MMP 19: Which Motorcycle Braking System is Better: Standard, Linked, Integrated, Combined or ABS? [Podcast]

In this session of the Motorcycle Mentor Podcast, I explain the 4 different types of motorcycle braking systems. I’ve always said, “Once I understand the complex, the complex seems so simple.” You’ll be an expert after listening to this podcast.

best beginner motorcycle

Listen to the podcast by clicking on the play button at the top of the page.

More specifically, in this session you’ll find out about:

  • What are the 4 types of motorcycle braking systems?
  • What’s the difference between drums brakes and disc brakes (and how to tell which type you have)?
  • What’s the difference between integrated brakes, combined brakes and linked brakes?
  • What manufacturer embraced ABS brakes on motorcycle before others?
  • Which type of braking system do I prefer and recommend?

Resources and Links

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You can also leave me a voice mail message. I might play your voice mail question during an upcoming podcast.

Help the Motorcycle Mentor Podcast

And lastly, if you haven’t already done so, would you take a minute to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It would be extremely helpful for the show and I’m aiming for 100 5-star ratings before the end of the year. That would be awesome for a motorcycle related podcast.

To leave a review on iTunes.

  1. Click here to open the podcast page.
  2. Then select the blue “View in iTunes” button to open iTunes.
  3. Then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab.
  4. Then select the gray “Write a Review” button.

Thank you in advance for doing this. And thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Please let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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11 Responses to MMP 19: Which Motorcycle Braking System is Better: Standard, Linked, Integrated, Combined or ABS? [Podcast]

  1. Rob, from Canada June 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    Sorry to hear your stuck on the iTunes rating. If I could rate it twice I would ( I can’t can I ? ) Thanks again for the podcast. You reminded me that I should take my new bike to a parking lot and try the ABS. I assume it works. As it is my bike stops on a dime, better than any bike I have ridden before. I looked up the specs and read the manual again after listening to this podcast. I have ABS but they aren’t linked, as far as I can tell. Dual discs up front, four piston calipers, single disc in the rear. To be truthful I don’t use my rear brakes all that much anyways. The ABS wasn’t a option on my bike, standard feature. Traction control was a option, I ordered my bike with the traction control. I figured might as well. I always think of traction control as reverse ABS if that makes any seance. Anyways, thanks again.

    • MotorcycleMentor June 29, 2014 at 12:30 am #

      Hopefully I won’t be stuck at 51 reviews for long. I doubt you can rate it more than once, but great idea.

      Congrats on having ABS and traction control. Let us know here after you test your ABS and tell us what you found.


  2. Cris Bennett June 30, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Greetings from Australia! Have just left you a good iTunes review. Hopefully your appeal will net a few more.

    Thanks for another great episode. Your references to ABS in the podcasts have been a pretty direct influence on my choices. As a very late starter (51), I’m on the cautious/safety conscious side, and your ABS advocacy prompted me to have a good look at the issues, and I came down on the side of insisting on ABS for my first bike. I took delivery of it two days ago (a 2013 Honda CB500XA), and am thrilled and excited. First couple of on-road rides have been slightly scary but fun (smooth bike; kinda wobbly rider). My plan for the next few months is to get as much practise in as I can. And I’ll be watching out for more MM episodes.

    Thanks again.

    • MotorcycleMentor July 1, 2014 at 1:15 am #

      @ Cris
      Thanks for leaving feedback. Sounds like you are making good choices.

      Keep me posted on your progress!


  3. Rob, from Canada July 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Hello, not sure if we are allowed to link to youtube video’s but I found this interesting.

    I haven’t tried my ABS , its been hot and dry here, ( well Canada hot ). Waiting for the rain. If I check them at all, maybe its better not to tempt fate… Thanks.

  4. Cedi November 26, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    Hey David–thanks for the thorough review of the braking systems. I look forward to hearing your breakdown of traction control as well.

    I have standard brakes on my bike with no traction control. It’s my first bike and I was encouraged to get one without linkage, ABS or TC. I was told it’s better to learn knowing what things actually feel like, then opt for the electronics later down there road.

    I will def go to iTunes and give you a rating. You sound like very knowledgable and I appreciate you putting your energy into helping out new riders. My one suggestion would be to cut the opening and closing announcer, if you haven’t already. Didn’t add to the show and it sounded infomercial-y if you know what I mean. Just my opinion.

    I look forward to learning more from you in any case.

    • MotorcycleMentor November 26, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      @ Cedi
      Thanks for the feedback. You are the first person to poo-poo on the announcer guy. I kinda like it. 🙂

      I guess you have listened to enough podcasts to know why I like ABS. Not sure there’s a teaching moment insisting that my kids learn to drive my old Honda car without ABS. But I have heard that argument before.

      Thanks for rating the show.

  5. C W J November 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    Nice to see this kind of pod cast & blog out there. I do have a couple quips. . .

    You said the linked system applies one disc on the back with the use of the front lever, but it is one *piston* on the rear.

    ABS isn’t as useful in racing because, since there’s no cross or opposite direction traffic, there are fewer instances when it’s useful. The systems add weight and racers (particularly road racers) are very weight conscious. As systems become better and lighter, you may see it there.

    However, on the street, ABS will be helpful even for racing-level drivers because ABS isn’t about helping when going fast in corners, it’s about controlled, sudden, emergency stops. Motorcycle ABS has improved a lot in a short time. Switchable ABS has helped with the perception of it being in true as well.

    I used to not be interested in it, but I’ve been driving a truck with an ABS problem where it works intermittently. This gave me a chance to experience the braking with and without (while in controlled situations ). Seeing how much straighter I braked with it on has convinced me of the use of ABS for street riding.

    I an insiders a VFR at the moment, and one of my concerns is low-speed control with always having some pressure on and the effect of the linked brakes in sweeping turns. Did Honda keep the system for the new VFR ?

    I know this is a lot of chatter for an old post. I’m going to go check out few more episodes!

  6. John December 2, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

    Love your podcast…. but you wine way too much I don’t have enough ratings not enough reviews Etc etc Geez

    • MotorcycleMentor December 3, 2016 at 12:29 am #

      Thanks for the feedback. You are right. I’ll dial it back on my new podcast. Tell me more about your riding. I’m always looking for good people to interview on the podcast.


  7. Wes April 25, 2019 at 7:33 am #

    Thanks for the podcasts! I’ve gotten a lot of good info from them.
    I just want to chime in my own skepticism about ABS. I think that for your average street rider it’s probably better to have than not but I wouldn’t trust it fully. I’ve locked up too many ABS equipped vehicles in my short life to put my trust in ABS systems.
    Keep the content coming, this is great info for newbie riders such as myself.

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