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April 16th, 2017, 04:02 AM   #11
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Will have to correct myself there, basically Robert had a thumb operated FRONT brake because of injuries to his hand in the past.
I'd never heard of a thumb brake for the FRONT. Got to be damned tricky to use. I wouldn't want to try it.
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April 16th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #12
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Throttle, clutch and front brake were all operated with his left hand.
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April 16th, 2017, 01:54 PM   #13
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I'd never heard of a thumb brake for the FRONT. Got to be damned tricky to use. I wouldn't want to try it.
I was thinking the same, had it typed but thought nah, will come back to it as I cannot recall any other rider with a thumb operated front brake, and now that all was on the left I am even more in awe of the co-ordination.

Sounds like an interesting technical setup actually
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April 17th, 2017, 10:33 PM   #14
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I was thinking the same, had it typed but thought nah, will come back to it as I cannot recall any other rider with a thumb operated front brake, and now that all was on the left I am even more in awe of the co-ordination.

Sounds like an interesting technical setup actually

Yeah Robert after his 1994 TT crash couldn't close his right hand.
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April 18th, 2017, 12:57 AM   #15
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One of the things in this book which could open a can of worms is where he openly accuses Ian Hutchinsons supersport team of using illegal pistons and say's "you can bring any lawyer to our house"
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April 18th, 2017, 01:46 AM   #16
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Yeah Robert after his 1994 TT crash couldn't close his right hand.
I may try to google images etc as the entire setup just fascinates me given how 'unorthodox' it may be and the (to me) challenge of re-learning everything to fit the left hand only need.

Seriously, just awesome
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April 18th, 2017, 03:29 AM   #17
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I may try to google images etc as the entire setup just fascinates me given how 'unorthodox' it may be and the (to me) challenge of re-learning everything to fit the left hand only need.

Seriously, just awesome

Now I've done a bit of looking into this myself, I heard about it years ago and in Michaels book he states "He went into his workshop and rewired his bike so that the front brake was on the left with the throttle, operated by his thumb" however I've just rewatched some of the clips featuring Robert on Road and the 250 he was killed on he is twisting the right hand grip and according to the book Full Throttle written by his close friend and mechanic Liam Beckett he used a specially modified glove which allowed him to grip the throttle enough to twist it. Either way the fact that this man returned to race a bike is a miracle as technically with that lack of movement in his right hand he was classed as disabled. The thumb operated front brake is incredible in it's own right as I imagine the feel would be completely alien to using a lever with your fingers and racing is all about getting that feel.

It's a shame that Robert is overshadowed by Joey because at his peak he was every bit as good racking up 13 North West 200 wins in a 5 year spell on all manner of equipment from little 2 strokes, big 4 strokes and Norton Rotaries. He was also a British champion on a 125 and came runner up in BSB all prior to that accident at Ballaugh in 1994.
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