As the number of motorcycle sales picks up pace in India, counting by the many millions, a corresponding increased risk of safety hazards, mishaps and fatalities are also on the rise. Combating this risk is an arduous task for the Government of India. The Government would either have to spend generously on better roads and infrastructure facilities besides educating the people to use public transportation systems to stem the risk. But this would be a mountain of a task because India is a big country with a population that's rising by the day. In a recent report on the roads in the world that claimed the most number of lives, India came first. However, this figure cannot be attributed to one single entity. Both the roads and the road user are equally liable for the disastrous outcome. That being said, the Indian government has decided to roll up its sleeves and work on how to bring down the amount of risk involved within the largest automobile user base, namely motorcycles. A new law that ensures that motorcycles be fitted with ABS technology is about to be implemented by the Indian Government, as reported by the Economic Times.
The first ABS equipped bike was made in India a few years ago, the TVS Apache RTR180 ABS. It had a HECU (Hydraulic Electronic Unit) that made sure that the wheels wouldn't get locked even if the brakes were applied with a large amount of force.
The latest 'Indian' entrant in the motorcycle with ABS group is Bajaj with their RS200, the ABS equipment being optional. With several other manufacturers offering ABS as standard on their motorcycles, it certainly is high time that the bike manufacturers of India and the bikes made in India by foreign players, be willing to produce ABS equipped bikes.
However, the point that I'd like to throw light upon concerns the commuter oriented motorcycles – Will they get ABS too? - it seems unrealistic. Earlier reports of introducing a law that made selling bikes above 125cc without ABS illegal were doing it rounds in the news but it seems to have died out. There are no current details regarding the law that is being planned for implementation and is for now, on paper. However, safety assurances should not be limited to just bringing in technology, like the ABS, to vehicles. The Government have to try and understand the fact that good roads and good road usage are essential to maintain a lower rate of road related accidents.
Currently, motorcycle buyers can choose between the ABS equipped version and the one without, and there isn't much separating the two. The ABS equipped version is only Rs 5,000 more than the non-ABS variant. Commenting on the report by Economic Times about the proposal for such a law, the German Automotive Equipment Manufacturer, Bosch, said that it would be prospective to work on delivering single – and twin – channel ABS systems, made within the country, to the respective motorcycle manufacturers. As of now, the RTR Apache 180 from TVS still holds the position for being the cheapest ABS equipped bike available in India.
New ABS-mandatory law could spark a revolution in two-wheeler safety in India
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