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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to a California CARB Website we now have a look into the 2008 V-rod Line up. Here are the models listed:

VRSCAW - Anniversary Model
VRSCAW - V-rod
VRSCAWA - V-rod w/ ABS
VRSCD - Night Rod
VRSCDA - Night Rod w/ ABS
VRSCDX - Night Rod Special
VRSCDXA - Night Rod Specail w/ ABS

All models are listed as 1247cc. There is no mention of any new models including the much anticipated V-rod Touring Bike. There is a FX model called the Rocker Custom. That is the one interesting note in a rather bland model year. Maybe there is a model or two that didn't get listed. One can hope...

Ride safe,

Jim
 

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Scott
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ABS on a Harley? I don't know about that...I'm thinking extra weight, something else to fix (which will be extremely $$$$) and finally...what's the point? ABS is usually associated with stopping a heavy vehicle, i.e. a car/truck but not the lightest bike Harley makes?

You're not that bad...I missed it too.

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Pale, acute, mobile
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devlpr said:
ABS on a Harley? I don't know about that...I'm thinking extra weight, something else to fix (which will be extremely $$$$) and finally...what's the point? ABS is usually associated with stopping a heavy vehicle, i.e. a car/truck but not the lightest bike Harley makes?
Empirically speaking, ABS isn't primarily about weight, it's about control. When you lock up a tire it no longer is useful for directional control; ABS prevents lock up to help maintain control. Weight is certainly a factor but it is the ratio of weight to the tire contact patch for a vehicle that dictates a greater/smaller need for ABS. The reason you see ABS as a popular option on pickup trucks is because the rear is comparitively light (when not loaded) and makes the rear wheels prone to lockup.

Your typical motorcycle has a small contact patch and low weight, which wouldn't automatically make you think of needing ABS. However, you must remember that stopping power is another major factor. Most performance motorcycles have high-performance brakes that are capable of locking up either tire. So, for motorcycles, ABS is necessary in spite of the low weight because the stopping power is so high.

Traditionally, brakes from the Motor Company have been designed to be very forgiving. Even with the upgrade to multi-piston calipers, you still need to pull on that brake lever mighty hard to flirt with lockup on the front tire. Consequently, there hasn't been a significant need for ABS (though it's been available on Police H-D models for a few years). The recent upgrade to Brembo calipers on the V-rods suddenly made the need for ABS abundantly clear. All you need is one panic stop where you pull on the lever like it's your old non-Brembo-endowed Harley and the front tire will lock up and the gods of fate will bitch-slap you and your bike to the pavement. If you have ABS, that front tire doesn't lock up and your leathers have one less set of scuff marks on them.

ABS is a good thing (really),

Ghost
 

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Scott
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Ghost said:
Empirically speaking, ABS isn't primarily about weight, it's about control. When you lock up a tire it no longer is useful for directional control; ABS prevents lock up to help maintain control. Weight is certainly a factor but it is the ratio of weight to the tire contact patch for a vehicle that dictates a greater/smaller need for ABS. The reason you see ABS as a popular option on pickup trucks is because the rear is comparitively light (when not loaded) and makes the rear wheels prone to lockup.

Your typical motorcycle has a small contact patch and low weight, which wouldn't automatically make you think of needing ABS. However, you must remember that stopping power is another major factor. Most performance motorcycles have high-performance brakes that are capable of locking up either tire. So, for motorcycles, ABS is necessary in spite of the low weight because the stopping power is so high.

Traditionally, brakes from the Motor Company have been designed to be very forgiving. Even with the upgrade to multi-piston calipers, you still need to pull on that brake lever mighty hard to flirt with lockup on the front tire. Consequently, there hasn't been a significant need for ABS (though it's been available on Police H-D models for a few years). The recent upgrade to Brembo calipers on the V-rods suddenly made the need for ABS abundantly clear. All you need is one panic stop where you pull on the lever like it's your old non-Brembo-endowed Harley and the front tire will lock up and the gods of fate will bitch-slap you and your bike to the pavement. If you have ABS, that front tire doesn't lock up and your leathers have one less set of scuff marks on them.

