All Tests – With C-ABS, Honda CBRs put the brakes on the competition! – History: ABS (again) brakes motorcyclists …

With C-ABS, Honda CBRs put the brakes on the competition !

All Tests - With C-ABS, Honda CBRs put the brakes on the competition! - History: ABS (again) brakes motorcyclists ...

Resolutely focused on safety, Honda ignores prejudices by equipping its sports CBR 600 and 1000 with a sophisticated electronic ABS (C-ABS). A daring bet in a category where performance takes precedence but which seems poised to be won… Test !

History: ABS (again) brakes bikers…

If the world’s leading manufacturer began to equip its motorcycles with ABS (anti-lock system) six years later than BMW (with the K100 in 1986), its involvement in safety and "Total Control" has never stopped. ” have been successfully cultivated for almost forty years.

In 1969, the CB 750 created a stir with its in-line four-cylinder engine and the use of a unique disc braking device. True "best-seller" of the winged brand, the CB 750 is intended to reflect the Honda philosophy: reliable and efficient – for the time -, it especially lays the groundwork for "modern" braking on the production of series. It is therefore quite naturally that the first ABS appeared on the ST 1100 Pan European in 1992..

In 1996 followed a combination of ABS and the "Dual CBS" (Combined Brake System) – a system responsible for automatically distributing the braking to the two wheels regardless of the brake applied – on the ST 1100. small onions allows the user to drive serenely, without the fear of blocking in the event of "reflex braking" on a road with precarious grip.

Concerned about the vulnerability of bikers, Honda went even further in 2008 by marketing an 1800 Golwing GL equipped … with an airbag! While waiting for the life-saving airbag to appear across the entire range, the R&D department continues to fine-tune its braking management systems, a key factor, according to Honda, to reduce the risks in the event of an accident..

The Aerosphalte de la Ferte Gaucher (LFG)

Born from the will of the owner of the Aerodrome de la Ferte Gaucher (77), the Aerosphalte is a brand new speed circuit designed by the Austrian architect Frantz Schreiner. Located just over an hour from Paris, it is "set" in the middle of a 100 hectare complex and offers three different combinations: a 1.5 km technical track, a 2.1 km fast circuit, or finally the two connected, that is to say a complete route of 3.6 km. FFSA / FFMA approved, the LFG circuit has many assets to become a reference in the Paris region: top coating, impressive track width (from 12 to 24 m!) And reassuring clearances. In addition, its managers have shown intelligence and respect for the environment in its design (collected runoff water, foundations made from recycled materials, plants "fixing" the hydrocarbons around the site, etc.). Several projects will be added to it: 4×4 and model-making tracks, equestrian stunt school, hotels, restaurants, mini-golf, karting, etc. The icing on the cake: a driving school (Trajectoire GP), partner of the circuit, already offers track days led by Laurent Brian (6th in the French SSP Championship in 2008), Kenny Foray (winner of the 24H Moto du Mans and Bol d’Or 2008 in Superstock and 13th in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup) and his brother Freddy (8th in the FIM CUP Superstock 1000)! More info and contacts on and

Thus, after noting a 40% increase in sales of ABS models in 2007 (in France, one in three Honda would be equipped with ABS), President Fukui declared, during a speech in Tokyo in May 2008, want to equip the entire Honda range with ABS (above 125 cm3) by 2010. A shocking announcement, because if no less than 17 models sold in France already receive ABS, imagine the 600 and 1000 CBR equipped with the anti-lock mechanism looked like a more than daring bet…

"Safety and fun are not mutually exclusive", however retorts the Japanese firm just before unveiling its latest" baby ": the C-ABS (Combined-ABS), an advanced electronically assisted braking system, which would almost return the old ABS to the Stone Age.

Tested briefly by Site on a prototype in Germany (read), this "Full electronic" ABS had indeed made a strong impression on us, thanks to its operating transparency and its formidable management of mass transfers..

Nevertheless, this first contact left us with a taste of something incomplete, being limited to a few laps behind a "house" driver on a circuit that was not very technical, without testing on a really tricky surface … Aware of the stakes in this almost completely toured category Towards the hunt for tenths, Honda has therefore decided to have its new C-ABS tested at Ferte Gaucher (see box), so that everyone can dissect the subtleties of the ABS system on the track, but also in the wet and even … on a layer of sand !

All under the amused gaze of Sebastien Charpentier, who did not hide his astonishment at the efficiency and performance of the system … However, if the flattering statements of the double Supersport world champion had a priori nothing of a stroke of bluff – the Charentais pilot is not known for his mastery of the language of wood! – his presence was obviously not accidental.

Because more than any other, the biker enthusiast of sports is influenced by the results of his mount in competition and by its mimicry with "real" racing motorcycles. A trait cleverly used by manufacturers, as for example with the new Yamaha R1 and its engine timing directly from the MotoGP of a certain Valentino Rossi (read our). So to overcome the received ideas concerning the usefulness and the use of an ABS on the sporting flagship of its range, what better for Honda than to have it dubbed by a pilot of the caliber of "General Seb" himself ?

Alexandre BARDIN – Photos Stan PEREC and David REYGONDEAU

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