Skidding is a contributory factor in a large proportion of reported accidents involving motorcycles. Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS), if fitted to all motorcycles, may significantly reduce the incidence of this type of accident. ABS has been fitted, since the late '80s to a very limited range of large engine capacity motorcycles, to which only experienced motorcyclists have access. It would seem reasonable to assume that the largest benefit, in terms of accident reduction, may be realised by making ABS available to inexperienced motorcyclists. However, inexperienced (learner) motorcyclists in the UK are restricted to small engine capacity motorcycles (125 cu cm), which tend to be of lower cost and are, therefore, not commercially viable for fitment of the relatively expensive ABS currently available. This report describes the development and testing of an ABS, which TRL, undertook in an attempt to demonstrate that a mechanical ABS, suitable for light-weight motorcycles, could be produced economically. The final prototype system which was compact and aesthetically pleasing, was fitted to the front and rear brakes of a Kawasaki AR125 production motorcycle. Track testing of the system produced encouraging results; the performance of the system being on par with a production ABS fitted to a BMW motorcycle. However, the deceleration sensor used in the system proved too unreliable for the planned road-trials to take place and there was, ultimately, some doubt over the financial viability of the system. The report includes a brief history of TRL's involvement with motorcycle ABS since the 1960s and detailed design drawings of the system developed. (A)

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