Exile Cycles’ Racy Harley Rocker


Although discreet on the show tour, Russell Mitchell at Exile Cycles is extremely busy creating custom bikes built from the ground up in a style that belongs only to him and also designing new bolt-on parts for customers opting for the Harley make-over. Russell tells me that half of his shop work is “scratch-built” bikes using his proprietary frames, the other half being Harley customization using his own catalog parts.

9Racy-Rocker-'11-LF-small6Racy-Rocker-'11-LF-smallYou are looking at his latest shop project, meaning a custom built on his own dime with complete freedom to complete the machine exactly the way he thinks it should be. It is Russell’s personal ride – at least until someone buys it out from under him. A custom he is very proud of because he consider it his best work for design and details. It is based on a 2011 HD Rocker FXCWC which he acquired with only 700 miles, whilst many of the parts used in the build are Exile custom bolt-on components complementing one-off custom metal fabrication work. It includes minimal fenders to look just right, a custom made steel seat-pan. a modified oil tank that has been shaped to perfectly match the lines of Exile 3” primary belt-drive.

4Racy-Rocker-'11-LF-smallExile Chopper Gas Tank, originally created to replace the stock Twin-Cam Softail one, gives this Rocker a more sporty look. A custom-made 16×8 solid rear wheel complements the stock front wheel, both running beefy Metzeler rubber. The switch-gear is recessed into the handlebars, whilst the speedo and indicator lights are similarly sunk into the top tree. Use of integrated brakes coupled with a twist-clutch and internal throttle provides the recipe for ultra-clean bars. The “Hidden Switch System” is awesome: the 4-buttons setup controls right turn, horn, left turn, high beam. Hold down two buttons together to activate the starter. The small module may be hidden under the tank or seat. All your switching needs in one ultra-clean strip…

21Racy-Rocker-'11-switches-etc-small8terRacy-Rocker-'11-LF-small7Racy-Rocker-'11-LF-small10Racy-Rocker-'11-LF-smallAnyone who has worked on a fuel injected late model Harley knows that it is not easy to make the bike look this uncluttered. Yet this bike still has all the goodies: EFI, turn-signals, horn, speedo, tach etc. making it roadworthy. Of course, all unnecessary stock brackets were ground from the frame, and all un-needed holes were welded up, before applying the gloss metallic charcoal powder-coat. Andrews Powder Coating handled almost every piece on this bike, including the gas-tank and fenders. The result, a custom looking simple, beautiful but as tough as nails, in a pure Exile style. Red pinstriping on the wheels matches front & brake caliper. Red stitching on the seat is courtesy of LePera.

More information and parts catalog at Exile Cycles 818 706 1230. More photos of machines on Facebook and Instagram @exilecycles. (Photography @ Gianatsis Design for Cyril Huze)


35 Responses to “Exile Cycles’ Racy Harley Rocker”

  1. 1 Tom Maioli Mar 19th, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Another original look from Russell. He has never followed the crowd as long as I can remember. This one appears to be some shade of grey instead of black..Always liked your work Russell.

  2. 2 Sharkey Mar 19th, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Recently wondered “whatever happened to…” I ride an FXDF that he obviously inspired for Harley.Nice clean bike here; a ride-able beauty.

  3. 3 Drake Mar 19th, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Like it.

  4. 4 P. Hamilton Mar 19th, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Mitchell is getting fancy. From black to grey with a touch of red! Good work.

  5. 5 malibu motorcycle works Mar 19th, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Probably one of the best rocker transformation i have seen . considering what the bike looks stock , this is a great option for someone who wants to change there rocker . i buy parts from Russell and we are very happy with the quality of the parts and his customer service

  6. 6 USAYGO Mar 19th, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Amazing, a custom build that looks like a motorcycle. I hope this type of build catches on.
    No One does it better Russell, I like it!

  7. 7 Buster Mar 19th, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Looks nice!

  8. 8 TJ Martin Mar 19th, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I’d wondered myself what had become of Russell . Good to see the man is still at it … doing what he does best . His own versions of what a custom H-D should be . Two thumbs up !

    And on the ‘ what ever happened to … ‘ thought

    Has Cyril built anything lately ? In all honesty I miss his bikes . He was one of the few that could build a tasteful ‘ theme ‘ bike … that was ridable as well

  9. 9 Dave Blevins Mar 19th, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Russell always makes good looking bikes, this is another good one.

  10. 10 Greeko Mar 19th, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Mitchell is professionally alive. Great!

  11. 11 Bertrand Gallo Mar 19th, 2015 at 11:54 am

    The Rocker has never been extremely popular. Would like to see more from Russell Mitchell on more popular models. What about the Harley Sportster or the Indian Scout?

  12. 12 JohnyLetGo Mar 19th, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I miss black. Lol. Great job Exile.

  13. 13 Boomer Mar 19th, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Nicely done! Puts me in mind of a Night Train I had with the blacked out engine and trans. Like others said; a truly rideable work of art. If it were mine I’d sure ride the wheels off it!

