The Bosch MSC system was the first cornering ABS to go into a mass produced motrcycle but it is no longer the only game in town when it comes to cornering ABS systems and anti-lowside technology, as another German company has entered the fray, Continental.
The Continental Optimized Curve Braking system factors into account roll, pitch, lateral acceleration, and lean angle and then modulates the brakes accordingly to slow the motorcycle down when the brakes are applied, while keeping the motorcycle upright.
The BMW S1000XR is the first production motorcycle to use the Continental Optimized Curve Braking, and we can expect other BMW models to follow. With the EU set to mandate that all new motorcycles over 125cc have ABS starting January 1, 2016 for already existing models, and January 1, 2017 for brand new models, the writing is on the wall for ABS and motorcycles worldwide.
More advanced ABS and electronic packages are where motorcycle manufacturers are going to be distinguishing their more premium models from the more basic ones. It is unsurprising then that BMW is equipping the S1000XR with the Continental OCB system, to rival the KTM 1290 Super Adventure with its Bosch MSC setup. It will be interesting to see what other brands and models choose Continental over Bosch, and vice versa, as this space heats up with competition.
Like Bosch’s system, the Continental's technology takes into account that motorcycles lean over and hence normal ABS systems won’t work properly unless the bike is stood up. Lothar Kienle, head of Development Motorcycle in the Vehicle Dynamics Business Unit at Continental stated that “the ABS kicks in more gradually, modulating braking pressure more smoothly to improve handling in curves.”
The ABS adapts as a function of how much a rider leans into a curve, depending on the situation. The sensor cluster provides signals on roll and pitch rates plus lateral acceleration to help determine the angle at which a rider is leaning and checks the data around one hundred times per second. As the rider leans more into a curve, the system further limits the speed of the brake-pressure increase at the beginning of braking. The resultant braking pressure accumulates in a more gradual fashion. In addition, the ABS doses modulation more gently.
Obviously, a cornering ABS system can’t defeat gravity and if you brake too hard while leaned, the result will be the same regardless of how much technical wizardry you have on board. But it’s another great addition to improved motorcycle safety, especially in wet weather situations. The componentry on the Continental Curve ABS also allows the manufacturer to include:
- Stoppie control
- Traction control
- Wheelie control