Death Of Custom Motorcycle Builder Brad Ruel


bradruelbis It is with sadness that I report that Custom Builder Brad Ruel has died yesterday of a heart attack. His shop “The Wrench” in Sarasota, Florida has been around since 1995 and Brad has been building radical custom bikes since 2000.

He became a familiar name in the industry through his custom work and custom parts. He was also one of my clients. Brad was one of the most approachable builders, just happy that people enjoy his creations. He was 43. My condolences to his family and friends.


74 Responses to “Death Of Custom Motorcycle Builder Brad Ruel”

  1. 1 Jeff Nicklus Jul 15th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    That is unbelievable! Brad was a nice young man who I have enjoyed knowing over the last 10-11 years. I have always had a great deal of respect for his motorcycle creations, his business savvy and his happy demeanor. I shall miss him!

    My deepest condolences to his family and friends. RIP my friend!

    Over & Out,


  2. 2 Jon Callahan Jul 15th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    This is terrible news. I found out this morning from Craig his fabricator. We were working together with Brad and The Wrench on building the Las Vegas bike. Which we will still complete in honor of him! He was such a nice guy and his wife was so lovely. You were a great builder and business man. You will be truly missed from the Callahan Brothers. You were one of the only guys my Brother really liked. You were honest and to the point and when you said you would do something you could take it to the bank. Condolences to the Family.

    Jon Callahan

  3. 3 A 1 cycles Jul 15th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    sorry for the family of brad, stand up guy, partied at leesburg with him, fellow florida builder and unique view on the business. he will be missed

  4. 4 Dale Jul 15th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I spent some time with Brad in Florida earlier this year, I enjoyed talking with him and valued his work and creation. It is unfortunate at this very early age, I wish his family peace.

  5. 5 Michele Evans Jul 15th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    My husband, Mark and I were devastated to hear the news this morning. Brad was genuinely a good, honest person, and a great friend — qualities that are not common in today’s world. My thoughts and prayers go out to Karen. We are thinking of you and praying for you as you go through this terrible time. We will always fondly remember and cherish the great times we had together. We were lucky to have had Brad in our lives. Please accept our condolences.

  6. 6 Colleen Swartz Jul 15th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I first met Brad several years ago when my partner, JP, was arrested in Sturgis and he had all of the cash that we had brought with us to Sturgis in his pocket when he was arrested. I wondered aloud, “I don’t even have bail money if I can bail him out….” and Brad stepped up from out of the crowd and said, “let’s go and see if we can bail him out. I have the money and I would like to do that for you.”

    Of course, JP had to spend the night, and I didn’t need Brad’s money, but what a guy to step up to a (then) total stranger and offer to help in that way.

    Since then Brad and I were friends and I am shocked and saddened at this news. My deepest condolences to his friends and family. He will be missed.

  7. 7 Chad Henry Jul 15th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Met Brad a few years ago at the Virginia Beach Bike Classic with my friends at Power Factory Custom Cycles. Have since cought up with him at many events and always had a great time. Never saw the guy down and always with a smile. He will be missed. I’m deaply sorry for the family’s loss and the world of great custom builders.

  8. 8 Old School Jul 15th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    The news is terrible!! Brad will be missed by many, he was a great guy and a pleasure to see and hang out with during Bike Shows in the northeast and during bikeweek. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends, nothing can be said to help during this terrible time, but remember that Brad was loved by many.

    The family of Old School Motorcycle Transport

  9. 9 Steve Carr Jul 15th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Although I cant say that I knew Brad very well, I can say that he was a nice guy to me each time I talked with him. I have know of Brad since he started back in the mid 90’s. He helped me put a bike up on a rotory display during the 2005 Easy Rider show in Louisville, I was there by my self and didnt know anyone, he and his guys were glad to help pick the bike up and take it down after the show as well. Being from Tampa Bay, we would always see him around at different events and he always had something nice to say to everyone.

    He will be missed for sure.

    Steve Carr

  10. 10 Blue Jul 15th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Far, far too soon.

    Condolences from all of us at BSH to Brad’s family and friends.

