List of All Motorcycles with Cornering ABS/IMU
Here's a list of all motorcycles with Cornering ABS, a.k.a. an Internal Measurement Unit or IMU.
Lately I got really interested in "cornering ABS" that's present on Ducati motorcycles.
Then I realised that "Cornering ABS" is just Ducati's specific brand for a general concept which is to adjust the amount of braking to compensate for what the motorcycle is currently doing.
Other names for cornering ABS are
- Lean-angle sensitive ABS (my favourite generic term)
- ABS Pro or Race ABS (BMW)
- or just having an Internal Measurement Unit or IMU.
An IMU is actually a word for a suite of measurement controls. It's fed into a safety system that includes braking but also includes traction and wheelie control.
The various terms are almost synonymous because any motorcycle with lean angle-sensitive ABS has traction and wheelie control... though the converse is not true (there are many motorcycles with traction and wheelie control but without lean angle-sensitive ABS).
Knowing it exists on non-Ducati brands I thought... hey, maybe there are cheaper motorcycles with lean-angle sensitive ABS on them!
There still aren't many motorcycles with cornering ABS though. So here are all the ones I've found.
Why an IMU/Cornering ABS?
In a nutshell — I want to ride fast bikes and I want to live longer doing it. I like the freedom of the open road, but I don't need to arrive with wrist pain and stress to enjoy that freedom.
ABS is often described as the greatest safety invention in the last twenty years (I can't see reference for this, but it's often said). ABS prevents wheels from locking up by detecting when they've done so and modulating brake pressure at high frequency.
Basically, when your wheel skids (even for a fraction of a fraction of a second), ABS releases the brakes, and then re-applies the brakes. It does this hundreds of times a second — meaning it works far better than you possibly can.
When you are going in a straight line and you grab a handful of the brakes, with ABS you stop very quickly — much more quickly than even if you used your hand.
The problem with ABS is that this also makes the motorcycle go upright. This puts you directly into the path of oncoming traffic, or other obstacles.
Lean-angle sensitive ABS adds to ABS by controlling the amount of braking depending on a number of factors including how far you're leaning, whether you're accelerating, and how fast you're going.
The goal of lean angle-sensitive ABS is to brake you as quickly as possible without dramatically changing your direction.
The effect of a good braking system is that at any point in time you can just grab a handful of brakes and let the computer do the thinking.
Different names for Cornering ABS
Different motorcycle manufacturers have different names for cornering ABS. Let's go through them! In alphabetical order:
Aprilia calls its system cornering ABS.
Ducati calls their system Bosch Cornering ABS — although many other manufacturers also use Bosch systems. When it got upgraded to 6-axis, it became Bosch Cornering ABS Evo.
Honda calls their system just an IMU, saying they have either a 5-axis or 6-axis IMU.
Kawasaki calls their system the KCMF - the Kawasaki Cornering Management Function. It oversees many things, including braking.
KTM refers to it as Bosch's MSC — Motorcycle Stability Control. It's undoubtedly the same basic system as in other manufacturers with Bosch systems.
Suzuki, like Honda, refers to their system as an IMU.
Triumph calls theirs Optimised Cornering ABS, not to be confused with all the others with crappy unoptimised cornering ABS.
Yamaha also calls their system an IMU, proudly calling it a 6-axis IMU.
Zero, like KTM, uses Bosch's branding of Bosch MSC — Motorcycle Stability Control.
Riding Motorcycles with Cornering ABS
The best part of riding a motorcycle with a good IMU (and associated cornering ABS and traction control) is that you can, in theory, trust a computer and accelerate and brake as hard as you want.
That is... if the stability system is working.
An IMU frees you up from the stress of worrying about gravel, pitch angle, speed and so on, and lets you just brake when you think there is danger.
The effect of this is that you spend less mental energy riding and can go longer distances more safely, and arrive fresher. It's a lot like cruise control in this respect.
If you want a fully manual experience, go and get a classic motorcycle and stay in control. Get one without fairings and with a bare-bones engine. That's an experience in itself.
But if you want to arrive fresh after a 12-hour ride (or even after a 1-hour race), get lean angle-sensitive ABS and whatever other electronics you can to help you.
Riding with an IMU is best when you change your riding style to suit. You trust the computer.
To accelerate, you can open the throttle and the front wheel will lift over every crest — but the anti-wheelie will bring it back down again.
To brake, you grab the brakes and the computer modulates the amount that you need, using as much braking power as is available to the motorcycle at any point. The effect is that to anyone but the most experienced of riders you get a shocking amount of grip and braking power, even in the wet, and even on slippery road.
You don't have to warm up the tires or warm up mentally. Your only task is to keep off zero-grip surfaces where the computer can't do anything — like ice. Or a lake.
On most motorcycles with an IMU you can adjust the intervention of the computer all the way down to zero. But many people get a rude surprise the first time they turn it off! Around race tracks, people always end up riding slower.
