Janus Motorcycle Review: The Halcyon 450

Bigger and better bikes from Indiana.

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by Joe Berk

The dictionary says “Halcyon” means calm, peaceful, tranquil, happy and blissful. Don’t listen to Webster: The Janus Halcyon motorcycles are way more exciting than he would have you believe. Our Janus motorcycle review shows the Halcyon 450 is a completely new motorcycle with a vintage look and feel that doesn’t on Janus motorcycle reliability.

Janus motorcycles are not restorations or resurrections of brands gone by; they are current production motorcycles that take styling and engineering cues from the past. The name fits the company well; Janus was the Roman god of doors, transitions, the past and the future. Think Vincent, Brough Superior, BMW and old-world hand-built craftsmanship, all wrapped up in a contemporary motorcycle. These motorcycles prompt conversations wherever they go. I led a Janus ride through southern California and Baja a few years ago and people on both sides of the border wanted to know about the bikes.

motorcycle frames in storage

Goshen, Indiana, is a small town with a culture that fits Janus perfectly. Everyone I met at the Janus factory introduced themselves with a deep smile, direct eye contact and a firm handshake. Richard Worsham (Co-Founder and Chief Designer) and Grant Longenbaugh (General Manager) are in their mid-30s, and they are the old men of the 16-person Janus team. People on the Janus team are enthusiasts; many ride to work on café racers that rolled off the assembly line around the time they were born. The Janus folks are not dilettantes with too much time on their hands; they are riders and tinkerers, our kind of people. I asked Richard what it was like to work for Janus. “I am living a dream,” he said with a huge smile. “Everyone here loves motorcycles. I live and breathe motorcycles.” He swept his hand across a shelf above his desk (which was in the factory) lined with motorcycle books. Well-worn copies of Motorcycle Classics are on a table in a showroom that’s more like a clubhouse. “We get inquiries every day from people who want to quit their jobs, move to Goshen and work here. It’s a dream job.”

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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