  11. 11 Alan Jul 15th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    RIP brad
    Condolences from Alan and Christine and the Santiago Chopper team.
    Brad was a good friend and neighbor.

  12. 12 Jaxon 5 Jul 15th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Very sad, I considered Brad a very good friend of mine. I’ve seen him at many events around the country and spoke to him many times and often on the phone. We also filmed a TV show together. As others have said he was a really nice guy and very approachable. I’m sitting here almost speechless….

    Condolences to his wife and family….

    If there are any funeral arrangements that might be open to the public or friends could l please be notified……

    Good friend gone much too soon……………….. RIP my brother !

  13. 13 danielle silverman spandau Jul 15th, 2009 at 4:43 pm


    Your warm heart and kind spirit will never be forgotton. You were the kind of person that always went above and beyond for everyone around you. They say the good dies young and you were always the good and great..Your will be missed and always loved.. Your friend and metricgirl fovever.. Danielle

  14. 14 JoeySwift Jul 15th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    When I came in to the motorcycle industry( a long time ago) I rolled in to Daytona a lonely person. I didnt know anyone, and who do I meet. Brad and Karen. They took me under there wing. From then on out I knew I had just made the best friends a guy could have. When I had my accident in 04 Brad and Karen were the first to step up and help my wife in Arizona from there home in Tampa. Brad I will miss you bud. Karen my heart is with you and Im here for you. With Love and respect JoeySwift Newlon

    PS Brad gave me that name Joeyswift.

  15. 15 Vince Jul 15th, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Brad Ruel was a master bike builder and former pro-motocrosser. Brad was well known throughout the motorcycle industry and appeared on bike building TV shows and at motorcycle rallies nationwide. Brad was the kind of person who was quick to make a joke and even quicker to help you out. His youth was spent racing motocross. Later in life, he turned his creative spirit toward custom motorcycles. The “Brad Ruel Look” is best represented by The Punisher bike. Long, dark, and tall – Brad’s bikes had a powerful look. Nothing extra is on a Brad Ruel bike. That suited Brad well because as an ex motocross racer, Brad always led the pack. During the filming if a documentary about custom motorcycle builders, the film crew was amazed at how skilled all the riders were, but they complained that Brad was hard to film. They said Brad was always way up front and pulling away. I smiled at that. Brad was just faster than the other riders. Even on a rigid 14″ over chopper, Brad was always Full Speed Ahead. We will all miss him.

  16. 16 Wikked Kustoms Jul 15th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I didn’t know Brad well but he was always pleasant to talk to at events and a great builder. It’s a shame to lose someone in this industry that was so talented AND a good man. Shocking to go so young and with so much ahead of him. A great loss. My condolences to his good friends and family.


  17. 17 Samantha Cook Jul 15th, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I met Brad about 3 years ago at of course a bike show. I worked various local MD VA PA NJ bike shows that he also worked. I always had a blast with him and his playful attitude, during and of course after the shows. He had THE biggest heart. I’ll always cherish my memories with him….This is truly a shock to me. And hey, Brad, if you’re reading this, I’m sending you up a straw – i know you’ll remember why! Take care, buddy 🙂 I’ll miss you so much and of course i’ll be thinking about you – always – Samantha

  18. 18 Liz 'Brien Jul 15th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Such sad news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Karen and all of Brad’s family. He was truly one of a kind and had a zest for life that was unmatched! We always smiled to see that Brad was going to be at any event that we were also attending because we knew it would never be boring!!

    God’s Speed my friend! You will be missed!

    Doug, Liz and the crew from Creative Cycles

  19. 19 Cale & Lisa - Mutter's Cycle Supply Jul 15th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I haven’t know Brad long, but got to know him well over the last few months. I also had the opportunity to work with Brad and his company as a dealer. His work was great just as he was !
    He always had encouraging words for a new comer to the industry. The in’s and out’s, good and bad.
    Our condolences to Brad’s family.

