A peak inside Billy The Kid Custom Cycles
We twisted Kevin Mitchell’s arm, the modest Owner of Billy The Kid Custom Cycles, and forced our way inside his shop to see what makes up the dough in his creative cookie. I’ve seen some of Kevin’s builds before and I know that this guy possesses some serious talent and often expresses it by coloring way outside the lines when it comes to the “cookie cutter chop”. As I step through the doors of Billy The Kid Custom Cycles, I immediately start retracing my steps….. Did one of the Throttle America crew slip some form of a hallucinogenic compound in my Mountain Dew on the way over….. Nope those are definitely giant bunnies in this guys shop. This proves that when your good at something people from other industries will likely seek you out for that quality touch and care you’re known for. Someone with a couple of giant white cast bronze bunnies the size of VW Bugs needed a top notch refinishing, and to them it was a no brainer, Billy The Kid Custom Cycles was it. After the crew was done showing the bunnies some love, we got down to business and got the scoop on this top notch builder.
14 Questions with Kevin Mitchell
1. What spawned Billy The Kid Custom Cycles?
Kevin: “One evening I was having a beer with a buddy of mine down on Morganford. We where setting there watching tv and monster garage came on and i said I can do that. Several beers later I was trying to pick a name for it and Jesse James name came up and supposedly Billy the Kid is from around here, so that’s where the name came from. Shortly after I opened shop and started selling parts and working my way to my first build.”
2. How many years have you been in this industry?
Kevin: “11 years so far.”
3. What was your daily grind before you got into bike building?
Kevin: ” I sold auto parts and I have been a Dupont rep for about 25 years and counting.”
4. Have you displayed your work at any shows or events lately?
Kevin: “Yeah we set up at the 7th annual Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest this year with you guys. We had a good time.”
Sinister Kid: ” The turn out was great this year. It’s amazing how much the event grows each year.”
5. What do you do when your not building bikes?
Kevin: ” I get very minimal time off, but I spend it with my family when I have it. There is nothing more important than that. ”
6. What tunes do you usually jam to while your getting it done?
Kevin: ” The radio in the shop usually stays tuned to KSHE 95 real rock radio. I like classic rock. ”
7. What can we spot you scooting though the St. Louis city scape on?
Kevin: ” I call it the Cross Bones, it’s a rigid frame with a 30 degree rake, single down tube, -1″ in the back bone, stretched 2″ in the rear, with a 4″ under springer, rolling on a 240 tire in the rear, and a 180 in the front, powered by a 110″ Revtec Knuckle motor throwing its power to a 5 speed right side drive tans and chain final drive.”
Kevin: ” I would have to say Billy Lane and Russell Mitchel with out a doubt where my biggest influences.”
9. What city do you hale from?
Kevin: ” St. Louis, MO is my home town and where I currently run my shop.”
Kevin: ” I have accounts with most of the bigger distributors in the industry. To name a few; Mid-USA, V-Twin, Custom Chrome, and Midwest Motorcycle.”
Sinister Kid:” Can your customers order parts threw you from those distributors?”
Kevin: ” Yes they can.”
11. What is Billy the Kid Custom Cycles all about?
Kevin: ” Scratch built quality bikes.”
12. What was your most off the wall project so far this year?
Kevin: “Painting and refinishing two giant bronze bunnies for City Garden. Ha Ha Ha.”
13. What style of build are you most known for?
Kevin: ” I guess if you had to label it…. I would say an Industrial hot-rod bobber. Fast, clean, and mean with minimal chrome.”
Kevin: ” Ha ha ha… I would have to say my Smithy lathe / mill combo. I don’t know how I got by without it in the past.”
Sinister Kid: ” Thanks for your time Kev…. sorry if we broke anything in your shop while fondling the gigantic bunnies and rooting through your tool boxes.”
To sum up the dirt we just dug up on Billy the kid Custom Cycles.
Sinister Kid: “ Kevin takes pride in every cut, every weld, and every component on his builds. That is a tough thing to find these days with all of the gold digging hack mechanics out there, Kevin’s shop is definitely a diamond in the dust.”