The first product of a new bike manufacturer from Indiana, this Janus Halcyon was designed to look like a record-breaker from the 1920s or 30s, but powered by a 50cc two-stroke, is light and legally accessible to first time riders.

In his own words, the bike’s creator, Richard Worsham, tells us all about it: “Janus Motorcycles is an American manufacturer of hand-made, small-displacement bikes that harken back to iconic eras of motorcycling history. Our goal has been to produce a line of simple, stylish, easy-to-ride and light-weight motorcycles that will appeal to a new generation of male and female riders.”

“We design and build our motorcycles by hand here in our home-town of Goshen, Indiana, including the frames, fuel tanks, exhaust systems, leather seats and saddlebags, handlebars, pin-striping, wiring harnesses, and all the additional brackets and components that make up the complete motorcycle. We import rims and brakes manufactured to our specifications, EBR hydraulic forks, and a great Spanish-designed 2-stroke motor. The highly upgradable engine is a water-cooled 6-speed unit based on the Derbi Senda that produces almost 9hp in stock form.”

“Every bike comes with both kick and electric start as well as an oil injection system. Turn indicators, high and low beam headlight, speedometer, and mirrors combine a top speed of up to 55mph to insure safe operation on all but limited access highways. We are a federally licensed vehicle manufacturer and each of our bikes comes with a VIN number and is titled and road-legal. Although the stock Halcyon is 50cc it does require a motorcycle permit and registration in most states, as it uses a manual transmission and exceeds the horse power output for regular 50cc mopeds or scooters.”

“My co-founder, Devin Biek and I got into motorcycles through mopeds: Puchs, Motobecanes, Kreidlers, Garellis, etc., all with 50cc engines and pedals. I worked at Devin's shop, Motion Left Mopeds while in grad school, restoring, repairing, and customized vintage small displacement motorcycles and mo-peds locally and for clients in Chicago, Austin, New York, and the West Coast. We both have a passion for historic motorcycles, especially flashy 20’s record breakers and 60's and 70's 50cc Grande Prix bikes, so we tried to work those aesthetics into our builds. The business was good; Devin developed his own successful line of expansion chambers and performance parts capable of getting single-speed mo-ped engines from the 1970's up to over 70mph. Motion Left is now the leading hand-made performance parts manufacturer for mo-peds in the country. It's definitely a niche market, but it’s a very exciting one.”

“Gradually we started noticing that one of the main reasons many of our customers were so fascinated by vintage mopeds, especially top-tank models like the Puch Magnum, was because they were essentially very small, very fun, very DIY motorcycles. There is a strong demand among young urban professionals for a small, sleek, and practical motorcycle for commuting and short excursions. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything other than scooters, or older mo-peds and Japanese bikes in that class available here in the States. American consumers don’t really have any options if they’re looking for a stylish new light-weight motorcycle.”

“Graduating in the spring of 2011 only to discover that there weren’t as many jobs as when I went into school in 2007 was really the turning point. We thought- what’s keeping us from doing something extraordinary? Let's start a production motorcycle company and build the bikes that we and our customers really want. Through our experience manufacturing performance parts including handlebars, exhaust systems, intakes, clutch upgrades, sprockets, seats, and fuel tanks, we had built up a healthy network of local craftsmen and suppliers here in the heart of American manufacturing.”

“We lost the pedals and opted for a 50cc 6-speed motorcycle engine. We joke that we
are reinventing the motorcycle starting a 70 years ago as we add water-cooling, electronic ignition, and hydraulic forks to our small-displacement bikes.”

“We're starting with our interpretation of a vintage record-breaker, and are introducing a more ‘60s British- inspired model next year, and finally a ‘70s Grande Prix-inspired bike.”

“The idea is to take all the best things we love about motorcycles and add some new technology and provide it to the public. Our bikes aren’t replicas; we haven’t designed them to exactly emulate a period from history. They are contemporary, practical machines that celebrate some of our favorite aspects of motorcycle design over the last century. Of course taste is a knife’s edge, and I am sure that a smaller, lighter, low-tech, motorcycle with our aesthetics and a 50cc 2T motor won’t appeal to everyone, but we hope that it is a step toward building a younger, broader generation of American riders, and ideally, a new American motorcycle company making bikes ranging from 125 to 250ccs.”

Janus Motorcycles

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