    We’ll be sure to do a shot of Yeager for you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We are so thankful for the short time we had to enjoy his friendship – Thanks Brad 🙂

  20. 20 Mike Jul 15th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I met Brad at the V-Twin expo a couple years ago – our booth was next to his and we shared a fair bit of conversation. He was funny and had a lot of friends, tons of people came by to say hi to him. He was smiling and having a great time. He was very nice to me and cracking jokes the whole time. Great guy.

    As a reminder to everyone, get your annual physical folks. Brad died way too young. Get your cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart checked and such – it can happen to any of us.

    RIP Brad.

  21. 21 casper and family Jul 15th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    We will miss you brother.

  22. 22 Micah Schwartz Jul 15th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I have just received this tragic news and am deeply saddened at the loss of a genuinely honest, caring and thoughtful man.
    This news is very surreal to me at the moment due to the fact I was going to be in contact with Brad as per his request via email on Thursday July 16 .
    Brad was without a shadow of a doubt a man of true integrity which in this world Is a rarity.
    I would like to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to his loved ones.

    My prayers are with you

    Micah Schwartz

  23. 23 MotoXcycle Jul 16th, 2009 at 5:29 am

    R.I.P Brad.

    My condolences to his family.


  24. 24 Boss Hawg Jul 16th, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Such a tragic loss at such a young age.

    Rest In Peace, Brad.

    My condolences go out to Brad’s Family and all his loved ones.

    Boss Hawg

  25. 25 Alain Tourigny Jul 16th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    We have Meet Brad Last year at Digby, New-Scotia.

    Condolences from Touring Creation, Québec, to his family.

    Alain Tourigny and Mélanie Gagnon

  26. 26 Revolution Motorcycle Magazine Jul 16th, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Brad was genuinely a good guy.
    My condolences to his family.

    Pascal Richard

  27. 27 tracey strain Jul 16th, 2009 at 8:32 am



  28. 28 GREG CARTER Jul 16th, 2009 at 9:35 am



  29. 29 Shadow Jul 16th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    A couple of years back, after Brad took over the Wrench shop in Sarasota, he was a cover story for our magazine. In phone conversations and in person he was one of the nicest and most open builders I ever had the pleasure to talk to. Through the course of the interview and anytime I saw him at events from then on, he treated me like a close friend instead of just someone he had given an interview with and talked to just a few times. Brad was a class act and one of the nicest people I have had the privalage to meet. Our heart felt condolences go out to his family. The motorcyle industry and the motorcycle community in general lost one of it’s best this day.

  30. 30 Kip Prange Jul 16th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    My heart goes out to Karen. Wow what a tragedy. We have become freinds over a short time, but what can you say, Brad was a great guy, and will surely be missed by all who were fortunate to have known him.. God Bless the Ruel family.

  31. 31 Michele Scott Jul 16th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    My deepest condolences to Brad’s family. My “metric revolution” moments with Brad in Las Vegas were great. What a sweet guy and gone way too soon. I am deeply saddened by this. RIP Brad
    Michele Scott

  32. 32 Peggy Jul 16th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Brad was a cousin of mine that I just met the weekend of the 4th. He was super nice and kind of like a big kid. From what I did get to know about him, he loved life and was a wonderful guy. I am very sorry for Karen. On behalf of our family, thank you for your condolences. Brad was a very lucky man to have had such great friends.

  33. 33 Full Throttle Magazine Jul 16th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Full Throttle Magazine would like to send our deepest condolences to the Family and friends of Brad Ruel. He was a great custom builder and has done a lot in the motorcycle community.

  34. 34 Greg Hoeve Jul 16th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Very sad and shocking news. Brad , we will miss you. It should have 10 or 11 other dudes, but not you. God bless you and keep you. Rest in Peace.

    Your friend,


  35. 35 Wyked Illuzionz Jul 16th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    We were a vendor at many shows/rallies with Brad. He was a wonderful guy with great bikes. He was friendly to every vendor, every biker, and every show promoter. No matter how big or small your business was, Brad treated everyone with enormous respect.

    Not only does the industry lose with this one, but the world does as well (since there is one less caring and decent person in it).

    R.I.P. (Ride-in-Peace) Brad.

