Tough Deluxe Softail By Exile Cycles

Quite difficult to title a custom bike built from the ground with after-market parts and to insure it in a state like California. A much safer approach is to own a street legal factory Harley (or other brand) and to have it customized, finding the right balance between bespoke and the legality and comfort of stock. Since 2006, North Hollywood, CA based builder Russell Mitchell at Exile Cycles has devoted most of his creativity at designing a full line of custom parts letting you (or him) completely re-design a Harley, giving it a full one-off appearance while still preserving its Milwaukee pedigree.

Faithful to the style which has always been his own, Russell likes to build bikes with an industrial/tough look, as dark looking as possible, even when painted in silver… This new project that he named “Tough Deluxe” is darker than the darkest bike of the Harley “Dark Series”, conceived like its main purpose is to piss off the mainstream Harley riders and to terrorize the neighborhood.

The bike started life as a 2009 Harley FLSTN Deluxe and of course is a showcase of most of Exile developed bolt-on custom parts, including the brand new ones like the chopper style gas tank and round oil-bag for HD Twin-Cam Softails about to be marketed via a new catalog. A list of the major Exile parts used on this project is listed below.

As Russell wanted the bike to be satin black throughout, his crew had to strip it down to bare frame, removed any unwanted brackets and had the frame and swing-arm powder-coated to match all the other parts. The only significant fabrication performed on this build was the custom-made steel seat pan. If you wanted us to perform this make-over on your bike you would be looking at a $20,000 parts list and a further $10,000 in powder-coat, paint, labor and leather,. Alternatively, you can simply buy this one for $40,000 and immediately start to scare all the old ladies of your city. E-mail to if you have questions or if you would like a complete fully-detailed build-sheet. Exile Cycles (pictures copyright Steve Kelly courtesy to Cyril Huze)

Major Exile parts used for Tough Deluxe: Exile Fatbar HighBars with twist-clutch, internal throttle and Hidden Switch System. Exile Sani-Trees with recessed speedo and indicator lights. Exile billet headlight Front Trojan fender. Exile front caliper and rotor. Monster 15×5 front wheel with 200 tire. Monster 15×7 rear wheel with 200 tire. Sprocket Brake Kit. Exile round oil-bag with Twin-Cam brackets. Exile Chopper Gas-Tank for Twin-Cam Softail. Exile forward controls. Clamp-on kickstand assembly. Exile 3” primary belt kit. Exile Air-cleaner Cover. Monster Shotgun Pipes

19 Responses to “Tough Deluxe Softail By Exile Cycles”

  1. 1 Ray Jul 30th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    100% Exile. Industrial look.

  2. 2 Bill Skoros Jul 30th, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Exile is may be the only builder left that can still create an all black bike I actually want!

  3. 3 Matt Jul 30th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Love the understated, original look of Exile!

  4. 4 Doc Jul 30th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Like Exile, like the bike, not a fan of the twist clutch though

  5. 5 Blackmax Jul 30th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Damn, he’s done it again !!!
    Trump the “factory at it’s own game
    It’s”industrial” it’s tough, it’s Bad Ass, it’s pure Exile at it’s finest !!!!
    Wish I had $40,000 lying around, I’d sure as hell buy it
    Excellent job, as usual !!!!

  6. 6 PJ Hyland Jul 30th, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Those of us who attended Jim Gianatsis’ LA Calendar Show in Calabasas CA., on Sunday July 22nd, got the chance to check out Tough Deluxe and two other offerings from Exile Cycles. What ever you happen to think about his innovative creations, when you consider Mr. Mitchell’s talent combined with his integrity and determination it’s impossible not to be a fan.

  7. 7 SIGFREED Jul 30th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    As far as Exile’s H-D re-inventions go – I prefer the X-Bones re-engineered piece. While little measures up to the presence of a bona fide Exile ground-up custom, Dr Russell (DVM) is intelligent enough to lower the wherewithal threshold, to become ‘Exiled’, according to the standing (or lack of such a posture) state of things economic. For $10k – $15k less than the said ground-up contraption, you may get a slightly more insipid power-plant (vs eg the 121 – 124 TP’s), but in return you have a vehicle that could actually be fully road legal; and as such, you do not have to suffer constant harassment by the F**KING ROAD GESTAPO..!

  8. 8 Oldernowiser Jul 30th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I like the clean bar look. Are both brakes actuated by the foot pedal, or is there some other hidden secret somewhere to operate the front brake?

  9. 9 Zipper Jul 30th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    All that for Only 40g’s. ..Z

  10. 10 ultrat Jul 30th, 2012 at 7:32 pm


  11. 11 Michael Long Jul 31st, 2012 at 5:11 am

    I like everything about the bike but i think the clutch might take a lot of getting used to. Bad ass!

  12. 12 Poppa Jul 31st, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Sorry, Russell, but doughnut tires are old news. Nothing new or interesting here. Has he run out of ideas?

  13. 13 Heavy Metal Jul 31st, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Poppa, should he put dirt bike knobbies on it? Russell has pretty much stayed the course with his bikes, I like ’em.

  14. 14 art Jul 31st, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Very good looking bike.

    What about the chain drive?

    40k – pretty pricey

  15. 15 Joe Cree Jul 31st, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I like the overall look but not a fan of the 15″ wheels and huge donut look tires, just my opinion. BTW, it’s not tough to own and register a custom here in Calif. if you buy it from a licensed builder.

  16. 16 courtney Aug 1st, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Beats the living shite out that just-released Victory; I love it.

    I’d go for half apes and a smaller front tire, but hey, that bike rocks!

  17. 17 baddad Aug 1st, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Very nice, but already seen 10 – 15 years ago from exile

  18. 18 Flying Piston Aug 1st, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Hard not to think that this is the way of the future. We have played with the idea before and It each time find that with just a bit of creativity a stock bike with driveline and electronics intact can be made to look very similar to a ground up. similar not same.

  19. 19 DUNE EASTER Aug 3rd, 2012 at 10:25 am

    gotta love it… hell, i love all his bikes!

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Cyril Huze