Dave, if I wouldn't have had ABS on my FJR I might have crashed already 3-4 times into Somchai's Vigo or Fortuner, both on dry and wet roads. As long as you don't go offroad you'll need it just as much as a crashhelmet. On the F650 it saved me twice from brushing Somchai on his Wave off the road. My humble opinion is that this is something essential on a streetbike.
Yep, worth every penny or satang. 99% of the time you will not need it, but it's that 1% that gets expensive and painful. If you have the option on your bike of choice, it's pretty much mandatory IMO. Will pay for itself 10X.
I found that ABS on the ER6F activiated a little too easily on the rear when riding 'enthusiastically', which was a little disconcerting... but I also don't know if there were a few times when otherwise I may have backed the bike into the corner a little harder than I anticipated...
Not sure if you can fit a switch to turn it off for when you are giving it a bit... but I think definately useful in traffic...
If its the ER6's you are looking at, why not try renting both the ABS and non ABS from the rental shops in town. I, like daewoo, personally found the ABS to be intrusive when braking hard under normal riding circumstances. Try both and you'll know what you want.
It will save your behind just as it's saved mine already a few times. Like it was said above you don't need it very often - only at those very critical moments where it saves you from crashing. Arguably those are the most important.
The rear ABS on my ER-6n does kick in very easily but I don't find it to be a problem. You could argue as to why that is - maybe the ER6 rear slips easily (certainly does with the stock tires); or maybe the ABS is too aggressive. But... If you're "going for it", don't brake
For emergency stopping, you need the front brakes anyway.
It has saved my arse so many times I cant count both in OZ but more so in Thailand on wet greasy roads. One time on a wet highway near Prachuap, was distracted by something for a few moments and looked back to the road to see a line of traffic stopped at lights. Thought my number was up. Not enough room or time to swerve so jumped on the anchors and amazingly stopped OK. Immediate thought was thank f%$# I had ABS (on the ER6N). Yes it does knock in sometimes but I put that down to slippery road surface that you cant always pick.
On my GSA in Oz, the interlinked ABS is simply amazing.
Simple rule. You remember that point in a computer game between when you get "killed" and the computer says you are dead? On a bike, ABS jumps in at that point and saves your ass!!!
If you have a choice, get a bike with ABS, especially in Thailand.
Cheers for the info. I picked up a new ER6N today so of course it is abs equipped.
I too found the rear kicking in twice already, once coming down doi suthep,(I was trying to bed the pads in) and another when under braking the rear got light over some bumps. If it kicks in it must mean it was starting to lock. Without it you would just get used to the point where it started to chirp and that's it, with abs you can be as aggressive as you like. I did notice pulsing in the pedal, I guess the fronts the same? Some systems you don't feel any pulsing.
Either way, that ER6 has good brakes, 2, 300mm rotors with 4 pot calipers, a lot of 650's would have just one rotor.
I drove a BMW f650gs for the past 2 years and ABS should be mendatory on all bikes, the distances to break are almost the same as normal breaks but you can PRESS HARD as you can the bike stay right no going left and right and the best of all your wheels never blocked which I think is the most important.