    Bob, Carol & Jon
    Wyked Illuzionz, LED Lights for Motorcycles

  36. 36 Cyril Jul 16th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I received the information regarding Brad Ruel funerals.

    Visitation: Sunday July 19, 7pm to 9pm Hillsborough Memorial Funerial Home, 2323 West Brandon Blvd, Brandon FL 33511

    Memorial Servie: Monday July 20, 11 am St Stephens Catholic Church, 504 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon FL 33569

    In lieu of flowere donations can be made in Bradley’s name to: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Online:

  37. 37 Suzanne from Winter Park, FL Jul 16th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    The most heart felt condolences to Brad’s family here in Florida and Indiana, and especially to his wife. It’s great to see that he had pursued and obviously very much succeeded at something he was so passionate about. May Brad Rest in Peace…..

  38. 38 Bridget Jenkins Jul 16th, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    A note from Brad’s family:
    Thank you so much for all of your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. Brad was the oldest of the Ruel-Jenkins cousins and he is terribly missed. It is so comforting to know that people think as highly of him as we do. Please continue to pray for Karen, his parents, and his brothers in the coming months.
    God Bless,

  39. 39 Bags Jul 16th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    I am very good friends with Brad’s brother, Brent. Although I had met Brad only once, that is all it would take to see that every word that I have read on this page is true. I never did business with Brad, but did hold both he and Karen up with the utmost respect. I had the a great time laughing, and joking…and coming up with phrases that I know he would bust out laughing if he heard me say it right now.
    Karen, there are no words that can express what you are going through, but do know that you have the love and support of many. To the Ruel Family, I give you my great sympathies and condolences.
    Hey, Brad…I’m in a rock band!!! (I hope that puts a smile on your face wherever you are out there riding that big bike in the sky!)

    RIP, Brad!

  40. 40 Karen Ruel Jul 16th, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    In this very difficult time it is uplifting for me to hear all your great stories of your friendship with Brad. Brad always came home with stories of great people he meet and friendships he made on the road. It is comforting to know when he was away from home he was surronded by friends. I am happy to see all the wonderful qualities I found in Brad such as his kind heart, putting others first, ambition, and love for bikes where appreciated by so many.

    With gratitude,
    Karen Ruel

  41. 41 Kim Borg Jul 17th, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Brad loved you very much Karen. You could always see it in his eyes when he would talk about you and how patient you have been with all the traveling. He missed you when he was on the road doing what he needed to do. The main consistancy in his life was that you would be at home when he returned.

    On a Wing and a Prayer,

    Kim Borg

  42. 42 Effie Ruel Jul 17th, 2009 at 8:17 am

    My First Son Brad,
    Good Morning Sunshine 🙂 at one time, after birth, you were 4lb 13oz, my premature baby. I was so scared, you had no eyebrows or fingernails but you grew into such a fine, strong, loving, caring, thoughtful, considerate, intelligent, beautiful young man. — Brad, I have always been so proud to be your mother. I have read the wonderful responses. It makes me very happy to know that your business associates and friends feel the same way as I do. You were so loved and respected by each of them. Thank you to all who gave condolences. I greatly appreciate how you felt about my son.
    Brad, you left me too too soon and my heart is aching so bad that it is unbearable at this time. I am missing you now and forever and ever. Rest in Peace my son.

    Loving you with all my heart and still more,

  43. 43 Thunder Jul 17th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I first met Brad several years ago working with the Bikers Atlas. Ran into him at many events & know the biker world as well as his family will miss him so much. Godspeed and forever in the wind!


  44. 44 L.A. Jul 17th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    My condolences to Brad’s family and his wife Karen. Brad was such a fantasic guy…alway’s taking the time to call, chat with you on the phone, go the extra mile and always a stand up guy! Brad did us a big favor and is the reason we even have a shop…so thank you and God Bless you and your family.

