Stopping a motorcycle to avoid a serious bike crash is not a simple operation. Motorcycles do not react like cars when you slam on the brakes. While cars have four wheels, among which the weight of the vehicle and the braking power are evenly distributed, motorcycles are completely unstable in an emergency braking situation.
Why are motorcycles unstable when you brake hard?
Most motorcycles have separate brake controls, one for the front wheel at the right hand, and one for the rear wheel at the right foot. If you brake too hard on the front wheel, the wheel might lock up and skid, which usually results in a fall. If the brake pressure is too weak, the motorcycle will likely not stop in time.
If you slam the rear brake, the back wheel will easily lock up and start skidding because the entire weight of the motorcycle leans towards the front when either brake is applied. Here again, skidding means your bike is not under control, and not stopping.
What does ABS do that you can’t?
Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) are now available on certain models of motorcycles, and can be as light as 1.5 pounds. Like ABS on passenger cars, the system applies a braking force separately on each wheel, hard enough to bring the vehicle to a stop, but releasing the pressure a little as soon as the wheel starts skidding. The cycle of applying and releasing force is so quick that, apart from the noise and vibration, you might not even realize it is happening.
Motorcycle riders face terrible odds when they travel on a wet, icy or sandy road surface and need to brake hard unexpectedly. With ABS, they can brake fully without fear of skidding and falling. Their bike will stop over the shortest possible distance.
Riding a bike is a lot of fun when everything is under control, there is no traffic, the weather is fine, and the scenery is breathtaking. Yet, Wisconsin motorcyclists need to be prepared for emergencies, because they know that once things get out of hand, they have little to no protection to keep them out of harm’s way.
If you have been injured in a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois car, truck or motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys of Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) for a free evaluation of your case, or send us an e-mail with your questions. Hupy & Abraham has lawyer offices in Milwaukee, Madison, and Appleton in Wisconsin, and Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Quad Cities in Iowa, and Gurnee and Bloomington in Illinois.