Thursday, November 03, 2011

Husqvarna develop off-road ABS tech

Until now, ABS simply did not work on off-road bikes. Husqvarna are changing that...
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Anti-lock brakes (ABS) is pretty much one of the most important developments in motorcycle technology – regardless of rider skill and experience, on the street, ABS has significant potential to save motorcyclists’ lives. However, the technology that is so valuable on the street has had little or no use off-road. Until now, that is. Because Husqvarna have just announced their all-new off-road ABS, the world's first ABS that’s been fully optimised for off-road racing and which will be offered on the 2012 Husqvarna TE 449.

Husqvarna’s off-road ABS is a ‘dual channel’ ABS that consists of two wheel sensors, associated pulse wheels that detect rotational speeds of the front and rear wheels, an ABS pressure modulator, a hydraulic system and an electronic control unit. Due to the particular dynamic requirements of off-road racing, ABS regulation occurs only at the front wheel – the rear wheel brake is not regulated, allowing the rider to deliberately lock the rear wheel and drift the bike’s rear end.

Compared with some other ABS systems used on some off-road and dual-purpose motorcycles, the new system developed by Husqvarna has a higher slip threshold and various other modified parameters, which allow it to offer excellent braking performance over rough terrain, without compromising on off-road riding dynamics.

‘In addition to clearly superior brake performance, it provides, as compared to existing serial production ABS systems, significantly increased braking safety and enhanced directional stability and ride stability at comparable road speeds,’ says a press release from Husqvarna. ‘The Husqvarna off-road ABS has an adapted pressure point feel integrated in the system, thereby ensuring that the rider remains in touch with the regulation status. During braking within the regulation range, the rider feels a pulse in the handbrake lever, providing clear, transparent feedback on the braking manoeuvre,’ it adds.

The Husqvarna off-road ABS also has significant potential for future development, especially for dual-purpose motorcycles. The dual-channel ABS system may, in the future, offer ‘off-road’ and ‘street’ modes, with the street mode incorporating ABS regulation of the rear wheel when the bike is being ridden on the road. Definitely sounds interesting to us and we’re sure off-road motorcycle riders are going to find this technology useful.

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