    When it’s time…it’s time and it was yours my friend,


  45. 45 Peter and Tammy Robertson Jul 17th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    We met Brad last year at the Wharf Rat Rally and became fast friends. Our son Tyler, had the experience of a lifetime to have apprenticed with Brad in his shop for 3 months this past spring. Tyler had just returned to Florida to work with Brad 3 days prior to his death and needless to say he was devastated. Brad was a great friend, a wonderful role model for our son, a dedicated husband and a truly talented individual. Words cannot express how sorry we are for the loss of Brad, as a friend, as a family man, as a gifted bike builder – the world will not be the same! Our hearts and prayers go out to Karen and the family at this time.
    We will miss you more than you will know Brad!

  46. 46 Amanda Dement Jul 17th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    I haven’t known Brad that long, I was a first time Cycle Pro girl in the Richmond Bikes and Ink Show in March of this year. Brad welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home, our personalities clicked immediately! He was an amazing person, an incredible builder, a huge support of mine and i consider my number one fan! He left a HUGE impact on me!
    I can say this, i have never met a man who after, i think he said 16 yrs of marriage? spoke SO highly of his wife, he was like a little blushing school boy when the subject of her came up, he was so proud to have her support and love in all he did! That itself took me back and melted my heart, that is a once in a lifetime love!
    He was also a “self proclaimed mommas boy” as he said, and he just as well, loved her and told so many stories about his mother, very well respected!
    He was a phenomenal and selfless individual! I actually saw him on July 11th for a brief period of time during his trip to PA, hard to believe and comprehend how just 3 days later he can be gone, i recently found out i am pregnant and he has constantly been pickin on me and makin fun of me for it! since i was supposed to be at the cycle pro shows this year he said i “ruined everything” haha! I still remember John’s phone call “Brad said he wants u at every show this year!!”. He would txt me just about everyday saying “have a good day sunshine!”. And he actually txtd me Monday the 13th asking for my address saying he was sending me a package with his shirts all different sizes so i can “still promote even when im fat and pregnant!” (makin fun of me! but still makes me smile through the tears) When i didnt hear from him wednesday something didn’t feel right, then i came home and heard the news. I still dont think it has sunk in completely..

    Brad, you will be missed…deeply!! Your personality, your work, your heart and your memory has left a HUGE impact on this earth! Please continue to watch over us! We love u buddy

    Karen and your family will remain in my thoughts and prayers!

  47. 47 Linda DiGLoria Jul 17th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I only met Brad on a few occations working for Kec-Mave Productions. He was one of the sweets bike builders who came to our shows. Brad was a fun loving caring person, he will be sadly missed.
    Peace to his family it is a great lose

  48. 48 Cydney Jenkins Jul 17th, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I loved Brad so much! He was so funny, and nice! Karen, you are lucky to have him, and i think about you everyday, i love you Karen and pray for you! Brad, i wil miss you soo much! I just recntly heard stories about how you would come up to visit us and you would call me and Ryan your little kids! When i found out about your death, i just started wailing and crying my eyes out ! I was shocked too. But the sad thing is, i didn’t get to tell you how much i love you and i didn’t get to say goodbye! You were great at building bikes, and they were really good, you had a great talent! You will most definately be missed! Rest in Peace.

    I love you Brad!


  49. 49 amanda strain Jul 17th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    well when me and my cousin cydney first met brad we instantly fell in love with him .. he was are altime hero . from the time he gave us some of his big tshirts to watch batman in . or gave us a slobbery ball to play with trumble so he didnt have to . he was an amaizing cousin to all of us little kids . hes so loving at times and so grouchy at other times , but all in all i still love him and miss him . when i heard about his death i emidietly called my cousin cydney and we cryed together . i couldnt understand why , but i love and miss you brad rule and pray for your wonderful wife karen, every second .

    love, your cousin
    amanda e. strain

  50. 50 Rob Bailie Jul 17th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    I was very sad to hear the news. Brad was a great guy with a lot of passion for his family and
    bike building.

    I first met Brad several years ago while working on The Metric Revolution show. What a gracious guy always wanting to help out. I am very blessed to have known him.

    I will miss seeing him at the Bike events.

    Brad, your love of bikes and your family will live on and in-still in us to do the same.

    Good bye my friend.

