What you need to know
ABS was first introduced on motorcycles in the early 1990s, but has only been offered across all brands since the late 2000s. Although ABS is increasingly available in New Zealand in both new and used motorcycles, not all motorcycles have it.
ABS is a closed-loop part of the braking system that prevents wheel lock during braking resulting in improved vehicle stability, and usually reduced stopping distance. If the wheels are about to lock due to hard braking or slippery road conditions, the ABS hydraulic unit momentarily reduces brake pressure so the wheels continue to rotate. A CBS is a service brake system where brakes on both wheels can be operated by using a single control. During emergency braking, CBS stops the rider from having to balance front and rear brake force manually, eliminating compromised braking due to inappropriate or panicked brake use.
New Zealand’s motorcycle fleet is imported from overseas. To improve motorcycle safety and reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities, the Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes Amendment (No 2) 2019 came into effect in April 2020. This means that by 2021 we expect to see 90% of all motorcycles imported to New Zealand fitted with ABS or CBS.
New requirement comes into effect
The mandatory ABS requirement came into effect on 1 April 2020, through the Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes Amendment (No 2) 2019.
On 12 September 2019, the Associate Minister of Transport signed an amendment to the Land Transport Rule: Light vehicle Brakes 2002, mandating ABS or CBS for motorcycles entering New Zealand’s vehicle fleet.
Road to Zero strategy consulted on
The Government agreed to consult on the new Road to Zero road safety strategy and initial set of actions. One of the initial actions was mandating ABS for motorcycles.
Proposed rule amendment consultation
The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2018/19–2027/28 included a range of measures to improve the safety of vulnerable road users, including considering mandating ABS for motorcycles.