Leaked Janus Halcyon 450 Shows How To Do Vintage-Look Motorcycles Better Than Harley-Davidson

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Screenshot: Justin Hughes

The new Halcyon 450 by Janus Motorcycles leaked ahead of its March 5 launch, and it looks awesome. Dare I say, Janus does vintage way better than almost anyone, even Harley-Davidson?

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The handcrafted thumper was revealed by RideApart through a YouTube livestream sent to current owners. The new bike brings some major improvements to the table to make Janus more attractive.

Vintage-styled motorcycles are pretty popular. Janus Motorcycles does things a bit differently. The tiny company in Goshen, Indiana, doesn’t just make its motorcycles look old, it builds them with the old-school techniques, too.

Janus’ current lineup consists of a trio of 250cc motorcycles. The Halcyon 250 is an old hardtail with sprung seat.

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Photo: Janus Motorcycles

The Gryffin 250 is a scrambler, and the Phoenix 250 wears that sweet café racer style.

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Photo: Janus Motorcycles
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Illustration for article titled Leaked Janus Halcyon 450 Shows How To Do Vintage-Look Motorcycles Better Than Harley-Davidson
Photo: Janus Motorcycles

I got to check them out firsthand last year, and I just cannot get enough of the fit and finish.

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However, some riders feel the sweet designs are let down by the China-sourced  250cc powerplant. While Janus is so confident in the engines that its co-founders rode across the country on the bikes, some riders remain skeptical. Others want more performance than the little 14-horsepower 250cc single could give.

The Halcyon 450 brings Janus closer to the modern day without sacrificing the vintage feel the company is known for. The new engine, from SWM Motorcycles of Italy, will bring in fuel injection. Output gets bumped to 30 horsepower.

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Brakes are a 280mm front disc and Brembo two-piston caliper; a single piston brings up the rear. The new Halcyon comes with some suspension upgrades, too. Don’t worry, it’s not too modern. It will have a cantilever rear suspension like some English motorcycles of nearly a century ago.

The motorcycles are built almost entirely by hand, with much of the work carried out by Amish craftsmen. They make most of the parts, from the frame to the fuel tanks. Most of what Janus doesn’t make in-house comes from the U.S., too. The bikes are built with simplicity in mind; Janus basically wants you to be able to repair them with a hammer and an adjustable wrench. Janus does what people try to do to an old motorcycle in their garages, and what the big manufacturers like Harley-Davidson try to emulate.

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The bikes managed to get Jay Leno’s attention, too.

So, what’s the price for a motorcycle built by artisans? A Janus with a 250cc engine sets you back at least $7,495, while this monster will be $13,500. You can get loads of faster motorcycles from well-known brands for far less money. I don’t think Janus is trying to take you off of your Royal Enfield, but instead offer an experience not often found in the motorcycling world.

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I just had to shuffle my new bike wish list because this is now tippy top. This is probably the closest I can get to true vintage without buying a barn find.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Loves all vehicles! Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, AmTran Bus, VW Jetta TDI (x2), Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...

DISCUSSION

shanemorris
Shane Morris

You know what? I’m buying one. I love simple bikes like this, because I like cool bikes more than I like fast bikes. You know how we talk about “slow car fast?” Okay, well, it’s fun to peg a bike and know that it’s going to be a moment before you hit 70 mph. If you’re just riding around town, having fun, or even commuting, this is a perfect solution.

It’s a “coffee shop bike” in the purest sense. You show up, grab a cup of coffee and a scone, read a book for a little while on Saturday morning, and then ride home. I’m putting down my $995 today.