  14. 14 Russell Mitchell Mar 19th, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks for the positive comments Folks – glad you like the bike! For those who wondered what happened to us; we haven’t gone anywhere or changed anything. We are still offering our full range of parts and building “Ground-ups” and “HD make-overs”. We’re still at the end of the phone or e-mail – and even doing the social media thing. We haven’t been advertising much in recent years as its hard to know where to effectively put your ad dollars. This year is Exile’s 20th anniversary!

  15. 15 Lonny Mar 19th, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Always Loved Russell’s bikes, The “Brown Pearl” may be my favorite. I always believed that the Rocker was a Great Canvas for bike builds. keep it up Russell

  16. 16 Chuck C. Mar 19th, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    great looking bike nice lines

  17. 17 Zenaldo Mar 19th, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    anything that isn’t flat black is a step in the right direction..even grey is upward..

  18. 18 Early Iron Motorcycles Mar 19th, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Russell, Congrats on 20 years, thanks for making some of the best parts out there.

    Mark @ Early Iron.

  19. 19 SportsterMike Mar 19th, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Another nice Exile bike, eagerly awaiting some nice Sportster stuff Russell!!

  20. 20 Iron Horse Mar 19th, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Good looking bike. I especially like the way he integrated the speedo and lights into the top tree. Very cool and unobtrusive. I dig the gray color too.

  21. 21 Matt W. Mar 19th, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Few can balance understated and originality like Russ. Always excited to see what Exile has coming down the pipe!

  22. 22 domino Mar 19th, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    How refreshing … all positive comments …

    I really liked “Build or Bust” … Russel came across sincere.

    Domino Dave

    p.s. Awesome freeking bike

  23. 23 Mike Mar 19th, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Clean! Love it.

  24. 24 Guenter S. Mar 20th, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Nice clean simple looking, but not so sure about using the sprocket for a rotor (chain oil!)

  25. 25 qajaqr Mar 20th, 2015 at 8:24 am

    The chunky minimalist style is very well done by Exile.

  26. 26 TodT Mar 20th, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Did anyone else read Russell’s post to themselves while using his British accent? Funny how my mind works. Congrats on 20 years Russell!!

  27. 27 Russell Mitchell Mar 20th, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Hi Guenter. Thanks for the compliment. We do have a section on why chain oil is not a problem in our catalog, which can be viewed from our site. I know you are a chain-lube dealer so you may disagree 🙂 We have used the Sprocket Brake Kit on every single bike we have built in our twenty years, on countless Complete Bike Kits, and sold thousands of Sprocket Brake Kits to others.

  28. 28 art hall Mar 20th, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Congratulations on your 20th. Having a big party ???
    See you somewhere soon?
    Nice job on the ‘rocker’
    Hi to R.


  29. 29 John E Adams Mar 20th, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Some great looking bikes and parts over here – awesome work Russel Mitchell!

  30. 30 1550tc Mar 21st, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Russell, love your less is more bikes and when i was in the valley
    I always enjoyed coming by the shop 🙂

  31. 31 Ben Kudon Mar 23rd, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Cheers on the 20th, hope the fam is great, good job as always on the bike. Oh yea, nice belt drive!!

  32. 32 Eddie trotta Mar 23rd, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Well done Russ ! I love that bike , it has some touches that I havnt seen you do before and they all work nicely , Congrates on the 20 th ! Glad to see your still having fun doing what we love , keep up the great work ! Eddie t

  33. 33 Jim Gianatsis / FastDates.com Mar 23rd, 2015 at 10:21 am

    This latest Exile bike of Russell’s which I photographed is entirely Powder Coated in Dark Grey Metallic with an almost clear-coat finish, including the frame, swing arm, fenders and gas tank. The gas tank even has an embossed-like adhesive plastic Exile logs on each side of the furl tank. Pretty cool.

    And as an Exile Cycles shop project bike it is For Sale, although I’m sure Russell will enjoy riding it to the Rock Store a couple of times on a Sunday to show it off, before it finds a new home.

    My LA Calendar Motorcycle Show is the one bike show that Russell has attend every year since he started building his own custom bikes and parts some 20 years ago (his then girlfriend Nancy was one of my FastDates.com Calendar models) and his first bike build was featured at the Calendar Show and in the Iron & Lace Calendar that year, and with is latest builds every year since. Russell is again planning to attend with one of his latest custom bike builds this year’s 2015 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show on Saturday July 25th at the Sagebrush Cantina, Calabasas, CA. More at – http://www.FastDates.com/BIKESHOW.HTM.

  34. 34 Scott B. Mar 24th, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Looks awesome. I particularly like the skeletonized forward controls and how tight those bars are to the trees. I, for one, can hardly wait to see watches next? Maybe something military like with a springer front end? Who knows. I could look at your bikes all day — clean and stylish.

  35. 35 Blackmax Mar 25th, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Damn good looking bike
    But then, Russell’s bikes always were
    Glad to see you back “on the scene” Mr Mitchell
    You & Exile have been greatly missed (in the magazines)
    Long Live the originator of the “industrial” style
    Very Bad Ass !!!!

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