Honda's new electronic combined ABS which is going to revolutionize sportbikes. It's a weird feeling to ride around at speeds of 120km/h or faster, wait till the last second and then grab the brake lever full without a care in the world. Instead of folding its front wheel and launching you from the seat, the Honda Combi-ABS simply sheds speed, at a rate every bit as fierce as I'd managed on a non-ABS-equipped motorcycle.
The Honda Combi-ABS feels reassuringly normal as it buries its front into the Honda test track, exhibiting none of the lever pulse that's become synonymous with ABS systems. The 250cc Honda CBR250R test motorcycle stays remarkably stable as I trail-brake easing my grip on the lever as I approach the apex. That's because I'm actually releasing both brakes – the sophisticated Honda Combi-ABS brake electronics are contributing a touch of rear disc without even being asked.
If that scenario sounds like science fiction, I'd have said the same thing before riding the latest light Honda motorcycle at its test-track run. According to a Honda spokes person, the Honda Electronic Combined ABS system will be available on all sports motorcycles in the near future – the system will also be a world's first anti-lock brake system for a light sports motorcycles. It's certainly that, as well as the first 'brake-by-wire' system that operates the front and rear brakes electronically rather than mechanically. More importantly, it's the first anti-lock brake system that is almost undetectable in use, and which has the ability to be a performance aid even for fast and experienced riders. Unlike Honda's previous Combined ABS system, this system does not require special calipers, although the new Honda Electronic Combined ABS braking system is mounted on a complete new motorcycle.
While riding the new Honda light sports motorcycle the value of the Combi-ABS brake system became immediately evident during the first round of testing in Honda's test track, where the faithful Honda reps instructed us to simulate panic braking from 80km/h on dry, then do the same on wet, then sand-strewn pavement. The tests were eye-opening, as the new light Honda Sports motorcycle stopped hard and skid-free, with no discernible electronic intrusion, although the system was most certainly working hard to maintain traction.
According to Honda technicians, the new Combi-ABS braking system reacts in 6 milliseconds – 4 times faster than most commercial available systems on the market today – allowing the Combi-ABS brake system to work seamlessly and covertly to help the rider maintain control.
Honda will official introduce the new Combi-ABS brake system and the motorcycle on which it will first be installed at the EICMA motor show in Milan.