Honda Promises Combined ABS Brakes on All Street Motorcycles over 250cc by 2010

Better motorcycle braking technology holds the promise of reducing crashes and injuries. Honda says it's coming. Meanwhile its motorcycle sales are growing briskly.

In a year-end speech outlining Honda's future plans, Takeo Fukui, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., promised that all of Honda's future street motorcycles with engine displacements over over 250cc will be equipped with an advanced combined/anti-lock braking system. This new braking technology will initially be fitted to all touring and sport bikes—which Fukui says will happen by the end of 2007—and all streetbikes in this over 250cc displacement range by the end of this decade.

Motorcyclists generally go a poor job of braking effectively when confronted with a panic situation. Overbraking can can lead to loss of control from wheel lock-up. Braking insufficiently can cause a collision that would be preventable if the rider used his brakes fully or it can cause the motorcycle to simply impact an unavoidable object at a higher speed with greater injuries than they should. More forgiving braking technologies—which allow the rider to use the brakes aggressively without the fear of wheel lock-up and a summary spill—appear to be the best way of addressing these issues.

In addition, the company says it will more widely deploy programmed fuel injection on its motorcycles to reduce emissions. These moves are part of Honda's desire to be "a company that society wants to exist."

In the opening of his address, Fukui said:

"Honda maintains its focus on being a company that society wants to exist. We will also focus on strengthening the core elements that make Honda unique in each area of its activities including R&D;, production and sales and service.

"Honda will develop a strong and robust corporate structure to buffer the company from exchange rate fluctuations and other changes in the business climate by increasing the self-sufficiency and autonomy of each regional operation and by improving quality, cost and delivery in our parts sourcing efforts.

"Honda will further enhance its sales and service by focusing on its customers. Our highest priority is customer satisfaction.

"Honda will strengthen its R&D; efforts by looking more than 10 years into the future. Honda's goal is to continuously provide advanced products to our customers."

The speech also included an announcement that Honda's motorcycle sales had grown 23 percent worldwide in 2004 to 10.7 units and that it's forecast for 2005 in 12.5 million units.

A summary of the entire speech is available on Hondas news site..

Fukui with Honda's ASIMO robot. Honda's CEO says new braking technologies will be fitted to most of the company's motorcycle's within six years.