The right braking technique is of decisive importance for motorcyclists for two reasons; this is because the reliable technology of the brake system in combination with the skills acquired by the driver will defuse critical riding situations. Because even the most experienced motorcyclist will tend to overbrake on the front wheel or to cause the back wheel to block in dangerous situations, a modern antiblocking system (ABS) is part of the active safety equipment of all high quality motorcycles. That is why BMW Motorrad is the world's first manufacturer to install ABS as standard in all models.

ABS makes it as easy and safe as possible for both beginners and experienced rider to brake in wet conditions, dangerous situations, when carrying a passenger and luggage – in other words in any situation. This makes it possible for the rider to choose the best possible brake travel without risking a crash because the wheels block.

Depending on the engine type, BMW Motorrad uses different ABS brake systems: ABS or ABS with partial integral function. An electronically controlled regulatory hydraulic system ensures that both systems can be relied upon to prevent the wheels from blocking when full brakes are applied. For this the wheel sensors measure the rotation speed of the front and back wheel and recognise when the wheel tends to block. The sensors pass the measuring pulse to a processor which activates a pressure modulator in the hydraulic brake circuit of the front or rear wheel. The controlled pressure modulator decreases the brake pressure in a split second and then increases it again. Thus, the ABS on the brake system of the relevant wheel regulates as much brake pressure as is necessary to stop the wheel just before the blocking limit.

The BMW Motorrad integral ABS operates together with a power brake unit in version I-ABS I. An electrically operated hydraulic pump supports the brake pressure generated via the brake pedal and cylinder. A new even finer regulatory system that operates without a power brake unit (I-ABS II) has been installed since 2007 In the integral brake system, the driver uses the handbrake lever to activate the brakes to both wheels; the footbrake only applies to the rear wheel brake.
In comparison with conventional brake systems, ABS systems offer the clear safety benefits described in motorcycle tests.

The controller logic and the hydraulics of the brake force amplifier and anti-block system are housed in the central pressure modulator of the integral brake. A total of three processors guarantee the greatest possible system safety. Two microprocessors share the control of the regulating system, while a third is used for monitoring purposes. Every time the ignition is activated, the system performs a self-test, during which the ABS control lights in the cockpit flash. They switch off automatically as soon as the speed sensors output a corresponding signal and the system is operating without error.

For off-road use, the BMW ABS can be deactivated on the relevant models by pressing the ABS button during the self-test.