbraking the front or rear wheel can be largely ruled out even here. And a controlled intervention in the engine management system is also possible. This opens up the possibility of new functions such as traction control and hill-hold control.

ABS for all motorized two-wheelers from 2017
In 2009, more than 5,000 motorcyclists were killed on Europe's roads alone. According to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the danger of a fatal accident, for the same distance travelled, is 18 times higher for motorcyclists than for car drivers. And according to many scientific studies, ABS is the system with the greatest safety gain for motorcycles. For example, a study presented by Vägverket, the Swedish highways authority, in 2009 confirms that 38 percent of all accidents involving personal injury and 48 percent of all serious and fatal accidents could be prevented with the help of ABS. A Bosch study based on data from GIDAS, the major German accident statistics database, concludes that one-quarter of all accidents with injuries and fatalities could be prevented if ABS was standard equipment. A further one-third of all accidents with injuries and fatalities could at least be mitigated by the antilock system. In 2010, findings such as these were enough to persuade the EU Commission to propose making ABS mandatory for motorized two-wheelers from 2017. A study of the benefits of ABS conducted by the European Commission shows that more than 5,000 lives could be saved over the next ten years alone if ABS were made mandatory. A decision is expected to be taken this year. But for the emerging markets in Asia and South America as well, ABS promises a significant improvement in road safety. The condition for its use on a wide scale is a hydraulic brake system. In all markets, this standard is becoming more and more established.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2015, its sales came to 41.7 billion euros, or 59 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

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PI7438 - July 07, 2011

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