Why we choose ABS or no ABS when off road

ABS vs no ABS off road

  • I shut it off because I can't control the bike with it on

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I only shut it off when I'm riding in terrain beyond me or my bikes capabilities

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    21
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
1,125
Likes
830
Location
Fullerton, CA
#1
A little background on me: I'm a 58 year old solid novice off road type of rider that has good and bad habit's like anyone else. I raced District 37 Hare and Hounds, a few European Hare Scrambles, etc. years ago. I never had the speed or skill to get past novice level.

I did a search and came up with nothing on this. I figured it would be interesting to see how many of us like/dislike the ABS system when we get off the pavement. I personally think proper tire selection and rider skill has a lot to do with it. Let's face it, most all of us (me included) are not taking this huge beast in stupid nasty terrain regularly.

My recent ride included some pretty darn tough terrain. It had everything from steep loose downhills and very slippery off camber dirt covered rocks. At no time did I feel the need to shut off the ABS. In fact I was happy to have it. I'm pretty confident my tire selection had a whole bunch to do with it. Those full blown knobbys grabbed the ground and never lost enough traction to scare me.

IMO, when I get to the point that I want to shut off the ABS, then it's time to take a hard look at why I'm even taking this bike in that type of riding condition. Guys that I know personally that are expert riders always say to get a lighter bike for that stuff.

For you guys that can go 30+ mph and throw out a 180 deg brake slide on this beast, well, I think you are either a pro or need therapy!!
 
Last edited:

Cycledude

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
1,713
Likes
561
Location
Rib lake wi
#2
My actual off road riding on the Tenere is next to none so I never had any reason to turn off ABS.
have a crazy riding KTM friend that normally relies on ABS big time , one day he turned the ABS off and forgot about it, came to a 90 degree turn way fast and locked up the brakes, left a black skid mark for about 100’ before the bike spun a circle and threw him off, very surprising the bike had near no damage, at first he was swearing about the ABS not working until he figured out he had turned it off.
i am thankful the Tenere ABS automatically turns itself on every time the bike is started so I can’t make the same mistake someday.
 

Madhatter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,408
Likes
343
Location
buda texas
#5
I did the white rim trail and never turned it off . on some of the steep down hills I just stood on the rear brake and slid down the hill , correction, on all the steep down hills I just stood on the rear brake and slid down the hill. on the climbs I left it in traction control 1 all the time , worked the clutch like a dirt bike , it just chugged up the hill. one very steep hill mak10 road my bike to the top as I was about crapped out and he saw it , he wanted traction control off , so I turned that off for him , and away he went.
 

Jlq1969

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 5, 2018
Messages
300
Likes
292
Location
Argentina
#7
I agree that it is very clever that ABS turns on, when ignition on.
And I also think it would have been perfect, if it only was the back wheel that could be turned off.
(But that was not a possible vote;))
if you only need to turn off the rear abs, do it yourself, you just need a button, a relay, a bit of cable and a few pin-cables and voila .... if you step on the rear pedal only, activate the relay with the stop light , and that relay joins the signals-pulse of the front turn sensor with the rear one (the ecu will believe that the rear wheel turns the same as the front and no need abs, but the rear wheel is blocked). If you press the front lever, you will continue to have the combined brake. With the button, you cut the power to the relay, when you don't want it to be abs turned off
 

RonH

Active Member
Founding Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
523
Likes
158
Location
Denver, CO
#8
If I had my way ABS would have never been thought of or offered, but since that dream is expired I wish it an option. I don't want it on street or off road. Brakes for me just work better in manual mode, always have and always will. Added benifit, no ABS failure of pumps ect that ruin braking
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
1,125
Likes
830
Location
Fullerton, CA
#9
If I had my way ABS would have never been thought of or offered, but since that dream is expired I wish it an option. I don't want it on street or off road. Brakes for me just work better in manual mode, always have and always will. Added benifit, no ABS failure of pumps ect that ruin braking
I can tell you with certainty that unless you are a pro level rider it is impossible to out brake the ABS on this bike. As long as the traction is good very few humans can out brake the computer. On the KTM 1190, Ryan Dudek, a pro Baja 1000 podium finisher, can't out brake the ABS off road.

Add in the panic factor and the ABS is a great feature. The only possible reason to disconnect the ABS (off road in the rear) would be if you are trying to control the direction of your bike by sliding the back end around. For me that is not very smart to be swinging all that weight around. I go slow and use very subtle inputs to get the bike to go where I want. This is a very heavy bike and demands respect. This last weekend I was in some pretty nasty terrain. I was so glad to have the ABS and Traction Control.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Messages
113
Likes
91
Location
Whitby, Ontario
#10
I like the idea of a rear shut off for the ABS for off road but love ABS for on pavement. Overall I would rather have the option of turning off Traction control then ABS, several thousand miles off road and never really felt the need for it although it would have been my preference to have it off. TCS however, that makes me swear out loud when in the dirt.
 

Mak10

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
594
Likes
913
Location
SE Idaho
#11
Off road I much prefer the traction control off and wish it would stay in the setting I select until I change it.

