White Out

Article and Photos By: Twila Knight

Originally Published In The October-November 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

White Out started out as a brand-new Harley- Davidson Breakout. It was shipped directly to Russell from the dealer. It was intended for one of Russell Mitchell’s best customers in Colorado. Like the Colorado winters, the customer asked Russell for the bike to be white with Russell’s classic satin black touch. The team immediately got started stripping the bike down to the frame, removing every stock component. Keeping the frame, swingarm, engine, transmission, fork sliders, and a couple of small things such as the coil and other electronics to  reuse. Everything else would be Exile products. Certain parts were customized specifically for this bike. The seat is one example of a customized part. The team ground the bulky brackets off the frame and welded on their own for a cleaner fit for the custom seat pan. The upholstery for the seat was done by La Perra. They made sure to create a piece custom to the bike so that it would flow with the rest of the build… And they nailed it! The fenders were fabricated specifically for this build, and the new chopper gas tank was fitted with an internal fuel pump. Russell and his guys also re-wired the Breakout with a new system that is slightly less complicated. Though the electrical system makeover was daunting, for Russell and his builds, it is entirely worth it.

Of course, after all that modification and fabrication was done, the bike was ready for powder coat. The powder coat alone is a massive undertaking. Like I mentioned before that Exile satin black needed to make its mark. No big deal, right? Just taking almost 100% of the bike’s parts and coating them all to match identically is major. Andrew’s powder coating took on this immense task, and flawlessly I might add. The only  parts that are just a tad different are the fork tubes, which have to go to a particular company to create the black coating. The pipes had to have a special high heat coating but still, match the rest of the satin black theme. The white on the bike was done by Valley Kustoms out of Chatsworth, CA, who use their own specialty paint. Russell was extremely impressed with Valley Kustoms customer service, and with good reason. Russell damaged the paint on one of the fenders during assembly. He took it back to have it fixed right, not touched up, but actually, it had to be redone entirely since that pearl can be a touchy issue. He brought it down and was hoping to have it finished by the weekend. He got the “We will see what we can do” response…. But then he received the text that they worked until midnight to fix it, and it could be picked up by Friday! Not only did they get it done ASAP, considering they had to basically start completely over, they also didn’t even Charge Russell for the repair. They held up their side of things by making sure their work was 100% reliable and guaranteed, even though Russell took full blame for the damage. Conditions like this just don’t come up much these days. It’s a pleasure dealing with such great companies.

They bike itself is actually rather simple. It took a ton of work to make it so, but the end result is sleek and simple. The controls consist only of a high and low beam, and that’s about it. There is no horn, no speedometer, no turn signals, etc. A foot clutch and jockey shift are used to even further clean up the hand controls. Although Russell is known for tucking away the components, the customer  wanted as little on the bars as possible. The build itself admittedly took far too long. Part of the reasoning was that not too many people can take on that re-wiring, and the team had to wait for the right guy to become available. Luckily the customer was well aware of the delays as they happened, and wasn’t at all bothered by them, knowing that it was because it was part of the perfectionism he would end up with. Of course, as you can see, the bike turned out wonderfully. In Russell’s opinion, it is almost perfect. It is Simple, Sturdy, and a blast to ride.

Once it was completed, Russell had the joy of taking it out on the road before anyone else got to ride it. He rode it through the hills to his house, and of course, he hit a few spots nearby like the Rock Store. May as well enjoy it while you have it, right? The point of the break-in ride is, of course, to check for any issues. You need to make sure it rides smoothly, and there are no leaks, or noises. But since Russell has just about 25 years in this business, most of that never rears its ugly head. It headed out to Colorado to meet its owner: Who, I was told, is a man of few words. But considering he is a repeat customer, I would say he loves the bike just as much as the previous ones he has ordered. The two have never met in person, but I am guessing one of these days we will find them riding around Colorado together on some custom Exile bikes, that is, at least if Russell gets his way.


Owner: Colin

City/State: Colorado

Builder: Russell Mitchell/Exile Cycles

Year: 2015

Model: Transformed HD Breakout

Value: $60k

Time: Way Too long


Year: 2015 HD

Model: Twin Cam

Builder: Harley-Davidson

Ignition: Zippers

Displacement: 103”

Pistons: Harley-Davidson

Heads: Harley-Davidson

Carb: Harley-Davidson EFI

Cam: Harley-Davidson

Air Cleaner: S&S/Exile

Exhaust: Exile Monster Shotgun Pipes

Primary: Exile 3” Open Belt


Year: 2015

Make: Harley-Davidson 6-speed



Year: 2015 Harley-Davidson

Model: Breakout

Rake: 41 total rake

Stretch: No


Builder: HHI Trees/HD Sliders & Tubes

Type: Telescopic

Triple Trees: HHI 6 degree

Extension: Stock Breakout length


Front Wheel: Exile “Rockstar” 5-Spoke

Size: 21”x3.5”

Tire: Metzeler 120-series

Front Brake: Exile

Rear Wheel: Exile “Rockstar” 5-Spoke-

Size: 15×7

Tire: Avon 230-series

Rear Brake: Exile Sprocket Brake Kit


Painter: Valley Kustoms, Chatsworth

Color: Satin White Pearl

Graphics: 3D Exile Skull Logo

powder coat: Andrews Powder Coating


Bars: Exile

Risers: Integral To Bars

Hand Controls: Exile internal throttle

Foot Controls: Exile Forward Controls

Integrated Brakes/Foot Clutch

Gas Tank(s): Exile

Oil Tank: Exile

Front fender: Exile

Rear Fender: Exile

Seat: Exile Seat Pan Upholstery LaPera

Headlight: Exile

Tail light: Lazer Star

Speedo: None

Photographer: Twila Knight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.