ABS is a good thing (really),

Ghost
Sorry Ghost...jury still out on that one...

What you have convinced me on is that ABS is a good thing if you have Brembo brakes so I'm glad I don't.

I'm swaying to the ABS for touring bikes given the intended use of a touring bike and the extra weight.

But no where near convinced that ABS should be put on a sport bike like a V-ROD.

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myvrodrocks
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It is all about physics. ABS is not about controll, as many people think. Yes, being able to still steer in a hard brake is a great by-product of ABS, but the advantage to ABS is maximum stopping power without lock up.

ANY brake system could benefit form ABS. It is all about getting as close to the friction point without breaking it.

Here is an experiemnt that you can do to prove what I am saying.

Take a book and wrap a big rubber band around it. Now pull it accross a table. What happens? As you pull, the rubber band stretches. Make a note of how far it stretches. (length) Once the friction point breaks the book slides with little effort. In fact, if you time it right, you can drag the book around if you don't stop. When you are doing this, look at the length of the rubber band. Now compare that to the lengh just before the book moves. These two comparrisons prove that more effort is required to move the same object before the friction point is broken. The book weighs the same in both cases. If you could replace the rubber band with a scale, then you could get an accurate measurement. You would see that the effort required to break the friction point often is more then the weight of the object. but the effort to move the object once the friction point is broken, is less than the weight of the object.

Point being that your tires have the most stopping power just before the point of friction is broken. Once that breaks, the tires slide in the path of least resistance, usually straight ahead as ineria takes over.
 

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myvrodrocks
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devlpr said:
Sorry Ghost...jury still out on that one...

What you have convinced me on is that ABS is a good thing if you have Brembo brakes so I'm glad I don't.

I'm swaying to the ABS for touring bikes given the intended use of a touring bike and the extra weight.

But no where near convinced that ABS should be put on a sport bike like a V-ROD.

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That is one ignorrant comment.

sorry guy...but a bicycle with ABS would stop faster than one without. Try it. Get on your kids or brother's bicycle, get up to 15mph and lock up the back tire and measure your skid mark. Then do it again and brake as hard as you can without locking it up. Then think about it. It has absolutely nothing to do with weight.

The only reason that touring bikes have them and scooters do not is $$$. People that drop 30k on a BMW can afford the additional security.
 

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Scott
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myvrodrocks said:
That is one ignorrant comment.

sorry guy...but a bicycle with ABS would stop faster than one without. Try it. Get on your kids or brother's bicycle, get up to 15mph and lock up the back tire and measure your skid mark. Then do it again and brake as hard as you can without locking it up. Then think about it. It has absolutely nothing to do with weight.

The only reason that touring bikes have them and scooters do not is $$$. People that drop 30k on a BMW can afford the additional security.
You guys are putting way, WAY, WAY too much thought into the need for ABS!!!

I'm well aware of the safety advantages to having ABS on a motorcycle just like I'm well aware of the environmental advantages of having a catalytic converter on a lawn mower. But do I want an extra piece of heavy equipment that I have to spend $$ on to purchase, maintain and repair on that lawner mower? Of course not!

Back yourself off the mechanics and physics and ask yourself if it is necessity to have ABS on a V-ROD. If you want safe buy yourself a BMW or even a Vovlo-Rod!! - Hey maybe one with air-bags and seat belts too!

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Scott
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492 Posts
mrblack1961 said:
Man I wish my V-Rod was one of the older ones. My brakes are too good!
:stilpoke:
MY POINT EXACTLY!!!!

Here's a perfect example of "if it ain't broke, don't fu*k with it!!"

There's a perfectly valid argument now that it is broke - Brembo's are too tight for a light V-Rod so the fix is ABS.

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myvrodrocks
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devlpr said:
MY POINT EXACTLY!!!!

