Standard Edition. A Dark Chop N’ Roll Bolt-On Job By Exile Cycles.

’s custom motorcycles fall in 3 categories. The built from-the-ground-up “Special Exile bikes”. The Harley makeovers called the “X-Harleys.” And the bike kits to let you do the work yourself following Exile’s blueprints and using his extensive line of bolt-on parts. “”, Russell’s most recent project and currently his own riding bike – until somebody offers him the price of his work – fits in the category of “X-Harleys.” It’s a complete bolt-on proposition (with no fabrication involved, except cutting the fender struts off the frame on this particular model year, but not on 2008-up) using a 2007 TC FXST Softail Standard platform on which were grafted Exile’s extensive line of proprietary parts. From a cosmetic point of view, the 2007 Harley Softail model presents the advantage of featuring a silver motor & 6-speed tranny treatment.

4ExileStandard5ExileStandard4bisExileStandard4terExileStandardTo get started on this chop n’ roll job, after removing all unnecessary parts and cleaning the frame, the powertrain went from dull to very attractive thanks to the replacement of all the stock covers with EMD’s Ribbed Rocker, Cam and Clutch covers, all powder coated in a wrinkle silver finish. A set of foot control Twin Cam to Evo adapters were bolted to accept Exile’s own billet foot controls in satin finish. Then, a remote master cylinder was bolted under the clutch end cover.

14ExileStandard7ExileStandardOn the driveline side, Russell installed his Exile 3” open belt kit and a centrifugal clutch with the bike being setup as foot clutch jockey shift. Below about 1200 rpm the clutch is automatically disengaged making riding a foot-clutch a breeze. For a unitized look. the open primary, like the motor cases and tranny, received a wrinkle silver powder coating treatment. The adjustable kickstand (in both open and close position) is now bolted to the frame under the open belt kit. Front end is made of Exile’s Sani Tree triple tree, keeping Harley sliders with shorter fork tubes and using Sportster fork boots. Fender mounts were thinned a 1/4” to have enough room to fit a 15” wheel 200 mm front tire and authorizing the installation of an appropriate width fender. A matching 15” wheel 200 mm rear tire was attached to the swingarm and is now slowed by a Sprocket Brake Kit (rear brake and final drive sprocket are combined), a signature item from . This polished stainless steel sprocket/rotor is coupled with a slick two-piston billet caliper. The rear fender is bolted on the swingarm.

1ExileStandardThanks to a relocation kit, horn & coil are now installed behind the transmission case. Harley battery was replaced by a smaller lithium Antigravity battery, freeing enough space to fit the turn signal module, the fuse block and the engine control module. All unsightly wiring is now hidden from view under a clean seat area tray. On the left side of the bike a useful custom leather bag was installed. It features a rear window pocket in which the license plate is secured with an illuminated bolt. For steering, Russell bolted a set of beefy 1¼” stainless steel Exile Highbars, then installed an internal throttle and for a sanitized look equipped each bar end with stealthy rubber strip controls offering all your switching needs: turn-signals, horn, hi-lo beam and start. Just one wire connects to the tiny module hidden under the gas tank. A set of monster drag pipes taped with heat protection EXO’ wrap featuring outside stainless steel mesh, a custom leather dash panel and solo seat complete this project.

2ExileStandard6ExileStandard8ExileStandardFor paint color, Russell hesitated between black and black, then added a 3D Exile shop logo on each side of the gas tank. In total, the budget for this complete makeover is $15,000 in . Russell told me “I have to say I still get a kick out of owning a bike that looks so custom yet rides as smooth as silk, with fuel-injection, speedo, turn-signals, etc. The damn thing even tells the time! And it’s always fun when people ask what it is to be able to tell them “it’s just a stock Harley”. You will agree with me that “Standard Edition” is a tough black beast very worthy of the Exile Cycles name. . 818-706-1230. (photography @ Jim Gianatsis courtesy to JeremySumpter)
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45 Responses to “Standard Edition. A Dark Chop N’ Roll Bolt-On Job By Exile Cycles.”


