I used to ride with Denton cycles owner Colin and he rode for Orange as a Vet back in the day but I dont recall them getting any disk drives. They were rare even back then so I'm sure Colin would have mentioned it. Doesnt mean the guy is making up stories just sounds a little elaborated. I'd trust colin with my life, so if he did advise the removal of that section then I'd have ridden it.
Having had one of these on an old amp a few years back, they werent strong wheels, even if they were brand new, they were race wheels. I suspect this one is actually better than people are thinking, i.e. fine for riding on garage queen bikes but not in the mountains. To be frank I wouldnt be taking it into the mountains now even if it wasnt missing a bit. I'd rather ride back to the car than walk