janus motorcycles

All You Need to Know About Janus Motorcycles

All You Need to Know About Janus Motorcycles

Close your eyes and think about the oldest times on earth when metal was invented and some brilliant minds started making machines out of it that can help people commute. The thing that will come to your mind with a jagged metal frame, straight-cut gas tank, and two wheels is probably a Janus motorcycle.

Considering their rugged old style and looks, it will be hard for you to believe that the company, Janus Motorcycles, was established in 2011. It is a small-scale motorcycle manufacturer limited to one of the smallest U.S. states, Indiana. Janus only makes small-displacement bikes and it doesn’t have anything bigger than a 450 cc at its showroom.

Continue reading this article to learn everything about Janus Motorcycles if you haven’t heard about this brand before. Also, you are at the right place if you are planning to invest your hard-earned money in Janus Motorcycles and want to be sure whether owning this bike is worth it or not.

Janus Motorcycles

Founded In 2011
Founded by Devin Biek
Richard Worsham
  • Small-Displacement Motorcycles
  • Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
Headquarters Goshen, Indiana, U.S.
Areas Served U.S.A
Company Type Private Company
Industry Motorcycle Design & Manufacturing
Official Website Janusmotorcycles.com

1. Janus Motorcycles History

Though inspired by the past, Janus is a relatively new motorcycle with looks that date back to the late 1880s when the first motorcycle was produced. It looks like Janus motorcycles have time traveled and got revealed in the modern century.

Devin Biek and Richard Worsham are two figures who founded the company headquartered in Goshen, Indiana, USA in 2011. Both founders took a pretty simple start from “Motion Left Mopeds”, a small company owned by Biek where they used to restore, tune, and repair mopeds. Motion Left Mopeds was originally used to manufacture aftermarket performance parts for two-stroke vintage bikes.

As their interest grew in the field, both Biek and Richard decided to inaugurate a local company, named Janus Motorcycles, to make small-displacement lightweight bikes and to also grow their relationship with other local motorcycle parts vendors.

2. About Janus Motorcycles

Being a small-scale American motorcycle maker located in Indiana, Janus Motorcycles is not there to compete with Honda or Harley Davidson. The company is pretty microscopic if you compare it with the giant motorcycle manufacturers. Though there are multiple factors involved, the sales are pretty small in numbers. However, if you consider Janus a custom motorcycle builder and a bespoke producer, it is doing great in the domain and market in which it currently operates.

The term ‘vintage’ may sound different to people from different eras. As we live in the modern world, an automobile or a motorcycle from the 1990s may be classified as vintage. However, for Janus Motorcycles, a vintage motorcycle is the one that was built in the 1890s. Janus takes inspiration from classic and old mopeds that were made from bicycles.

3. The Name “Janus” Motorcycles

The name Janus is taken from the ancient Roman mythology. As per the mythos, Janus was the god of gates and doors having two faces. One is believed to see the future and the other is believed to see the past. You must be wondering how this relates to naming a motorcycle company Janus.

Janus Motorcycles aims to make motorcycles that depict both the extreme past and modern standards. The company is dedicated to using old-school techniques and practices to make Janus motorcycles. The hand-made craftsmanship is the best selling point of Janus motorcycles.

4. Janus Motorcycles Production

You must have a picture in your mind of what a Janus motorcycle looks like from the above description. The motorcycles produced by Janus are hand-made, and neatly designed with strong attention to detail. There are currently four models displayed on the Janus Motorcycles’ official website with varying engine displacement sizes, including 250 ccs and 450 ccs.

The best feature of Janus motorcycles as marketed by the company is its extremely lightweight build thanks to the use of aircraft-grade chromoly steel frame. Another thing that stands out in all Janus models is the ease of maneuverability, making them the easiest-to-manage motorcycles for riders of all sizes and ages.

Most parts installed on Janus motorcycles are basic, not incorporating any modern technology as the brand is known to deliver. Janus wants riders to enjoy the original feel and freedom of riding a motorcycle.

