Exile Cycles Video Interview - Motorcycle.com

Sean Alexander
by Sean Alexander

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

"We want to expose the American people to clean, tough, European styling, wheter they like it or not" --Exile Cycles Mission Statement
"What's so special about Exile Cycles?" you ask. Exile is run by a crazy-eyed, sharp-tongued guy, producing bikes with aftermarket Daytek frames coupled with S&S or Total Performance 45-degree "Harley clone" crate motors. Whoop-De-
Doo! Sounds just like every other "Custom" shop that's sprung up accross America, like so many rats riding the coattails of Harley Davidson's newfound prosperity. Okay, you've got me on that one. But! Exile is different. Exile's owner isn't from around here, oh-no, he's got a gen-u-ine English accent and he hates the chrome, day-glo, and other usless "tacky" ornamentation found on the vast majority of today's customs.

Russell Mitchell started Exile Cycles eight years ago, working out of his garage. Though his aesthetic sensibilities haven't changed since then, his business certainly has. Four years ago, he moved into a spacious business complex in Sun Valley, CA, and hired head mechanic Johnny Goodson. Today, Exile has four full-time employees and an adoring public. Exile still

Focusing on a clean look, Russell has come up with a few neat inventions, most notably the integrated rear sprocket / brake rotor combo, which leaves your rear wheel completely bare on the right side. Exile bikes are typically bare-bones streetfighter looking things--sporting flat black, powdercoat or wrinkle finishes and brushed aluminum--instead of high-gloss lacquer and chrome. If you get a chance to examine one of Exile's creations in person you will quickly notice the emphasis given to functionality--aside from the fat front tire that is. Exile's "Bullfighter" model is one of the few custom / cruiser / chopper-type bikes that I've actually wanted to ride after a closer inspection.

"The American people are great, but, their taste in bikes sometimes leaves me speechless."
--Russell Mitchell

Sprocket/Brake Rotor combo is a neat idea, but will require much care when lubing the chain.actually
Unfortunately, this article will have to be a MO "intro" to Exile, as we were deemed unworthy to test-ride any of Exile's creations. Regardless, the Quotes and video clips of Mr. Mitchell are worth the price of a subscription alone.

The bottom line (IMHO) is that these tough looking bikes appear to actually be rideable. They take their own path to the planet Custom and they make no apologies for it. I personally find this to be somewhat refreshing, though $20K-$40K seems like a lot for a frame, motor and some nice custom running gear. Then again, if you have to ask... actually Exile is right in line with what you'd pay for any other turn-key chopper equipped with this level of running gear, and would be a bargain if you inherited a large sum or your grunge band accidentally recorded a hit or something.

Exile on the web: http://www.exilecycles.com/

Exile on the web:

Our Favorite:Decency: Russell on cloning
The required Bullfighter Burnout
Maybe this is more politically correct: Bike Tastes
Balancing form Vs. function:Functionality
Getting started: Bullfighter Start
Sean didn't seem trustworthy enough to ride, Russell onboard
Sean Alexander
Sean Alexander

More by Sean Alexander

Join the conversation