Update (2/7 10:00am): Thank you to everyone that entered our giveaway, @magistermurray is our winner.
Update (2/4 10:00am): The Kickstarter campaign for Janus Motorcycles is now live with the option to purchase t-shirts, stickers, and all of the leather goods featured in this article.
There are many different products that often cross our desk, the ones that we remember the most standout for more than just their function. The best often have a way of standing out visually, providing an experience that goes beyond its purpose. Transportation has continued to evolve over the last 120 years, we’ve come a long way from the model T to the Tesla D. But sometimes it’s the throwback style, a vintage offering that proves to standout amongst the competition.
Janus Motorcycles of Goshen, Indiana has managed to do just that. Creating a beautiful motorcycle that not only functions well, but it manages to do so with exceptional style. Over the last four years, Janus has developed into one of the burgeoning bike companies in the United States. What truly is a labor of love in a small shop in Northern Indiana, is now ready to be known across the world.
It’s time to meet Janus Motorcycles.
What is being accomplished here truly deserves a pause. Janus has managed to create a line of motorcycles that is nearly all sourced from within a 20 mile radius of the shop where they are built. For founders Devin Biek and Richard Worsham, owning a bike shop is a dream come true, but doing so with such reverence for process is something to be revered.
“Every person we deal with, they are so skilled and passionate” says Biek, “We are thankful for each worker that we interact with. We find a lot of inspiration from the people we work with and that’s exciting.”
Janus takes great pride in its products, what started as a love of high performance mopeds has grown to be a full-line of motorcycles. The original Halcyon 50 had a very simplistic design that was visually very striking. Coming in at just over $5,000, it opened the marketplace for many to afford a quality motorcycle that had a top-of-the-line design. With so much success and drive for a new challenge, Worsham and Biek set out on a new challenge in 2015 with its larger 250cc Halcyon and Phoenix models that come in at $7,700 and $8,200 respectively. These bikes are set to begin manufacturing later in 2015.
With every purchase comes a feeling of ownership in the process. Their passion for these products oozes when they speak of their labor of love. For co-founder Richard Worsham, it goes beyond money and numbers, there is a high-level of pride in what they do.
“When you are in here working, you look around and say ‘there is nothing else that I’d rather be doing’. We are really striving to do this the right way and there is a lot of excitement and pride in that.”
Biek concurs, “We always say that we prefer to take the tough road, we know that this is a big journey for and a learning curve, that excites us.”
I was able to spend an evening with guys at Janus in mid-January and it was truly an experience to remember. Admittedly, motorcycles are not my area of expertise, but as someone who appreciates functional ascetics, I quickly found myself right at home. The first time that I saw the motorcycles in person I instantly became entranced. It doesn’t take a gear head to comprehend the level of craftsmanship that goes into each of these bikes. We’re talking about handmade construction, custom paint done in-house and gorgeous leather that complements each bike perfectly.
With a Janus Motorcycle, you’re not just getting transported from one location to the next, you’re getting an experience each time you sit on it. In talking with operations manager Devin Wood, you can sense the love that these guys have for their product, not just how it functions but how it looks.
“When it is time to go home, we often stop in the door and just stare at the bikes. Each time, we say ‘this one is our favorite’, until the next one. We are always excited for the next one.”
He went on further to describe the difference that he has seen during his time with Janus, in comparison to other motorcycle companies. “The highlight of doing this for is the ability for customers to walk in our doors and see what we do. This isn’t like a typical dealership where they ‘only have the red one’. People call up and speak directly to a founder of the company, we talk through options, the guy who actually designed the bike explains it. That doesn’t happen elsewhere.”
Biek follows up, noting that “a lot of people would attribute that to being a startup, but Richard and I agree that we never want to loose that. We want to be connected everyday.”
Coinciding with this article, Janus is launching a new line of leather goods that are modeled after the motorcycles they build. They will be offering a wide range of bags and motorcycle accessories through a Kickstarter campaign later next week. Ranging from the large Moto-Rucksack to the Tool Roll, Janus will be rolling out a number of functional and stylish options, we will update this post when the sale goes live.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on a Moto-Rucksack and have to say that the quality is top-notch. These hand-crafted bags are made by the same man that does the seat and saddle bags for the motorcycles themselves. The Moto-Rucksack is made of waxed canvas, leather and has a waterproof lining. Its clips are CNC’d from solid metal and the rivets are 100% copper. The beauty of the rucksack lies in its ability to expand and contract depending on your storage needs. This bag is available as part of the Kickstarter campaign for $315.
This week we will be giving away a Moto-Messenger Bag to our readers, this bag is hand-crafted with a custom design. It features two chest straps with CNC’d buckles and copper rivets. It is available via the Kickstarter campaign for $340, but you’ll have a chance to win it here this week.
To enter this giveaway, follow @9to5Toys on Twitter and retweet the article. If Facebook is more your thing, Like us and share this article with your friends. We’ll choose a winner next Saturday. Good luck!
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