You could argue either way. The ABS is to push your braking close to the limit without causing a skid. it doesnt enable you to brake in a turn and adds a bit extra to the cost of the bike. On a heavier bike you have to worry more about loosing traction because of added force (f=m*a), which also works for slowing down, because of the amount of traction the tires have. on a lighter bike with similar tires and proper positioning of weight the amount of force needed to stop it is reduced so the amount of traction your bike has causes the function for abs to be less.
They have done studies and ABS generally improves braking, kinda like how an automatic transmission can be better on the dragstrip it adds consistancy.
The main thing when deciding between a bike that has the option of ABS or No ABS is price and how capible you are of getting by without it.
When I get a chance I will post more but last weekend I did an advanced riding course at the Honda rider training school in St Ives (a northern suburb of Sydney) NSW. I generally re take this course every time I get a new bike so I can get used to quick stops and emergency riding in a controlled environment.
OK, in quick stops (panic stops as some call it) I could not get the brakes to lock. It stopped straight and true every time over three speed bands as follows;
20 - 30 KPH, 40 - 50 KPH and 60 - 70 KPH. When the ABS kicked in you could feel it but if you were not expecting it you may even not notice, hard to explain. I can't say for sure but on the 60 -70 test with hard braking I think it stopped within 1/2 to 1 metre of where I would stop with a non ABS bike.
This is the first ABS bike I have had and I like the way these brakes work. I can see ABS being worth every cent in Sydney rush hour traffic with all the stupid cagers cutting in front of you without looking. Here if you leave a gap so you can stop, some idiot just has to jump in it. I always do though.
At least we get two colours black and blue. According to my local Honda dealer, Honda are doing a world wide shipment of ABS bikes in late March early April and this shipment will have lots of blue ABS bikes. If the blue ABS bikes are only for Australia he can't say but my bet is that we got the first runs of blue ABS and now Honda are going with two colours in ABS world wide. After all why would Honda make a blue ABS only for the Australian market? We are such a small market here, nope I reckon you'll see blue ABS bikes in the USA come April.
I haven't tried a non-ABS fury so I can't speak to that but I tested the Sabre and the VTX1800 without ABS and there's a big difference. My ABS fury is a little scary because it holds the road so well during breaking that it puts my arm strength to the test. Definitely something you have to get used to.