Munich. On Monday, August 31st 2009, a BMW K 1300 R left the production halls in Berlin-Spandau as the one-millionth BMW to be fitted with the innovative BMW Motorrad Integral ABS. With BMW Motorrad plant director Hermann Bohrer in attendance, the well-known German actor, scriptwriter and audio book speaker Hannes Jaenicke rode the K 1300 R off the assembly line.
In 2004 the 500,000th BMW motorcycle with ABS came off the assembly line - a BMW R 1100 RT fitted for the Red Cross : now, five years later, BMW Motorrad can look back on twice that number of motorcycles manufactured with ABS. This clearly illustrates that this technology, introduced by BMW Motorrad 21 years ago, enjoys a high level of acceptance among customers. 90 per cent of BMW motorcycles are now supplied ex works with the safety bonus of ABS.
The original Frankfurt Hannes Jaenicke is an enthusiastic K 1300 R rider. ÔÇ£Where I live in the USA you are not allowed to ride faster than about 65 mph (105 km/h). ThatÔÇÖs ok for the cruisers I ride there. But when IÔÇÖm in Germany I want to have some real fun on a machine,ÔÇØ says the 49-year-old. Jaenicke once travelled through Alaska on a BMW K 1200 R for a documentary made for the German TV show "Leute heute".
Currently he is back in Germany and lives by the picturesque Lake Ammersee, with the Alps just a stoneÔÇÖs throw away. However, his favourite motorcycle touring areas also include the Eifel region in the west of Germany and the Bergisches Land just outside Cologne. ÔÇ£Here I love to savour the fantastic performance of K 1300 R, but I have also come to appreciate the BMW Motorrad ABS. When unexpected situations suddenly occur on the road or if the road surface is wet, you immediately have an enormous safety bonus which I wouldn't want to do without," says the actor.
Over two decades of innovation.
21 years ago, BMW Motorrad was the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to fit its motorcycles with the anti-lock system ABS, setting a milestone in the field of active motorcycling safety at the time.
Today the entire BMW Motorrad model range - except for the competition enduro bike G 450 X - is either fitted with ABS as standard or offers it as an optional extra ex works. In the case of the new BMW S 1000 RR, the system was further developed to meet the needs of supersports riders in the form of Race ABS, combined with the traction control system DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) - a new high point of technological development.
First appearing in 1988 the K series models such as the K 100 and K1 as an optional extra at an additional price of DM 1,980.-, ABS soon took off on its victory lap to the flat twin ÔÇ£boxerÔÇØ series and later to the F models.
While the first generation of BMW Motorrad ABS already offered a significant safety bonus by maintaining directional control on straightline braking manoeuvres, on slippery surfaces or in the case of abrupt changes in friction, BMW ABS II introduced in autumn 1993 did everything that bit better. At the time, a whole new construction of the BMW flat twin engine was brought out to mark the 70th anniversary of this longstanding construction principle: the new model was the BMW R 1100 RS and with it came the second stage in ABS innovation. The more finely tuned regulation in particular was a major technological advance here.
With this innovative strength, BMW Motorrad established itself in the course of the last two decades as a trendsetter in the field of active motorcycling safety. Today virtually all motorcyclists are convinced of the huge safety benefits offered by ABS.
In the course of ABS development and with a view to ensuring even greater safety, BMW Motorrad also created drivetrain regulation systems such as the traction slip control system ASC or most recently the dynamic traction control function DTC for the new BMW S 1000 RR.
BMW S 1000 RR with Race ABS - the peak of development.
The peak of current technical ABS development for motorcycles is the new BMW Motorrad Race ABS, created for the S 1000 RR and its supersports environment. By simply pressing a button, the rider can choose between different engine characteristics as well as adapted Race ABS characteristics for different uses, such as wet road (ÔÇ£RainÔÇØ), road ("Sport"), race track with supersports tyres ("Race") and race track with slicks ("Slick"). These are combined with the various riding modes, all harmonised to ensure maximum safety.
The new BMW Motorrad Race ABS is a completely newly developed system which is even lighter than the existing part integral systems. With the control unit weighing just 1.5 kg and a total weight of just 2.5 kg, it provides an excellent basis for use in supersports motorcycles. In addition to low weight, the system also offers a further improved regulation response.
The key feature here, in addition to excellent fine-tuning, is the use of a total of four pressure sensors which - in conjunction with a very sophisticated rear-wheel lift detection function - provide an even more accurate distinction between a bump and a locking rear wheel. When the handbrake lever is applied, the double disc brake at the front is activated, while only slight brake pressure is built up in the rear wheel brake. When the foot brake is applied only the rear brake is activated. In the modes ÔÇ£RaceÔÇØ and ÔÇ£SlickÔÇØ, the rear-wheel lift detection function does not interfere with the riderÔÇÖs desire to brake. What is more, the ÔÇ£SlickÔÇØ mode allows especially skilled riders to perform so-called initial brake drifts without having to do without front wheel ABS.
Due to the use of a fourth pressure sensor in the front wheel circuit, a further improved and even more sensitive regulation of the front brake pressure is allowed as compared to the existing BMW Integral ABS II, since the actual pressure levels in the control and wheel circuits can be directly compared. This means that throttling orifices are not necessary, resulting in an optimum pressure point and perfect controllability. Race ABS can be separately deactivated for special purposes.
Even though this new system - just like any other ABS - cannot redefine the laws of physics, the new Race ABS provides the rider with valuable support and an enormous safety bonus.