Here's a perfect example of "if it ain't broke, don't fu*k with it!!"

There's a perfectly valid argument now that it is broke - Brembo's are too tight for a light V-Rod so the fix is ABS.

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That has gotta be the stupidest thing I have ever heard.


You are arguing what, exactly?

This is not a debate. ABS is not a fix, it is an improvement. You are the kind of guy that says HD has been air cooled for 97 years, why change it...but you bought one didn't you?

All I am saying is that ABS is better, not necessary. Brembos are better, water cooing is better, overhead cams are better, counter balancing is better, disc brakes are better than drums...but drums worked didn't they?

Why don't you rip off you discs, and replace them with a cable actuated leather strap around a steel drum...it worked before...

Of course they are not necessary. they are just an improvement along with all the other improvements that make this world turn.
 

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Tired of the crap
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We've discussed ABS on the forum before. Then, as now, we had strongly different opinions. Some people point to ABS on BMW touring bikes as an example of succesful implementation.

Apparently the design engineers at HD have concluded that enough interest/risk exists in the marketplace to warrant offering ABS as an option.

A couple of notes here:

1) ABS, in whatever form, comes at a price, not only in extra cost, but also extra weight and complexity of servicing.

2) I have no specific knowledge - but my guess is that ABS is only going to be installed on the rear wheel, as a means of preventing highside crashes from excessive or incorrect rear brake use during panic stops. This will do nothing to prevent the sort of washout that occurs from locking the front wheel.
 

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You guys are aware that HD has been running ABS on their Police Bikes for years.

Based on the comments here I think I'll ask one of the FL State Troopers what his experiences have been. He is a off duty rider as well so he will be candid.

I would want to fully understand what the risk is/would be before I put ordered them on a bike only to wish that I hadn't..

GOOD INFORMATION FOR (MY) THOUGHT!!!!

THANKS
 

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Jay Johnston
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Ummm wasn't this thread started as " 2008 V-rods Found Out!! " relax guys we have a choice to buy it or not.

Now back to your regularily scheduled thread.

So what is an FX aka "Rocker Custom" supposed to look like??
 

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I think the ABS debate is very interesting. I asked on this very forum last year why HD didn't offer ABS on the V-Rod. I guess they read my post and decided to offer it. I have never ridden a bike with it, so I can't give any opinions, but I have had ABS on all of my cars/trucks and appreciate it every time I have to stop quickly, especially on wet pavement.

I do know the police have asked for it on their bikes and they can ride a bike better than anyone I have ever seen. I have seen their competitions and demonstrations and they can make a big ole Road King do things I couldn't do on a Buell Blast. So they must know something that some of us on here don't know.

I believe that it is an option, so you will not be forced to have it, which should keep people from total anarchy.
 

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Scott
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Here's a thought that apparantly the HD Engineers and the weight/fricton/bicycle/rubberband geniuses on this Thread just couldn't bring themselves to figure out: Maybe, just maybe, the Brembo brakes work too good. So maybe, just maybe, instead of slapping another expensive, heavy piece of equipment onto the super-light (NON-TOURING) V-Rod, maybe, just maybe, we should go back to the old braking system that worked perfectly fine to begin with!?!

To the HD engineers and rubberband genius here...you should all read an excellent book called: "The Death of Common Sense" by Phillip K. Howard. Low-tech can, in some cases, be better than high-tech.
 

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Scott
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Damn skippy they are!!! :cheers:
 

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SNAFU
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Scott,

As Drew pointed out, there are 2 versions of every model so if you don't want ABS then simply don't order it. I've ridden many thousands of miles on bike with and without ABS and I WILL be ordering one with ABS, that's my personal preference based on experience, not theory.

BTW, ABS is on the police bikes because many municipalities as well as the CHP made ABS a requirement and Harley was losing thousands of sales to BMW. It's making it to the V-Rod probably as a way of introducing the technology on the rest of the product line and where else to do it than on the technological leader in their lineup.
 
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