ABS Could Soon be Mandatory for US Motorcycles

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Every day, I get more than 30 feeds on my mobile phone and on my PC with the latest motorcycle blog releases. Over the years. I see more and more articles coming from sources that I would consider to be “non-motorcyclists”.

There are many blog sites that were created solely for the purpose of generating affiliate advertising income. It’s not like they’re actually motorcycle enthusiasts. Normally, I just delete those and move right on. But today, one caught my eye because I wrote the title. It was obvious to me that the author of this article was not like any motorcycle I knew of and was politically totally opposite from the people in my world.

The article was titled: “ABS Could Soon be Mandatory for US Motorcycles,” but it was it really caught my attention: “Ideally, The U.S. Should Take a Leadership Position When It Comes to Safety Regulations” Having been a Motorcyclist Most of my life and having lived in the Washington DC Metro area my entire adult life. I thought, why in the world is someone writing for a motorcycle blog that is pro-government regulation?

US Mandatory ABS law dor Motorcycles - ABS Could Soon be Mandatory for US Motorcycles
US Mandatory ABS law for Motorcycles

As a motorcyclist, as an American taxpayer, and as someone who values personal liberty, I could not disagree more with this statement. Have we not learned anything from the last five years from the fabricated Russian election interference to the insane overreaction to COVID-19 and then on to the funding of the war in Ukraine to the tune of $120 billion that has managed to do nothing other than to kill about 300,000 Ukrainian men!

The author of this article a woman who primarily writes romance novels apparently is unaware that the world is tired of the US “leading” anything, especially when it comes to imposing laws and regulations on others. She apparently is not aware of what is going on in the world with the “de-dollarization” movement and BRICS. So after reading the byline “Ideally, The U.S. Should Take a Leadership Position When It Comes to Safety Regulations?” I decided to read the entire article to see what other inaccuracies I could find.

ABS Could Soon be Mandatory for US Motorcycles

There were so many that I thought I had to write my own blog article on the subject “ABS Could Soon be Mandatory for US Motorcycles.” According to the article, similar laws have already been enforced in the following countries:

  • Europe
  • The United Kingdom
  • Brazil
  • Japan
  • Taiwan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • India

And this is supposed to be impressive this is supposed to be a good idea to follow their lead? This article just represents the fact that most Americans don’t understand anything about the rest of the world. South Park had this figured out more than 20 years ago just watch Team America World Police” a perfect example of how so many people in the United States haven’t a clue of what’s going on beyond their borders.

US motorcycles to have mandatory ABS

Not a single one of these countries has a First Amendment or a Second Amendment, and none of the citizens in these countries have the protections and rights that an American citizen has yet we are supposed to follow their “lead”. Let’s look at this list of countries 1 by 1.

  • Europe is collapsing economically due to so many factors it’s hard to list them all in a sentence or two. I will name a few.

1. Super bureaucratic European Union nanny state run out of Brussels.

2. The suicidal position with Russia and the Ukraine war, and allowed the US to blow up their own natural gas pipeline lead to economic decline and deindustrialization.

3. Insane immigration laws which have led to untold social and economic problems and unrest across almost all of the European Union. 4. High tax over-regulated cradle-to-grave social welfare state.

  • The UK – Take everything above from Europe and include that, and then add the obesity epidemic that we have here in the United States, along with the woke culture and radical feminism, and that’s all I have to say about the United Kingdom. Brazil? Are we modeling our laws in the United States after Brazil? I can’t even take that seriously. Japan and Taiwan – these countries are culturally different from the United States in every way. Anyone that’s familiar with high-density population countries in Asia understands that individual liberties come far behind what is perceived by the government as the greater good of the society as a whole. And I like how people cherry-pick what they think we should copy from these countries like they’re at the buffet, just picking out their favorite food and ignoring the veggies. In these countries, traditional male and female and family roles are very much preserved and intact. American women would not last a month with a culture and regulatory system based on traditional role models like those that exist in Asia. So, should we copy their legislation for public safety but not for traditional gender models, employment relationships, marriage, and so on?
  • Australia and New Zealand – this was a great choice to pick two of the worst countries in the world for COVID-19 lockdown restrictions where they literally arrested and beat their citizens for not complying with government mandates or lockdowns and social distancing. And what about gun ownership in Australia and New Zealand? How is that going? 2 beautiful countries in the South Pacific are totally infected with the Woke nanny state government, and both have had feminist prime ministers. New Zealand has had several.
  • India – this is like Brazil I can’t believe the author is suggesting that we should be setting American legislation based on what is going on in an overpopulated, poor, third-world country of 1.4 Billion people where hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people would leave tomorrow for almost anywhere if they got the chance. The average salary in India is less than $1,500 per year. Let me repeat that so no one thinks I made a type that’s not $1,500 a month that’s $1,500.00 per year or $125 per month. It is apparent that the author has never visited India because they certainly would not have the idea that India is above the United States in terms of public safety.

