Under controlled perfect conditions, I've no doubt there are riders out there who can match the braking potential of an ABS equipped bike. An extremely close call last Sunday afternoon has confirmed for me anyways, that had I been on a non ABS bike, I'd have either been on my ass up against a lightpost, or into the side of a Chevy Suburban, or both.
Southbound 152nd at Hwy 10, there's a backup at the railroad overpass, two lanes merging into one. Well aware that my slow lane path could be entered into by stopped traffic in the slow lane, and entering traffic from the Shell gas station, I was in full awareness mode. Just the same, I was not ready for the aggressive entry of an impatient left laner less than 80 ft ahead, causing me to do an emergency 5 finger super grab and a hard push to countersteer right, the ABS chirping both tires in a quick stutter, I needled my way past him and the curb with less than a foot both sides. I know I'd be on my ass had I been on anything else. Of course, after a quick second, I caught my wits, saw red fury, stopped the bike and started to run back to him arms flailing like an East Hastings crack head, he jambed his truck in reverse and went back maybe 100 ft. At this point, I see the guy is a 300ib mid 20's steroid monkey who could whoop my 54 yr old arthritis burdened, shoulder dislocated ass,,,amazing how looking like a crazy man can intimidate most anyone. Getting back on my bike, I quickly realize my bike's rev limiter does indeed kick in hard at 8200rpm through the first 3 gears.
Anyways, watch out for cagers, they don't see you.