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If you have ABS brakes what's best if a crash is imminent:Lay the bike down or depend on the ABS system. They both sound awful. Getting off a step through bike like the Burgman would be easier then a conventional motorcycle I would assume. Bikes can be fixed. Humans, not always.
 

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Depend on the ABS brake totally hard and STEER ....don't get off....the bike can absorb a lot of the impact and will tend to launch you upward.

Best of all - stay out fthe situation.
 

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Reminds me of an old Motorcycle Saying

“If you don't find enough time to brake hard, there’s absolutely no way you have enough time to lay it down." There is a lot of truth to this, especially with modern brakes and ABS systems to help us slow down faster.

If you are faced with an imminent collision grab the brakes as hard as you can and try and swerve to miss the obstacle. There is always the chance you will stop in time or steer the bike quick enough to avoid disaster. Once you lay the bike down you have absolutely no control and anything can happen. This is especially true if you have a passenger. They will not be able to anticipate your decision to lay the bike down and it is very likely that they will do everything in their power not to gracefully slide off of the machine as a result of your split second decision to abandon ship.

One last thing..... Who among us has practiced the art of laying a bike down in an emergency. We see it in movies, but I for one would probably not get it right the first time around and may not get a second chance.

The best advice ever given to me was to practice braking hard before practicing going fast on a motorcycle. Good advice that has saved me from disaster more than once.
 

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Look to where escape is as you hammer the brakes...the bike will go where you look.

I thought I was going to have to hit the grass when I was accelerating over a hill and there was a small car in the dip - hit the brakes hard, knew I wasn't stopping and snuck through between the car and shoulder ....lucky was a compact and hugging the centre of the lane turning left.
Was just invisible in the dip as I could see clear highway ahead and just saw the dip as I came over the crest.

I ride off road so hitting the gravel and grass might have been okay but the 650 is a squirmy pig on grass and soft gravel.
Was quite happy to thread the little strip of payment.

But looking for an opening is critical as if you look at the obstacle that's where you will end up.

The Burgman 650 has outstanding braking..it's fun to get the tires howling in the twists as you brake before a curve ....in slow out fast. Brilliant bike if you want to push it. It has a lot of stopping power and aided by the engine braking.

The Silverwing I had had a single disc and almost no engine braking....did not like it.
 

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Thanks for the good question and great responses so far. I've wondered about the OP's question for a long time.
 

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It happens so fast there's seldom time to do all the right things. The ideal of the ABS system is for you to pull the breaks on full hard and the wheels will not Lock up. They have done tests to prove that a turning tire will stop quicker than a locked up tire.

As far as jumping off the bike going down the road, I don't know anybody who can pull that off, well maybe Steve McQueen was good at it! Ha
 

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I've owned a lot of bikes over the nearly 50 years I've been riding and the one first things I always did was to familiarize myself with the brakes. The Burgman is the first 2 wheeler I've ever owned that had ABS - I was kind of hesitant at first to simply lock the brakes up at 50mph because I've done that in a near-panic situation a few times years ago. I quickly corrected that mistake and regained control of the bike - but the real problem is having gotten into the situation where a panic stop was required.

The ABS system is a real handy tool for bringing you and the bike to a quick stop - but the problem as I see it is if you're hitting the brakes that hard you've already screwed up - you didn't see the danger coming until it was too late. And thats a problem regardless of the braking system you have. Some riders ride with their attention 10' ahead of themselves - others ride 100' or more ahead of themselves. Guess who's going to see danger when it is developing in front of them first?
 

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If you have ABS brakes what's best if a crash is imminent:Lay the bike down or depend on the ABS system. They both sound awful. Getting off a step through bike like the Burgman would be easier then a conventional motorcycle I would assume. Bikes can be fixed. Humans, not always.
To me, it's simple. If you depend on the brakes, you might crash. If you lay it down, you have crashed.
 

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To me, it's simple. If you depend on the brakes, you might crash. If you lay it down, you have crashed.
Great quote! I will have to remember that one!

Most experts say that the "lay the bike down" idea is a myth and it is far safer to brake and/or steer away from the incident. I read an article once and the author suggested the only time the lay dawn method might work would be to slide under a parked semi-tractor trailer{assuming there was no place to swerve to}. Note it said parked trailer as a moving one would probably crush you. He also said that the myth of laying it down started by guys who crashed and used the "I laid it down to save my life" excuse because they weren't man enough to admit they lost control.
 

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If you have ABS brakes what's best if a crash is imminent:Lay the bike down or depend on the ABS system. They both sound awful. Getting off a step through bike like the Burgman would be easier then a conventional motorcycle I would assume. Bikes can be fixed. Humans, not always.
Mary, this happened to me for the first time in 43years of riding just last year. My Burgman has ABS and it's the first bike I've had with abs. A deer ran out at almost point blank range while I was cruising at just over 60mph on a minor road. The area was not noted for being deer hazardous. However, I caught site of the deer at the last second out the corner of my eye as it barrelled at full speed into my path. I for sure thought I was going to die, so did the cars coming towards me and the ones behind. I grabbed the brakes in panic mode as it was the only thing to do. Ordinarily, the wheels would have locked and I would have hit the deer and probably been killed by the impact or hitting an oncoming car. The bike's abs kicked in and to my absolute amazement I found I was steering around the arse of the deer missing it by just an inch I believe. Avoiding too the oncoming cars by inches. I know I could not have done that without the abs. The rear end of the bike did slide a bit but was manageable. I had to stop to recover from the experience and so did many other car drivers who witnessed it. So in circumstances like that when it looks like it's all over, I'd say brake hard, very hard and stay with the bike. Let the abs do it's job but be prepared for the fact you may well be able to take steering action too, with the brakes hard on and still stay upright. In my case, there was certainly no time to step or jump off the bike and it's like that in most situations I would reckon. The other thing I noted was the incredible deceleration G-force that the abs generated at that speed. Be prepared for it. I'd say practice some emergency stops on a variety of surfaces but do it somewhere safe and be gentle to start with and keep the speed down. Anyhoo...safe riding!
 

