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What is an anti-lock braking system?

One way for Los Angeles motorcyclists to decrease their odds of getting in accidents is to install anti-lock braking systems on their cycles. An ABS helps the tires maintain traction with the road and reduces the likelihood of the bike beginning a deadly skid.

An ABS has speed sensors on the wheels that transmit signals to electronic control units that modulate brake pressure and monitor the wheels' rotating speed. The system provides maximum braking capacity and maintains maximum traction.

When a wheel is about to skid, the ECU decreases the braking force and prevents it from occurring by sending signals to open relief valves. The valves reduce the braking system's hydraulic pressure on each individual wheel. One the tires regain traction and spin again, the ECU then sends signals to restore the brake line's hydraulic pressure. This provides maximum braking power very rapidly and consistently.

However useful an ABS is, it does not guarantee that a motorcyclist won't crash. But by helping cyclists avoid wrecks, these systems have a definite safety role, especially on rain-slick pavement and icy streets.

ABS is least effective when turning sharp corners, as its pulsing can unseat a rider. It is simply another tool that, together with close observance of safety regulations and implementation of common sense, can help save motorcyclists' lives.

Despite the best efforts of motorcyclists, inevitably accidents with passenger vehicles and trucks will occur. Many times, the liability is with the drivers and not the motorcyclists, which opens the legal door to pursuing financial compensation for injuries and damages through the drivers' insurance companies.

Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation, "Quick Tips: Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS)," accessed Nov. 13, 201

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