As you browse our pages, you will gain an understanding of who we are, what we are about, and where we are going. What you won't gain is a solid grasp of who we are as people, who we are as riders, and who we are as members of this outstanding organization, Top Cats - Illinois. Let me explain.....
Originally, Top Cats – Illinois was formed by a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who were business men and women. Their purpose was to enjoy business networking and the sport of motorcycling. Over the past decade and a half, Top Cats has evolved into a first – class group of motorcycle enthusiasts who enjoy conservative and safe riding, socializing, networking, and community involvement.
Today, any visitor to a Top Cat meeting, or a Top Cat event, will quickly realize that our group is one that easily welcomes newcomers, embraces safe riding, and provides opportunities for great riding adventures in a safe environment.
As people, our members are business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs (Top Cats) who are riders, co-riders, or non-riders. All, however, are motorcycle enthusiasts. And...they all have three important ideals in common; business networking, safe motorcycling, and community involvement.
To ABS or not to ABS?
One of the latest safety innovations for motorcycles in the last few years is ABS brakes. ABS stands for Antilock Braking System. What it does is electronically monitor the wheel speed of both wheels and when it detects a deceleration rate that is too fast (such as when the wheel is about to lock from too much brake being applied) it automatically pulses the brake pressure about 10 times per second to maintain optimal braking traction at that wheel. What this essentially does is take out the human error factor of braking too hard and locking up the wheel which can cause loss of control or not braking hard enough and not stopping in a short enough distance to avoid a crash. With ABS, the rider can apply full force to the brake pedal/lever without fear of going in to a skid, but they still need to practice safe braking techniques and get the bike straightened up before starting the braking process. It would be very difficult for the average rider to match the stopping power of a bike equipped with ABS, especially in a panic situation when adrenalin comes into play and the rider inadvertently applies too much brake and causes a skid. Some professional riders may be able to beat the stopping distance of ABS in good conditions, but if you throw in less than perfect conditions such as a wet road surface or sand or gravel on the road, this is where ABS really shines and most riders could not stop a bike in a shorter distance without it. Studies have shown that ABS decreases the chance of a fatal crash by about 1/3.
An antilock braking system works by constantly measuring wheel speed. One common way to do this is with a small grooved ring near the brake disc often called a tone wheel. The wheel speed sensor sends the tone wheel readings to the ABS unit, which can determine whether the wheel is about to stop rotating. If it is, wheel speed information is used to adjust the pressure from the brake cylinder on the brake caliper multiple times per second.