Owensboro Man's Custom Built Success Draws National Attention

An Owensboro native continues to earn acclaim for what he creates in his garage. Now, his custom-built success is drawing national interest.

An Owensboro native continues to earn acclaim for what he creates in his garage. Now, his custom-built success is drawing national interest.


At the end of the cul-de-sac, you will find a spark of inspiration as Mike McFadden grinds down his latest masterpiece.

"With M&M Customs here, we draw it up on a napkin or a piece of cardboard and we figure out how to do it," said McFadden.

Picasso used canvas. Mcfadden uses metal as he builds motorcycles entirely by hand. McFadden started his company, M&M Customs, out of his garage in 2009. It didn't take long for people to take notice. Pilgrim Studios, the production company responsible for cable shows like Orange County Choppers and Dirty Jobs has contacted McFadden to see if he would participate in the new pilot of a show called Biker Build Off.

In the confines of his garage, he has many of his masterpieces on display

"Some of these bikes right here kind of have a story to them," said McFadden. "This bike here, Menace to Society, I found in an apartment. We bought it for $200 and this is the one that kind of started it out for me."

Two and a half years later, it still hasn't stopped, not even for his full-time job working the graveyard shift at an Owensboro business.

Meanwhile, in his garage, McFadden continues to find the harmonius balance between horsepower and art. His inspiration isn't hard to find.

"This motorcycle is named El Dora," said McFadden. "It's actually named after my mother that I lost to cancer several years ago. She was one of my biggest fans. I wanted to have one with her name on it and it's really brought a lot of luck to me."

He doesn't have an unlimited supply of tools or an infinite budget but But he competes against, those that do. However, it hasn't stopped him from winning top honors at shows across the country.
"It does show that you can have a show worthy bike," said McFadden. "The accolades of being able to have a Japanese motorcycle in the Harley Davidson Museum on display during their 110th anniversary is a huge honor."

"What I like doing is going out and finding these older bikes that have been pushed out in a garage or in back of the barn that you can get pretty cheap. I like bringing those out and showing people that you don't have to have a second mortgage to make your own custom bike." 

It takes a special kind of vision to hand-build the motorcycles that shine in his garage. But McFadden is proof that vision is much more that meets the eye.

"Even though I've done custom painting for over 25 years, I'm color blind," said McFadden. "Everybody asks me how I do it. I say, thank God for paint codes."

"It's kind of funny, green lights look white to me. It's one of my little secrets."

Right now, there's an online vote going on where McFadden is going up against some of the best custom motorcycle builders in the country.

Click here to vote.

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