Russell Mitchell is the president of Exile Cycles, now in its tenth year of doing business. The company has grown from its modest beginnings into a multi-million dollar corporation. In the beginning Exile Cycles consisted of Russell whittling one-off motorcycles in his own garage. Today they have purchased a new facility of almost 20,000 square feet. Exile Cycles manufactures nearly every conceivable part of a motorcycle, and sells these parts both direct to the public and through its network of over 1,000 dealers. Exile produces around twenty complete custom bikes each year, and these machines have garnered hundreds of magazine features around the globe. Exile Cycles are instantly recognizable for their clean, tough, industrial styling. They are like a breath of fresh air amidst the mass of over-painted, over-chromed customs that have so long been the standard in the US. The good news is that the minimalist styling that has always been popular in Europe is now catching on fast in the US, and Exile Cycles is leading the charge. In fact, Russell has been preaching this styling ethic from his soapbox for so long he virtually has a monopoly on it.
As part of their effort to convert the non-believers, Russell and his colorful crew have competed in many of the Discovery Channel "Biker Build Off" shows as well as the "World Bike Build Off", and Russell now hosts his own show on the Speed Channel. The concept for "Build or Bust" is that Russell takes in a member of the public who thinks it would be easy to build a bike "just like the guys on TV". Russell gives the guy (or girl) a pile of parts, all the tools necessary and one month. If at the end of that time they have built a bike that meets Russell's exacting standards, they get to keep a $50,000 custom. If they don't, then they're a loser on national TV! "Build or Bust" airs several times a week and is now filming its second season.
Within the motorcycle industry, Russell enjoys a considerable reputation, and the full-body tattoos and blonde mohawk ensure easy recognition. Almost every weekend he can be found at one of the numerous events around the US, displaying his badass bikes in front of the custom-built Exile show-trailer. Although he loves to play up his Englishness for the cameras, Russell is truly grateful to the United States for giving him the chance to pursue his dreams.