Bike-makers gearing up for new brake systems

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on February 11, 2018 Published on February 11, 2018

PO25_BS_Bike_riding2   -  Lukas Gojda/

After last year’s shift in emission norms — from BS-III to BS-IV — the two-wheeler industry is now gearing up for new safety norms: the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and the CBS (Combined Brake System) for new models from April 1, 2018 and for existing models from April 1, 2019.

The proposed norms mandate CBS in two-wheelers below 125cc and ABS in vehicles above 125cc.

Prices may rise

The new regulation is likely to have some price implications for buyers. Estimates suggest that an ABS unit may make a bike expensive by ₹10,000-₹15,000, while a CBS unit may push up prices by a relatively low ₹1,000-₹2,000.

“All our models will meet the new safety norms. We will have either CBS or ABS depending upon the category of the vehicle,” said KN Radhakrishnan, President and CEO, TVS Motor Company. But he did not elaborate on the impact on the price.

For Yamaha, it is a different story> Neither “ABS nor CBS is new for Yamaha because it is offered in numerous offshore markets. For Indian models, affordability was a challenge but we managed it and are ready,” said Roy Kurian, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Yamaha Motor India Sales.


Price vs Safety

The technology is available in India with global players like Continental bringing its decades of expertise.

“In a price-sensitive market as India, ABS has been perceived as a premium, rather than a necessary safety, feature. Equipping vehicles in India with safety technologies will certainly have a cost implication in the initial stages. But with the norm in place, large-scale adoption of safety installations will push the prices down,” said Jaidev Venkataraman, Head of Engineering, BU Vehicle Dynamics, Continental Automotive Components (India).

ABS and CBS have different functions. CBS will make sure that both the front and rear brakes are applied to avoid nosediving and get more deceleration than conventional brakes. In ABS, the wheels do not lock and prevents skidding and allow handling while braking. But ABS is more expensive than CBS.

The industry is of the view that as there would be a strong thrust on localisation, the ABS technology would progressively become affordable.

Published on February 11, 2018
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