"Quickstart" Harley Sportster
By Dave Brackett
In early 1969, I was working at AEE Choppers, and Tom wanted me to design a Sportster hardtail, like the one the factory made, but was impossible to find. We bought a 1968 electric start Sportster, so I would have a bike to use for design. I removed the rear wheel and stuff and designed and built a rigid frame conversion hardtail for the later Sportster bikes. I built fixtures, ordered parts, and we were soon in production of these hardtail sections.
Since the bike was there and had a new rigid hardtail, we decided to add more AEE products, to show how to build a chopper from a street bike. Mechanic Cliff Melland did much of the work. A new flat fender with forked style sissy bar was installed. AEE custom rear footpegs accompanied the AEE contour support seat. An 8 " overstock AEE round springer was added, with narrow front rim and tire on an AEE narrow spool hub. AEE two piece pullback handlebars and dual flat Ciebie headlights completed the front end.
The frame was painted in the shop and fender and tank sent out for paint. AEE custom front pegs were installed with chromed silencer mufflers on stock exhaust. A little extra chrome was done for appearance, and suddenly a custom chopper appeared. It was AEE's first time they showed the public how easy and quickly a stock street bike could be transformed into a custom chopper.
From swing arm stock bike to rigid chopper in several weeks, with all bolt on parts. Cool.