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Enduro Bikes Escape ABS Law | News

New road-legal motorcycles sold in Australia from November, 2019, will be required to have anti-lock brakes as standard, as the Federal Government continues to battle the road toll

The new rules are an attempt to increase safety on the tar, but there is an exemption for most dirtbikes.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher, who approved the change to the Australian Design Rules, said the requirements will ensure new motorcycles sold in Australia have the same life-saving technologies currently required in Europe, Japan and a number of other major markets.

“Motorcycle riders represent around 18 per cent of all road deaths and 22 per cent of hospitalisations. This means that, per kilometre travelled, an Australian motorcycle rider faces 20 times more risk of being killed in a crash than a car occupant,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Providing bike riders with machines capable of slowing and stopping more quickly and safely is one way we can help ensure that the risks associated with motorcycle riding are significantly reduced. Over a 15-year period, we anticipate these systems will save close to 600 motorcyclists’ lives while providing a net benefit to the community of over $1.6 billion.”

The get-out-of-jail clause is that enduro and trials bikes (which are not fitted with a “seating position for a passenger and not fitted with passenger footrests”) are exempt. Trail bikes under 250cc that have a 21-inch front wheel also escape the legislation and adventure bikes will still be allowed to have switchable ABS.

There’s also an exemption for popular adventure bikes such as the Suzuki DR650 and Kawasaki KLR650, which have until 1 November, 2021, to fit switchable ABS as they are existing designs and not “new” models.

“It’s a difficult one,” Suzuki Australia motorcycle marketing manager Lewis Croft says. “There are going to be some pros and there are going to be some cons. But we’ve got some time to evaluate how and what we need to do in terms of fitting ABS.”

Look out for the full story in an upcoming issue of ADB magazine.