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Thread: Abs?

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    Default Abs?

    I was riding my 2018 RTL home from the dealer today and just as I was getting into a curve, someone pulled out in front of me. I slammed on the brake and the rear tire locked up. It only took a split second before I let off the brake and I straightened out immediately but I thought the Can Am had ABS brakes? Why would it lock up like that? It was just at the dealer and the mechanic had just gone over everything so I doubt anything obvious (low fluid, etc) was broken. Maybe, had I stayed buried in the brake, the ABS would have kicked in after another millisecond (or not). Maybe I happened to hit that trifecta of hard braking, curve and some gravel (it wasn't a gravel road). I want to remain confident on the Spyder.

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    Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Peter Aawen's Avatar
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    Spyders definitely have ABS, in fact, one of the best Anti-lock Braking Systems out there!

    I used to run Driver Training courses for First Responders in Advanced Driving Techniques, with specific multi-day components solely devoted to ABS Braking, because few people actually try their brakes out often enough/hard enough to get used to how they work & feel under panic braking situations and so when something does hit the fan & they really need them to work, they just don't get the best from them - altho there's no denying that braking practices & effectiveness across the board was far lower prior to the advent of ABS!

    Generally, regardless of what vehicle it's on, if your ABS doesn't kick in when you expect it to, you can usually attribute it to 1). Not braking hard enough; or 2). Not staying on the brakes hard enough for long enough. And even if the ABS does come on, many still get off the brakes before steering around any obstacles or hazards - it might be counter-intuitive to someone who didn't learn with ABS equipped vehicles, but ABS brakes are designed for you to hit them HARD, Stay on them HARD, and steer SAFELY around any obstacle or hazard while STILL HARD ON THE BRAKES! And the ABS on our Spyders REALLY does all that exceptionally well, & not just 'well' for a bike/trike either, but 'bloody well' for just about anything short of a high performance vehicle or supercar!

    Did your Footplate drop away under your foot to allow the brake pedal to drop further?? Did you feel at risk of going over the handlebars? If the answer to both or either of those questions is NO, then I would guess that even tho you may feel that you DID brake pretty hard, there was a lot more braking ability left available to you and very likely, either number 1) or 2) above came into play...

    Sooo, if you haven't done this already, and especially now, then you should really find a quiet section of reasonable straight road and, when it's safe to do so & you are braced for it, REALLY STOMP on your brake pedal - hard enough for the ABS to kick in and maybe even hard enough for the footplate to drop away. If you try to SAVAGELY MASH that brake pedal into the pavement and neither occurs, then something else is wrong, you should get your brake system & ABS checked, the fluid checked/replaced, and the wheel sensors checked for both functionality and flying height above the castellated discs on each wheel.

    Hope you get it all sorted to your satisfaction ASAP!
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 02-23-2020 at 12:03 AM. Reason: Still Hard on the Brakes!
    2013 RT Ltd

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    So, if I understand you correctly, the Can Am ABS will only kick in when I mash the brake pedal hard enough to bend metal (so to speak)? What happens when I'm riding relatively slowly (in town speeds) and I brake on ice/wet roads? It won't kick in then because I'm not hitting the brakes hard enough? I guess I'm used to automobile ABS that kicks in at ANY amount of brake pedal (above a certain speed, I get that) to keep the wheels from locking up.

    If I read you correctly, I'll sell the Can Am next week and stick to my car.

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    Very Active Member RICZ's Avatar
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    Remember the three Ss -- Stomp, Stay and Steer. Once the ABS engages, do not lift your foot. Once you do, ABS does not engage again. S-S-S.
    Ours is a red, black and chrome 2017 F3 Limited. Bought new in 2/2019. The avatar is my first bike back in 1952, a Simplex Servi-Cycle. Photo taken at the Barber Museum.

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    SpyderLovers Ambassador Little Blue's Avatar
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    Default ABS Brakes

    Just like Peter said. They work like that for me. Ryde Safe and Enjoy your Ryde Time......
    2016 RT LTD 'Little Blue-Boy'

  6. #6
    Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Peter Aawen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MONK View Post
    So, if I understand you correctly, the Can Am ABS will only kick in when I mash the brake pedal hard enough to bend metal (so to speak)? What happens when I'm riding relatively slowly (in town speeds) and I brake on ice/wet roads? It won't kick in then because I'm not hitting the brakes hard enough? I guess I'm used to automobile ABS that kicks in at ANY amount of brake pedal (above a certain speed, I get that) to keep the wheels from locking up.

    If I read you correctly, I'll sell the Can Am next week and stick to my car.
    No, you are misunderstanding. When you want to EMERGENCY Brake or Panic Brake, then you should, as RICZ says, Stomp, Stay, and Steer! The idea with these Emergency Braking situations is that your brakes WILL lock up, but only momentarily before the ABS kicks in and releases juuuust enough wheel rotation to let you retain full steering control while still achieving Maximum Braking effort - but many people erroneously get off the brakes BEFORE that can happen, or they ease off pressure on the pedal once they feel the initial lock-up &/or the ABS start to do its Emergency Braking thing... just like you tell us you did!! And by doing that, you & everyone else who gets off the pedal too early is negating the major benefit of having ABS in the first place! You really need to (safely) test it and practice with it to learn how it feels and behaves...

