Russell Mitchell

  • Birth Place: Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, England
  • Profession: TV host, Motorcycle builder
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With a dyed blond Mohawk and full-body tattoos, this motorcycle master is hard to miss. Born in England, Mitchell was initially interested in skateboards and scooters before he graduated to bikes. He had a career as a veterinary surgeon in London, but he never gave up his burgeoning interest in scooters and bikes, building his first scooter in a waiting room. In the 1980s he moved to Los Angeles to pursue modeling and acting: He landed a few commercials as well as a bit part on Beverly Hills, 90210. Never getting a big break in the acting world, he returned to the biker biz by opening the custom shop Exile Cycles in 1995. After appearing as a guest on various reality series during the early 2000s cycle craze, Mitchell finally landed his own show, Build or Bust, on the Speed Channel in 2005. Though the show ended in 2006, Mitchell continues to work on bikes at Exile Cycles. In 2009, he introduced a complete line of bolt-on parts for stock Harley Davidson softails. On weekends, he travels to different locales in the U.S. making guest appearances at bike events.

Fast Facts

  • Worked as a veterinary surgeon in London, where he built his first scooter in a waiting room.
  • Built award-winning scooters and choppers in England, the first of which he nicknamed Exile 1, Exile 2, Exile 3, etc.
  • Parlayed his flamboyant persona and punk-rock appearance into modeling jobs in Los Angeles. After a lucrative Marlboro commercial in 1994, he began to develop the custom bikes that appeared in Easyriders magazine and launched his full-time career as a customizer.
  • Founded Exile Cycles in 1995 and, in 10 years, grew the Hollywood motorcycle customization shop into a 20,000-square-foot operation.
  • Established himself as a customizer for the stars, building bikes for the likes of George Clooney, Audioslave singer Chris Cornell and John Mellencamp.
  • Competed frequently on Discovery Channel's Biker Build-Off and World Biker Build-Off.
  • In 2009, he introduced a complete line of bolt-on parts for stock Harley Davidson softails.
  • Spends many of his weekends making guest appearances at bike events throughout the U.S.


  • Nancy — Ex-wife
  • Lucas Russell Mitchell — Son


  • University of Bristol, Bristol, England

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