  1. 1 J. Costello Feb 22nd, 2016 at 9:01 am

    100% dark. 100% Exile. Like dark bikes.

  2. 2 coma Feb 22nd, 2016 at 9:24 am

    It sure does look like a big plastic kit 🙂

  3. 3 Ray Mansfield Feb 22nd, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Long time we didn’t hear about R. Mitchell. Nice.

  4. 4 Paul Hemsley Feb 22nd, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Coma, I think that it’s the photos giving a plastic look. Some pretty slick parts, especially the controls and primary.

  5. 5 boston jim Feb 22nd, 2016 at 9:57 am

    I’ve met Russell a couple of different times, Boston Show & out at Sturgis! Very down to earth, funny accent! At the Boston Show, I gave Russell & Joe Martin, Scavengers for their shops! I like Russell’s simple style! BJ

  6. 6 Mack Feb 22nd, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Outstanding Russell….love your stuff!!

  7. 7 domino Feb 22nd, 2016 at 10:01 am

    ……. Wow, that is an awesome kit Russell …….

    ……. Domino Dave …….

  8. 8 Hotrod Feb 22nd, 2016 at 10:09 am

    C’mon!! How many times can you do the same thing and call it NEW??

  9. 9 Woody's Feb 22nd, 2016 at 10:31 am

    For a bolt-on bike, it succeeds by not looking like a parts shelf bike. Very nice execution.

  10. 10 Jim Gianatsis / FastDates.com Feb 22nd, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Russell Mitchell”s awesome bikes are featured every year in the Iron & Lace Calendars with beautiful centerfold models including the new 2016 edition here –

  11. 11 ernie Feb 22nd, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I agree, Hotrod. Russel has been stale the last 5- years. I like his stuff (to a point), but he needs to step it up, and get creative.

  12. 12 58_pan Feb 22nd, 2016 at 11:17 am

    He has a (easily) recognizable style that definitely stands out. I don’t think he should change anything. What’s he supposed to do, get “creative” and build colorful big wheel baggers? Hell no!

  13. 13 Chief Waldo Feb 22nd, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I haven’t seen an Exile bike in a while, but the only thing that looks new to me here is that trick bag/license plate bracket combo.

  14. 14 Skeeter Feb 22nd, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Don’t be mad at Russell for staying true to what he builds. This bike is as tough as it gets. You want him to jump on the big wheel band wagon? I’ll take this bike over some trendy pos any day

  15. 15 Freddy Manson Feb 22nd, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Hey, guys. Basic rule of branding. Create your own style and never change. It’s what Russell Mitchell is doing.

  16. 16 SIGFREED Feb 22nd, 2016 at 11:26 am

    HOD ROD Dr Russel!!! Well done – looks like FAT FUN!

    I’ll take mine with mid controls and twist clutch.

  17. 17 Duke Feb 22nd, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    It’s a great bolt-on for a $15,000 budget.

  18. 18 George Cornel Feb 22nd, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Read attentively and you will realize that there is much more on this Softail than just looking at the pictures.. Your style or not, but if it’s your style, go for it.

  19. 19 mkviz Feb 22nd, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    So clean, it looks STERILE

  20. 20 James just another crazy kiwi Feb 22nd, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    He has created a style that does not age which makes it classic.

    When all that ugly billet queen crap was blinging us blind and the cartoon baggers took over he did not flinch and jump on the gravy train.

    Russ Mitchell and a number of others stayed true to their own visions and preferences.

    Good Stuff

  21. 21 Danny Ray Feb 22nd, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Advantage. Will not get old.

  22. 22 Henry Feb 22nd, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    To make the following statement. I am a tough guy.

  23. 23 JohnyLetGo Feb 22nd, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    And if Harley would release such a Softail as a production bike, what all of you would say?

  24. 24 rebel Feb 22nd, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    as always SUPER NICE, you get what you expect !!

