Vintage-styled motorcycles are a popular segment, with just about every manufacturer building some modern bike that looks like it’s an old bike. Janus Motorcycles is carving out a niche in the segment with its hand-built boutique motorcycles. But do they ride as good as they look?
Janus Motorcycles released its Halcyon 450 back in March. The motorcycle is an important milestone for the small outfit out in Goshen, Indiana. Up until now, its motorcycles looked stunning, but some motorcyclists were turned off by the carbureted 250cc engines that powered them. The new 445cc fuel-injected single saddled in the frame makes 30 HP, twice the number of ponies as the 250cc. That makes the Halcyon not just able to hit highway speed like its predecessor, but hopefully be comfortable cruising on the interstate.
The draw of the Halcyon 450 isn’t just the upgraded engine. Janus Motorcycles builds its motorcycles largely by hand with parts created in-house and from suppliers in the States. I got to see a few of the company’s 250s in person last year and the craftsmanship looks pretty good to me.
There is some icing on this cake, too. Janus offers an impressive number of customization and personalization options so no two Janus motorcycles are exactly the same. As someone who is fond of café racers and bobbers hacked together in dusty garages, I like that Janus is offering an option to buy one of these custom styles brand new.
Still, Janus Motorcycles faces a solid headwind. Some potential buyers don’t like the model’s $13,500 price tag. After all, why spend that cash when you could buy any number of vintage-styled bikes from one of the big manufacturers for cheaper? Others wondered how reliable that engine could possibly be. These are some of the questions I hope to answer as I swing a leg over this time machine.
What do you want to know 2021 Janus Halcyon 450? I fully intend on seeing if the machine is cool enough to find itself parked in my collection. Well, maybe not my collection, but someone’s.