Think about it: exactly what is a reactor?
It's a big coil of wire. Half a transformer. What can it do?
All it can do smooth out 'bumps' in a less-than-perfect DC supply, and alter the impedance of the circuit.
So, any effect would appear as better speed control and cooler motor windings.
With that in mind, I have no doubt there are plenty of folks who routinely bypass them, and claim things work just fine. For a similar reason, I often find braking resistors disconnected. Who needs them?
Well .... let me put it this way: Every time we get a factory rep out, he makes problems disappear, usually by simply restoring everything to its' original configuration. That's followed by a year or two of 'field improvements,' a complete failure, return of the factory rep, and the cycle repeats.
Another common thread to problems is the equipment being run way beyond its' intent. 12-ton cranes are not really meant to lift 12-tonnes all day long, but the company 'saves' by not buying the 15-ton crane. Small wonder that two years later the crane (or whatever the machine) is thoroughly hated five years later by the maintenance crew.