Most of the motorcycle parts are built at the in-house facility in Goshen, Indiana. The factory-made parts include frames, fenders, front forks, gas tanks, seats , handlebars, and exhaust.

Janus Motorcycles Production
Photo Credit: Janus Motorcycles 

A few parts that go into the manufacturing of Janus motorcycles are ordered from domestic and local suppliers. These include tires, drive chains, brake lines, and brake discs.

Janus Motorcycles Production 2
Photo Credit: Janus Motorcycles 

Janus Motorcycles also has a good relationship with a few overseas motorcycle parts suppliers that make and deliver technical parts for Janus motorcycles.

Janus Motorcycles Production 3
Photo Credit: Janus Motorcycles 

5. Customizability – The Top Selling Point of Janus Motorcycles

Customizability is what the Janus motorcycles are good at. If you are interested in buying a Janus motorcycle, you will get multiple customizability options, including the paint job, seat configuration, luggage bags , and other accessories.

You have to be very considerate when opting for motorcycle customization. At one end, customized handcrafted styling on a motorcycle makes it a highly premium option as in the case of Janus. However, on the other end, it can also devalue your bike. A personalized customization touch can keep you happy for as long as the bike is in your possession. In case you plan to sell it, someone else may not value your bike as much as you think it should.

For a perfectly balanced approach when opting to customize your bike, Viking Bags is a trusted name in the field of motorcycle luggage bags and aftermarket parts . You cannot only make your bike look elegantly sophisticated but there are several benefits of choosing Viking Bags to improve its capabilities and comfort.

You will be dazzled to see the variety of motorcycle luggage options, including saddlebags , tour packs , backpacks , sissy bar bags , tank bags , and much more.

The First Janus Model Released in 2011

6. Janus Halcyon 50

Janus Halcyon 50
Photo Credit: Good Spark Garage 

The Janus Halcyon 50 was the first Janus model introduced in 2011. This bike had no rear suspension due to being a hard-tail design. If you are familiar with compact bikes with a tightly fitted engine and machinery, the Halcyon 50 is the opposite. Being a moped-style bike, the small-sized 50 cc Derbi Senda engine was fitted to the base of the TIG-welded, double-cradle frame and it was less visible in the frame’s belly. Almost everything was designed and produced locally, except for the engine, hubs, and forks.

Janus Halcyon 50 Specs
Introduced in 2012
Total Units Sold 43 Units
Based on Norton Featherbed
Engine 50 cc Water-Cooled, Two-Stroke Engine (Based on Derbi Senda Engine)
Claimed Horsepower 10 hp / 7.5 kW
Claimed Top Speed 55 mph / 89 km/h
Gearbox Six-Speed
Brakes (Front and Rear) Drum Brakes
Frame Type Hard-Tail
Frame TIG-Welded; Double-Cradle Frame
Gas Tank Style Long and Narrow
Seat Type Sprung Seat
Handlebars Wide, Pulled-Back
Optional Accessories Leather Saddlebags
Outsourced Parts
  • Engine
  • Hubs
  • Forks

New Releases in 2015

7. Janus Halcyon 250

Janus Halcyon 250
Photo Credit: Janus Motorcycles 

The Janus Halcyon 250 was an upgraded and bigger version of the Halcyon 50, released in 2015. This model is still available in the current Janus lineup. Several new, redesigned, and upgraded parts, including the engine, frame, brakes, and wheels were introduced in the Janus Halcyon 250. However, considering the styling, the Halcyon 250 was inspired by the early motorcycles from the 1920s. The 229 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine was imported from China. The existing 50 cc Derbi engines need to be replaced due to not meeting the emission standards.

Regardless of a claimed top speed of 70 mph, it is not a good idea to ride the Janus Halcyon 250 at high speeds due to not-so-generous performance tires and a hard-tail rear end.

