Husqvarna Developing ABS for Off-Road Use

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Husqvarna announced it will introduce the worlds’ first anti-lock braking system designed for off-road racing, equipping a BMW-developed off-road ABS to Husqvarna’s flagship TE449.

On paved roads, ABS prevents wheels from locking up, keeping them rotating and providing traction. Off the pavement however, rear wheel lockup is helpful for stopping on loose surfaces such as dirt and gravel. Many off-road riders recommend non-ABS machines, or at least, motorcycles where ABS can be disabled.

Husqvarna’s solution uses an ABS system introduced by BMW in 2007, and similar to the system works similar to the “Slick” mode on the BMW S1000RR. Husqvarna’s system only applies antilock regulation to the front wheel while the rear wheel is allowed to lock.

The ABS system uses two wheel sensors to track the rotational speeds of the front and rear wheels, though ABS only applies to the front wheel . An electronic control unit calculates the how much pressure to apply through the hydraulic system and ABS pressure modulator to stop the front wheel without locking it. Husqvarna’s system also has a higher slip threshold than other systems, optimizing performance for off-road riding.

According to BMW, the Husqvarna off-road ABS offers superior brake performance and enhanced directional and ride stability. BMW also claims the ABS components combine to weight just 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds), making it practical for racing purposes.

For future dual sport models, Husqvarna is considering a system where riders can switch between applying ABS for both wheels or just to the front at the touch of a button.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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