I keep hearing that the his bike is too heavy, too big, and not engineered to go off road.

I find the super Tenere a very capable true dual sport bike. Meaning I can ride it comfortably long distance on pavement, drop my camping gear and take it amazing places off road.

Once the bike is moving I find it easy to balance and it feels much lighter than it is. I do feel that you have to be in good physical shape to muscle this bike around.

With traction control on, how do you lighten up the front end to help lift it up over a step, or when hopping off a step, ledge, root or other objects? When going up a washboard incline and traction control intrudes and makes the engine stutter? Or you hit a sand spot and it cuts the power when you need speed and momentum? How do you break the rear ended loose and steer with your rear tire with TC on?

If you need a lighter bike to go off road, ok. But I ask you this. When you drop or crash, or taco a rim , smash a radiator, is it cheaper to fix?

And that brings me to tires. I much prefer a big block knobby off road, however if you ride 1000 miles of pavement to start your off road portion of a trip, what shape are those knobbies gonna be in? And don’t forget that they aren’t a true dirt only knob to start with.

Sure Jimmy Lewis states on his web page that knobbies are required. Can you imagine teaching a bunch of noobs on street slicks? Jimmy teaches fundamentals to new riders. I’ve been to one of his sessions. Knobbies are only one aspect of off road riding. Worn knobbies aren’t any better than stock “death wings”. Any true off road racer puts on new tires as soon as the leading edge of a knob isn’t sharp anymore. This is a long distance adventure, touring bike.

On road I really like both abs and traction control. I modified my bike to suit how I ride. I can flip the abs off with a switch.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Messages
113
Likes
91
Location
Whitby, Ontario
#12
Off road I much prefer the traction control off and wish it would stay in the setting I select until I change it.

I keep hearing that the his bike is too heavy, too big, and not engineered to go off road.

I find the super Tenere a very capable true dual sport bike. Meaning I can ride it comfortably long distance on pavement, drop my camping gear and take it amazing places off road.

Once the bike is moving I find it easy to balance and it feels much lighter than it is. I do feel that you have to be in good physical shape to muscle this bike around.

With traction control on, how do you lighten up the front end to help lift it up over a step, or when hopping off a step, ledge, root or other objects? When going up a washboard incline and traction control intrudes and makes the engine stutter? Or you hit a sand spot and it cuts the power when you need speed and momentum? How do you break the rear ended loose and steer with your rear tire with TC on?

If you need a lighter bike to go off road, ok. But I ask you this. When you drop or crash, or taco a rim , smash a radiator, is it cheaper to fix?

And that brings me to tires. I much prefer a big block knobby off road, however if you ride 1000 miles of pavement to start your off road portion of a trip, what shape are those knobbies gonna be in? And don’t forget that they aren’t a true dirt only knob to start with.

Sure Jimmy Lewis states on his web page that knobbies are required. Can you imagine teaching a bunch of noobs on street slicks? Jimmy teaches fundamentals to new riders. I’ve been to one of his sessions. Knobbies are only one aspect of off road riding. Worn knobbies aren’t any better than stock “death wings”. Any true off road racer puts on new tires as soon as the leading edge of a knob isn’t sharp anymore. This is a long distance adventure, touring bike.

On road I really like both abs and traction control. I modified my bike to suit how I ride. I can flip the abs off with a switch.
I actually did just that, put on some new Shinko 804/805's road from Toronto to Colorado, spent a week off road, road back, then spent another couple of days off road. The Shinkos are pretty much worn out now but I could still do some non serious off road trails without much issue.
Hitting the washboard with an 8000' cliff next to you does induce a pucker tightening moment!
 

Don in Lodi

Well-Known Member
Founding Member
2012 Site Supporter
2013 Site Supporter
2014 Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
4,825
Likes
309
Location
Lodi Kalifornia
#13
I did the white rim trail and never turned it off . on some of the steep down hills I just stood on the rear brake and slid down the hill , correction, on all the steep down hills I just stood on the rear brake and slid down the hill. on the climbs I left it in traction control 1 all the time , worked the clutch like a dirt bike , it just chugged up the hill. one very steep hill mak10 road my bike to the top as I was about crapped out and he saw it , he wanted traction control off , so I turned that off for him , and away he went.
I can't climb any hills in traction one. Love traction two though. And ABS works fine going down those same hills.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
1,125
Likes
830
Location
Fullerton, CA
#15
You are an excellent and skilled rider, that's cool. I'm not so I ride accordingly. I commend you on your talent!!

I don't loft the front of a Super Tenere over rocks. Bad things happen if it comes down hard. With good clutch use and tire traction the TC does not hardly kick in. I was abe to easily lighten the front end enough to get over the harder sections. I never felt the need to turn the traction control off. I left it on 1 for most of the ride. I put it in 2 for the medium deep sand wash stretches and fairy loose mellow hillclimbs. I would only turn it off for super deep sand or a very steep loose hill climb. I'm not a "skid and spin" style of rider. This bike is new to me in the dirt. Instead of trying to make the Super Tenere it's not, I'm practicing using all the features it has to offer.