    However, leaving the Emergency Braking for a bit, if you are just tootling along and you gently brake on a surface slippery enough that one or more of your Spyder's wheels lock up, then your Spyder's ABS will GENTLY cut in as soon as the speed variation between wheels reaches whatever the programmed threshold is for that speed and the ABS will operate so that it maximises your braking effort in accordance with your pedal pressure and it retains the best steerability it can on that surface at that speed, under that braking effort, with that throttle setting, that urgency & degree of steering effort, and a bunch of other things besides that all gets fed into the various control computers from just about all the sensors on your Spyder and together contribute to the level of VSS & ABS intervention! At low speeds on slippery surfaces, most times, besides being able to proceed safely in your steered direction of travel at the speed you are asking for thru all those other inputs, the only thing you'll feel or see to tell you that your ABS is working will be a quick flash of the ABS &/or VSS lights on the dash! And even then, there will be (possibly quite a few!) occasions when the need for ABS or VSS intervention is so small & so quick that not only won't you even feel or see it happen, but the intervention will be over so quickly that those dash lights just don't even get a chance to come on - but the computers will have detected it, acted on it, saved your bacon, and recorded it!

    All that said, I can't really tell you exactly what that speed might be or how much control you might retain for any given low/no traction circumstance, but I can assure you that the VSS & ABS on your Spyder is significantly superior to that on most cars, and that's especially so if your car "ABS kicks in at ANY amount of brake pedal (above a certain speed, I get that) to keep the wheels from locking up" without taking all that sensed info into account! In fact, if your car ABS kicks in often, early, and noticeably, instead of gently & unobtrusively going about the business of maintaining vehicle stability, braking and steering control at low speeds, then it sounds like your car ABS might be either pretty rudimentary, out-dated, &/or have one or more faults!

    If it's working properly, and from what you've told us so far, there's no reason to believe it's not, your Spyder ABS is almost certainly WAAAAYYY more capable than your cars of keeping you out of trouble, IF ONLY you let it!! You really should get out there and test it out as mentioned in my earlier post, just to get the feel of it & see how well it works and quickly those dash lights can come on & go off again. It'd be great if you could access a skid pan & do the same for low speed/low traction ABS & VSS activation too, but I understand that most don't get the same opportunities to do that as I do. But seriously, if you try out Emergency Braking at slow/medium speeds somewhere safe & become familiar with how it feels & what happens then, I'm pretty sure that you'll become much more confident about the ability of your Spyder and its control systems to keep you safe, IF you just give it the chance! Or you can decide that it's all obviously the system's problem, and simply give up on it - after all, it's your Spyder & that's your perogative!
    2013 RT Ltd

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    Good one Peter, I did a demo on the 2020 RTL yesterday and the brake felt a little mushy, now I know I was not pressing on the brake pedal with enough force, so compared to my GW trike brake lever and pedal, it just felt 'different', no ABS on my GW trike by the way. That 2020 RTL demo was the smoothest ride ever for me and I've been riding since 1968, very impressive.

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    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    The "nanny" is set to kick in when needed. The computers tell the Spyder if anything is going wrong with the wheels compared to what is considered "normal."

    This happens in quick braking...but am guessing you were still in control. If not...the "nanny" will do her thing. This is noted by the "nanny" light going on in the warning light area on the dash. Many times, people will not see this happen...it is usually a second or two, and people are "occupied" with other things at the time.

    I have had "nanny" take over two times. In my case, both were "hydroplaning" incidents. Both happened in Alaska, and both were years ago. The instant the Spyder started to hydroplane, nanny took over and prevented me from doing 360's. I refer to this as "saving my bacon." After the second time...I figured it out. DON'T GO AT SPEED THROUGH STANDING WATER, AND DON'T DRIVE OVER 50 MPH DURING THOSE CONDITIONS.

    Fast forward to current...I experienced "nanny" one time on my new F3. Riding the twisties, I took one curve to fast. I felt "nanny" kick in and backed off on the throttle. All is well now, and I learned my lesson again.

    Thank you "nanny."

    Currently Owned: 2019 F3 Limited, 2014 RTS-SE6 (yellow), 2015 Vulcan 900 LTD

    Previously : 2008 GS-SM5 (silver), 2009 RS-SE5 (red), 2010 RT-S Premier Editon #474 (black) 2011 RT A&C SE5 (magnesium). 6 Spyders, 11 years, 156,205 miles


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    When ABS first came out I had a company car. A Crown Victoria. The brake peddle would pump back at you when the ABS came in and the dam car would not stop when you wanted it to. It would keep rolling particularly at low speed. RR tracks were the worst. If you were approached RR tracks and it had been raining the tracks would be slick. If you were rolling too fast and hit the brakes, once the tires stopped rolling on the wet tracks, the ABS would come in and you'd have to release the brakes and brake again to stop and avoid hitting the vehicle in front of you, if there was one. Don't ask me how I know that. The second round of Crown Victorias didn't have that problem.

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    Active Member Revalden's Avatar
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    You've just gotta learn to TRUST THE MACHINE.
    2015 RTS SE6 Special Series Red/Black w/Magnesium front fenders(bought in Nov. 2018 w/9,400 miles)(13,200@9/16/2019) (14,525@ 3/11/2020
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    Active Member RapidSpyder's Avatar
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    Abs? I used to have a six-pack, but now I have a pony-keg...
    Trent - 2017 asphalt grey RT Limited, yes I need to update my pic.
    Ultimate Seat, Baha Ronís sway bar, Kumho rear tire.



    HE>I

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