In fact, you could just spend 15 minutes on YouTube and see that, in so many ways, it’s one of the most dangerous places on earth with a very lack of safety standards for all forms of transportation. It’s laughable that anti-lock brakes on motorcycles would have any effect on the overall injury fatality rate in this country, considering the myriad of other factors that are far more likely to cause harm.

Mandatory ABS on all Motorcycles sold inthe US
Mandatory ABS on all Motorcycles sold in the US

The article mentions the two organizations that have petitioned the federal government for this new legislation and regulation and they are the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highways Loss Data Institute (HLDI). She fails to disclose who these organizations are, where their funding comes from, and what their agenda is. These are lobbying arms of the insurance industry. Just like big Pharma, the military defense contractors, the food industry, Wall Street bankers, and financiers. These organizations exist to increase the profit of the industries they represent. They are not about preserving the quality of life, liberty, or rights of American citizens and taxpayers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

For more than 50 years, it has been a bad actor when it comes to all sorts of laws regulating motorcyclists. The American public often makes the mistake of perceiving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as an independent research organization dedicated to reducing losses from death injuries and property damages related to motor vehicle accidents.

However, in reality, IHS operates with a totally different agenda as it is primarily A lobbying organization for the insurance industry, with its primary task being to increase the profit of its corporate donors. When looking at any organization, especially one in government and in Washington DC, you need to always follow the money. You need to look at the structure and the funding of each organization. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is funded by automobile insurance companies and related corporate interests.

Anyone with common sense or an understanding of how Washington works knows that financial backers are the people who actually control the research and policy recommendations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS is never going to make a recommendation that would ever be in the public interest if it didn’t directly benefit the bottom line of the insurers they represent. For example, the IIHS will conduct automobile crash tests and then rate cars based on their safety ratings which will directly influence consumers’ buying decisions and vehicle design. In this way, the price of the car can be moved up and lead to actually higher insurance premiums and as a way for insurers to increase profits as more expensive automobiles generally cost more to insure.

Mandatory ABS on all Motorcycles sold in the US
Mandatory ABS on all Motorcycles sold in the US

The IIHS has a long track record of lobbying for legislation that directly affects insurance rates and coverage. This legislation includes lobbying the government for stricter traffic laws, “enhanced” enforcement techniques, and more expensive and complicated components to be required on motor vehicles. The purpose of this lobbying is not to protect the American idea of life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness it is to increase the premiums decrease the claims of the insurance industry, and make more money; that’s the bottom line line.

The IIHS funding by the insurance industry creates a complete conflict of interest when it comes to any bias or independence in their studies and findings. There is little to no transparency since they are a private organization. Their research is almost certainly skewed to favor the insurance companies that fund them. That is the entire purpose for their existence as with any lobbying organization in Washington, DC. As with any organization in Washington DC, or really in any government capital anywhere in the world, it is crucial to critically evaluate the motivations and the potential biases behind all of its actions, lobbying, and recommendations.

The National Highway Safety Administration NHTSA is one of the key Government agencies lobbied by the IIHS. NHTSA became well known to the American public in the 1970s due to a number of overly restrictive regulations and outright insane ideas. NHSTA where’s the primary government agency jamming the 55-mile-an-hour speed limit down the public’s throat.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Joan Claybrook the head of NHTSA, and their primary experience for this position was being a left-wing hack as part of the Ralph Nader organization. She became infamous for such things as spending more than ½ million dollars of taxpayer money on trying to design motorcycles that steered from the rear wheel and had outriggers on them to keep them from falling over and motorcycles with seat belts and airbags and all types of idiotic concepts. Senator Proxmire was famous for giving out the “Golden Fleece” award for projects and programs that were a big waste of American taxpayer’s money.

Mandatory ABS on all Motorcycles sold inthe US
Mandatory ABS on all Motorcycles sold in the US

NHTSA won the award for their backward motorcycle design. Joan Claybrook was ridiculed for years for this design. She went on to be the President of the Ralph Nader-created Public Citizen lobbying organization. During her reign of terror, she proposed requiring that motorcycle equipment manufacturers, including the makers of apparel such as jackets and gloves, be required to report defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration so they could keep a “database” very similar to what these groups want to do with gun registration lists.

The American Motorcyclist Association fought against the legislation, arguing to Congress that these reporting requirements went far beyond what Congress intended in approving the Transportation Recall Enhancement Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD). The AMA told Congress that they were concerned that such reporting would be the initial step in future legislation that would mandate specific safety apparel for motorcyclists.

