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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Traction Control ?

I visited an HD dealership yesterday (Sunday). I was with a buddy who rides a BMW. He is saying, the Road Glide Special is nice; but, no traction control. The BMW k1600B has traction control. So the BMW is better.

The HD sales person said that since the Special includes ABS and linked brakes. it has traction control. Searching the Internet, reviews indicate NO traction control on the FLTR-Special. Is this a semantic issue? Does it or does it not have it.


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 09:56 AM
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Define Traction Control?

Harley does not have traction control, in the sense that it is defined by the automobile or even the motorcycle industry.

Your friend is correct, the BMW does trump Harley in that respect.

ABS and linked brakes do not define true traction control. True traction control takes over when a vehicle is in acceleration and/or braking. The Harley system only works under braking conditions and even then really only in a straight line, not in a curve.

Traction control in motorcycles uses a combination of 3 designed systems in the ECU to limit power delivery to the rear wheel, It uses the ABS sensors to determine wheel spin differential between the front and rear wheels and applies 1 or more of the following to try to keep the bike upright from sliding.

1. Retards engine timing
2. Cuts off fuel to a cyclinder or set of cylinders
3. Electronically adjust the throttle

Note this is also why the ABS LIGHT will come on after doing a burnout, it drives the ABS sensor nutty when the rear wheel is spinning and the front wheel is not or barely in comparison.

There are several articles written regarding this issue (I'm not that smart to define the system above without reading up on it). The major Japanese and European manufacturers have incorporated this technology into some of their motorcycles.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Reading about the bmw k1600b, easy to conclude that no way does the current crop of 18 Road Glides have traction control as referred to on the bmw. I anticipate that the 2019 Road Glides will offer T.C.

Hay, my 08 does not have ABS. My 08 is the first m.c. I have owned that has electronic fuel injection. I therefore am a Laggard when it comes to adoption of new m.c. Tech. Likely reason my riding buddy pushed me regarding traction control.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by calgaryglide View Post
Harley does not have traction control, in the sense that it is defined by the automobile or even the motorcycle industry. Your friend is correct, the BMW does trump Harley in that respect. ...
...
Calgaryglide
Thank you for the explanation. Very clear. I have not been around this forum much for quite awhile. However, when I got the new bike bug, I started again.

BTW, I worked in Hamilton Ont. for awhile. So, greetings to Canada from Florida.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull_Duck View Post
I visited an HD dealership yesterday (Sunday). I was with a buddy who rides a BMW. He is saying, the Road Glide Special is nice; but, no traction control. The BMW k1600B has traction control. So the BMW is better.

The HD sales person said that since the Special includes ABS and linked brakes. it has traction control. Searching the Internet, reviews indicate NO traction control on the FLTR-Special. Is this a semantic issue? Does it or does it not have it.
That salesman is full of shit. Find another dealer who does not lie and/or knows what they are talking about. Just because a vehicle has ABS, it does not automatically have TC. IMHO, traction control is a good feature to have on 400 lb. sportbikes that put out 120hp at the rear wheel, but not nearly as important on a 900 lb. cruiser that puts out 1/3rd less than that. My Ducati has traction control, and it has only engaged once or twice with spirited riding, at full lean, on wet roads.
ABS is an important feature on any street bike.

John, Medina, TN - 2003 Honda ST1300 ABS, 2011 Kawasaki KLR 650, 2012 Ducati Monster 1100 EVO
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 10:54 AM
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I own both a Road Glide and a BMW R1200GSA and no the Harley does not have traction control. While it is a good thing it would not stop me from buying a new Road Glide. Because of the heavy weight and lower horse power of the Harley Touring bikes , they do not need it as much as lighter, higher horse power bikes. With the traction control on , my BMW will not spin the rear tire or do a wheelie. Turn it off and I can light up the rear tire and it is easy to wheelie. It is a good safety feature on wet slick roads and I hope Harley does catch up with the other bikes in a lot of ways and traction control is just one thing they need to add. They have all the parts needed on the bike now . It's just a computer program and they could offer it without adding to there cost to manufacture .
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 11:02 AM
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ABS is important to me. Traction control is definitely not a deal breaker. I have only kicked in the traction control on a bike one time and it almost cost me my life. I was pulling out of a gas station to go right and when I was already moving and looked left again a Challenger decided to try and beat traffic from a side street before the gas station and I could tell he was getting on it.

I accelerated and the rear tire slipped a little on some sand on the road. Normally I would have just let off a little on the fuel and then reapply to get out of there. The traction control kicked in and because the tire didn't truly slide I didn't let off on the throttle and the traction control stayed engaged. When I realized what was happening and closed the throttle the traction control finally disengaged and I was able to re-apply throttle and get the hell out of there.

This was on a 160 horsepower sport touring bike.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 11:24 AM
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A week ago today I had no choice but to take my bike to work. There was ice on the ground in places due to below freezing temps, fog and it had rained the day before. Was still dark outside when I left.

I found my bike does have traction control. There were a few miles where I had to slow down and ride with my feet down. 2STCS - The 2 shoe traction control system.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcarruth View Post
That salesman is full of shit. Find another dealer who does not lie and/or knows what they are talking about. Just because a vehicle has ABS, it does not automatically have TC. IMHO, traction control is a good feature to have on 400 lb. sportbikes that put out 120hp at the rear wheel, but not nearly as important on a 900 lb. cruiser that puts out 1/3rd less than that. My Ducati has traction control, and it has only engaged once or twice with spirited riding, at full lean, on wet roads.
ABS is an important feature on any street bike.
I live in a state that has lots of snow, dirty roads, and high mountain passes. Traction control can be a lifesaver if you run into an unexpected patch of snow or gravel while on the throttle. And in the rain, especially on dirty roads the rain hasn't washed clean yet. I was riding with a friend last year on a road trip (both of us 2 up) and watched his K1600 start to slide on a patch of dirt, only to be saved by TC.
No doubt, I've been able to ride on the track a lot faster than I normally could thanks to TC, but that is an environment where I am intentionally exceeding the limits of traction exiting corners and relying on TC to bail me out. It's those unintentional times on the street where it can also come into it's own.

Lack of TC didn't stop me from buying an RGU, but it would definitely be a better bike if it had it. That said, you couldn't give me the BMW cruiser, and I've owned a LOT of BMW's, and still ride a GSA. That bike looks like crap, BMW service often sucks, a lot of their bikes are on recall, and BMW could care less about their customers.
The stanction's have failed on GSA's (which is a potentially deadly failure) and I've been waiting for 4 months for BMW to fix mine. Other BMW's have been dealing with other recall issues of their own. They weren't legally allowed to sell a lot of their this year because of recall issues. TC doesn't do you much good if your forks fail.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 03:48 PM
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My bike has traction control, my right hand.
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