  25. 25 malibu motorcycle works Feb 22nd, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    i never get sick of Russels bikes , i think he has always stayed true to his style , i think its timeless style and i am always impressed

  26. 26 richards Feb 22nd, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I’m old…I like classic, I like “not overdone”, I like EVERYTHING about this build.

  27. 27 Russell Mitchell Feb 22nd, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Hotrod and Ernie, you guys may have a point, but I’m afraid I can only get excited about building bikes that appeal to me. I have no interest in what’s currently fashionable. This bike would have been awesome twenty years ago, and it will still be awesome in twenty years time. I’m not saying it’s “new”, but I will keep offering our bikes to the media just as long as someone is interested in seeing them. And some of the people commenting above sounded like they were happy to see it. And thanks to you Cyril!

  28. 28 chicagojohn Feb 22nd, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Nice! Hey Russell how about a Exile style Indian?

  29. 29 Lonny Feb 22nd, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Nicely Done Nicely Done, Russell

  30. 30 Blackmax Feb 22nd, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    So in love with Russell’s work !!!
    Even after all of this time with trends coming & going !!
    Excellent job on this bike !!!!

  31. 31 Joe H Feb 22nd, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Russell – I can’t help but respect your style and your commitment to bucking trends and doing your own thing. Your bikes have always stood out from the crowd no matter what the current style is. The engineering alone is awesome to behold and fits perfectly with the bare bones look of your bikes.

  32. 32 Marty Sorel Feb 22nd, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    No worry for Mitchell. With this feature he is going to sell a lot of parts featured on his bike. Business, guys. It’s all about business!

  33. 33 nicker Feb 22nd, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Look, motorcycling is not a new concept….neither is custom motorcycling. So trying to consistently come up with a “new look/innovations” is problematic. The end result of forced innovation has been the bastardization of the MC legacy such as adding wheels while still pretending to be consistent with a motorcycling theme.

    A new look is unnecessary. Simply build a thing of beauty that’s well engineered & executed is what real motorcyclist are interested in. This scooter looks just fine. Accept if for what it is… a job well done….

    If you want “new” go get one of those hover boards powered by multiple drone helicopter motors..

    -nicker-

  34. 34 Mick Feb 23rd, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Reminds me of an interview I heard with Johnny Cash; Q. Johnny, why do you use the same three chords in all your songs? A. Everybody is looking for them, I found them!

  35. 35 Max Feb 23rd, 2016 at 7:05 am

    awesome

  36. 36 Steve Carr Feb 23rd, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Those that can….,Do……Those that can’t….., Complain about those that can and do…..

    Steve Carr

  37. 37 Tom Feb 23rd, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Kool

  38. 38 BuzzD Feb 23rd, 2016 at 9:02 am

    nice looking ride for sure—if I wasn’t an old fat guy loving his Ultra well———————–

  39. 39 D Ray Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I liked the earlier response…….Russ doing his magic on an Indian and a Vic???? That would be intriguing….and HOT!!!!

  40. 40 Chief Waldo Feb 23rd, 2016 at 11:52 am

    +1 D Ray!

  41. 41 Deckerron Feb 23rd, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    WOW! the grips with the built in switches are taking minimalist to a whole new level? Nothing was said about the front brake master cylinder? Can I assume that there is a proportioning valve to actuate the front brake with the rear pedal? Inquiring minds need to know!

  42. 42 Matt W. Feb 23rd, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Love his deceptively simple designs. Modest yet original.

  43. 43 Dave Blevins Feb 23rd, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Russell always has nice looking stuff.

  44. 44 FL Ernie Feb 24th, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve been not only a fan but a customer for life. Russell has perfected a clean, mean, NO NONSENSE machine delivering an awesome ride.

  45. 45 Badams Feb 25th, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Exile nailed a solid formula 20 years ago and never deviated, and has the insight to give a saturated softail market a reason to not wind up in a dump. Great bike and smart offering.

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