Yesterday FNC hosted the manufacturer of JANUS and had their 3 models available on display. They were nostalgic in appearance and I just checked them out on line and the only thing impressive is the low price which seems to be due to the 250cc counterfit Honda engine common to all the models. I assume that the engines are from the same Chinese source that offers dozens of replicas of various European and Japanese light 2 wheelers from the past. I recall someone posting here quite a while ago with a Vespa look alike with problems and the owner could find no source for information or parts. Is this a growing problem I wonder.
Interesting post. Thanks! I have never heard of this Goshen, Indiana based bike builder.
I went to their web-site for a look-see and found this statement in their FAQ section about the engine;
We’ve found that solution in our 229cc air-cooled, single-cylinder, 2-valve, pushrod motor from our manufacturer in China. It’s one of the most popular and widely used engine designs in the world, is tried-and-true, and is readily available. Our engine does not have an American retail name or availability
Doesn’t really answer the parts availability directly but they tell you from where the parts are sourced. Simple, reliable, easy to repair bikes.
Pushrod? Not even a Honda copy, then. They’re a bit too ‘retro’ for me.
I saw the starting price of about 7000.00 - forget it , there are plenty of proven motorcycles for just a little more and some for less.
For retro, I’ll go with a Royal Enfield, built in India but still the old British bike.
I only have a passing glance type of experience with Janus, but I can answer to whether parts are a growing problem for these Chinese products. I think the answer is both yes and no… Parts are in a sort of gray area, kind of the same color of the area where the entire market of all these Chinese / Honda clones came from. These products are everywhere and there are quite a few sites that have dedicated themselves to help you source parts for your Kymco scooters, Pep Boys Chineseium toys, Cloned this, Copied that “equipment”. I have had to resort to a few of these when a customer or two insisted that I repair their disposable Chinese Garbage. Reluctantly I obliged and repaired their items. Quality is APPALLING… Metallurgy is equally so… some so bad that oil literally leaks THRU engine castings…not at a gasket location! Forks made of white metal, horrific welds, cheap steel… the list is endless
Personally I am not a fan of these machines and sadly they are all over the place, I honestly cannot fathom how they managed to invade our country and roads as these machines are unbelievably cheaply made. How did they pass our quality controls? How were they approved to be allowed on our roads?! The metallurgy is truly abysmal and in my opinion quite dangerous.
To the little, under or completely uneducated these shiny machines look the business…well they are but its a Shi**# business in which they are taking part and which they have brought you along. Many do not know this, some do and think it doesn’t matter while others don’t care or know why they should.
The waves of Chinese garbage washing up on our shores will NOT go the way of the 60’s Japanese products that did the same thing long ago… While you can use a few internet sources to find parts not all are supported and its still a bit hit or miss. You will find all this out when you find it out I suppose.
Metallurgy man… I never really though about too too much until I saw just how bad it could be and still be sold here.
As I read the replies here I realize that like my post re E-15 this Janus situation is the result of our lack of political cajones to deal with the reality of products we are sold that are very costly and even dangerous while most of the public is in the dark. There’s lots of joking over internet posts always being factual but the big joke is television and the internet are free to peddle crap to us. Maybe the solution will be an app. For $10/month we can get access to the lies that are told to take our money in exchange for junk.
Of course there will be several faux apps that buy their way to the top of searches.
I believe if I was interested in a bike, I’d buy a used one anyway. Not many people put a ton of miles on them and resale is generally not so great. You can buy a lot of motorcycle for $7k if you buy used.
I didn’t read the whole article, $7,000 is stupid money to pay for these. I was thinking they were under $5,000.
Edit - I just checked, a new Honda CBR300 is under $5,000, a new CBR500 is under $7,000. So lower my ‘ok’ price on these to under $4,000.
Most motorcycles on that displacement range price out at $3,000-4,000, bikes like the Ninja and the Rebel. There’s no reason to pay $7,000 for a bike in the 250cc range. I paid less than that for my 745cc bike!
