Welded, burned, pulled, prodded, and painted over six years, Low, Down, and Shifty has had a turbulent genesis. Design Director Kurt Walter walks us through the inspiration behind LDS, and the pictures tell the story of how the bike was made. And if you want even more ICON 1000 news, product info, and bikes, make sure to like the ICON 1000 page on Facebook. Here it is, the story of Low, Down, and Shifty.
It started as a mid-day drunk…a white liquor induced haze that seemed all too appropriate when navigating the Yangtze river. The year was 2006, and the world was still giddy with easy money and big profits. I had spent the afternoon drinking in a hotel bar called the Cloud 9 atop the worlds tallest hotel – the Shanghai Grand Hyatt. It was a setting that stunk of big money, phony feng shui, and expensive German cigarettes; the latter being mine. These were indeed heady days which demanded equally big ideas. It was in this semi-opulent Oriental background that Low, Down, Shifty was born.
The idea was relatively simple – fabricate a goosenecked hardtail frame around the venerable upright XS650 twin motor. The slim aluminum fuel tank, which would also incorporate a mildly plausible seat, would provide enough fuel to make it from here to there, but not back again. The pièce de résistance would be a full-sized Hoosier car slick used as a rear wheel. What it lacked in common sense, it would more than make up for with uncommonly massive steeze.
It would take six years, on and off, to fully construct Shifty. She proved to be a painful lesson learned in what not to do. But she also provided a great deal of enjoyment in long hours spent fabricating and wrenching and generally bringing derelict things back to life. Like the LIMITER copy says – she was nothing this world needed, but everything it deserved.