More options for buying an ABS equipped 600cc sportbike in 2012? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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More options for buying an ABS equipped 600cc sportbike in 2012?

I have no regrets learning to ride on my '09 Ninja 250, but the urge to upgrade grows stronger every day. I would really appreciate having more power at my disposal, especially on the highway.

Given:
  • The ever-present threat of left-turning vehicles at intersections (recently reading Proficient Motorcycling made me more conscious of this)
  • I occasionally commute in wet weather
  • Allegedly, motorcycles equipped with ABS are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash (copy-pasted from the link below)
  • Videos like this demonstration are compelling (to me):


...the SV650SF ABS seemed like the perfect upgrade path, given it's great price / performance ratio and the availability of ABS.

Unfortunately, Suzuki didn't import the SV650SF (with or without ABS) to the US in 2010 or 2011. Today, Suzuki lists the '09 model as "current" on their US site, but none of the dealers listing '09 ABS models on CycleTrader (within 400 miles) actually have it in stock. It appears that the 2011 SV650 ABS is available in other countries, but not at all the US.

Suzuki is not the only manufacturer holding back tech from the US market: it appears that Kawasaki makes a Ninja 650R ABS model available in Thailand, but not the US. (Also, for years the US version of the Ninja 250R remains carbed in the US, but fuel injected everywhere else, though that may change since Honda introduced the CBR250R this year for the same price with fuel injection, and optional ABS.)

AFIK, my only current options for purchasing a 600cc sportbike in the US today are the:
  • Honda CBR600RR ABS - a great bike, but $12K+ isn't exactly hitting that same price / performance ratio sweet spot occupied by the SV, especially for a bike that's presumed to get a major overhaul next year
  • The dual sport Suzuki V Storm 650 ABS (a de-tuned, ugly cousin of the SV650 with a softer suspension suitable for off-road riding)

BMW Motorrad USA announced it will offer antilock brakes as standard equipment across its entire 2012 lineup, and the rest of the world seems to be able to get the SV650 ABS, and more ABS-equipped models in general.

Sooooo... some fodder for speculation:
  1. Is it likely that Suzuki will start importing the SV650 ABS in the US again in 2012?
  2. Will Kawasaki finally make ABS optional on the Ninja 650R or ZX-6R in the US market?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 02:16 AM
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Allegedly, motorcycles equipped with ABS are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash
Thats because theres only a HANDFULL of ABS equipped bikes and only been around for a few years.

I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 06:30 AM
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Pretty amazing video.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 07:36 AM
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Wow, i was waiting for the other dude to roll over.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 07:51 AM
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The non-abs bike in the video would have a much easier time stopping if the guy riding it didn't just lock up both wheels and showed some actual control. I'd like to see the differences in stopping distance of ABS vs non ABS with actual braking not just locking up the front and rear tires and sliding....

Shitty Pass Racing #513
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sax-a-boom View Post
  • Allegedly, motorcycles equipped with ABS are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash (copy-pasted from the link below)
Quote:
Originally Posted by YZFRob View Post
Thats because theres only a HANDFULL of ABS equipped bikes and only been around for a few years.
Yeah, I threw the Allegedly in there as a lazy-man's disclaimer for exactly that reason. Also, (at least in the US) a rider that selects a bike equipped with ABS is already a statistical outlier, and in my opinion, may be more likely to have taken a MSF course, have more years of experience riding, and other contributing factors that may skew the statistic.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eE jeremy View Post
The non-abs bike in the video would have a much easier time stopping if the guy riding it didn't just lock up both wheels and showed some actual control. I'd like to see the differences in stopping distance of ABS vs non ABS with actual braking not just locking up the front and rear tires and sliding....
It's a lot longer (and not as dramatic), but the video below has the comparison you are looking for.

Spoiler: in the hands of experienced riders on a closed, wet track, the ABS version wins every time, though not always by a wide margin:

Quote:
92m vs 75m (18,5% less)
59m vs 42m (28,8% less)
66m vs 61m (7,6% less)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sax-a-boom View Post
It's a lot longer (and not as dramatic), but the video below has the comparison you are looking for.

Spoiler: in the hands of experienced riders on a closed, wet track, the ABS version wins every time, though not always by a wide margin:



I learned to ride a non-abs bike and let me tell you, ABS makes a huge difference in the way the bike stops. Now i'm not the track rider or pro rider a lot of these guys are but even i can tell the difference. Put an experienced rider in the saddle of both an ABS equipped bike and non-ABS equipped bike on dry payment, wet pavement, and gravel coated pavement and see how the results differ. This would give you a more real world comparison than using pro-riders who spend all of their time practicing braking technique. I know for certain it's saved my ass at least twice. Stale green, always approach expecting it to change, guy runs the red from cross traffic(never even slowed and came from a blind corner), i grabbed as much brake as i could, never locked up the front but the rear started pumping right away. Bike never lost attitude, stayed perfectly straight up and down. My first season of riding i had a similar encounter in the same area and almost low sided, i let go of the brakes just in time to get it back after the rear end was probably about a foot off the centerline of the bike. When i got up to the next light a guy pulled up next to me and said he had a harley and couldn't believe i kept it from going down, he really thought he was going to witness a rider going down that day. I was sold on ABS bikes from that moment on.

Is it necessary for a track bike? No, is it probably something more street bikes should come equipped with? Yes.