Janus Halcyon 250 Specs
Introduced in 2015
Production Status Still Being Produced
Units Sold 900+ Units (As of September 2022)
Engine 229 cc Single-Cylinder Four-Stroke Overhead-Valve Engine
Claimed Horsepower 14 hp at 7,000 rpm
Claimed Torque 11.65 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm
Claimed Top Speed 70 mph
Fuel Economy 75+ mpg (Estimated)
Gearbox Five-Speed
Brakes (Front and Rear) Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Frame Type Hard-Tail
Frame DOM Tubular Steel Cradle
Wheels 32 Stainless Steel Spokes Wheels with Alloy Rims
Wheels Size Front: 18 in
Rear: 18 in
Gas Tank Style Long and Narrow
Fuel Tank Capacity 1.94 gal
Seat Type Sprung Seat
Seat Height 31 in
Dry Weight 263 lbs
Wheelbase 53 in

8. Janus Phoenix 250

Janus Phoenix 250
Photo Credit: Good Spark Garage 

Another Janus model, launched alongside the Halcyon 250 in 2015 was the Phoenix 250. It was marketed as the performance version with the same 229 cc engine. Although it looked quite interesting, it was dropped from the Janus lineup.

The Janus Phoenix 250 was a café racer-style performance bike with the same extended and narrow gas tank with knee slots, low-mounted clip-on-style bars, bar end-mounted side mirrors, and tail cowl. The frame design was the same as the Halcyon 250 but it had a small extension on the rear side to make room for the installation of dual rear shocks.

Though the Janus Phoenix 250 was one of the best-looking retro-style café racers produced in modern times, it couldn’t perform well in terms of sales. Janus could only sell 79 units of the Phoenix 250 and ultimately had to discontinue as there were better competitors in the same category of small-displacement retro-style café racers like the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650.

Janus Phoenix 250 Specs
Introduced in 2015
Production Status Discontinued in 2022
Units Sold 79 Units
Engine 229 cc Single-Cylinder Four-Stroke Overhead-Valve Engine
Motorcycle Type Retro-Style Café Racer
Gas Tank Design Dunstall-Style Gas Tank with Knee-Slot
Seat Café Racer-Style with Tail Cowl
Frame Featherbed-Style Double-Cradle Frame
Rear Suspension Dual Rear Shocks
Claimed Horsepower 14 hp at 7,000 rpm
Claimed Torque 11.65 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm
Claimed Top Speed 70 mph
Claimed Fuel Economy 77 mpg
Wet Weight 265 lbs / 120 kg

New Release in 2018

9. Janus Gryffin 250

Janus Gryffin 250
Photo Credit: Janus Motorcycles 

Despite being a small-scale motorcycle brand, the company didn’t hesitate to continue experimenting with the motorcycle design. In 2018, Janus released a retro-style scrambler, called the Janus Gryffin 250 with rugged styling. This bike was capable of handling dirt and gravel to a certain extent.

The Janus Gryffin 250 has a bench-style scrambler seat, a slightly less-extended gas tank compared to previous models, knobby tires, and a scrambler-style upswept exhaust pipe. Handlebars on this machine are upright and less wide, unlike the rest of Janus models.

Despite the slow pace, the sales are gradually increasing. Janus Motorcycles has managed to sell approximately 123 units as of September 2022.

Janus Gryffin 250
Introduced in 2018
Production Status Still Being Produced
Motorcycle Type Scrambler
Units Sold 123 Units (As of September 2022)
Engine 229 cc Air-Cooled, Single-Cylinder Four-Stroke Engine
Gearbox Five-Speed
Claimed Horsepower 14 hp at 7,000 rpm
Claimed Torque 11.65 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm
Claimed Top Speed 70 mph
Fuel Economy 70 mpg+ (Estimated)
Tires Dual-Sport Knobby Tires
Rear Suspension Dual Rear Shocks
Seat Height 33 in
Dry Weight 266 lbs
Wheelbase 53 in
Gas Tank Capacity 2 gal

New Release in 2021

10. Janus Halcyon 450

Janus Halcyon 450
Photo Credit: Janus Motorcycles 

Janus finally released its bigger-displacement version of the Halcyon on March 8, 2021, as its flagship model. The Halcyon 450 is the most premium and expensive model in the Janus lineup. The company brought a new branding and sales strategy to market the Halcyon 450 as an exclusive limited-edition model. Auctions were held to sell the first 10 units of this bike which were referred to as “First Edition” with numerous special features.