“Just look at how homogeneous the automotive and motorcycle industry has become.“
Let’s stop right there. I disagree with the premise. The motorcycle market is anything but homogeneous. The offerings from the various manufacturers run the gamut from tame to crazy in terms of power to weight ratio, from cruiser to sport, with a new generation of standard bikes in between.
Sorry, but I can’t get past the first paragraph without realizing this article is a fluff piece with a marketing spin.
They look like overpriced, cheap imitations of early 1900s strap tank Harleys. Give 7 grand for one and you would be lucky to get 2 grand a few months later if you were to sell it.
My sister went through this with some Chinese bikes (not Janus). She bought a used one a few months ago for 2500 and was lucky to get half that 2 weeks later when she sold it.
She was about to wade in a second time and thankfully backed out of it.
For 7 grand a person can buy a late model Harley that will not likely depreciate any more than it has already.
And a long road ride would be uncomfortable I think
I’ve never seen a Janus except in pictures but I do have experience with the engines they use. It’s an upsized copy of a Honda CG125 that was first sold by Honda in 1975. Most people in the US have never heard of this engine because Honda never sold it here, but it was a huge seller world wide with a reputation of being the most reliable small motorcycle engine ever built. Today the Chinese CG 100 to 250 cc engines are manufactured by many companies including huge companies such as Lifan and Zongshen. They are high quality industrial grade engines that last a long time and are easy to maintain and repair.
I bought a Lifan 200 (CG200 engine) dual sport bike new in 2007 and still own it today with over 60,000 miles on the odometer. My quad has a CG250 engine with over 600 hours. Both have been trouble free with only oil changes and valve adjustments. Parts are easy to get and cheap. A complete new engine sells for about $500.
$7000 for the Janus bike seems excessive but you are paying for a largely custom made retro bike. The Chinese CG250 engine will likely still be running when the rest of the bike is a rusting pile.
BTW Honda’s patents on the CG engine ran out many years ago.
I really think you guys are missing the point of this company. It is NOT a Chinese company nor is the bike made in China. The engine come from China as an assembly and is installed into the bike in Goshen, Indiana, USA. There is a FAQ as to the source of all the parts. Some are made by Janus, some come from US suppliers, some from overseas. The shocks are from Australia, ect.
The price reflects the specific design of the bike. It is a fashion accessory, like a Shinola watch. A Timex keeps time for far less but it has no style. The Shinola watch has style. So does a Fossil. The Janus bikes have style. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, buy a used Rebel or a Grom. You aren’t their target customer. Plenty of businesses have been very successful selling style for a premium price.
You can trash Chinese quality all day long and I may even join you for some of that but iPhones are made in China and they have very good quality. Lots of very good electronics are made in China. Buick now even imports a car model from China.
50 years ago people said the same thing about Japanese cars. 30 years ago people said the same thing about Korean cars.
US consumers seem to be such suckers. Marketers from every angle can seemingly pick people up by their heals and shake the cash out of their pockets for the “pig in a poke.” Ethanol, Slick-50, $50 air filters with $20 oil changes, cobbled up retro bikes with the most critical components manufactured in Chi-Com sweat shops, where is the truth in advertising? And did Janus pay to be the guest on FNC? If so the viewers should be informed don’t you think.
That explains the high price tag, except it doesn’t really. It’s a minimalist design with fewer parts than a Rebel or a Ninja. If the price is based on the cost of parts and assembly, they’re not going to be around very long.
The only way I could justify the price is if they’re so popular that there is a waiting list.
My problem isn’t that the motor is Chinese, it’s that the motor is weak. I’m not paying that much for such a limited motorcycle. As someone above said, if I want retro, I’d go for a Royal Enfield.
They clearly did not price it based on the cost of parts and assembly. That would place them in direct competition with Honda, Suzuki ect. That is not a recipe for success.
The highest assembly cost is going to be labor, particularly since it’s being assembled in the U.S.
I’m not sure how ignoring the competition would improve the viability of their business plan.