Oh, and my brakes are not linked like the ones in that video.

Last edited by HndaTch627; 06-11-2011 at 11:28 AM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 10:12 PM
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Is there a reason you want a new bike?

I'm assumming you bought your 250 new? Imagine the depreciation hit you'll take when you sell it. Much larger than buying a bike thats even 1 year old.

Never ridden an ABS bike, but have no complaints with my SV650. Havent seen many used ABS-equipped SV's for sale, but I'm sure if you're willing to travel a bit, something will pop up.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 10:00 AM
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I had a non abs vstrom, then a ABS vstrom, and now have a ABS equipped FJR. You are extremely smart for looking at a sv650 with abs as a upgrade from your 250. Most forums seems to go on about how there braking skills are so much better than the ABS would allow, and why is it needed etc. I know of at least 5 people personally that would not have crashed over the past few years if they had abs equipped bikes. I've never heard of ABS causing a experienced rider to crash, and the only other time I hear a decent argument against it is for riding on dirt (where you switch it off). IMHO alot of it is just ego, and thinking a persons skills are better than they actually are.

Modern abs systems (like the vstrom and fjr, ((sv650 shares same abs as vstrom))), are non intrusive, simple to operate/maintain, and add minimal cost to a bike. The first time you activate the front you've probably saved yourself from a crash. Also its extremely difficult to account for all the crap on the road that's only there intermittently. Track riders do not suffer from that problem. The road is not a track and never will be. ABS is just another tool to help you get home at the end of the day.

After putting over 65k on my vstrom and being a reasonably competent rider (but by no means an expert) I never stopped as easily or as confidently at 99% braking power as I did until I got the abs model. Then it took about 30 miles. Its also great for practicing braking at 99% without worrying about dumping the bike.

Check out the below video as it contains some good points that apply to the bike models you are looking at



You may have to search hi and low for your sv650 with abs but it will be worth it. I just went through the same thing with my brother, picking up a harley vrod. Took about an extra 3 months or so to get the perfect one, but we got him an abs model.

I can't wait till all bikes have ABS standard. Not much different than wearing a helmet, or putting on a seatbelt in my opinion.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 10:36 AM
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A quick search gave me this:

http://www.cycletrader.com/listing/2...F-ABS-98795482

Its an 09, but there isnt any date listed so who knows how old the ad is.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 10:38 AM
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And if you're willing to travel, a used one for $4k in FL:

http://ftlauderdale.backpage.com/Boa...st-go/12117212
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 10:48 AM
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But what about stoppies, wheelie control, rear slides and just having fun? I really on tires sliding around when riding.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HndaTch627 View Post
I know for certain it's saved my ass at least twice. Stale green, always approach expecting it to change, guy runs the red from cross traffic...
Damn, thanks for sharing your expereince!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pothiawala786 View Post
Is there a reason you want a new bike?

I'm assumming you bought your 250 new? Imagine the depreciation hit you'll take when you sell it. Much larger than buying a bike thats even 1 year old.

Never ridden an ABS bike, but have no complaints with my SV650. Havent seen many used ABS-equipped SV's for sale, but I'm sure if you're willing to travel a bit, something will pop up.
It's not so much new vs. used, but more about getting a bike with the features I want, because unlike the 250 I started on, I intend to hold on to my next ride for a while. The depreciation is an unfortunate aspect of buying new, which is another reason I like the SV650: it's always going to hurt, but I imagine it hurts it bit more after dropping 12-13K on an inline 4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zed88 View Post
Check out the below video as it contains some good points that apply to the bike models you are looking at
...
Took about an extra 3 months or so to get the perfect one, but we got him an abs model.
Thanks for the video. I'm trying to be patient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pothiawala786 View Post
A quick search gave me this:

http://www.cycletrader.com/listing/2...F-ABS-98795482

Its an 09, but there isnt any date listed so who knows how old the ad is.
That sprung up a few days ago. It's a mistake, they don't actually have it. Thanks though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pothiawala786 View Post
And if you're willing to travel, a used one for $4k in FL:

http://ftlauderdale.backpage.com/Boa...st-go/12117212
None of the dealers within 400 miles (a one day drive) actually have it in stock. I actually had a trailer hitch installed because one of the dealers said they had it and I was willing to make the drive, only to find out later that it was a mistake.

If I was going make a truly long hall (like FL) I would actually consider driving to Canada instead. They have the 2011 model there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
But what about stoppies, wheelie control, rear slides and just having fun? I really on tires sliding around when riding.
I dropped a tooth in the front sprocket, but my Ninja 250 still can't do a wheelie, so I guess I don't know what I'm missing.

As for rear slides: ABS on the SV is independent per wheel and only works for detecting forward slippage. It will not detect lateral slip and will not engage. So if you want to slide the rear into a corner, it can be done.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sax-a-boom View Post
Damn, thanks for sharing your expereince
Even I was skeptical of adding a $1200 premium to an already expensive bike but in the long run it's cheap insurance. As much as we all try to say we've got nerves of steel when you are doing 50mph and find yourself facing a solid obstacle panic can set in very quick and something you've done 100 times over routinely becomes anything but routine. I've read reports of Connie guys locking up their front tires and I, for the life of me, can not grab enough front brake to make the caliper lock, maybe they are just using crappy tires *shrug*. Be patient, buy the bike you really want, I knew i'd have my connie for the long haul so i took my time and found the deal i wanted.

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