I like my brakes, you have to mean them to come on. The contact patch at the front when it's cold, wet and slippy is minimal and I think would have the ABS working overtime with cold, wet hands.
Try a little challenge, run into a corner with a decent amount of lean angle and speed and apply the front till the ABS kicks in, as if a child or car has suddenly appeared in front of you, the ABS kicks in and the forks are fully loaded, the front reacts to deformations in the road surface and skips and pushes as there's no suspension left to cope and the tiny contact patch is working really hard to grip, that's possibly the reason Honda didn't equip the AT with jaw dropping stoppers.
I ride an XR400 and TY250 off road and generally cover the front brake with a finger and if I lived somewhere that had suitable terrain I'm sure I'd use the AT in a similar way and probably be glad of that initial lack of bite every time you hit an unseen hole or rock and grip the bars much harder to remain attached.
I'd guess that Honda has built Joseph's coat of many colours and you just need to tweak it to suit the riding you are mostly going use it for.