    God Speed and God Bless!
    Rob Bailie

  51. 51 Jim Scmit Jul 17th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I met Brad back in 2001 when I replied to an ad for a 1993 FXR. I had just bought the identical bike a couple years prior and just wanted to see what could be done to an FXR as far as customizing as he had described in his ad. Once I met Brad and saw what he had done to it I figured why the hell should I do this to mine…I might as well sell it and buy his. I knew right then in the half hour I talked to him about his bike that we would end up being friends since he’s a likable guy as we all know. And that’s just what I did…I sold my FXR and bought Brad’s thinking I would be happy just the way he had customized it himself. But, as we all know and as we are all adicted to this sickness we have in us, we can never leave well enough alone and that was the start of my first nightmare. Brad had told me that if I needed some work done to bring it down to this litlle shop located on Westshore Blvd called The Wrench. So I brought it there to have a few motor issues taken care of and as I was talking to the owner he told me he was ready to get out of the business and thinking about selling the shop. I gave Brad a call and told him that I thought he should buy the place since he had such a love and creative mind for building bikes. Within a couple of months Brad had struck a deal with the past owner and was now the proud owner of The Wrench. I remember the first grand opening party Brad had with Born To Ride. Everybody had a great time and I remember meeting Karen and how supportive she was of him, putting together this party for his new little shop on Westshore. It wasn’t any longer than about 6 months when Brad had outgrown this location and I had talked to him about a building I had purchased on 7th avenue . It was kind of a rough area but it didn’t matter as most shops are located in areas like this and he was able to spread out with over 5,000sf. This is where Brad started pumping out the best customs of his life. and I used to love stopping by and watching and listening to him get excited when he talked about his new innovative ideas he had just come up with. He inspired me to try my hand at customizing his old FXR which had become my new FXR and allowed me to come in the shop in the evenings to cut it apart and start creating a bike that I am very proud of today. This bike turned out so well that it was actually featured in the August 2008 issue of Hot Bike magazine in which I gave props to Brad for all the help and support in creating that bike.

    Recently Brad had decided to move his shop back to Tampa after a short spurt in Sarasota. Brad, Karen and I had been to a bike night at Wild Wings on Anderson and I told Brad I had space available and would love to have him back. He had just gotten the whole shop set back up in the the past month and we were working on getting the a/c completed. I had talked to him this past Tuesday night about meeting him Wednesday morning to complete the a/c system. Wednesday morning became one of the saddest days of my liife as this is when I learned of his passing.

    His life was taken way too soon because we had many more miles to log in on our bikes. We’ll just have to do that when I meet him on the other side.

  52. 52 Jeremy R. - Former owner of Coast 2 Coast Choppers Jul 17th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    I met Brad back in 2004. While I only used his frames a couple times, we hit it off from the beginning. I remember we shared a booth in Palm Beach for a show one time and he managed to run out of diesel in the big truck twice in the same day on the Florida turnpike. After it was all said and done we had a laugh and a beer. Although we lost touch after I left the business, I will always remember the good times and the laughs. My prayers go out to Karen and his entire family. May he ride the blue chopper swiftly towards the pearly gates with the wind in his face.

  53. 53 Someone who Cares Jul 18th, 2009 at 3:47 am

    I would like to personally thank Cyril for giving us this wonderful outlet to share our fond memorys of Brad. I can think of no better way for Brads family to see all the people that Brad touched, that they may have never known how Brad influenced thier lives. Brad was a good, real, down to earth guy.

    Thank you Cyril

    Brad will be missed.

    Tampa, Florida

  54. 54 Diane McAnally Jul 18th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Wanted to share some info for those who have inquired about getting a tattoo in Brad’s honor. Casper at 1603 Tattoo and Body Piercing, who has done Brad’s tattoos, has created a special memorial tattoo. He would also be glad to do any other tattoos in his honor and a portion of the cost of the tattoo would be donated in Brad’s name to the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The phone number is 813-248-9153 and their website is and they are located in Ybor City. Thanks to Casper for extending this to his friends and family.

