Is it possible to test the ABS system of two wheeler other than riding myself or someone else? Whenever I give my motorcycle for servicing, I never saw them testing it's functionality. By this, can I assume that the ABS system is flawless?

4 Answers 4


This will depend on the bike and exactly what is fitted, but with cars with OBDII you can interrogate each of the systems.

I had a supposed ABS fault - which once read, pointed to one wheel and the fault was caused by ice surrounding the sensor - once melted it is now fine.

So, if you can get a reader then it will tell you if all checks out ok and, BTW, that is what the light on the dash does - it comes on under test then if it is goes out and stays out there is no fault.


Usually, if the serviceman says that your motorcycle is okay, you can rely on that. However, if you really wanna get sure that it works, try it on an abandoned, dry track. Accelerate on 20 mph and press hard the rear brakes, do not press the front one, because in the worst case you can fall over. On the other hand, if you are sure that your electrics work completely, you can rely on that if the abs fail, the abs warning light tells you that.

  • Is there any other way like pulling a cable and connecting to some equipment and then checking if the wheel speed censer is giving the proper feed or not? Because, this is my first bike, so I am not sure how other bikes without abs performs with this test.
    – Bharadwaj
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 8:54
  • 1
    if you have an OBD II connector you can buy a device to check it. Ask in a specialty store for such devices and tell them your problem, usually, they have such devices to check your abs system! And if you have your device connected, it tells you if there is a problem with your bike. Link: ebay.ie/sch/… Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 10:46

Locking up the rear brake isn't really a big deal as long as you are coming to a stop. Just stomp on them in a parking lot and see if they lock up. Wouldn't suggest doing that with the front brake tho.


There are two ways of testing the ABS systems. 1. Digital 2. Physical

Digitally check ABS systems using the monitors that are available in the market. It is easy to hook it upto ECU and check if it is working fine. Alternatively any advance two-wheeler must have a ABS warning light, which tells if the ABS is working fine or not.

Physically To test the ABS functionality outside digital world there are three terrains -

  1. Dry surface - ABS gets activated when it feels like the braking power might lock the wheel.

    Find a straight patch of road without vehicles. 
    Wear your protective gear. 
    Now reach to a speed of around 70kmph or 45 mph. 
    Now brake suddenly, apply equal pressure to front and rear brakes(if you have dual channel ABS. If you have either front or rear wheel ABS then apply more pressure to that wheel. And less pressure on the Non ABS wheel to avoid locking and any serious complications)
  2. Wet surface -

    Find a patch of straight road an perform the above with a layer of water of about 1cm thick.
    Now apply brakes suddenly. Hard brakes on ABS enabled wheel and least pressure on Non-ABS wheel
  3. Off-road (conditions similar to off-road) -

     Find an off-road patch filled with loose gravel or smaller stones or full of bumps and rocks.
     Now reach a slower speed here or apply brake in above manner  when you encounter a bump.
     Or find a speed breaker on empty road and as soon as you made contact with speed breaker, and ABS enabled wheel encounters the speed bump, apply the brakes.
     This will trick the ABS sensor into thinking that you have encountered a loose ground thus mirroring off-road behaviour and ABS will engage.

On attempting the above 3 routes, if ABS is working then you will feel below conditions -

- Brakes feel on-off repeatedly even if pressed continuously
- Jerky motion in brakes, a loss of braking power
- Although we feel loss in braking power, but technically it is a increase in braking power. As in case of locking of wheel we would have lost braking and steering capability. But with ABS brakes work more efficiently in stopping at higher speeds as well as empowers us to steer while braking which was not possible earlier.

Thus in above ways you can check the whether ABS is working correctly or not.

Kindly perform the above procedure in a controlled environment as in case of failure they can be very hazardous. Wear protective gear. For proper roads you can keep the speeds upto 100kmph/60mph for test purpose. For off-road condition keep the speed slower than 30kmph/20mph . since steering is already difficult on off-road, so will be braking.

Usually ABS is turned off while going off-road trails as it gets activated everytime we hit a bump. Thus this is just a test setting, Turn off you ABS while going off-road.(if functionality such as traction control and ABS On/Off exists)

Above techniques are tried and tested personally. I will not be held liable of any damage incurred while performing above techniques.

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