The Janus Halcyon 450 received a hand-stamped serial number and a signed and numbered “First Edition” print. It also received special paint treatment and premium styling. The Halcyon 450 was majorly inspired by the previous-generation Halcyon. However, the engine was a completely new equipment. There is a 445 cc air/oil-cooled, single-cylinder engine mounted to the DOM tubular steel double cradle frame. This time, the new Janus has received an electronic fuel injection.

Despite a few similarities from the previous gen, there were many upgrades made to the Janus Halcyon 450 in an attempt to make it a bit more competitive as per modern standards. There were two exhaust pipes on either side, originating from the single-cylinder engine. To maintain the vintage hard-tail look, the dual rear shocks are combined and placed almost horizontally below the seat. Meanwhile, the seat is supported by the springs attached below it. The large engine makes it substantially heavier than the 250 cc models.

Janus Halcyon 450
Introduced in 2021
Production Status Still Being Produced
Engine 445 cc Air/Oil-Cooled Single-Cylinder Engine
Claimed Horsepower 30 hp at 7,500 rpm
Claimed Top Speed 90 mph
Fuel Delivery System Electronic Fuel Injection
Rear Suspension Proprietary Cantilever Transom with Dual Progressive Coil-Over Ikon Shocks
Front Brake 280 mm Single Disc with Twin-Piston Brembo Floating Caliper
Rear Brake 220 mm Single Disc with Single-Piston Brembo Floating Caliper
Wheels Stainless Steel Straight-Pull Spokes
Tires Relatively Wider and Chunky Tires
Front: 3.50 x 18 in
Back: 4 x 18 in
Seat Height 30 in
Dry Weight 345 lbs
Wheelbase 56 in
Fuel Tank Capacity 2 gal

Upcoming Release in 2024

11. Janus Gryffin 450

Janus Gryffin 450
Photo Credit: Janus Motorcycle 

Janus is all set to make a new release in July 2024 and it has already started taking orders for special First Edition models. It is the same older Gryffin with a bigger-displacement engine and several upgrades. The power plant technology is the same as installed in the Janus Halcyon 450. The shocks have been improved with an enhanced wheel travel of 5.5 inches in both front and rear suspensions. The Janus Gryffin 450 uses a larger front wheel of 21 inches and a smaller rear wheel of 17 inches for a better off-roading experience.

Janus Gryffin 450
Production Status Production Will Start in July 2024
Engine 445 cc Air/Oil-Cooled Single-Cylinder Engine
Claimed Horsepower 30 hp at 7,500 rpm
Claimed Top Speed 90 mph
Fuel Delivery System Electronic Fuel Injection
Rear Suspension Proprietary Swing-Arm with Dual External Ikon Shocks
Suspension Wheel Travel (Front & Rear) 5.5 in
Wheels Large Front: 21 in
Small Rear: 17 in
Tires Knobby Tires
Front: 2.75 x 21 in
Back: 4.6 x 17 in
Seat Height 32 in
Dry Weight 330 lbs
Wheelbase 53 in
Gas Tank Capacity 2.2 gal

12. Are Janus Motorcycles Reliable?

If you are interested in Janus Motorcycles, you will like to know how reliable these motorcycles are and how long they can last. Most motorcyclists can predict from Janus motorcycles' vintage looks, company size, and motorcycle parts that they are not capable enough to last longer. However, it is genuinely not true about Janus motorcycles.

