Peter Gardiner & Patrick House
The concept of housing a Sportster engine in a Wideline Norton Featherbed frame had been in Peter Gardiner's head for a long time. The idea apealed to him. Judging by the amount of people who saw the Triton on his shop floor and commented that they'd be really interested if that beautiful frame housed a Harley donk, he wasn't alone. But building the idea into a reality would take exceptional mechanical talents and ingenuity. And time. Peter was busy enough running his busy motorcycle shop to chase the idea any further. At least that's how it was until Patrick House installed himself in the Gardiner Workshop. Patrick had what it took to get Peter's idea on the road. Together they planned a Sporton, a Sportser powered, Norton framed special. But the idea didn't end there. They planned to make this bike as Australian as possible. The frames could be built here, the motors could be rebuilt using Australian labour and parts, much of the running gear could be sourced locally, as could the oil and petrol tanks, exhaust systems and seat tail units and they were already fabricating their own Sportster rear set controls along with various other parts. That sticker on the tank is no idle boast, for all intents and purposes this Sporton is "Made in Australia". Through hard work and ingenuity Patrick turned what was a pile of parts into the bike pictured here. It's by no means meant to represent the finished product, Peter emphasised, this bikes merely a rolling test bed and an example of what's possible.
The H&G Sporton concept starts with a kit consisting of an Australian built Wideline Featherbed frame, fuel and oil tanks, engine mounts, stainless steel guards, rear set controls, exhaust and your option of either solo or duel seat. At a cost of around $5000 this base level kit would transform your stock Sporster into a Sporton. That's where it starts. From there you can add your choice of forks along with a growing list of Aussie made components such as wheels, cast iron discs, stainless steel fittings, brake calipers, engine parts and alternative exhaust systems. Or if you'd prefer to have a H&G sporton built from scratch the guys envisage a pricetag of around $19,500 for a brand spanking new Evolution 1200cc powered monster, featuring that beautiful frame matched to upside down forks and high performance disc brakes front and rear. What an interesting mix of traditional and radical that'd be! So how dows it go? " Well," Peter says, cracking into a smile, " it's every bit as good as I imagined.... And then some more!" Seems the powerful Sporty motor, matched to the frame that launched a thousand specials gives a light weight, easy handling sports weapon that feels traditional without losing anything to its contemporaries in performance. And the sound through those pipes could be the only companion that can stay with you on your next mountain ride. Company enough for most.
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