Posted on Dec 04, 2012


On Tuesday, December 04, 2012 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Rick Barrett reported on a European proposal that would require all motorcycles larger than 125cc to have anti-lock brakes installed, beginning in 2016.  Read his story here.

Hupy and Abraham accident investigator, Rich Kuchenbecker has a connection to the anti-lock brakes and Harley-Davidson.  Kuchenbecker is the former Deputy Chief of the Village of East Troy Police Department. In addition, Kuchenbecker worked at Harley-Davidson as a private contractor, Key Accounts Representative for Worldwide Police and Fleet Sales.  According to him, Harley was losing out on some police motorcycle sales because there was no anti-lock brake option available on its bikes. Engineers devised a system for the 2005 Police models as an option. During 2004 and 2005, testing continued at various facilities including the Talladega test grounds. Kuchenbecker and others from the Police Sales Division went to Talladega and rode the trial bikes for final feedback on the system.

  Rick Barrett called Tony “Pan” Sanfelipo, founder of ABATE of Wisconsin and Accident Investigator for Hupy and Abraham for his perspective on the European proposal.  Sanfelipo is considered an expert on many motorcycle issues because of his years of activism in the motorcycle rights arena and his 20+ years working for the law firm as an investigator. Sanfelipo’s comments mirrored those of others in the article; in America, riders like the freedom to choose what options to buy.  Barrett met Sanfelipo in Sturgis in 2012 and interviewed him and his wife Vicki about several motorcycle related stories he was writing for his column about the Sturgis Rally and the Wisconsin riders who attend.

Imre Szauter, American Motorcyclist Association Government Affairs Manager, believes the requirement could surface in the United States as part of the global harmonization of vehicles initiative promoted in Europe.

Barrett interviewed Szauter of the AMA as well as Maripat Blankensheim, spokesperson for Harley-Davidson Motor Company.  If anti-lock brakes were mandated in the U.S. for motorcycles above 125cc, it would encompass the entire model line for Harley. In 2008, Harley-Davidson offered ABS for the first time as an option on certain models of civilian bikes after the police models performed so well.