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From the Magnificent Shadley Brothers

By Buck Lovell, Bandit, and with photography by Buck Lovell

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Mark riding with Paul as his passenger.
Mark riding with Paul as his passenger.

Their father first introduced the Shadley Brothers, all four or five of them, to motorcycles at a very young age. At 13, Mark Shadley mentored as a mechanic where he learned the ins and outs of the trade and business. Paul Shadley also started his life in the repair industry at a young age. By the age of 13, Paul went to work with Mark helping with repair jobs, which eventually led to a career in the repair industry.
“But Mark has always been the boss,” Paul said. “He’s six years my senior, sorta raised me.”

Shortly after completing trade school Mark decided he wanted to go into business for himself. To gain ground Mark and Paul began fixing cars and bikes after their regular job hours. In 1976, prior to starting Auto-Tec/Shadley Bros. Mark rented out a small garage where he and Paul would spend their nights building custom bikes. The Chopper bug bit them. On May 1, 1981 Mark and Paul officially opened Auto Tec for automotive repair and auto body repair. But Mark and Paul were constantly building and repairing motorcycles for themselves and customers so they decided, “What the hell, let’s dive into the business.”

Dean Shadley, Mark’s son grew up working at the shop with his father Mark and uncle Paul. After graduating from high school, he attended Eckerd College in Florida, receiving a degree in water management. He went to work near home for a water testing facility and worked in the shop on Saturdays. One day he approached Paul.

“I can’t work it anymore,” Dean said.

“That’s too bad,” Paul said. “We will miss you around here.”

“I didn’t mean that,” Dean said. “I can’t work in the water industry. I want to work here full time.” And so it was.

“It’s good to have some young blood around the shop,” Paul said.

Dean is back working full time with aspirations of taking over in the future. Dean mainly spends his time in the motorcycle division of the business but is also involved with the towing and automotive aspects.

After 20 years in business, a new custom building was constructed in 2001 to fit all the needs of the growing business. The new building includes an automotive repair area, auto body shop with a state of the art zero emissions paint booth, comprehensive motorcycle service division, complete with a store, repair, fabrication section, and dyno room.

But let’s get to this pristine sidecar rig. A few years back, maybe 20 Arlen Ness built a vintage looking sidecar rig around a Sportster driveline. He developed a kit, including the sidecar frame, tub, and Sportster rigid frame. Don Hotop designed a set of cast aluminum vintage styled sorta flat tanks. Then Don Hotop built a sidecar rig, and not to be out-done, the Shadley Brothers stepped into the ring.

“Actually Don built a rig around a FXR with a 5-speed and reverse transmission,” Paul said. The Shadley Brothers stayed true to the original Arlen Ness system with an ’88 1200 Sportster, a 4-speed transmission and rear drive chain. The bike was the usual Shadley supreme custom and they took it to Sturgis. Here are some shots of the original, and one with the matching K-model.

“We had our sidecar outfit at the Holiday Inn in Spearfish, and I was giving sidecar rides to all takers with the courage to have me steering,” Paul said. “John Christner and his wife went for a ride and loved it.” That was it, John had to have a sidecar outfit and asked Shadley Brothers to custom build one with a few extras.

 As you can see in the photographs the Shadley brothers are masters of detail, fit and finish. John spared no expense from the hexed, polished, and XL detailed motor. But the brothers hand fabricated most of the accessories including the handlebars, exhaust pipes, ignition box, the top motor mount, the oil tank, battery box, wheel hub caps, tail lamps and mounts, sidecar bumper, sidecar top rail, coil bracket, and the springer front fender.
 “That was a bitch, since it must move with every movement of the front wheel and Paughco front end," Paul said. "John owns a large trucking company so we incorporated his company colors and logos in the paint scheme." That very fancy paint artwork was laid down by the spray guru, Russ Keene at Shadley Bros, while the artwork and striping was carefully handled by Gregg Heger of East Bridgewater Ma.

“The stripping lines are as narrow as a ballpoint pen line,” Paul said. “Gregg begged me never to stripe wheel rims again.”