    Diane McAnally

  55. 55 Carlie Jul 18th, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I have no idea how many years I have known Brad but one thing I do know, is that it wasn’t long enough. My ex husband and I became good friends with Brad and Karen and we always had so much fun with them. My ex called me about 30 minutes after Brad had passed and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Life is certainly not fair, especially to the good ones. While I was obviously stunned, horrified and sad…I don’t think it hit me until I googled his name 2 days after his passing and found so many things about him and read all of the caring words everyone had to say about him. I cried for hours.

    Karen, it breaks my heart that I am in Atlanta now and couldn’t/can’t be there for you. I tried to come for Brad’s memorial/funeral but am unable to make it. I have been thinking of you and Brad every day and am so saddened by this loss. If there is ANYTHING that I can do for you, please just say it. I know that I am far away now but I will do anything for you. You are constantly on my mind and I’m praying for ya girl. You are a strong woman. God, your family and friends are walking behind you on your new journey. May Brad be with you every day to keep you safe and strong. I love you!

    I will leave with my last encounter with Brad. It was probably about a year ago and I told him he needed to send me his tv appearance from Metric Revolution and a “Wrench” t-shirt so I could sport it in ATL and advertise for him. Less then a week later I get my package from him with an awesome DVD and my shirt!! It made me so proud to call him my friend. I slept in my shirt 7/14/09. You are such a great friend Brad, I miss you and can’t wait to see ya again!!

    ~Carlie Mosher-Maxwell

  56. 56 Kiss Bike Mike Jul 19th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I meet Brad at his Westshore store way back when,and had him do some work to my Herritage, and continued to returne to his shop for other performance work and aftermarket parts. We grew close along with Karen and became friends and shortly after that I started working for him at his establishment on 7th and 50th The Wrench I worked for Brad approx 3 yrs or so along with Brian and others I can’t remember their names but Brad was a very I know what I want kind of guy and it had better be done or shit would be flying, but inside Brad was a very caring person and took pride in his work, Karen their are no words for, what can you say about a woman who hung in their through thick and thin. I do know this, don’t ever tie his shoes in knots, for those of you who know what I am refering to you will understand for those of you who are scratching your head don’t ask..
    You will be missed, some day we will all meet again and do this all over. If I know Brad this is just the begining. Karen be strong and I am just a phone call away if you ever need anything .

    Mike Lima ( Kiss Bike Mike)

  57. 57 Scott Sloan ( Builder for Immortal Bike Werks) Jul 19th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    For a man taken way before him time truly left his mark on us and this industry, he was my foundation and also for so many others. Brad was up front and true to his word a very hard thing to find in life and mostly in this business. I met Brad 5 or 6 years ago when he built my fist frame, I enjoyed working with him to come up with some crazy frame design for me. You will be greatly missed but NEVER forgotten Just like your bikes you are ONE OF A KIND.

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.



  58. 58 Ted Jul 19th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    When I heard the news I was shocked. I always liked Brad, he was always up to something cool….

    RIP brother….

  59. 59 Tommy Graves Jul 20th, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Brad will be missed beyond words. All I can do is think about the many great times we’ve shared at various bike shows and stuff. Like many have already said, he was so many times the first to help you out. He was great friend and our hearts go out to his family.

  60. 60 Walt Lumpkin Jul 20th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I met Brad several times over the years at different events. Three words come to mind:
    Humble, gracious and unassuming.

  61. 61 KYLE Independent Gas Tank Co. Jul 20th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    I usually don’t comment to anything written on this blog. I do keep up with the goings on in the industry even though I decided to get out. I considered Brad a friend and not just a customer. When I read that he passed, Shocked was an understatement. Karen, mine and Terri’s hearts go out to you. I still have a picture in my garage of Brad standing in front of his shop doing a burn out with one of his bikes.
    take care,

  62. 62 The Sirotek & IAE Family Jul 20th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Having spent some time recently with Brad discussing his ideas and vision, we are deeply saddened by the loss of such a great man. Our sincerest sympathies go out to Karen and all of Brad’s Family and Friends. Our thoughts are with all of those who have had the great opportunity of knowing Brad Ruel.

