Sunday, June 11, 2017

Janus Motorcycles Discovery Day

I went to Goshen, Indiana yesterday to check out the Janus motorcycles. First off, the little bikes are pretty cool. I rode three different models - one Halcyon and two Phoenix models. The bikes get up and go pretty well for a 229cc. In fact, if I were to buy one I'd probably change the countershaft sprocket by one tooth or drop a couple teeth in the back to give them a little more top end and lower the revs a bit while cruising. The speedometer needle jumped around a bit and the seats on the Phoenix models were a little hard but that's really my only criticism. The finish on the bikes is all top shelf. All powder coating on the frames and the sheet metal. Nice looking welds on the frame. Disc brakes front and rear. Pinstriping and lettering all looks real good. Depending on the model and the options, 270 lbs and about 75 mpg.

In the foreground is the new Gryffin model. High pipe, different seat, tires and handlebars but essentially the same as the Phoenix models like those behind it. I rode both the red and black bikes. They were set up a little different. from each other. The black one has a little more displacement and narrower bars. More cafe racer style and I thought more fun as well.

In addition to the test rides, there was a shop tour. Here's a stack o' fenders. To the left of these were tires and boxes of engines. The tires and engines are imported but a good percentage of the bike is made locally. I was initially wondering why anyone would choose Goshen to start a bike manufacturing business but after hearing how the company came about and the fact that there are a lot of good craftsmen and other manufacturers in the area, it makes perfect sense.

The front ends all use the leading link style forks. This too makes sense. They function well and if you add a sidecar, which they are making available by the way, they work better than most telescopic forks. The "pedestrian slicer" is an option. The number is actually the number of that model that has been built. If that was on the Halcyon model, that bike would have been the 22nd Halcyon built. Pretty cool, that.

Frames and forks waiting to be assembled. They've got a backlog of work. If you order a bike now, you won't see it until 2018. Good that they have a waiting list. That means they're selling them.

This is Richard, one of the principals of the company. I had an opportunity to chat with him a bit and found it most enjoyable. He designed the frame and forks. The frame design is based on the Norton Featherbed frame - can't hardly go wrong there, I would suppose. 

Pinstriping is an option but I think everyone who buys a bike goes that route. It looks nice on the tanks but I think it really dresses up the fenders.

I didn't put a deposit on one for two reasons. First of all, I've got more motorcycles than I can properly care for already. Second of all, is the price. By the time you get one tricked out like you want, you'll be looking at $7K. That's a lot of money for a small bike. In my case that would probably buy most all the parts I need to finish most of my project bikes and the VW. However, I completely understand the pricing. The bikes are a very nicely done, low volume item that has a lot of R&D money that needs to be re-couped as well as the fact that these people need to eat. 

Fun bikes, nice people. I very much admire what they are doing and wish them all the best. And they are putting together a WERA racer out of one of these things. They're hoping to make their debut at Mid-Ohio. That should be fun. They'll also be having more Discovery Days. Shop Teacher Bob says check 'em out.


dorkpunch said...

Woah, I've never heard of these! Pretty cool. Looking forward to catching up on your blog!

Shop Teacher Bob said...

I haven't heard from you in a while. Went to your blog and see that things have been pretty rough of late. I don't know anything about Instagram, so I'll have to wait and see an update on your blog.

Hang tough, Brother.