ABS Becomes Mandatory for all Bikes over 125cc in India

ABS-equipped Yamaha R1 front wheel 1 photo
India is set on making anti-locking brakes (ABS) mandatory on all the motorcycles with 125cc displacement or bigger. This measure is a response to the increasing number of road-caused deaths among motorbike users and passengers. It is expected that the introduction of ABS-equipped bikes will slowly increase transport safety and reduce casualties.
The motorcycle market in India is simply huge, far bigger than anything else, with the Chinese one being the only surpassing it. With so many motorbikes on the road, nobody should be surprised that the number of deaths in this transport section is so high. According to the data collected in 2013 by the Road Transport Minister, no less than 39,353 people using motorcycles have lost their lives in road crashes.

70 percent of the accidents on Indian roads involve motorbikes

It may sound disturbing and almost crazy, but the same source, quoted by autocar, says that around 70% of the total number of accidents which take place on Indian roads year-round involve motorcycles. With most of the Indian riders not wearing any sort of protective gear and not even helmets, it’s easy to understand that chances of making it safe and sound from a crash are very low.

Since government officials know this too, they are considering enforcing a new safety-focused regulation which will make selling non-ABS motorcycles bigger than 125cc illegal. Such a road regulation is clearly inspired by the new European laws which are gradually being implemented and whose benefits are well-documented.

Some argue that making ABS mandatory will increase the price of the bikes. While this is of course true, the presence of anti-locking brakes is known to reduce the number of crashes and with it - the number of severe injuries and deaths, and the property damage. In turn, this means that the state will spend less money on taking care of the outcome of the injuries and deaths, and could use the money elsewhere.

No date when ABS becomes mandatory in India was forwarded so far, but we can believe this will take a couple of years or so. Wonder if this has anything to do with KTM and BMW building their small-displacement machines there and the local authorities examining the pros and cons of having ABS on the 125cc and bigger bikes…
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