Russell Mitchell Past
Russell's past
Russell today
Russell Mitchell was born in Frampton on Severn, a small farming village in the West of England. He went to the local school and in his early teens became obsessed with skate-boarding, but at sixteen he traded in his skateboard for his first bike and never looked back. Russell rode daily to University in the nearby city of Bristol, At the age of 22, Russell graduated from the university of Bristol as a veterinary surgeon and took a job at a surgery in London. Life in the big city really opened his eyes. Within months he was fully immersed in the Glam-punk scene and was partying his nights away downtown every chance he got! A chance meeting at a charity event launched a side-career in modeling, and soon after Russell became the T.V. vet on the morning news. When a top Los Angeles model agency offered him a contract, he figured (like every other Englishman!) that he'd come to the States for a month or two. That was fifteen years ago! Russell did the obligatory stint in Hollywood as a struggling actor (no, he never waited tables!) before starting Exile Cycles in 1995. He was married for a spell and he has a beautiful son Lucas Russell Mitchell, who is his pride and joy. Russell and Lucas now live with Russell’s gorgeous girlfriend Rachel who you may have seen with him at any number of bike shows in the past few years, or on the cover of the latest catalog.

Motorcycles have always played a huge part in Russell's life. His first few custom builds were based around, of all things, Lambretta scooters! In the early 80's he was a major figure in the thriving English scooter-scene, although he describes himself as one of the "scooter-scum". Wearing a leather jacket and a Motorhead T-shirt, he did whatever he could to piss off the mainstream scooterists. In 1983, after a couple of other custom scooters, twenty year old Russell built the very first 'Exile'. At that time it was fashionable to name your chopper, and Russell chose Exile as it was "a short, tough, symmetrical word - and it had an 'X' in it!" Exile 1 was the Lambretta chopper to beat all others. It had a coffin tank, twisted forks and a foot-shift, and is still held by many to be the most significant scooter of all time. It took all the trophies in all the categories, so Russell figured he'd enter it in the Kent Custom Bike Show, the biggest show in England. However, the Hell's Angels ran the Kent show and they warned him that they could not guarantee the safety of a Lambretta in a HA show. So Russell borrowed a mate's 650 and went to check out the show anyway. As he'd feared it would, his first 100mph ride changed everything. No longer could Russell ride around on a glorified moped, no matter how custom. So, at the very next Scooter Rally he sold raffle ticketsfor fifty pence (about one dollar) each and on Saturday night he got on stage, drew a number, and gave Exile 1 to its new owner. Although Russell did build one more scooter, Exile 2, a flat-black chop much more akin to his bikes of today, the proceeds of the raffle were used to buy a KZ650 which became Exile 3, a red Kawasaki rigid that made it into the pages of Back Street Heroes. This was the last 'colored' bike Russell ever built. A couple of years later Russell bought his first Harley, a basket-case, kick-only Sporty that he transformed into a tough black hardtail in his veterinary surgery waiting room! A smorgasbord of motorcycles followed, Russell's ride depending on his state of poverty at the time. In 1991 Russell came to the US with $9,000, and the next day spent $8,650 on a 1987 Softail. In 1994, after a lucrative Marlboro commercial, Russell decided to build a couple of identical customs. He really went to town with the parts design, learning the required welding and machining skills along the way. A year later, on the first bike's inaugural voyage, he ran into Keith "Bandit" Ball, the editor of Easyriders, who asked if he could run a feature on the bike. The ensuing interest in his one-off parts persuaded Russell to launch a part-time venture from his garage. To an ex-pat in the US, the old Exile name seemed both appropriate and ironic, and so, in 1995 Exile Cycles was born. The business soon demanded all of his time and Russell relinquished his other careers. For several years he practiced his crafts from his garage, until his wife politely requested he get the hell out from under her feet. A real workshop location allowed Exile Cycles to expand and Russell never looked back. Today Exile operates out of a 20,000 sq.ft. facility where Russell and his band of merry men create the coolest bikes on the planet!


 
 

Eigth Birthday

The First Exile Cycle

Back Street Heroes 1989

16a Riding Kawasaki With Mullet 1985

Exile 2

Raffle Ticket For Exile 1

Exile 1

Nancy's Next Wedding

Luca's First Ride

Christmas '98 Hawaii

Baby Lucas 1999

On The Set Of Demolition Man

Model Card

Dr Russell Mitchell B.V.Sc M.R.C.V.S.

London, Shortly After Graduation Day

Graduation Day 1986

Skateboarding

With Owl

Russell & First Van
 
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