The AMA argued that there is no connection between the brand of motorcycle and the brand of rider apparel chosen by the motorcycle. The AMA said that unlike other motor vehicle equipment and replacement equipment, apparel is neither installed in nor on a motor vehicle. In addition, motorcycle apparel is not worn exclusively while riding a motorcycle. Motorcycle jackets and jeans are often worn in cars, airplanes, trains, trucks, buses, and just walking around.

Fortunately, the AMA prevailed on this issue quite possibly because this was February 2002, less than six months after the September 11th attack, when the federal government was totally mobilized to curtail as many civil liberties of Americans as possible using national security as the pretense. They could empower and enrich themselves much more with the Patriot Act than by requiring a registry list for motorcycle accessories and apparel.

Mandatory ABS on all Motorcycles sold inthe US
Mandatory ABS on all Motorcycles sold in the US

You can still find photos of this prototype with some Google searches, and you can see it has a strange Outrigger system on it, and this is because the government has strikers could not keep the test motorcycle upright for more than 20 to 30 feet before crashing so they had had outriggers to keep it stable enough to even try to test the rear wheel steering.

The same governments that are creating these safety standards are the ones that we’re wrong about almost every single aspect of COVID-19 from start to finish. The idea that any of these people or agencies are experts or even competent or not corrupt is completely naive or ignorant. They will come out with a study and say that this thing or that thing increases something by 37% and decreases something else by 26%, and they will create tons of numbers that are all fabrications of their grants and funding and based on laboratory and theories and have absolutely no common sense at all exactly like wearing paper face masks and social distancing and every other aspect of COVID-19 policy during the entire pandemic.

Did we not learn anything? ABS is not some new leading-edge technology that was just invented it has been around for decades. BMW introduced it on one of their motorcycles that a 100, in 1988 when Ronald Reagan was president. So why are governments now with all the problems going on in the world focusing on making ABS systems mandatory on motorcycles?

You can Google search this and find out lots of people’s opinions and I disagree with almost all of them. It’s really got nothing to do with studies or research or safety or reducing injuries or death. Government bureaucracies are a self-licking ice cream. They are a never-ending source of more and more regulation until the entire system collapses onto itself, and a revolution and government start all over again.

The Australian government instituted mandatory ABS in the fall of 2021 when they were in the middle of turning their country into a giant prison colony due to COVID-19 restrictions, and people around the world watched videos from Australia and thought it must be North Korea. When the government does study permit if abs on motorcycles is a good idea and can it be used to reduce injury and death it is a foregone conclusion that the government is always going to find that more regulation and more cost and more restrictions is always what is recommended.

I’m not saying that ABS systems don’t work anymore but I’m saying that motorcycle helmets don’t work. What I am saying is we know that from real independent research and science not because of any government study or government bureaucracy or lobbying by special interests. It would be fair to say that for many riders especially newer riders, motorcycles with ABS systems are safer.

But the real reason the government once these regulations are not to prevent injury or save lives in the case of the Australian government, it was to save money and they estimated that they could save $1.6 billion over 15 years, and that money could be well spent on something more important than saving motorcyclists like climate change legislation or promoting some feminist agenda or some other nightmare nanny state regulation.

In countries where the government provides healthcare paid for by the taxpayer, you have to consider that in a single crash, you have all the expenses from the emergency services, ambulance, emergency room visit, doctor visit, follow-up treatment, or therapy. In countries with socialized medicine, healthcare costs are among the largest expenditures.

So it’s very easy for government bureaucrats to say well if we just require that motorcycles have anti-lock braking systems and it doesn’t cause us a lot of political blowback, and we can save $1.6 billion to spend on our other pet projects, well then that’s a great idea isn’t it? Peaking of negatives, what are they? Speaking of negatives, what are they? One of the most common negatives, and one I had personally, is that the ABS system can be overly sensitive, especially for the rear brain.

Sometimes it takes much less pressure to activate the ABS than one would use in braking on a motorcycle without ABS. If you cannot quickly deactivate the ABS when riding, it could be quite dangerous, especially if you are riding in an off-road environment. Ideally, if you have a motorcycle with an ABS system, it should have a way to deactivate it and turn it off when you don’t want to use it.

As mentioned before, ABS systems can be very good for a beginning writer or even a skilled rider in certain conditions especially rain, snow, and some other low-traction situations. Personally, I favor as little government regulation as possible and prefer the individual choice to win out at the end of the day. But if these antilock braking systems are mandatory, I hope motorcyclists and the industry will at least push to have the option to turn them off when not wanted. Ronald Reagan: ‘Government is not the solution to the problem: government is the problem’, Inaugural Address – 1981.

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government, educational, corporate, and non-profit organizations:


Picture of About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

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