All Tests – With C-ABS, Honda CBRs put the brakes on the competition! – Test in the wet then on the sand: impossible to fault!

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

All Tests - With C-ABS, Honda CBRs put the brakes on the competition! - Test in the wet then on the sand: impossible to fault!

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

Test in the wet then on the sand: impossible to fault !

To gauge the capacities of its latest generation ABS, Honda France had made available 600 and 1000 CBRs with or without C-ABS, in French version and in full power … Gathered around the competent ECF instructors (French Driving School), the tests begin with wet braking tests, then squarely on a layer of sand !

Disconcerting at first glance, the exercise is also an opportunity to take stock of bad reflexes. One- or two-finger braking, restricted use – or no use at all! – the rear brake: each phase is analyzed by the instructors who instruct the participants to "grab the brakes" with full hand at their signal, after having set off at nearly 90 km / h … On the stretch of track copiously watered, the observation is clear: whether with the "small" or the "big" CBR, sustained braking has virtually no influence on the course or the stability of the machine. And, of course, the wheels don’t lock !

The bike comes to a stop quickly and stays in line – much more in these circumstances than if the brake management were 100% "human"! -, incredibly smoothly! More than the impressive braking power, the management of the attitude is quite simply astonishing: on the violent "reflex" braking of this case, many were those to use only the powerful radial calipers before motorcycles.

However, whatever the speed and the violence with which the front discs are solicited, the C-ABS automatically regulates the sudden transfer of masses by soliciting the rear in an imperceptible way for the pilot. Result: Honda sports cars give the impression of sinking into the soggy asphalt, while keeping a saving contact with the ground at the level of the rear wheel !

As promised by the engineers of the Japanese firm, the feeling at the lever is absolutely identical to that of a CBR without ABS. We even catch ourselves catching it with a force that is absolutely incompatible with braking on a slippery surface! Unlike a traditional ABS system, the phases where the device releases the hydraulic pressure in the event of blockage of one (or more) wheel (s), then gradually reinforces it (and so on) are clearly less sensitive, because much more fast.

The action of C-ABS is still felt handlebar in hand, but in a much smoother, precise and reassuring way than with conventional ABS. On a layer of sand, the demonstration is even more glaring: rather timid during the first passages – we are still talking about emergency braking on a good centimeter of sand at medium speed! -, all our attempts have enabled us to note that the C-ABS is quite simply impossible to fault on this coating, which is however more akin to a "Beach Volleyball" field than to a virolous departmental !

As in the wet, the CBRs remain strictly in line and the level control works wonders: when the front brake is applied, the motorcycle gradually dives to put the front tire under stress and give it grip, while applying the rear caliper to tape the rear to the ground and effectively stop everything … Magic !

For the ECF instructors, the conclusion is just as clear: never has a system been so effective and reassuring in such precarious grip conditions. Except with a motocross, no sane rider could have requested the braking of a two-wheeler under these circumstances! A real revolution for the average biker, who will be able to tackle emergency braking safely and without even sweating !

Alexandre BARDIN – Photos Stan PEREC and David REYGONDEAU

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