Compton motorcycle designer uses sneakers as inspiration

Andrew "Harley-Drew" Thompson from Compton combined his love for sneakers and Harley Davidsons as a motorcycle designer.

Ashley Mackey Image
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Compton motorcycle designer inspired by sneakers
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Andrew "Harley-Drew" Thompson from Compton combines his love for sneakers and his love for Harley Davidsons as a motorcycle designer.

HARBOR CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Andrew Thompson, also known as Harley-Drew, decided to merge his love of Harley Davidsons with his love of shoes. Now he doesn't just wear his favorite pair of Jordan's, he rides them.

"My passion for building bikes came from my grandfather. [He] was building bikes in the early '50s and did it all the way until he passed in 2012," Thompson said.

Thompson said he built his first Harley in high school and he said having that passion steered him in the right direction.

"It kept me out the loop of getting in trouble, me finding my passion for building and designing bikes," Thompson said.

Thompson also deeply cares about his Compton community and the youth. When he's not building bikes, he's organizing community clean-ups.

He said he knows a lot of young people are into tennis shoes and hopes his work will spark some interest in the younger generation.

"It's important because a lot of youngsters they become gang members," said Ms. Showtime, a local motorcycle rider and long-time friend of Thompson. "A lot of the youngsters have laid down their guns and bought a motorcycle. They have seen motorcycles, but they never seen like a Nike motorcycle."

"White beautiful Jordan bike, I mean with the stats on the floorboard, that was just beautiful," said Nick "Big Slick" Naish, general sales manager of California Harley Davidson. "I was blown away. I've never seen anything like that and we're around custom bikes every day and I've never seen anything like that."

Thompson said his grandfather John McCollum, also known as PeeWee, was recognized as one of Harley Davidson's Iron Elite, which recognizes the contributions of the Black motorcycle community. Thompson said he's hoping one of his own custom bikes can one day earn him that same recognition.

"I want to do something that Harley will be like, 'Man like that's cool,'" said Thompson. "Maybe one day Harley will let me design their anniversary bike."

Thompson said his two Nike and Jordan bikes aren't for sale but he does take custom bike requests and can be reached on his Instagram.

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