WHITMAN — When someone calls on you to help honor the nation’s Medal of Honor recipients, you answer the call.
So when Mark Shadley of Auto Tec/Shadley Bros in Whitman was approached by Massachusetts Fallen Heroes to create a motorcycle to make that salute, he readily agreed.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s convention met it Boston last week, where the society’s 79 members were asked to sign parts of the custom Harley-Davidson. Whitman sign company owner Gary Heager did the artwork, which included graphics of valor in action from the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes’ website, barbed-wire trim design to salute decorated POWs and copper accents fashioned from brightwork that came from the USS Constitution.
“It was real cool,” Shadley said of the honor. “They loved it. We tried to do it right for them.”
The bike was displayed during the Medal of Honor Convention at the Seaport Trade Center and will be placed on permanent display in a memorial being built next to the Moakley Federal Courthouse.
“It’s also going to be on display at all the veteran runs — they’re going to move it all around,” Shadley said. “This memorial is the first one of these in the country.”
The bike started out as a 2015 FLH-X, valued ad $21,000. Shadley said it’s value is now closer to $50,000.
“We tore it all down,” he said. “I changed the front fender, the rear fender, made the dashboard, the exhaust pipes [which feature a rotating mini-Gatling gun design], I made the lights, made the shifter.”
They took the engine apart to diamond-cut the cylinders.
Direction-signal housings are designed from large-caliber bullet casings and the front features the campaign ribbons of all service areas represented by the Medal of Honor recipients as well as three depictions of the medal itself. It also features the seals of the Medal of Honor Society and the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes.
“We tried to build a bike that was not a clown bike, one that was being respectful of what the Medal of Honor means instead of having a bike with machine guns hanging off it and all kinds of craziness,” Shadley said. “We build a lot of motorcycles, so they called us to do it and we were happy to do it.”