Exile’s Tough Deluxe

Article By: Matt Reel

Photos By: Bart Mitchell

Originally Published In The May 2013 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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If you’re magazine, then it’s a pretty safe bet that you either have a custom motorcycle in the garage or you’re wanting one. So, you don’t have one? What’s the hold up? Let me guess, all the typical stuff such as you don’t have the tools or you don’t quite trust your ability to do a full build. Maybe it’s the hassle of registering and insuring a custom bike in your state. If any of these things is holding you back, then Russell Mitchell of Exile Cycles has got a surprise for you. Unless you have been hiding in a cave for the past few years, I’m sure you a r e familiar with the Exile style. However, if you aren’t, let me catch you up. At first glance, Exile’s bikes are clean, simple machines that are all about riding. Take a closer look and you realize these bikes are loaded with details and hidden tricks but are still all about riding.

I’m sure by now you’re asking, “ How does this help me?” Well, Russell and the crew at Exile have designed a whole line of parts to turn your stock “get lost in a crowd” Softail into a full blown custom, done up Exile style. The best part about it is you can make a few changes at a time, or tear your bike completely down and redo it into an evil custom while still keeping it titled and insured as an H-D. All the parts you will see here are direct bolt-on with no fab work required. This bike started life as a 2009 FLSTN. The Exile crew went all out on this just to show what could be done with their components. To get a solid platform, the bike was stripped completely down so that the shiny frame could be shaved of its unneeded tabs and recovered in a flat powder by Andrew‘s Powder Coating. The stock 96” engine received an S&S Super E carb and an Exile billet air cleaner cover. Then an Exile 3” belt drive was used to tie the engine to the stock 6 speed. After that, everything was slid back into the frame and a set of Monster shotgun pipes were bolted on.

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With the frame back and the drivetrain in place, it was time to get things rolling, literally. First, a set of Exiles’ Sani-Trees with a Motoscope mini speedo recessed into them was attached. Then a set of H-D FLT fork sliders were used along with Exile’s Highbars. A set of Metzeler steam rollers were chosen: a 170 front on an Exile 15×5 Monster rim and a 200 rear on a 15×7. To give the Softail a true Exile look, a chopper gas tank designed to bolt directly to the Twin Cam frame was added (available for either carb or EFI) along with an Exile round oil tank. To cover those giant, rubber Metzelers, they chose to go with an Exile Trojan front fender and an RSD rear fender. All of the sheet metal was then treated to a smooth covering of satin black by T. Markus Paint. Now it was time to start tying everything together. Exile’s internal throttle and twist clutch were placed onto the Highbars to help get the bike moving. A set of Exile’s forward controls were bolted on with the brake side using a ¾” master cylinder so it could control the front brake and the rear Exile brake sprocket combination. You may notice the lack of that big clunky factory kickstand mount on Exile’s controls. That’s where their super slick bolt-on kickstand mount comes in. Using it allows the kickstand to be tucked smoothly against the frame under the belt drive.

In order to keep the folks at the DMV happy, an Exile billet headlight was used along with Lazer Star running lights. On a bike this cool stock switches just wouldn’t cut it. Actually, having any switches showing would detract from the appearance. That is why Russell used one of Exile’s Hidden Switch Systems. This super clean switch system hides the switches in the left hand grip keeping them out of site, but still in easy reach. The switches were mounted alongside the left grip as this bike has a twistclutch and the grip is full of moving parts. They also offer grips with the switches built-in for non twist-clutch applications. So what are you waiting for? Winter is almost over. Give Russell a call and get your own transformation started. You can hit the streets in the spring on your new Exile custom and never pay a single visit to the DMV or your insurance agent!

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Tough Deluxe Tech Sheet

Owner: Exile Cycles

City: N. Hollywood, CA

Fabrication By: Exile Cycles

Year: 2009

Model: FLSTN

Time: 3 Months


Year: 2009

Model: H-D Twin Cam

Builder: H-D

Ignition: Thunderheart

Displacement: 96”

Pistons: H-D

Heads: H-D

Cam(s): H-D

Carb: S&S

Air Cleaner: S&S w/ Exile Cover

Exhaust: Exile Monster Shotgun Pipes

Primary: Exile 3” Open Belt


Year: 2009

Make: H-D

Shifting: 6-Speed


Year: 2009

Make: H-D

Rake: Stock

Stretch: Stock


Type: H-D FLT

Builder: Exile

Extension: FLT + 1”

Triple Trees: Exile Sani-Trees


Front Wheel: Exile Monster

Size: 15 x 5

Tire: Metzeler 170

Brakes: Exile Caliper and Rotor

Rear Wheel: Exile Monster

Size: 15 x 7

Tire: Metezler 200

Brakes: Exile Sprocket Brake Kit


Painter: T. Markus Paint

Color: Black

Type: Satin

Graphics: Black on Black Exile Tank Logo



Bars: Exile Highbars

Risers: Exile Integral

Hand Controls: Exile Twist Clutch

Gas Tank(s): Exile Chopper Tank

Front fender: Exile Trojan

Rear fender: RSD

Seat: Custom-Upholstered by Pascal Davayat

Foot Controls: Exile

Oil Tank: Exile

Taillight: Lazer Star

Headlight: Exile

Speedo: Motoscope Mini in Top Tree

Photographer: Bart Mitchell

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