■ This word probably comes from 車高短, literally "vehicle height short," and is unrelated to the town 積丹. A low rider or シャコタン is a vehicle whose body is lowered for aesthetic appeal. As with the low rider, シャコタン can refer to motorcycles as well as vehicles.
シャコタン are often associated with 暴走族 or riding gangs, though they are also driven by others, particularly youths.
According to 集団語辞典, the word dates back at least to 1979.
Other associated words are 超シャコタン or "super low rider" and シャコタン車 or "low rider vehicle."
According to こんな車は走るのやめてくれ！, a recent change in the law allows for lower bodies so that many formerly illegal シャコタン are now legal. This page also complains about the poor handling of シャコタン and other things (such as broken tail lights).
A short description of シャコタン in Japanese can be found at likes and dislikes.
Lowrider Magazine has many good photos of low riders in their showroom, particularly: an Impala, Buick Regal, Pontiac Grand Prix and a truck.
Another typical feature of シャコタン is wide tires, exemplified at タイヤ交換＆アライメント.
A Japanese low rider motorcycle is shown in http://www.ne.jp/asahi/azu/sin/jyukusei/kigure.htm where the word シャコタンバイク is used.
Many buses are also シャコタン as shown at 東京モーターショーで出現した「シャコタン」新種レポート. (The official name of such buses is ノンステップ, or "non-step." The lower entrance provides easier access for the elderly and handicapped.)
This entry was created by Benjamin Barrett.