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Good example and real world. I was surprised to be able to steer as well when I dodged the hidden car in the dip.

It does happen very fast and you do have to trust the ABS.

I demoed a late model "dual sport" BMW with ABS and I tell you - hauling on the front brake full on going downhill in sand was reaallllllly hard to get to used to.
Yet the **** thing would track down perfectly without slipping.
It truly is remarkable tech.

But staying out of the situation is ideal.
I do think that visualizing what you would do helps and so does practice. Reaction needs to be reflexive and you cannot be hesitant so it needs to be the instant reaction to haul on that ABS on BOTH brakes....something hard for long time non-ABS riders to get used to.

I always use both brakes with the exception of gravel tho I likely should in gravel as well in theory....seems all wrong to do.

Practicing emergency stops and steering at the same time helps. Visualize how you would get out of a situation by looking where you want to go instead of an obstacle.
It's surprising how that comes back in an emergency.

I had a similar thing on my first solo saliplane flight.
Nervous tow pilot started off before tightening the rope and it was just instinctive to yank the release - no time to think...just do.

Got a lot of pats on the back and the record for shortest solo flight...150 yards down the runway.

Had I not pulled off he may have stalled with nasty or even fatal consequences.

Practice is good....saddle time even more important. The skills do get rusty even a few months off.
 

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Though ABS can be a godsend, even on a bike without ABS you should lay on the brakes and scrub off as much speed as you can. I was in a crash in May of 2012 and it is a moment of simply incredible violence. Let the bike absorb the majority of that blow, rather than your body as you slide uncontrolled along the asphalt and into something hard. As MacDoc said, most upright crashes will tend to launch you upward and your biggest danger (other than being run over in traffic) is hitting the pavement when you come down. The more speed you can scrub off, the lower your trajectory and the less devastating the impact. And I'm ATGATT because I've noticed that, by the time you realize you need it, there's no longer time to climb into that protective gear.
 

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In early Jan. I had a minor crash. It was the result of a couple of marginal decisions on my part that ultimately ended up with me rear ending the vehicle in front of me. I could make a pretty good argument that I was not at fault but in the final analysis, I was the guy in some other guy's rear bumper.

I went with the ABS. Not by conscious choice. By the time I could have done anything to effect laying it down or anything else the event was over. I must say that the ABS worked remarkably well and something that would have ended pretty badly became little more than some cracked plastic (for all parties). I can't imagine an instance where you would be better off leaving the bike in the middle of chaos.

I'd have to agree with Osbornk.
 

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Burgmans have outstanding brakes. Rubber will stop you a lot faster than plastic and metal. Trying to lay it down is a fool's errand. The ABS on my V-Strom saved me once and now I will not ride a bike without it. Note that the MSF course, at least when I took it, stressed that you brake and then swerve, releasing the brakes before swerving. I don't believe that rule necessarily should apply to ABS bikes.
 

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I always use both brakes with the exception of gravel tho I likely should in gravel as well in theory....seems all wrong to do.

.
I didn't work out well the one time I tried to get away with some front brake on gravel with my ABS V-Strom.
 

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Yeah they really are exceptional given the weight of the lardy. I have absolute confidence in them...never had a bike I could reliably take the tires to the point of howling going into twists and ever ever think they were going to lock up. Quite remarkable.

My ST1100 in Aus only weighs 40 lb more but had nothing like the braking power of Burgman 650 and of course my KLR 650 is more of the put down the feet and burn the soles off the boots if you have to stop quickly - especially with full on knobbies.:rolleyes:

BTW - I rarely see mentioned the really good lever adjustment on the Burgman 650. It is just a treat to use.
So simple to adjust.

 

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Never understood this concept of 'laying the bike down' does this take less thinking time than braking - ABS or not?

Use the brakes for what they were intended for, they are designed to scrub off speed very quickly - conversely a bike slides a helluva of a long way on its side and loses speed very slowly.
 

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I'm with Osborn, if you lay it down you guaranteed a crash versus maybe not crashing. More importantly, rubber has much higher friction than your shiny parts. So you'll slow down more, and do less damage, by applying brakes right up to any impact.
 

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Just today I had to do my first real emergency breaking. Darn squirrel came out of no where while I was going 35 on a somewhat narrow street{not enough space to swerve safely and not hit parked cars}. I quickly slowed down without loosing control and both the squirrel and I{and my Burg} suffered no ill. If I had not done some practicing in a parking lot before I might have lost control since I have only had my scoot for a couple of weeks. I am a big propionate of learning your ride and how to operate it safely.
 

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learning your ride and how to operate it safely.
One thing that is critical to learn is do not brake hard or swerve for small animals - especially as a new rider.

The bike will roll right over it. Cruel but they can dodge easier than you.

It sounds like you did okay but if you even considered you might have locked up ...you were on them too hard.
 
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