I don't muscle this bike. I let the weight of it do all the work. I concentrate on riding so I can feel like I can take my hands off the bars. I will say in the rocks I was in first gear and abusing the hell out of the clutch just to get through some sketchy sections

I just got off an almost 1400 mile ride with over 1100 of it being pavement. It had already well worn Anakee Wilds. They did everything I asked of them. I'll try to get another thousand or more miles out of them.

A worn knobby will always be better than a street tire. It's the side knobs that give you traction in the turns and in the soft sand. My rear tire is getting noticeably worn and still is way safer than a street tire in the dirt.

Jimmy lewis does not teach "new riders". You have to have some basic off road skills to be in his class. BTW, ask Jimmy Lewis himself and he will tell you that even he will not consider a street tire off pavement. No amount of skill or talent can predict when a smooth tire will slap you and the bike into the ground. And it will be without any warning whatsoever. It's only a mater of time....

When I drop my dual sport in the dirt and do damage, it's way easier and cheaper to fix than this beast!! Just a tip over on the Super Tenere can get very costly.

I remember seeing that!! It's a stark reminder how bad things can go in a blink of an eye! I pretty much have quit riding that kind of "chest pounder" crap. I'm more mellow these days. I'm not into abusing my body and bike just so I can brag about it later. That guy was very lucky! I'm pretty sure traction control and ABS were shut off. LOL
 

jeckyll

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
209
Likes
301
Location
Lotusland
#16
I can tell you with certainty that unless you are a pro level rider it is impossible to out brake the ABS on this bike. As long as the traction is good very few humans can out brake the computer. On the KTM 1190, Ryan Dudek, a pro Baja 1000 podium finisher, can't out brake the ABS off road.

Add in the panic factor and the ABS is a great feature. The only possible reason to disconnect the ABS (off road in the rear) would be if you are trying to control the direction of your bike by sliding the back end around. For me that is not very smart to be swinging all that weight around. I go slow and use very subtle inputs to get the bike to go where I want. This is a very heavy bike and demands respect. This last weekend I was in some pretty nasty terrain. I was so glad to have the ABS and Traction Control.
I've been on stuff where it would be unsafe to have abs on. Diwnhill on shale with tight turn at the bottom , cliff just past the turn.

It's rare, but there are times when you need it off.

I've also done some hard braking tests on gravel roads and the abs has been great.

Different situations require different approaches. One size does not fit all.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
1,125
Likes
830
Location
Fullerton, CA
#17
Yes sir jeckyll, I might also add rider skill has a lot to do with what "nanny modes" we choose. I can understand someone like Mac10's opinion, who pushes the Super Tenere well beyond what most riders will. For me the safety features of this bike are amazing. For now I'm embracing the features and enjoying this beast to it's full potential for me.
 

Mak10

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
594
Likes
913
Location
SE Idaho
#18
It would be nice to have a switch on the bars to toggle the traction control on the fly. When riding down a trail I don’t want to stop and think about what tc mode I’m in. Or stop to switch it for a sand section, and then stop and switch it back. Over and over.

I haven’t found a way to loft the front tire on my S10. It will take the weight off the front somewhat.

I also don’t find that I have to abuse the clutch much on this bike. It has gobs of torque on tap. I also don’t ride slower than 7mph idle speed.

The biggest limiting factor for me is ground clearance. Good line selection is essential.

I always think back to a motocross coach’s words

“Smooth is fast” and “fast is smooth”
And
“Slow and steady is better than fast and crash, work on technique and practice on getting smooth”. Because
“Smooth is fast” and “fast is smooth”
 

Madhatter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,408
Likes
343
Location
buda texas
#19
ballistic, from all that has been said ,you and me are pretty close in attitude and off road ability about the tenere…. mak10 is a serious talent …. riding the WRT with him was amazing . he made his tenere look a hundred pounds lighter ….. following a rider like mak10 helped me get to the end (sand is evil and should be band from all outdoors ,lol) if you get a chance to ride with him go for it …. im going to rat him out , he also rode the slick rock on his tenere (the man is fearless ) well as all can tell I am impressed with mak10's talent and character .
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
128
Likes
112
Location
ky
#20
I don't think Yamaha made a (mistake) not making ABS switchable. I am sure they were just protecting themselves from the litigations of our modern sue happy society. I personally would like to have the option of turning it off even if it were set up like the traction control. On the street i like having the ABS. Seems to work pretty well. Off road i don't like it at all. I don't like the traction control at all anyplace. I turn it off as soon as i turn the key on every time. Traction control has gotten me into trouble more than once and this bike it way too heavy to start cutting power on a nasty up hill till it looses all momentum. On the same down hills i like to control the brakes myself. When the brakes let go from a bit of a skid it seems to take a lot longer for me to let off the brake and let the ABS reset to bite again than it does for me to just lighten the pull on the lever. I have picked up more speed by then and there by need more brake. It is a nasty cycle. Really this bike should have never been on slopes that slick and steep with me riding it. In reality the brakes do really well for the places this bike would normally go with an average rider off road.
 
Top Bottom