It may not be identical to its Italian brother, but the second “Twisted Twin” from Stile Italiano is just as appealing. The ‘Harton CR1200’ uses a traditional cafe racer design approach. A beefy engine transplanted into a top-performing frame. It is a motorcycle built to perform as well as it looks. Nicknamed the ‘Black Knight’ this is the 6th Harton build from Gianluca and his team at Stile Italiano and he’s proud to say it’s their best one yet.
By definition, a Harton cafe racer blends the best bits from a Harley-Davidson with the best bits from a Norton to create a better performing bike. In this case, the Harley half of the build consists of a torquey, 1200cc v-twin engine with double spark firing, a Dyna ignition, Mikuni 42mm carb and a one of a kind Virex exhaust system.
The Norton half is, of course, the bike’s frame. The frame in question is a reproduction of the manufacturer’s legendary wide line featherbed that has been mildly modified to accept the Harley v-twin. An engine and frame do not maketh a complete motorcycle so Stile Italiano pulled together more performance-focused parts to complete the build.
For suspension, they nominated the front end from a Ducati Sport Classic, anodised in black. At the rear, a pair of Bitubo racing shocks. The custom laced wheels are both 17 inches and have been wrapped in modern sport rubber for plenty of grip. Then for brakes, they went with Brembo callipers front and rear that bite down on ventilated discs.
When it came to styling the Harton they started out with an Avon front fairing. A classically styled, alloy fuel tank was then positioned on the frame and a matching rear cowl was constructed from carbon fibre. A carbon fender covers the front wheel and nestled under the windscreen lives a MotoGadget analogue tacho with an inbuilt digital speedometer. As with the original Nortons, oil is topped up via a Monza-style filler cap recessed into the front of the seat and a chrome strap secures the fuel tank in place. Like its brother the Guzzi CR950, the Black Knight wears a black, silver and gold paint scheme polished to a deep mirror finish.
After 4 months of hard work, the Stile Italiano Harton was ready to ride. “It is a radical bike! says Gianluca. “It was hard work to put all these different parts together so they looked good and worked in harmony.” Despite the challenges, Stile Italiano looks to have perfected the Harton formula, now all that remains to do is box it up and ship it to my house.