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New York Times: Antilock Brakes Aren’t Just for Four Wheels

Motorcycle makers and federal highway-safety regulators are taking a harder look at whether advanced safety technology can help reduce fatal accidents and injuries for those who ride.

Manufacturers, at the urging of federal safety officials, are moving to make antilock brakes available on more models. BMW AG is making the feature standard on all models as of the 2012 model year. At the same time, the government and industry are moving ahead with new studies of whether antilock brakes, which can help a rider stay upright during a hard stop, can reduce motorcycle fatalities.

BMWBMW is making antilock brakes standard on all of its motorcycles, such as this K 1600 GT model.



Unlike auto makers and drivers, the motorcycle industry and riders have been relatively slow to embrace safety technology. Thirty years ago, car manufacturers fought safety requirements and most drivers didn’t bother using their seat belts. Now, auto makers compete to offer the latest crash-survival and avoidance technology and more than 80% of motorists buckle up—even if only to avoid getting a ticket.

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