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Arlen Ness to Star at Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum Event During Daytona Bike Week 2008

by Richard Backus


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Arlen Ness to Star at Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum Event During Daytona Bike Week 2008 

Arlen Ness, a master bike builder and pioneer of the custom motorcycle industry, will share stories from his celebrated career at the 20th Annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum "Friendraising" Breakfast.  Ness will be trading tales with Russell Mitchell, renowned builder, president of Exile Cycles and star of Speed Channel's "Build or Bust." 

A Daytona Bike week tradition, the Museum Breakfast is an opportunity for enthusiasts to meet motorcycling's biggest names face-to-face and get a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of their lives and careers.  The program is scheduled for Friday, March 7, 2008, in Daytona Beach, Fla., and is open to the public for $49 per person.  All proceeds support the preservation and education initiatives of the non-profit Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, including award-winning exhibits and the country's only Hall of Fame honoring America's motorcycling legends.

A 1992 inductee into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Ness launched his career in the late 1960s when he customized a 1947 Harley Knucklehead.  He entered the bike in a local motorcycle show and won, drawing the attention of the press - and future customers. From there he built a custom-painting bike business and also began selling custom parts, and, along with his wife, created a catalog to keep up with customer demand.  What began as a simple typewritten page evolved into a major mail order operation.

Ness' unique vision resulted in some of the most influential custom bikes of the past decades. His designs have been studied - and copied - by everyone from other bike builders to factory engineers. Two of his most memorable creations, built in the 1990s, are the '57 Chevy bike, formally known as the "Ness-talgia," which perfectly recalls the classic car, and the "Smooth-Ness," a flowing design inspired by a bronze of a Bugatti automobile. Today, Ness continues to grow his business and excite enthusiasts with his innovative custom designs. For a complete Arlen Ness biography, please visit www.motorcyclemuseum.org.

Like Ness, Mitchell has earned many fans, and the respect of the motorcycle industry, by creating unique custom bikes. In the early 1980s, he built his first machines: customized Lambretta scooters. By 1995, he had enough knowledge and customer interest to launch Exile Cycles from his garage.

In addition to manufacturing and distributing motorcycle parts, Exile Cycles continues to produce attention-grabbing custom bikes. Featuring clean, tough industrial styling, Mitchell's bikes are instantly recognizable. Just as recognizable is Mitchell himself, well-known from hosting the Speed Channel's "Build or Bust", as well as his regular appearances on the Discovery Channel's "Biker Build Off" and "World Bike Build Off." For more information on Mitchell, please visit www.exilecycles.com.

To join Arlen Ness and Russell Mitchell at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum's breakfast, immediate reservations are recommended.  All proceeds benefit the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. To make reservations contact the Museum at (614) 856-2222 or visit the Museum's website at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.