Custom builders help charity modify bikes for disabled vets

Publish Date: 
May 12, 2014

PLAINWELL, Mich. – Michigan custom shops are pitching in to help launch a charity that’s been revving up for years: modifying motorcycles for veterans disabled in recent wars.

Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Brad VandenBerg got the idea and started raising money for his Two Wheels for Warriors program after a friend with whom he served, retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Justin Madore, was badly injured in an overseas conflict. "Ended up having a knee replaced, lost stability in my legs and stuff like that," Madore told WWMT. He didn’t think he would ever ride again, but VandenBerg wasn’t having it.

"I don't believe a disability can keep you from doing things you love and passionate about," he said. VandenBerg started the Two Wheels for Warriors program, raising thousands of dollars to get Madore a custom-made motorcycle, and enlisted Dirty Boyz Motorcycles in Plainwell to put the bike together.

"It was a $6,000 salvage bike and we took it apart and redid the bike from the ground up,” said shop owner Brandon Bruischart, who fitted the bike to accommodate Madore, and even added a sidecar for his service dog, Cody.

"Throwing on a sidecar gives him that stability, we had to adjust the way he sits on his bike to reach his brake pedal," VandenBerg said.

The charity is starting its second build for retired U.S. Army Spc. Bob Body,  whe lost a leg after being wounded in Iraq.

"You hear a lot about organizations or companies that say they're there to help the veterans, but you hear about it but you don't see it," he said. "This is something I can see and feel as far as everything that's going on."

Posted by Holly Wagner