John was absolutely thrilled with the XL hack project and loves to cruise it around his local haunts for bike nights, parades, and other events. These photos take on a surreal look, like an Eric Herrmann painting, and Paul credits the white porcelain like paint, but the brothers deserve the overall credit. They have the abilities and the team to deliver a hard working machine with concourse detailing and finish. Well done!

Wanna see more custom motorcycles form
Shadley brothers visit their website at


Owner(s): John Christner

City: Sapulpa
State: OK
Bike’s name: Keep on Trucking!
Year: 2006
Brand name: 2006-Ness Sidecar Kit
Model: Sidecar Build time: 6 months
Fabrication: Shadley Bros
Assembly: Shadley Bros
Chrome: Meclec Metal Finishing Paint/Graphics: Shadley Bros Russ Keene


Year: 2000
Air Cleaner: Parc
Manufacturer: H-D
Carburetor: S&S Super E
Model: Sportster
Displacement: 1200
Cam(s): Andrews V-2 Cam set
Rebuilt by: Mark Shadley
Rocker arms: Stock H-D
Lower-end: Mark Shadley
Push rods: Stock H-D
Balancing: H-D
Lifters: Stock H-D
Ignition: Crane HI-4
Lifter blocks: Stock H-D
Cases: H.D
Connecting rods: Stock H-D
Cylinder heads: H.D
Flywheels: Stock H-D
Pistons: H.D
Compression ratio: Stock H-D
Cylinders: H.D
Rated HP:
Exhaust: Shadley Bros
Finish: Polishing done by G&H Marketing
Special features: Hexed Cylinders and heads


Year: 200
Manufacturer: H.D Stock
Model: 5-Speed
Shifting: foot
Trans. sprocket/pulley: Stock
Primary drive: Stock
Sprocket/pulley: Stock
Transmission Case: Stock
Gears: Stock

Year: 2006
Manufacturer: Ness
Model: Ness Board Tracker
Stretch: NA
Suspension type: Ridge
Neck rake: 32°
Motor mount type: rigid
Style: Board Tracker/Side Car

Sidecar Construction method:
Special features: Sidecar, with custom interior seat and side panels. Custom made sidecar top rail protectors from oak, center cap on wheel and adjustable sidecar brake one-off rear sidecar bumper.


Painter: Russ Keene
Graphics, Stripping: Gregg Heger-Artwork,


Year: 2006
Manufacturer: Paughco
Model: Springer
Style/type: taper-leg
Extension: 2 inches under
Special features: Steering stablizer shock, head lamp and horn mount bracket, custom front fender front caliper mount bracket.


Size: 21x3.5
Hub: 60-Spoke
Spokes (#): 60
Tire: Metzeler ME880
Brake Caliper(s): PM 4-Piston
Brake Rotor(s): Drag Polished


Size: 21x3.5
Hub: 60 Spoke
Spokes (#): 60
Tire: Metzeler ME880
Brake Caliper: PM 4-Piston
Brake Rotor: Polished Drag Specialties
Special features: Painted and striped


Handlebars: Shadley Bros
Risers: Shadley Bros
Grips: PM
Hand controls: PM
Headlight: Drag Specialties
Taillight: Drag-Shadley Bros Mounts
License plate mount: Shadley Bros
Mirrors: Cycle Smith
Saddlebags: NA
Seat: Red's Custom Seat
Gas tank: Don Hotop
Fenders: Shadley Bros
Oil tank: Shadley Bros
Oil lines: Shadley Bros
Steering damper: Shadley Bros
Gauges/Speedometer: Shadley Bros speed box. Dakota Digital speedo
Horn: Drag Specialties
Footboards: Shadley Bros Mounts, Paughco Boards
Sound system:Planar CD Marine Speakers-Infinity

Special features: Shadley Bros ignition switch box with Dakota Digital speedometer, neutral and oil warning lights.

This just in from Daytona Beach Bike Week 2013.
This just in from Daytona Beach Bike Week 2013.


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Reader Comments

I love your side hacks !!! I am working on one myself , I like the wood side rails. I'm going to use them, good idea gives sides some strength too.

Thanks for the great pics.

Paul A. Galluccio
Boca raton , FL
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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