‘Roaring Sporties’ to Return to Australian Racetracks in 2020

After an absence of two decades Harley Sportsters are set to thunder around Australian racetracks again in 2020 thanks to some divine intervention by Eddy Garner. 

In its heyday the Harley Sportster series once raced at selected rounds of the Australian Superbike Championship but the rebirth of the category will be run with the national OzBEARS series. The first round of which takes place over the Easter weekend at Mount Gambier’s McNamara Park.

It was an extremely competitive category with full grids of 30-plus booming Harley-Davidson 1200cc V-Twins Sportsters lining up on the grids with riders like Robbie Phillis, John Allen, Len Willing, Robbie Hermans, Wayne Clarke, Cameron Donald and the late Kirk McCarthy punting them around at astonishing velocities, on a bike that was not considered to be the best handling machine to ever grace a racetrack.

The Sporties didn’t have the outright speed of a pure race-bike but the corner speeds and close proximity racing combined with the thunderous roar of a freight-train of the  V-Twins on full noise made them a popular attraction. 

In 2020 the Harleys will return, en masse, with the re-birth of the V-Twin class as part of the national OzBEARS series. Over a dozen riders have already committed to the first round. 

The series itself will be national with rounds in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

However, unlike the past, the new look series will feature two classes: one for the traditional Harley-Davidson 1200cc Sportster machines, while the second class will be open to the newer XG750 Harley-Davidson Street Rod.

Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750
Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750

As for the Sportsters the class is open to all models including the ‘Classic’ pre-2002 models and ‘Superstock’ specification machines.  The class will also be open to the current Sportsters with inverted forks, the XG750’s and Sportster-engined Buells, with all bikes competing in the same race.

Harley Sportster Engine
Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster engines will once again be on full song in 2020

The bikes will run on treaded-tyres with tyre warmers allowed. 

The reintroduction of the series is the brainchild of long-time racer and Harley-Davidson aficionado, Eddy Garner, who has never let his passion for the race series wane.  

Eddy Garner

“Anyone that had anything to do with the Roaring Sporties series still has a real soft spot for the racing, the camaraderie and all the good times that were had back then. This really hit home at the Broadford Bike Bonanza at Easter this year. We had a number of bikes all grouped together in the pits and also out on track. The response from everyone that saw them confirmed that we were on the right track in our attempts to resurrect the series.  Since then I have done a lot of work attempting to put it all together and thanks to Scott Brown and everyone else at OzBEARS, I am extremely delighted to see that we will be back on track.” 

Harley Roaring Sporties
Roaring Sporties are back in 2020 – Image by Rob Mott

For more information contact Eddy Garner on 0416046901

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