In Tochigi, Japan, the one-millionth Bosch safety system has now come off the production line. The Bosch ABS antilock braking system significantly improves two wheeled safety by stopping the wheels from locking up. Currently on its new flagship Generation 9, Bosch offers the right system for any motorbike: from the front-wheel ABS for mass markets to the MSC motorcycle stability control.
With Bosch beginning motorcycle ABS development in the 1980's, the first systems that finally rolled off the production line in 1994 were based on the same system designed for passenger cars. Installed in Suzuki police bikes in Japan, demand grew only slowly... until 2009. Two things occured in 2009: public interest in safety technology increased; and Bosch launched its new flagship Generation 9. Developed specifically for use in motorcycles, this was the first solution not derived from passenger-car technology. With high performance at half the size and weight of the previous generation, demand exceeded all expectations. With production rising by an annual average of more than 50% since 2009, almost 350,000 systems have been manufactured just in 2013: every fourth motorcycle made in Europe now features ABS on board.
Accident statistics confirm ABS' safety credentials. GIDAS, the German accident statistics database, reveals that one-quarter of all motorcycle accidents could be prevented if antilock braking systems were standard, and the severity of a further one-third of these accidents could be mitigated by ABS. This also highlights the potential of the world-first MSC motorcycle stability control, which allows riders of high-performance motorbikes to brake even when leaning hard into a bend. It considers the lean angle of the motorbike to control the braking pressure. It will soon go into series production at KTM, in the 1190 Adventure and 1190 Adventure R models.
Dr Gerhard Steiger, the president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division, commented: “Nearly every second fatal motorcycle accident happens in a bend. When braking hard on a slippery surface, ABS prevents the wheels from locking up, which would inevitably mean taking a spill."
Since ABS Generation 9 makes use of a modular configuration, variants can be created with differing functional scopes. A cost-effective solution, the front-wheel ABS 9 light is especially suitable for countries such as India, where there is a demand for robust, simple systems for low-cost two-wheelers. Since even the rear wheels of motorcycles with engine displacements of 250 ccm and above are braked by a mechanical cable brake in many Asian countries, the Bosch front-wheel ABS controls only the front wheel. ABS 9 base offers offers complete antilock functions for both wheels, meaning that sudden changes in surface conditions, such as grit or oil spills, are no longer a potential danger for the rider. Suitable for high-performance machines, ABS 9 plus uses an additional pressure sensor to intervene even when braking pressure is being built up. Combined with an integrated rear wheel lift-up detection function, ABS 9 plus offers significant advantages over ABS 9 base. Featuring an additional electronic combined brake system, ABS 9 enhanced is the top of the range model. Bosch uses "eCBS" to describe a novel combination of front- and rear-wheel brake, whereby the driver can apply either the front or the back brake. ABS 9 enhanced automatically activates the other brake, meaning that the rider does not have to exert extra force and the brake pressure remains unchanged.
Building on the ABS 9 enhanced, MSC motorcycle stability control offers a previously unrivaled level of safety.It features an SU-MMS5.10 lean-angle sensor to provide comprehensive data on current riding conditions, including yaw rate, pitch angle, and lean angle. Enabling the motorbike to always remain stable, MSC uses this data as a basis for adjusting engine and braking power during acceleration and braking.