Janus Motorcycles – Modern-Retro Making Contemporary Life More Enjoyable

Janus Halcyon 450

Meet Janus motorcycles where all your expectations are turned upside down. Not the fastest, not the highest tech, not the cheapest, but the overwhelming response from many reviewers and passers-by is that Janus delivers the biggest smiles.

Janus Motorcycles is an American niche motorcycle manufacturer that has honed in on modern-retro to a whole new level.

We’re not talking 2000s or even 1980s retro, but mid 1900s with a stovepipe tank, fully upright riding position, leading-link forks with exposed progressive coil, hardtail looking cantilever rear shocks, wire spoked wheels and period spring supported leather riding seat.

Janus Motorcycles pride themselves on manufacturing as much as they can in-house or locally; like the frame, mudguards, front forks, tank, seat pan, air box, swing arm, exhaust and handlebars, and they look to domestic and international suppliers for other components like the engine, carburetor and use Australian Ikon suspension.

Based around a Chinese 250 or 450 four stroke single these bikes offer modest power and torque figures. The 450 only produces 30 hp for a maximum of a respectable 145 kmh, but the Janus is obviously not about speed.

Janus Gryffin 250
Janus Gryffin 250

It’s about going slow enough for people to see how much fun you’re having, but still getting to your destination reliably and with little fuss.

But just looking at the specs doesn’t tell us everything about these bikes. They are light and nimble – great for commuting – are under-stressed and reliable, easy to maintain and service and still capable of taking you touring – on and off road.

Janus was born in 2011 when Richard Worsham and Devin Biek took their passion for vintage mopeds and scooters a step further in creating lightweight and reliable motorbikes that encourage people to do their own service and maintenance.

Assembled in an old dry cleaner’s shop in Goshen, Indiana, Janus utilise the surrounding Amish communities, as well as other automotive artisans in the area, to manufacture their frames, seats and exhausts.

Janus Motorcycles offer a range of three motorcycles: The Halcyon 450 and 250, inspired by the classic Brough Superior and the 250 Gryffin, seemingly based on British scramblers from the 50s.

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