Janus motorcycles are sufficiently reliable and nicely built to last as long as you keep them in good shape. If you are looking to buy one, make sure you check the reviews on the internet. The existing users who own a Janus are happy riders and they look adamantly satisfied with how these motorcycles perform.

According to most Janus users, you can happily take this bike on long-haul journeys without the fear of breaking down. As of now, thousands of units have been sold and no single user has ever reported a major concern or an issue.

13. Janus Motorcycles Price

The one major aspect that helps you decide which motorcycle to buy is its price tag. Janus Motorcycle may be a small-scale motorcycle brand with small-displacement motorcycles in its lineup, but you will be shocked to know how expensive these motorcycles are. The higher price tag of Janus motorcycles may change your mind to go for another brand. You can get yourself a well-known high-performance bike at the same price as a Jannus Halcyon 450, the most expensive Janus motorcycle available at a starting price of $14,995.

Paying $8,800 for a 250 cc Janus Halcyon 250 also doesn’t make sense to most motorcyclists. Considering these are customized motorcycles and you will have to go for certain optional accessories to complete the Halcyon 250’s look, it can cost you more than $10,000.

Janus Motorcycles Price
Janus Motorcycles Model Starting Price
Halcyon 450 $14,995
Halcyon 450 Origin $13,495
Halcyon 250 $8,800
Halcyon 250 Origin $6,995
Gryffin 250 $9,200
Gryffin 250 Origin $7,495
Gryffin 450 $13,495

14. Why Are Janus Motorcycles So Expensive?

You need to know a few things before you declare the Janus Motorcycles’ pricing strategy senseless because, for those who own a Janus, the higher price does make sense for them. Janus is a different class and sets itself apart from the rest of the motorcycle brands with its unique vintage customization capability. The company accepts that it is going in the opposite direction when it comes to motorcycling trends and branding strategies.

Janus motorcycles are highly expensive because according to the company, it is working on an uncommon motorcycling niche. It is only true to a certain level as you may not find a more perfect-looking vintage bike from the 1920s, manufactured recently with base-level motorcycle parts. However, motorcycle buyers have now become quite critical and for them, the value for the money is the most substantial aspect when buying a motorcycle. In that sense, a Janus motorcycle may not meet the criteria of a critical buyer who likes to think multiple times before investing in a new motorcycle.

Another reason why Janus has kept its price on the higher side is because it offers personalized touch through the multiple customizability options. Above all, most elements on the Janus motorcycles are hand-crafted, giving a superior fit and finish.

A motorcycle brand worth mentioning here is Royal Enfield which can be considered a threat to Janus as it has almost similar production and branding strategies to a certain extent. However, Royal Enfield motorcycles are one of the most economical motorcycles, offering remarkable reliability and exceptional value for the money.

15. Why Janus Motorcycles?

Considering all odds, including the base-level parts and performance, fairly high price tags, and small market, Janus Motorcycles takes pride in delivering a remarkably unique motorcycling culture. Firstly, they take you back to the 1920s with a sense of styling that can only be achieved through time travel. Secondly, Janus motorcycles are extremely lighter, making them easy to maneuver and manage for riders of all sizes and ages.

However, the most prominent aspect of Janus Motorcycles which makes it adamantly stand on its viewpoints about motorcycling is its rebellious nature and not going with the flow. The company proudly chose to disobey all the trends as it doesn’t aim to bring more features, and technology, and add more horsepower. Instead, Janus Motorcycles prefers keeping the motorcycling spirit alive through freedom, empowerment, and connection. It keeps you connected to the roots of motorcycling from where it all started.

As Janus markets its Halcyon 450:

“The Halcyon 450 is another entry into an entirely different category of two-wheeled travel: lightweight motorcycling. While the entire industry skews to more–more features, more weight, more horsepower, they often neuter the spirit of motorcycling: freedom, empowerment, connection.”

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