Tech Views — Vol. 2 Advanced Brake Systems
Combined Brake System
I have owned three Honda scooters so far. In 1996, I bought a Dio scooter equipped with the Combined Brake System, the first bike I'd ever ridden with Combined brakes. This was followed by a Spacy 100 and then the PCX. At first, I was afraid to use the rear brake while cornering for fear that I might do something wrong and take a spill, since I knew that using it would also affect the front brake. However, the fact is that nothing felt strange at all. Also, I tend to grab the rear brake more strongly when, for instance, a car suddenly changes lanes in front of me. Even in such cases, since the front brake is also working, I find I can slow down more quickly and steadily on this scooter than I could if only the rear brake were working, which gives me a much greater sense of security.
I wasn't really aware of what Combined front and rear brakes were until the sales person at the motorcycle shop told me all about it. It's really pretty nice to be able to control both brakes using only one hand, isn't it? I feel like my Honda scooter stops more reliably than what my friends ride, and it gives me a greater feeling of confidence when I ride at the side of the road over sand or gravel. Although I don't know much about mechanical stuff, just knowing that my scooter has such excellent brakes gives me a lot of satisfaction.
Since I switched from riding a bicycle to riding a scooter, I found I couldn't get out of the habit of grabbing the brake with my left hand. So I was relieved to learn from the salesman at the shop that the left-side brake lever operates not only the rear brake, but also the front. However, since this was my first scooter, it took me a while to understand how it worked. When I rode my friend's scooter, which was not a Honda, and thus didn't have Combined brakes, I quickly noticed a much different response when I applied the brakes. I have to say, I like my scooter's brakes much better.
Since having the painful experience of taking a spill after once grabbing the brakes too hard, I tend to use only the rear brake. However, despite this sort of unusual riding behavior, I feel that my Honda PCX slows and stops much more reliably than any other brand of scooter I've ever ridden. The way its brakes work together makes me feel like I'm riding a much higher class of bike. And thanks to its Combined-ABS brake system, I feel like I've been relieved of all my fears and anxiety, even when riding fast. I'm not even afraid to ride my PCX on cobblestone pavements anymore. It makes me feel much more confident about using the brakes.
One day towards the end of last year, I was out riding when suddenly snow began to fall. So I turned around and rode the 20 kilometers home on my Forza. Even when the snow was falling so hard that it had me seriously debating giving up and going home by train, the Forza's Combined brakes let me smoothly and confidently control both front and rear brakes using only my left hand. And coupled with its ABS, the Forza's brakes gave me the sense of security and peace-of-mind I needed to make it safely all the way home.
Although I hardly ever notice it when riding most times, my Silver Wing scooter's ABS is incredibly reliable on a rainy day. Being able to grab the brake lever without worrying about anything really allows its Combined-ABS to achieve maximum possible deceleration, and stop the bike in a solid and secure manner. Moreover, since the Silver Wing is also equipped with Combined brakes, which link together both the front and rear wheels, I feel that I can use the brakes with a remarkable feeling of confidence and peace-of-mind. So, you can be sure that I no longer feel like riding any motorcycles not equipped with ABS.
While riding down a gravel road, carrying a passenger on my CBR250R, a dog on a leash suddenly jumped out in front of me. Though I jumped hard on the brakes, my CBR's Combined-ABS stopped us smoothly and calmly, as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. As a result, my passenger, who had just let out a shriek of shock and fright, looked totally embarrassed.
I currently ride a VFR1200F equipped with Combined-ABS. I was naturally able to quickly get accustomed to the Combined Brake System, as I previously owned a VFR which also featured the system. Since I had long before gotten used to having the assistance provided by ABS, I was convinced that I absolutely needed to have it on my new motorcycle. In my personal opinion, all bikes should be fitted with ABS. It has the capacity to reduce, by even a little, the risk of a motorcycle skidding and falling, and possibly even colliding with some obstacles.
Owing to a fall I once had while braking, I made sure my NC700X was equipped with ABS when I bought it, thinking that it was a relatively cheap expenditure compared to possible repair costs. However, over time I've come to be more impressed with the effectiveness of the NC's brakes than with their relative cost. Recently, when I was riding on a dirt road, I found that I could hit the brakes and come to a quick and steady stop without so much as locking up and sliding the tires, which gave me a much appreciated feeling of relief and peace-of-mind.
Sometimes I see Gold Wings tearing along winding road like sports bikes. However, since I ride one myself, I can truly appreciate how safe and secure it feels, because it's equipped with a Combined-ABS brake system that lets me ride fast with incredible confidence and peace-of-mind. I really believe that the excellence of these brakes is one of the main features of this bike. When I go out touring with my wife, I always feel I can freely decelerate or quickly and calmly stop with just a touch of the rear brake pedal, and that just gives me the greatest satisfaction.