Motorcycles with Cornering ABS
Here's the list of motorcycles I've found with cornering ABS. There may be one or two others out there. I've done a LOT of Googling for this. If you find another one, please contact me so I can add it to the list.
Aprilia Cornering ABS
Aprilia has cornering ABS on the
- 2017+ RSV-4
- 2017+ Tuono V4
BMW ABS Pro
BMW as one of the earliest manufacturers with cornering ABS (what they call ABS Pro).
You can get ABS Pro on
- 2009+ HP4
- 2012+ S1000RR — thought it has to be retrofitted if it's not on there (will cost you at least US$300 - depends on where you are)
- 2015+ S1000RR as a factory option (or retrofitted)
- 2015+ S1000 XR as factory option
- 2016+ K1600 GT/GTL (standard)
- 2016+ R1200GS, GSA (option)
Ducati Cornering ABS Motorcycles
Ducati was another quite early manufacturer to fit cornering ABS to a lot of its models.
It's available as standard on:
- 2015+ 1299 Panigale
- 2015+ Multistrada
- 2016+ Diavel and XDiavel
- 2017+ Monster 1200 + variants
- 2019+: ALL Ducati models including the ones you're about to tell me, like the Multistrada, Hyperstrada and Hypermotard 950, plus Scrambler models and little Monsters, everything, I get it.
That last line is important. Even the 2019 Ducati Scrambler has the full Bosch cornering ABS package on it! This makes Ducati Scramblers some of the highest safety per dollar motorcycles on the market.
Other than the Honda CB125R, that is...
Honda IMU-equipped motorcycles
Honda has only a few motorcycles with an IMU fitted... but some of them are the cheapest ones!
- 2017-18 Honda CBR1000RR - 5-axis IMU
- 2019-20 Honda CBR1000RR-R, SP - a 6-axis IMU
- 2018+ Honda CB125R and CB300R — yes, you read that right. These also have an IMU — these have to be the cheapest motorcycles with cornering ABS you can buy.
It's odd that the CB1000R and CB650R or CBR650R don't have an IMU given that those low-end motorcycles do. Not sure why.
Kawasaki KCMF-equipped motorcycles
You can get Kawasaki's KCMF package on
- 2017+ Ninja 1000/Z1000SX
- 2017+ Ninja ZX-10R
- 2017+ H2 SX (you'll really need it on this!)
- 2019+ Versys 1000 SE/LT
KTM Bosch MSC-equipped motorcycles
KTM has their MSC package on the following motorcycles:
- 2013 1190 Adventure R
- 2014+ KTM 1290 Super Duke R
- 2015+ 1290 Super Adventure R
- 2019 790 Duke
The 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure was one of the first motorcycles on the market with cornering ABS. This means it's CHEAP! In fact, you can easily find these on the second-hand market with reasonable miles for under $8,000.
Suzuki motorcycles with an IMU
Suzuki first had an IMU on their 2017 V-Strom 1000 — but for braking only (i.e. it didn't do launch or traction control). Very strange. Worth mentioning, but if picking up a V-Strom 1000, go just one year later to 2018.
- 2017+ GSX-R1000/R
- 2018-19 V-Strom 1000 XT
- 2020 V-Strom 1050 XT (one of my favourite best-looking motorcycles)
- 2020 GSX-S 1000 Katana (damn! Also very good looking)
Triumph motorcycles with Optimised Cornering ABS
Triumph has Optimised Cornering ABS on their highest-end models:
- 2017+ Tiger 1200 XR/XC/XCx/XCA (that's the whole Tiger 1200 lineup)
- 2017+ Speed Triple RS (not the S, nor the Street Triple)
- 2019 Rocket 3
- 2020 Scrambler 1200 XE (not the XC, nor the Street Scrambler)
Yamaha's only motorcycle with an IMU
Yamaha just has their six-axis IMU on one motorcycle — the 2015+ YZF-R1/R1M. Luckily the 2016 in Anniversary Edition colours is one of my goals motorcycles.
They don't have it on the MT-10 even, which is otherwise a very similar platform.
Zero motorcycles with Bosch Cornering ABS
Zero first introduced Bosch Cornering ABS on their 2019 Zero SR/F (see my meta-review).
They also have cornering ABS on the 2020 SR/S, a very similar motorcycle, but with a fairing.
Cheapest motorcycles with Cornering ABS
Out of all the above motorcycles, here are the very cheapest motorcycles with cornering ABS/IMU fitted:
- 2018+ Honda CB300R (or CB125R, if you're in a market where a 125 is practical) — $4K in new condition
- 2019+ Ducati Scrambler: You can get these on the road for about $10K
- 2012+ BMW S1000RR — you can get these used for about $10K — make sure it has ABS Pro fitted
- 2013 KTM 1190 Adventure: you can find them used for $8-9K, but there aren't many around