Hi everyone, I'm in the market for a Goldwing but not sure about the differences with ABS Vs linked brakes. Does the ABS really makes difference? As I’m not experienced with ABS on bikes. What are the downsides of them for road riding and how reliable are they?
All 1800 gold wings have linked brakes, those that have ABS love it and wouldn't be without it. It keeps the tires from locking up and the bike sliding sideways, I don't have ABS and I wasn't looking for it when I bought my 08. It's a safety feature. If it makes you feel good get it, it's a $1,000 option.
I'm still working to get my '83 Gold Wing (no ABS, obviously, but linked brakes, that I wish it didn't have either) back on the road. I do have an opinion on ABS though.
I have a 2004 BMW R1150R with partially linked and assisted ABS brakes (I intend to put it up for sale as soon as the 'Wing is ready for the road). With the ignition off the BMW offers quite a challenge to get any braking power. I don't normally ride with the ignition off but just as with Toyota's current "problem" in the news about surges in acceleration, the rider/driver being removed so far from the function of a machine doesn't seem like a good idea to me. "Ride by wire" as I've heard it called, and I think that would apply to ABS, is too dependent on the electronics working right, every time. A panic stop situation would certainly be a bad time for an ABS system to fail to firmly re-apply brakes if it had partially released them for a nano-second to avoid wheel skid. I, for one, would rather be skidding and sliding in a panic than finding myself helpless, barreling along to the crash site, if they didn't work right....even just once!
Old school....technology resistant....whatever. Just my $.02