As a boy growing up in rural Wisconsin, Josh Ehren only knew two things: the Green Bay Packers and Harley-Davidson. The latter was only emphasized by his natural fascination with motorcycles and solidified by his experiences with his dad’s bike, which was his ride home after the bus stop every day.
“Dad’s motorcycle was a DOHC Yamaha 500,” he recalled. “I remember that specifically because the younger version of myself was very impressed by the fact that there were two overhead cams as opposed to one,” he laughed.
Josh has very fond memories of his dad’s old Yamaha, but his predisposition toward Harley ultimately guided him another direction in the motorcycle world - choppers. Choppers were different from anything else that existed; something he’d never seen flipping through the motorcycle catalogs of his youth. They were loud, obnoxious, completely unique and most people didn’t quite know what to think of ’em - he was hooked.
The rest of his youth was spent daydreaming about the perfect chopper: a skinny thing on spoked wheels, a springer front end, 70s-style paint job and a sissy bar that’s “a little taller than it should be” as he described. But, most importantly, no shocks. Emphasis on no shocks.
Skip ahead a few years to his early twenties, Josh graduated college and got himself a nice agency job. Soon after, although his dream chopper was a little out of reach as a young college grad, he decided it was time for a motorcycle of his very own. So, he picked up a naked ‘97 Triumph Speed Triple with clip-on handlebars and dual headlights, one of which was yellow of course. He finally had a bike of his own.
As the years passed by, Josh continued his career, got married and kept forging a path of his own. But, such is life, one of the marriage stipulations was that the Triumph had to go. So, he spent the next twelve years of his life motorcycle-free. Eventually, as Josh was making progress in his professional career, his relationship came to an end. But, in this story, that’s not a low point. In fact, hindsight will reveal that the life change opened the door for Josh’s real long-term dreams to come to fruition.
Years after that period, Josh found himself working in Switzerland of all places, mingling with his high school sweetheart, Leigh, of all people. It turns out that her job coincidentally brought her to Switzerland as well, to the very same facility Josh was working at. Although the two had casually stayed in touch over the years, it didn’t take long for those high school sparks to re-ignite and the two started falling deeply in love with one another while in Europe.
Neither of them really felt like they fit in with those around them extremely well. “Maybe that’s why we clicked so well… we just take care of each other,” Josh explained. “She’s really a special and unique anomaly of humankind,” he said. It was at this point, after hearing Josh’s tone shift while describing Leigh, his now wife, it became clear that he ended up with the right girl.
Not too long after the two got back together, they decided to go back to Wisconsin where their roots were originally planted. Josh started a new job at, you guessed it, Harley-Davidson, as the Global General Manager of Digital Experience and Performance Marketing. Nowadays, Josh gets to surround himself with a brand he’s been passionate about since the beginning and his lovely wife. So, he finally decided it was time to complete the puzzle by building the chopper he dreamed about as a kid.
But, with a wife and new job, it would be hard to get into the garage to build something himself, so he started poking around to see who’s equipped to make his vision come to life. That pursuit led him straight to our doorstep.
We were already planning for our very own Sportster Hardtail Conversion Kit behind-the-scenes when Josh came to us with his wild visions. The aforementioned 70s-style paint had to be orange, the sissy bar had to be ridiculous, a springer front end was a must and of course, rear suspension was a deal-breaker. We knew after our first conversation with him that, not only was Josh our kind of people, but he’d also be a perfect candidate for the Sportster Hardtail Conversion Kit we’ve been dreaming up.
So, we found a donor Sporty with a solid engine and started cutting. The design for the hardtail was perfected on paper, but we hadn’t tried to bring it to life until Josh’s chopper, so we moved slowly and methodically throughout the process to ensure that everything met our standards and paired with the factory components properly.
While we worked out the kinks with the hardtail, we also put a lot of effort into the rest of the bike to ensure it matched the chopper in Josh’s head. A 70’s Jammer Springer front end was soon installed right around the time we called on our friend Nathan Sykes to take care of the paint. We knew he could execute Josh’s vision while we shifted focus to the rest of the bike. A slew of custom parts were made for this chopper including a seat which used our Chopper Seat Pan as its foundation, a fully custom sissy bar, oil tank, handlebars and oddly enough one of our proudest, a custom kickstand.
We also had a variety of off-the-shelf products that fit the vibe of this chopper perfectly, listed below:
- Box Chopper Tail Light
- Box Chopper Tail light Weld-On Bracket w/ License Plate Mount
- Banjo Oil Line Kit
- 2-Hole Ignition Cover
- Universal Starter Button
- Super Prism Throttle
- Super Prism Throttle Cable Kit
- Fish Scale Grips
- CV Carb Choke Cable
- Shifter Peg
- Cloth Spark Plug Wires
- Vintage Cloth Covered 16g Electrical Wire
- Prism Supply Petcock 1/8 BSP
- ¼” ID Fuel Line
What ended up being several months of perfecting the build, we finally got to a place where the bike was finished. Serial #0001 Prism Supply Sportster Hardtail Conversion Kit was complete and Josh finally had the chopper that’s been floating around his head all these years. When asked about all of this, Josh provided a short, albeit potent, answer, “I’ve got my dream girl and my dream bike.”
With that, we knew what the bike had to be called.
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