The ABS system that Honda had promised for its supersport bikes is here and it’s way more innovative than we were expecting. The big headline isn’t even the ABS, but rather the brake-by-wire control system. Essentially, the levers aren’t connected hydraulically to the calipers, but rather electronically to a control unit which then apportions brake forces appropriately. A servo then replicates feel at the lever.
>Honda is keen to emphasize that the Combined ABS system is optimized
for sports riding. In addition to ABS and brake-by-wire, it features a
Combined Braking System, meaning that some back brake is applied by the
front lever and vice versa. The actual proportion of braking force
front to rear is controlled by the system’s computer.
Because of the nature of the electronic and mechanical integration, Honda
has been able to relocate some of the brake components amidships for
better mass centralization. Combined with less pitch under braking and
what Honda claims is “ideal” proportioning of brake forces for
cornering stability, this system could actually become a performance
enhancer, allowing riders to brake later or even while turning. We’ll
withhold judgment until we’ve tried it.