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Tom Sykes WSBK Kawasaki's Thumb Brake
images by DFA

It slipped past a lot of people, seemingly, but the 'one of these things not like the other' nature of Tom Sykes' Kawasaki Superbike leapt at us on the grid at Laguna WSBK. The right footpeg of Sykes' bike is a very simple mount and has no rear brake.

Sykes uses a Doohan-esque lever on the left clip-on to control the rear brake on his Superbike. While Honda GP racer Michael Doohan's device was small, Sykes' 'thumb brake' is paddle-like in size.

Sykes hasn't yet won five consecutive 500cc world titles like Doohan did with his thumb brake, but he is doing something Doohan never even attempted: using the thumb brake while simultaneously growing a beard. Impressive! (Image by Brian Nelson--calves of a Viking)

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