Independent Cycle

A Short Softail

Lately the bikes we see at shows and events are really big. Frames with 5 inches of backbone stretch are becoming commonplace, as are neck rake numbers in the 40s and higher. The public's perception of motorcycles being small, lightweight vehicles is being tossed out the window as the custom bikes rolling out of shops start challenging small SUVs for overall wheelbase length.

Independent Cycle, the parent company behind Legend Air Suspensions, builds a couple cool show bikes each year to highlight its new parts. The bikes are usually pretty radical and, more often than not, pretty big, since owner Jesse Jurrens stands well over 6 feet tall. Jesse has fun spending all winter building the bikes as radical as he wants -- riding and showing them all through the summer season, at which point the bikes go up for sale in time for the approaching winter. A pretty good gig, if you can get it.

However, there is an old expression that says: Behind every good man stands a better woman. Well, in Jesse's case, that woman is his wife, Shawna, who stands every bit of 5-foot, 4 inches tall and works the booth and business by Jesse's side, day in and day out. Shawna is a pretty good rider, but noticed that Jesse was building all the show bikes in configurations that left her confined to a suction-cup mounted passenger seat. When Shawna voiced her concerns about her lack of real seat time on the '03 show bikes, Jesse jumped into action and planned a bike to fit her perfectly.

Jesse took a good look at Shawna's proportions and started the project with the purchase of an Xtreme Cycle frame with no stretch and only 30 degrees of rake. The ICI crew sat and looked at the frame for hours trying to visualize a short, powerful bike. To help the plan along, the Xtreme swingarm was mounted using a Legend Air suspension system, naturally. Up front, a 39mm Sportster Custom fork assembly was hung from the neck. A pair of ICI wheels were unpacked and slid into place -- a 21-inch front and 18x8.5 rear -- and equipped with Metzeler tires. ICI rotors were installed, along with P.M. calipers, and the bike was off to a rolling start.

There was a Merch 120 sitting in the parts room at ICI waiting to go in another project. Since it was completely built and ready to go, it made sense to slide it in place and expedite Shawna's... er, the new show bike's construction. A Baker six-speed transmission was installed to give the 120 plenty of legs; the pair connect via a Billet-4-U beltdrive.

ICI likes its project bikes to have sleek lines that seem to neither start nor end, rather appear to be a part of the bike. With the short, almost stubby, geometry of this bike in front of them, a decision was made to work a Sportster gas tank into the design, mounting it low on the backbone and using a Hot Match gas cap to keep the profile low. Additionally, the frame was molded to fit the tank, making it seem almost like a one-piece design when viewed from the front.

From there, a Fat Katz rear fender was fit to the swingarm and dressed up with a seat ring for added dimension. Seeing no need to mess with a good fit, the Xtreme oil tank was left as delivered.

The frame and metal pieces were packed up and shipped southwest to Phoenix, Arizona, for a date with Mike Learn. That date consisted of a generous coating of black followed by some very intricate red and silver graphics that add to the stance of the big-motored little bike.

The final assembly was a breeze, since ICI had everything it needed ready and waiting on a workbench. ICI bars and P.M. hand controls went on along with a Headwinds headlamp up front. The foot controls and license plate mount came from Billet-4-U and the seat was an ICI-made piece.

To complete the bike, a 2-into-1 Martin Brothers pipe with a brushed ceramic coating was installed; then it was fired up. Unlike all of the ICI projects in the past, Shawna, not Jesse, took the first ride around town. Rumor has it she will be done riding the bike just before the first snow sets in around their Rapid City, South Dakota, shop!

8Spec Sheet
GENERAL
OWNER Shawna Jurrens
YEAR/MAKE '03/ICI custom
FABRICATION ICI
ASSEMBLY ICI
BUILD TIME One winter
ENGINE
SIZE/TYPE 120ci Merch
CASES Merch
FLYWHEELS Merch
RODS Merch
PISTONS Merch
CYLINDERS Merch
HEADS Merch
CAM Merch
CARB Mikuni
IGNITION Crane
PIPES Martin Bros.
TRANSMISSION
YEAR/TYPE '02/Baker
CASE Baker
GEARS Baker
CLUTCH Barnett
PRIMARY DRIVE Billet-4-U
FRAME/SUSPENSION
YEAR/TYPE '02/Xtreme
RAKE 30 degrees
SWINGARM Xtreme
REAR SUSPENSION Legend Air
FORKS H-D
EXTENSION 2 inches under
TRIPLE TREES H-D Chrome
WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES
WHEELS Front: 21-inch ICI Rear: 18-inch ICI
TIRES Front: Metzeler Rear: {{{240}}} Metzeler
BRAKES Front: P.M. Rear: P.M.
FINISH
MOLDING Mike Learn
PAINTER Mike Learn
COLOR Black, red, silver
GRAPHICS Mike Learn
CHROME PLATING S&H; PLating
ACCESSORIES
BARS ICI
RISERS Built in
HAND CONTROLS P.M.
HEADLIGHT Headwinds
TAILLIGHT Billet-4-U
ELECTRICAL ICI
FUEL TANK(S) ICI/H-D
OIL TANK Xtreme
REAR FENDER Fat Katz/ICI
FENDER STRUTS Built in
PEGS Billet-4-U
FOOT CONTROLS Billet-4-U
SEAT ICI