ANGELO AND MICK Fiora need little introduction in Western Australia. As owners of Custom Trikes Australia (CTA) based in Cannington, WA, the brothers design their own trikes and manufacture their own parts. As the only provider of factory-built trikes in WA, the boys pride themselves on being able to offer great quality and backup to their customers.
The brothers decided to build a show-stopping trike to advertise their skills. Taking out first place trophies in both the Fremantle Bike Show and Perth Hot Rod Show with this trike was a good start. But building such innovative masterpieces seems to come easy to Angelo and Mick. In fact, we can even go back a few decades and find the brothers built a bike that was featured in Ozbike’s second edition. Now that is going back some.
In 1968 the Fiora’s built their first trike using a 500 cc AJS engine, and by 1978 Fiora Machinery was founded; building custom bikes, parts and machinery.
In 1986 Mick designed and built an 850 cc Moto Guzzi trike for a customer, and from that point on, the Fiora’s have been advancing and improving their trike designs.
In 2002, after years of building trikes and parts for other trike builders in WA, the Fiora’s decided to go straight to the customer with their own offerings knowing there was strong demand for quality built trikes and trike kits.
“The trike part of our business is a hobby that’s got out of hand,” Mick says. “We employ apprentices in our business and the trike part gives them a more interesting thing to do than just working on machines.”
If only all bosses were this good to their staff!
It is obvious how much enthusiasm Mick and Angelo have for the industry, even after all these years.
“Yeah, it keeps us young and silly,” Mick continues. “We have a new project each year it seems, so we’re already working on the next one.”
As for this trike project, Angelo was the one calling the design shots. “He’s Harley mad,” Mick explains. “He can’t get it out of his system. It was a V-twin engine or nothing. He kept changing things and messing with the plans but had to have the V-twin and a fully custom, raked front-end.”
One thing the Fiora brothers agree on is that they would rather use their skills than their wallets to build their trikes.
“We make everything we possibly can, and we make it well,” says Mick. “It keeps us out of trouble with the wives!”
As keen as Angelo is on his Harleys, the boys settled on a new S&S engine. This 96 cubic inch motor with S&S shorty carb offers heaps of horsepower.
“Plenty more,” Mick says, “than an equivalent new Harley engine and for around half the price.”
The wheels are Aussie-made Dragway specials: 16-inch up front and 18-inch fatties for the rear.
You can forgive the Fioras these components—the cost of building your own engine, cog swapper and wheels doesn’t bare thinking about—but pretty much everything else you can see on this trike has been expertly fabricated at CTA: the full frame, the forks, all the bars, the entire suspension, the ceramic coated exhaust system, all the guards, the seat base (covered by Canning Motor Trimmers), and the fibreglass body painted a classy burgundy by Jeff Senior. Then there is the fuel tank, oil tank, pegs and coil cover—again all done in-house by CTA (sporting the company’s logo where possible), and chrome plated at every opportunity by Vinci Plating.
The diff has come from a Ford Laser with CTA custom-building a diff housing for it, while the Laser also provided the disc brakes and calipers—CTA modified, naturally.
Angelo’s collection of Harleys through his life has ensured he’s happy with their handlebars and hand controls, so he has modified a set for this trike.
“We could have just bought Arlen Ness flash ones but we wanted to use our own skills,” says Mick. “Modifying the Harley gear gives us more opportunity to teach our apprentices, too.”
The little essential touches like the headlight, tail light and speedo are all customised general aftermarket gear, and have ensured that everything complies with the ADR rules.
“Making it legal was always in the back of our minds,” explains Mick. “It is fully road legal, and is used every day to get to work and for weekend fun.”
Although the photos suggest the Fiora’s trike is strictly a show piece, these studio snaps were taken just after it was completed and before Angelo could be truly let loose on his new steed. CTA build bikes to be used properly, and how could you not want to get out there and show this thing off? The acres of chrome, the 45-degree rake, tough burgundy body and that glorious V-twin should not be hidden away, and respect is due to Angelo for using it as a daily. In fact, respect to both Angelo and Mick (and all at CTA) for creating such a three-wheeled beauty where style and quality are found in spades. There’s not much to beat experience when it comes to building these things.
words by Iain Curry; pics by Brian White