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Halcyon 50 Deluxe – Janus Motorcycles

Posted on May 16, 2013 by Andrew in Classic, Moped. 32 comments

Everything old is new again. The more we race towards the future with our iPhones and internets, the more we seem to long for a time when things were simpler. Cut throat razors are now selling better than they have in 50 years. 15 years ago, a hand-made leather wallet was something only Louis Vuitton and $500 could have got you. Now there are small leather makers popping up all over the place. And it seems like every man and his dog are doing a decent pair of jeans, although we remember when the only choice you had were 501s. So what would happen if you took this bespoke, small-scale approach and applied it to build an entire motorcycle? Enter Janus Motorcycles of Goshen, Indiana, and their wonderful Halcyon 50.

Janus employs five craftsmen to bend, form, and weld its frames and tanks and contracts other local businesses for leather goods, fenders, cutting, machining, engraving, chroming, and painting. The company is owned by Devin Biek and Richard Worsham, who lead product design, development, quality assurance, testing, and final fit and finish. And thanks to America’s inbuilt love of the automobile, Janus Motorcycles is also a federally licensed vehicle maker, with each bike being supplied with a VIN number, title and road-worth certification.

“We see ourselves participating in a now-forgotten ‘startup culture.’ Harley set up shop in a 10’x15’ shed, Buell in an barely-heated barn. It’s hard to think that the world can still operate like that in an age of start-up software firms. We approach manufacturing with a practical, innovative attitude, in the same way that Harley Davidson started off in 1903; adding a lot of hard work to the promise of something great. We are extremely proud to be a part of that tradition.”

The Halcyon 50 Deluxe is their top-of-the-line model, sporting all the extra special bits including leather saddlebags and seat, polished aluminum tanks, hydraulic forks, and beautiful hand pin-striping. Delivery takes few months after you stump up the deposit, and they are more than happy to let you go hard on the custom colours and indeed any other options that might take you fancy. Gloves to match you seat and bags, anyone?

The bikes are built on a rigid tubular steel cradle frame with each featherbed frame bent and TIG welded by hand, as are the aluminum fuel and oil tanks, battery box, seat, saddlebags and battery cover. To avoid clouds of blue smoke, oil leaks, and breakdowns the engines are decidedly not accurate recreations of old two-strokers. Instead Janus sources a 10hp Euro model based on the Derbi Senda with water cooling, a 6-speed box, and case-induction.

Continuing the modern theme, the bike uses hydraulic EBR forks up front for decent ride and a professionally tuned expansion chamber exhaust to make sure you get the most out of your oily petroleum. Get a little wristy with the throttle and the bike will see you all the way to 55mph, or 90km/h in fancy newspeak measurements.

If you are as taken with the whole bike and concept as we are, you’ll no doubt be wanting to get you deposit to them as fast as your little legs can carry you. And if you’re thinking what we’re thinking, why not see if they could deliver one with a set of clip-ons. Can you imagine? We’re drooling on our boots just thinking about it.

  • Lio

    Bis auf die blinker… schicker hocker! Bulletblinker in chrom kämen besser.

    • I’m guessing you are saying that the indicators would look better as silver bullets, yes? I’d have to agree, actually…

  • itsmefool

    Cool, but where’s the rest of the engine?

    Just kidding; that’s a work of art right there!

  • VR

    Happy to see the bulletproof and powerful Derbi Senda engine in something as nice as this bike.

  • Ur Momma

    Pretty pictures — but has anyone actually road-tested one of these bikes?

    • I’m pretty confident that the Janus guys know what they are doing, and that they would have fully tested the bike before offering it for sale. And if you still need any convincing, check out their last build. You get the feeling they know what’s what, yes?

      • Ur Momma

        pretty. Still looking forward to seeing more than just promo stills.

        • JimmyR14

          I think you’ll have to try harder than that for them to give one to you!

        • Janus Motorcycles

          This is our production model. Based on over a year’s testing of our prototype in various configurations, almost every part has been redesigned or improved. Where we were unsatisfied with a specific part, fit, or function, we have redesigned or upgraded it to meet our expectations for a bike that is designed to be ridden on a daily basis.

          • Ur Momma

            I await a review from a major MC publication before I put down a deposit.

          • coldsunshine

            I thought Pipeburn was a major MC publication?

          • Janus Motorcycles

            Fair enough Theodore-we’re working on it.

          • coldsunshine

            Theodore is the proverbial rain on the parade. Even if Rossi said they were great, he still wouldn’t buy one.

          • Ur Momma

            so who’s ridden one?

          • arnold

            I think I spotted a Janus in the crowd shots here:

          • Ur Momma

            … still waiting on that road-test. And my Friends on the Isle of Man have only ever seen the same promo-stills that we all have.

      • barney fife

        Love this one. But not the pedals. Please add the leather bags. It appears to be a more substantial motor then the one in the featured machine. I think this moco has a future.

  • ecosse

    it will look even beter when they install the engine.

  • revdub

    Beautiful design. It’s great to see small bike manufacturers cropping up. I can’t imagine the hurdles that had to be cleared to create a new bike that is licensed for the US roads. And to do it with such class! Much respect.

    • revdub

      I like how someone “unliked” this positive comment. Stay classy. (I’m sure this will get “unliked” too!!)

    • barney fife

      Hear hear ! (or should that read: Here here !)

  • Elliot

    This is fantastic, I’ve been thinking the last few years that manufacturers need to trend back toward super small displacement engines in both cars and bikes. It’s great to see someone pairing the vintage style with new technology to make a great, and efficient, little bike.

  • JimmyR14

    Beautiful bike. But I would be reluctant to park it anywhere in case someone took off with my “J” from the tank.

  • Janus Motorcycles

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Special thanks as well to Peter McDaniel of DVDP for the great photos…

  • coldsunshine

    Beautiful. I’d opt for a larger engine. Looks like a lot more motor could fit in that frame…

    • Janus Motorcycles

      All in good time… The point of this bike is to build a light, good-looking chassis around a small-displacement motor. It’s a lot of fun at 55 on such a minimal, light bike, especially in the city where you can pass just about anything.

      • coldsunshine

        Just make sure you don’t sell one to Theodore. He might ride it on the Isle of Mann with all his friends.

  • barney fife

    That’s a remarkable little bike…I like it. I think I’d like a slightly toned down model though. The featured bike veers a little close to caricature with the ped slicer on it. Just a smidgen overwrought.

  • Adolph

    These bikes are less likely to make it to the market than the second coming of Christ in a new Corvette. Waaaaay less likely!

  • Janusz Grey

    Can you fit the transmission changing station from foot activated to hand activated by the clutch mechanism- I’ have seen it 2-speed in mopeds 60cc, can I see it- 6speed?