Power Couple: Meet the Team Behind One Down Four Up
One Down Four Up—it’s the standard shift pattern on any five-speed motorcycle, and it’s the name Wayne Corbett and Gabrielle Jones picked for their moto-lifestyle brand. And if you’re wondering what exactly they do, their slogan describes it best: “Shift into Good Times.”
In practical terms, the duo produce their own apparel and goods, and build, ride and race bikes. And they do this all in-house, right down to tasks like screen printing and seat upholstery.
Wayne and Gabrielle recently moved their operation from Portland, Oregon, down to South Carolina. So we figured it would be a good time to touch base with them.
Traffic Magazine: What, in essence, is One Down For Up?
Wayne Corbett: One Down Four Up is our throw-back to what we think are the glory days of motorcycling.
Gabrielle Jones: That is always such a hard question for me to answer—I would say it is a motorcycle lifestyle brand.
Not only do you produce apparel and build custom bikes, but you also do all your own photography and media… don’t you feel a bit stretched sometimes?
Wayne: It can be a little overwhelming at times but each aspect that you mentioned—promotion, photography, media, plus working on and riding the motorcycles—are all things we enjoy to do. We also have a very specific idea of what we want and taking it on ourselves means we’re better able to get our ideas out.
Gabrielle: It has been more stressful for me since the move. I have taken on a lot more of the duties since Wayne has gone to work full time. I was always more of the business person; planning, money, etcetera. Now I have taken on most of what Wayne was doing since he worked from home. Trying to keep up the home, work three days a week, sew for New Church, and keep the daily functions of One Down Four Up going has been a bit much for me. I am used to my nine to five, but now its more of a 24/7.
What brought on the move to South Carolina?
Wayne: South Carolina is my home state, moving back just allows us a little more opportunity to focus more on motorcycling, racing and riding.
Gabrielle: Wayne dragged me here.
What’s it like moving there from a motorcycle-rich environment like Portland?
Wayne: Actually the Southeast is a hotbed of motorcycle activity. There is an overt Harley-dad atmosphere, but once you get past that and the stretched ‘Busas there are real motorcycle enthusiasts, the same as everywhere else in the US.
We’re huge fans of flat track racing and American Flat Track. The past couple weekends we were able to watch two short tracks, Atlanta and Charlotte, both only a couple hours from our house. There is of course the indoor race series in Salem, Oregon, but watching pros on a mile or half-mile is hard to beat. The Southeast also happens to have a lot of small dirt tracks and a regional dirt track series that we hope to race in this year. Also only a few hours away is Tail of the Dragon, I’ve been looking forward to riding that for a few years now so this summer we’re hoping to make that happen.
Gabrielle: I second what Wayne said! It has been nice to go to more races!
When it comes to designing and producing apparel, where do you guys pull inspiration from?
Gabrielle: We are both super inspired by the 1970s. I want to create a brand that is all about fun and inclusiveness. We try to not take ourselves too seriously!
Wayne: One word: Soul.
What’s your design ethos when it comes to custom motorcycles?
Gabrielle: Only the essentials. Clean, efficient, runs well, and a killer paint job.
Wayne: We’ve been shying away from custom motorcycles recently and focusing more on purpose-built motorcycles, like our bikes we dirt track with. Those are built with the same basic ideas though—clean, simple, honest, but with a little more focus on function rather than form.
We have however started our next custom motorcycle, race-inspired of course, and we’re really excited about it. It will no doubt be the most ambitious project we’ve taken on.
What are you riding right now?
Gabrielle: I have mostly been riding my Yamaha SR250 on the track, but I hope to get out on the street more with my KTM Duke 390.
Wayne: I have a Honda CB750 I ride on the street and a XL350 I’m working on for flat track. The CB750 I’ve owned for many years, but the XL is an ongoing project.
I’m still very new to flat track so this bike is a chance to try different things out and see what works and what doesn’t. So far it’s been a lot of fun and an easy cheap way to get into flat track racing.
Gabrielle, you recently started working with Ginger McCabe at New Church Moto, doing seat upholstery…
Gabrielle: I am extremely excited to work with Ginger. She actually got me into upholstery in the first place. I talked to her at the 2013 One Moto Show and asked her all kinds of questions about how to get started. She has always been so helpful and answered all my dumb questions. I can’t believe four years later I am working with her.
I will be representing the brand at events. Next year there will be a lot more traveling and really diving head first into the motorcycle community. I have spoke with a few motorcycle racers and hope to get into sponsoring some amazing riders. I am really looking forward to this because it will allow me to really expand to my full potential.
You guys have been planning a dirt track race too, how’s that going?
Wayne: It turns our hosting your own dirt track race isn’t the easiest thing to do. Securing a location has proven very difficult, especially when we have one specific day we need to run on and a specific area as well. But we will be putting on our own event in the future, we’re actually building a track, another work in progress.
We’re excited about the SEMDTRA (Southeast Motorcycle Dirt Track Racing Association) that will be hosting an eleven race series all year long throughout the Southeast. That is very exciting, most tracks are relatively small, and all within a few hours of us.