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Thread: ASC: When to turn off?

  1. #1
    Registered User Eldor's Avatar
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    ASC: When to turn off?

    Since many (most?) bikes with ASC have a button to turn it off, I'd like to know under what conditions would you do so? And whether or not the answer varies by type of bike and not only road (or off-road) conditions.

    I've got a 2013 F800GS on order with ASC and plan to do some fairly gentle off-roading with it as I develop the needed skills, but I just returned from a 9-day 5,000 km trip with my loaded K1300GT and PR3 road tires. On that trip I did a 10 km stretch on a rather bad dirt and gravel road to get in to a camping site (Meat Cove in Cape Breton Island) and I turned off the ASC on that and "felt" better, but cannot really quality that feeling.

    So I'd like to learn more about when/if to turn it off on either bike.

    Thanks for any help understanding this.

    Cheers!
    #6 - 2011 BMW K1300GT Exclusive Edition
    #7 - 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 (sold)
    #8 - 2013 BMW F800GS Kalamata Metallic (on order)
    BMWMOA #163433

  2. #2
    Registered User Woodbutcher's Avatar
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    R1200GSA for me with ASC. It has three modes. On, Off and Offroad. I will switch to offroad as soon as I hit dirt and back on when I remember after I hit pavement. I suspect your new 800GS will have the same three modes. The offroad allows some slipping of the back tire and lifting of the front, but will cut in after a while. Having learned to ride on small dual sport bikes mostly offroad I really like and feel the need to be able to spin the back wheel. If you get in really rough stuff, particularly on an uphill or deep sand, then you will have to totally disable it. Because the wheel will spin enough that it cuts in and you lose momentum and stop.

    Hope that helps.
    Rusty
    Austin, TX
    Two Wheeled Texans
    2009 R1200GSA

  3. #3
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    I've got a 2012 GSA with traction control. Let's assume the systems work similarly.

    Traction control/ASC retards the throttle when the sensor detects wheel-spin. Wheel spin occurs on loose surfaces, and wheel spin occurs when your rear tire looses contact with the ground (i.e. hopping along washboarded roads).

    You'll want ASC off in these situations, as the system will continually cut power to the engine as it attempts to assist the tire with regaining traction. The net effect is to turn a 1200cc engine into a 250cc engine - things get pretty boring pretty fast.

    With ASC off, you can spit gravel out the back and roost dirt as you scream uphill on loose surfaces.

    As a year-round rider in Seattle, I'm looking forward to the safety margin ASC provides when pulling away from a stop on wet and oily pavement. I'm not a big fan of the feeling you get in your gut when your rear tire starts spinning and centrifugal forces start sliding the rear end out to the right.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  4. #4
    Registered User Eldor's Avatar
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    Rusty and OfficerImpersonator, thank you both for explaining this to me. Now I think I understand.

    I hope that my new F800GS will have those three modes of ASC, but on my K1300GT there is only on or off.

    Once I turned it off on my heavily loaded beast, while going up a dirt and gravel road, I did detect rear wheel spin, but I was able to make it up. With ASC on I was having a hard time but didn't know enough about the whys and wherefores.

    Got a lot to learn about even gentle off-roading.

    Cheers!
    #6 - 2011 BMW K1300GT Exclusive Edition
    #7 - 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 (sold)
    #8 - 2013 BMW F800GS Kalamata Metallic (on order)
    BMWMOA #163433

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