  63. 63 Mazz Jul 20th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I was shocked and saddened to hear of Brad’s death, my Bike Klub kids and myself met Brad last year at the Digby Wharf Rat Rally in Nova Scotia Canada. He was a true gentleman and it was easy to see his passion for the motorcycle and the industry.

    On behalf of the Bernice MacNaughton High School Bike Klub and myself, we would extend our thoughts out to his family and close friends.

    It was an honor to meet him.

    Marc Mazerolle
    Manager BMHS Bike Klub
    Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

  64. 64 Bruce Hutkoski Jul 21st, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Brad will be missed. Such talent and a great guy to do business with.

    Bruce Hutkoski
    Platinum Airbrushing, Inc.
    Havana, FL

  65. 65 David Lee Jul 21st, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I worked with Brad side by side at Diablo chop shop in Sarasota. I was truly shocked to hear the news from my other friend, Mark Evans, as since I have moved to Colorado. Brad always came to work with a positive outlook and disposition, a crazy sense of humor, (thanks Jaeger) and a true passion for building kick ass bikes. It was a privelege to work with him and to do work for him. If you were his friend, you knew it. He made sure of that. Brad, you will be missed my brother…You are now truly riding free.

  66. 66 Alan Barber Jul 22nd, 2009 at 10:49 am

    My thoughts go out to the family and friends of brad, We just buried one of englands best builders on Monday so I know your pain

  67. 67 Christi Kapp Jul 23rd, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Dear Effie (mom),

    Brad was at one of the first shows we went to ever a few years ago (in Sarasota) and treated us “newbies” to the motorcycle industry with kindness and respect.

    We will never forget his business advice…which we have followed since we met him. He was brilliant as well as talented.

    Christi Kapp
    Art In Motion LLC

  68. 68 Joanne Provencher Jul 23rd, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    I never had the pleasure of meeting Brad. I am good friends with his brother, Brent. I am a biker and always thought I would run into him eventually and I am so sad I never had the opportunity. I only know what Brent has told me about him and how proud he was of him and how much he loved him. All the wonderful things people are saying remind me of his brother, they must have been very much alike.
    Brent, I am sorry for your huge loss. I love you and I am here for you.
    My condolences to your whole family.

    Brad, may the wind always be in your face.


  69. 69 Carole Rosenblat Jul 23rd, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I did not know Brad, but I am a good friend of his brother Brent. I cannot express how sorry I am to hear this awful news. I was visiting Brent at Christmas this year and we watched a tv show that was profiling Brad. Brent was so proud. I was in amazed at how much alike they looked. From what I am seeing here, they also had similar hearts. They’ve both attracted loyal friend who feel honored to know them. It’s clear that Brad’s legacy will live on in all of the hearts that he touched. My thoughts and prayers are with Brent and his entire family.


  70. 70 Mike Cook "uglybiker" Jul 24th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I met Brad at Rally on the River,PA. We did some riding together. And we made him some home cooked meals. I joked about me taking his metric show winner for a ride. He said go ahead,no one else has ever ridden it. That was one hell of a ride,and you were one hell of a guy. We will all miss you and your text messages. Our condolences to your family. Luv Ya BIG MIKE

  71. 71 DJ Raven Aug 14th, 2009 at 2:38 am

    I also met Brad at Rally on the River in PA. We had such a great time there talking. He made me laugh so much that week!! Brad I just want to say everyone will miss you and this year at the rally we will definatly think of you!! condolences to your family. Your Friend Always, DJ Raven

  72. 72 chaos custom cycle Aug 22nd, 2009 at 2:01 pm


  73. 73 John Verge Aug 22nd, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I offer my deepest Sympathy & Condolences to Brad’s Wife And Family.
    It was a true pleasure meeting you Brad,My son luke & I will miss you. We were really looking forward to showing you around our side of Nova Scotia & having you say here.
    You were a true gentleman Brad.
    John verge.

  1. 1 Death Of Custom Motorcycle Builder Brad Ruel « Moment of Thunder Pingback on Feb 24th, 2010 at 3:04 pm
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