3. Europe Makes ABS Mandatory


In November, the European Parliament passed new rules that would make anti-lock brakes mandatory for all motorcycles with engines larger than 125cc by the year 2016. While the rule is limited to Europe, its effects will be felt around the world.

Even though it’s been around since 1993, ABS for motorcycles is still a relatively new technology. Many manufacturers offer ABS on only some of their models, and even then, they’re available as an option. With the new regulations, motorcycle manufacturers will start integrating ABS across more models, even those bound for markets outside of Europe.

After all, it is much more cost efficient to have all units of a model built with ABS than to have to separate assembly processes for ABS and non-ABS models. The rule will also likely have an effect on product planning, as manufacturers will begin offering ABS as a standard feature rather than an add-on.

Already, BMW has gotten a head start by making ABS standard for all models in its 2013 lineup. BMW, of course, was the first manufacturer to introduce ABS on production models in 1993 so this move was not surprising. But other manufacturers have started to make similar changes.

Piaggio has started adding ABS to more models, from the flagship Aprilia RSV4 to scooters such as the Piaggio X10 and the new Vespa 946. Kawasaki has also started making ABS available on more models, from the big ZX-14R to the Ninja 300.