How Does the Anti Lock Braking System In a Bike Work

The Anti Lock Braking System is easily one of the best modern-day inventions. It was designed primarily to prevent a vehicle’s wheels from locking up and skidding when braking hard. To be able to understand its importance, it is crucial to know how the system works. Here’s a quick overview of the ABS braking system in bikes.


The system is usually made up of four main components - wheel speed sensors, valves, a pump, and a dedicated controller chip. The controller chip is essentially a mini computer that’s tasked with controlling the various components and the entire braking system as a whole. 


The wheel speed sensors constantly send information to the dedicated controller chip. If the controller detects a sudden decrease in the wheel speed, which usually happens during emergency braking, it reduces the braking pressure for the wheel momentarily by opening a valve. The controller then instantly closes the said valve, which increases the braking pressure.


By constantly and very quickly modulating the braking pressure by opening and closing valves, the controller chip in the Anti Lock Braking System maintains traction by preventing the wheels from getting locked up and skidding. Typical ABS systems on bikes are capable of opening and closing the valves as much as 15 times per second. 


This particular braking system has managed to save the lives of several motorcycle riders by preventing what would have been a certain accident or a crash had the Anti Lock Braking System not been there to save the day. Therefore, if you’re planning on purchasing a motorcycle shortly, consider getting one that has robust ABS technology. The additional initial cost that you would have to bear is just a small price to pay for the wealth of advantages that you get to enjoy courtesy of this brilliant braking system.  

Laws On Anti Lock Braking System In India 

The Indian government made Anti Lock Braking Systems mandatory on all cars and motorcycles with engine capacities above 125 cc. The law came into effect on April 01, 2019. This move was undertaken to enhance road safety and to reduce the instances of accidents that might happen due to emergency braking situations. 


In the case of motorcycles and scooters with engine displacements of 125 cc or below, the Indian government has mandated the inclusion of a Combi-Braking System (CBS), which is also known as a Combined Braking System. 

Advantages of Anti Lock Braking System

Now that you’ve seen how an ABS brake for a bike works, let’s take a look at the different advantages that this system offers. 

1. Better Braking On Slippery Surfaces

Friction is an important force that helps enhance braking. When you’re riding over slippery surfaces like wet roads, snowy roads, or maybe even icy roads, there’s little to no friction. Braking on such surfaces can lock up your wheels and lead to your bike skidding and ultimately crashing. 


However, an Anti Lock Braking System can prevent all of that. The system engages and disengages the brakes multiple times in a second, sometimes even up to 15 times a second. This action prevents the wheels from locking up, while simultaneously helping you slow down.  

2. Lower Insurance Premiums

Two-wheelers with an ABS bike brake system are considered to be safer than vehicles that don’t have it. Since the risk of getting into accidents is lower on bikes with Anti Lock Braking Systems, insurance companies generally tend to charge lower premiums compared to bikes that possess a traditional non-ABS braking system. 

3. Improved Control When Braking 

Steering your bike when you’re braking hard is extremely tough, if not impossible. The intense braking force on the front wheel shifts the weight of the bike forward, preventing you from turning your bike. The inability to turn can ultimately end up in a collision. 


However, since the Anti Lock Braking System on bikes distributes the braking force more linearly, there’s little to no shifting of weight onto the front wheel. This keeps the wheel light and enables you to turn the bike and avoid a head-on collision.  

4. Prevents Rear Wheel Lift Off

During an emergency braking situation, you might deploy the front brakes hard in a bid to stop the bike quickly. This sudden braking movement shifts the entire combined weight of the motorcycle and the rider forward onto the front wheel, causing the rear wheel to lift off the ground. 


Such situations can be extremely dangerous and can lead you to lose balance and crash, especially when you’re not expecting this to happen. An Anti Lock Braking System is specifically designed to prevent such a thing from happening. The system ensures that the braking force is spread out constantly and linearly, which actively prevents the rear wheel from lifting off. 

FAQs For Anti Lock Braking System

  • ✔️What are the drawbacks of the Anti Lock Braking System?

    Although the ABS braking system in bikes has been a life-saver, it does have a couple of disadvantages. The primary drawback is the increase in cost. Anti Lock Braking Systems have dedicated speed sensors, pumps, valves, and controllers. 

    This extra equipment tends to add to the cost of the motorcycle. Another major disadvantage is that it can increase the stopping distance in some cases. However, these are minor inconveniences compared to the wealth of advantages that such a system offers.  

  • ✔️Does every bike have an Anti Lock Braking System?

    No. Only motorcycles with engine capacities above 125 cc are mandatorily required to have an Anti Lock Braking System. For bikes with capacities of 125 cc or below, ABS may be offered as an optional add-on by the manufacturer. Therefore, before you purchase a motorcycle for yourself, remember to check its specifications to see if it has ABS or not. 

  • ✔️Will ABS Save My Life?

    Yes. An Anti Lock Braking System is designed to prevent wheel lock-ups and skidding when braking hard, which is one of the major causes of accidents. So, in short, ABS can save your life by eliminating braking-related accidents during emergencies.