B. N. G. Spagthorpe:
Poodle

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  • The name under which the original Doberman was marketed in the United States in the 1940s and '50s. It apparently used a new type of braking system that didn't need rotors or drums. It was very light, and so effective in scrubbing off speed that Julian’s cousin Nigel, who enjoyed braking late into corners, was going to campaign a modified Poodle in the Isle of Man TT. This was to be the world debut of the new brakes, and rumours surrounding the racing prototype said that Nigel and his Poodle were a shoo-in for the podium. Disaster struck a week before the race when Nigel upended the bike while demonstrating his famous “stop on a farthing” manoeuvre at the edge of the cliffs of Dover. He went over the handlebars and plunged into the sea, never to be seen again. Some say that he lived and is now working as a part time consultant for Ducati, and that he has changed his riding style significantly. The new brakes never appeared on a production model.

    The later Poodles alternated right and left hand threads on both sides of the bike. By the way, I have a line on a restorable Poodle. Does anyone know where I can get the water guards for the front fork and rear suspension? It’s sort of a steel wool assembly that’s meant to trap water without increasing wind resistance.

     

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