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Commonly known as ABS, or sometimes anti-skid braking systems, anti-lock braking systems help prevent car and motorcycle wheels locking up and improve steering control whilst braking.
ABS works by releasing and then reapplying or ‘pumping’ the brakes to a motorcycle wheel or car wheels in heavy braking situations. Sensors on each wheel are used to detect ‘locking’ or when a wheel stops moving and starts to skid. Although not all ABS systems are the same, with some only preventing wheels on the rear axle from locking up.
When a lock-up is detected, ABS pumps the brakes, 100’s of times a second. This stops the wheel or wheels from skidding and helps keep the driver in control of the vehicle. So essentially, ABS works in three stages:
- Brake pedal is pushed
- Wheel sensors detect skidding or ‘locking’
- ABS pumps the brakes