Indiana-based Janus doesn’t just style its motorcycles to look like their classic forebears. The company’s hand-assembled and mostly hand-built bikes are designed around keeping things simple for their riders. That’s why, up until now, all Janus motorcycles have used a carbureted single-cylinder engine. But that changes with the new Janus Halcyon 450.
The Halcyon 450 sees the Janus motorcycle’s engine swap a carburetor for fuel injection
Janus’s existing motorcycle models, the Halcyon 250, Phoenix 250, and Gryffin 250, all use the same engine. Specifically, a 229cc carbureted air-cooled single-cylinder engine rated at 14 hp with a five-speed transmission, Hagerty reports. The company’s co-founders chose this engine for its durability and simplicity, RevZilla reports. Plus, despite the carburetor, it’s emissions-legal in all 50 states.
When I rode a Janus Halcyon 250 a few years ago, I thought the engine was well-suited to the bike’s character. I wouldn’t take it on a highway, necessarily, though one of the company’s co-founders did. And the bike tops out at 70 mph, RevZilla reports. However, some customers wanted a bit more performance, Jalopnik reports. And that meant giving the Halcyon a different engine.
That’s the biggest change the Janus Halcyon 450 brings. It still uses a Chinese-built single-cylinder engine with Honda origins. However, it’s an Italian-designed air/oil-cooled engine, rather than purely air-cooled. Also, it displaces 445cc, not 229cc, and is electric-start-only—no kickstarter. And crucially, instead of a carburetor, it has fuel injection.
So, instead of 14 hp, the Janus Halcyon 450 has 30 hp. That brings the top speed up from 70 mph to 90 mph. Plus, the engine is still emissions-legal in all 50 states.
The increase in power and speed, though, meant the bike needed some other enhancements, too.
Fuel injection isn’t the only new thing about the Janus Halcyon 450
Although the Janus Halcyon 450 shares its name and looks with the 250 model, it actually has its own unique frame. And unlike the hardtail 250, the 450 has rear suspension; specifically, a “proprietary” cantilever-style swingarm with twin Ikon shocks.
However, like the Halcyon 250, the 450’s frame is still hand-built by Amish artisans in Indiana. And it still has a sprung leather seat, albeit one supplied by Sargent. Plus, the 450 still uses Janus’s own leading-link front suspension with Ikon shocks.
Higher speeds and horsepower also require proper braking hardware. That’s why the Janus Halcyon 450 has front and rear Brembo disc brakes. ABS, though, isn’t available. However, at 345 pounds dry, the 450 only weighs about 80 pounds more than the 250 model. ABS, then, might not be necessary.
Janus updated its entire motorcycle lineup for 2021 with a digital speedometer and LED lighting. The Halcyon 450 has both, as well as a tachometer, another Janus first.
How much does it cost?
Janus expects Halcyon 450 production to start in June 2021, with “several units completed weekly.” And not to worry, the carbureted models aren’t going anywhere.
The new engine and extra niceties do come at a cost, though. The Janus Halcyon 450 starts at $13,500 before options. In comparison, the 2021 Halcyon 250 starts at $7495. Though admittedly, you are getting almost literally twice the engine for less than twice the price.
At that price, Janus’s newest bike is actually slightly more expensive than an ABS-equipped Indian Scout Bobber. And the Scout Bobber has twice the cylinders and about three times the capacity and horsepower. Harley-Davidson’s Sportster lineup compares similarly.
However, it’s worth pointing out that, unlike the Indian and Harley, Janus’s motorcycles have that hand-crafted element. And apart from the shocks, engine, and some of the electrical components, most of the parts are made close to the company’s Goshen, Indiana headquarters.
Let’s see if the fuel-injected powerplant gives Janus some halcyon days, then.
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