Mobility Solutions

Safety technology for emerging markets Bosch develops front ABS for motorcycles

  • Cost-optimized solutions especially for small motorcycles
  • Improved safety through front-wheel control
  • Entry-level version of Generation 9 ABS for motorcycles
  • Production start 2013
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  • November 12, 2012
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases
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press release

Two-wheelers dominate traffic in Asia's cities. Without the crumple zone of a car, however, the risk of injury for riders in an accident is much higher. Bosch has developed an antilock braking system which is specially adapted to the low-cost motorcycles and scooters common there. It is based on the Generation 9 braking control system for motorcycles, but it has only one hydraulic brake channel, which controls the front wheel. “The new front ABS offers a great improvement in safety at a low cost,” says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Chassis Systems Control division. “ABS can reduce the number of accidents with injuries and fatalities by a quarter.” Known as the ABS 9M light, this system is currently under development in the Bosch center for motorcycle safety in Japan, in cooperation with an Indian motorcycle manufacturer. Series production will start in 2013.

When a wheel on a motorcycle locks up, this invariably results in a critical situation. And where a locked rear wheel can often be unlocked by releasing the brake, such a reaction nearly always comes too late in the event of a locked front wheel, and it is practically inevitable that the rider will take a spill. Weight shifts forward during braking, and so deceleration takes place primarily through the front wheel. This explains why in many Asian countries, even the rear wheels of motorcycles with engine displacements of 250 ccm and above are braked by a mechanical cable brake. “Regulating braking pressure at the hydraulically braked front wheel prevents locking and achieves maximum deceleration, and so greatly increases stability,” says Dr. Wolfgang Hiller, regional president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division in Japan.

High-performance ABS generation forms the basis
The new ABS 9M light is a cost-effective entry-level version of the Bosch Generation 9 braking control system for motorcycles. The hydraulic unit comprises two control valves, a storage chamber, and a pump element. As is the case with more powerful ABS systems, the electric motor that drives the return pump is mounted here, as is the control unit – in this case a circuit board. The wheel-specific reference velocity is calculated by the system on the basis of speed information relayed by a sensor in the front wheel. For the highest possible stability during braking, the wheel-specific reference velocity is continuously adapted to the actual vehicle speed. More precise braking control is possible if a second sensor is installed on the rear wheel. With this setup, deceleration rates match those of the basic 2-channel system, and counteract any lifting of the rear wheel. Motorcycle manufacturers can optionally integrate an on-off switch.

The software for the new front ABS has been optimized for the lower power segment. For larger, more powerful motorcycles, Bosch offers the ABS base and ABS plus systems, which control both wheels and offer additional optional functions. At the top of the range, there is the ABS enhanced system. Its integrated eCBS composite brake function always brakes both wheels, even when the driver only applies one of the brakes.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2013, its sales came to 30.6 billion euros, or 66 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Mobility Solutions largely operates in the following areas: injection technology for internal-combustion engines, alternative powertrain concepts, efficient and networked powertrain peripherals, systems for active and passive driving safety, assistance and comfort functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, and concepts, technology, and service for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch has been responsible for 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. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

Further information is available online at and,

PI7922 - November 12, 2012

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