Boutique moto manufacturer Janus is about to release a new bike, with front and rear suspension and a 450 motor. The company hasn’t officially announced the new Halcyon 450 model, but it has shared details and footage with company insiders.
If you haven’t heard of Janus before, that’s no surprise. The company has received some coverage in the moto-mags over the years, but it’s not very big. Based out of Goshen, Indiana, Janus builds retro-style motorcycles with Chinese engines—for the past few years, the company has used an air-cooled 229 cc Lifan engine that appears to be derived from the Honda CG125 design. That’s one of the most solid small-cc engines in the world, having proved itself for decades of Japanese production, and China’s adaptations of the engine have also proved fairly reliable. The version Janus uses make about 14 horsepower. Not much, but enough for almost anywhere but busy highways.
Janus uses a proprietary fork design, and some models (not all) use Ikon shocks from Australia. The bikes rely heavily on made-in-the-US parts; in its early days, Amish craftsmen were building the frames and other locally-sourced bits.
Suffice to say Janus has a very different business model than most moto manufacturers, and the company’s customers are generally looking for a machine that offers a feeling, not performance. Still, there’s always someone asking for more power, and Janus has heard that plea.
RideApart reports a Janus customer sent them a link to a promo video from the company, showing a new Halcyon 450 model. You can see a screen-grab pic of the bike at RA’s website. Like the current Halcyon 250 model, the 450 has the look of a pre-World War II machine. Unlike the current 250 model, the Halcyon 450 has rear suspension.
That’s a major upgrade for many customers; Janus’ cafe racer models had rear shocks, but not the Halcyon line. If you wanted that vintage American motorcycle look, your spine was going to take a beating. Not anymore!
The 450 is the air-cooled single that SWM used to power several of its models. Like the Lifan 250 that Janus uses, the 450 appears to have been based on an older Honda design, with a four-valve head, and dual exhaust setup. Holy 1980s Honda, Batman! Do a bit of digging, and you’ll find the components for that engine come from Chinese manufacturer Shineray; in the past, Shineray shipped the parts to SWM, who assembled the engines in Italy. No word on whether or not that’s what’s happening here, though. However, it certainly looks like the old Shineray X5 engine, which was based off the XR400E. In Europe, retro manufacturer Mash has used this engine for a while as well.
The new 450 is fuel-injected, and should make about 30 horsepower. That’s a significant bump from Janus’ old 250 series.
RideApart got the tip about the new Janus motorcycles from one of the company’s customers, who watched a YouTube video sent out to insiders. There’s been no official announcement about the bike yet; if you’re interested, keep an eye on the Janus website or YouTube channel, where it will appear sooner or later. RideApart claims it will be officially unveiled this week, with a $13,500 MSRP.