The Janus Gryffin 450 is a US-built, retro 450 scrambler and it could be heading to the UK

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American small-capacity retro specialists Janus Motorcycles have released details of a pre-production prototype version of their incoming Gryffin 450 single, set to go into production this July.

Chances are you won’t have heard of the Indiana firm, but they were founded back in 2011 and currently produce a range of 250 and 450 singles inspired by the look of combustion motorcycles from the early 20th century.

Although some components, such as engines, filters, carburettors, and suspension come from overseas, the main bulk of the machines are built in house – including the frame, bodywork, leading link front fork, and more.

Janus Gryffin 450 single cylinder engine

While the bikes are not yet available in the UK, a representative did confirm there is an eventual plan for them to make it over the pond over the next few years.

Back to the Gryffin itself, and the 450 uses a four-stroke SWM-derived 445cc air/oil-cooled single cylinder engine, complete with electric start, and a twin-exit exhaust that runs along the left flank of the motorcycle. It’s fuel injected and pumps out a claimed 29.6bhp at 7500rpm, making the machine capable of a claimed 90mph.

This isn’t a bike built with performance in mind though, with Janus billing the retro as ‘off-road minded’. As such, it features a large 21in front spoked rim, and a 17 incher at the back shod with skinny knobbly tyres.

Janus Gryffin 450 swingarm

It’ll be best kept to lighter trail tracks, however, with just shy of 140mm of suspension travel at either end (that’s 10mm less than a £5595 Triumph Scrambler 400 X), and a dry weight of 149.7kg. You also get a small bash plate at the base of the SOHC engine, plus a manageable seat height of 812.8mm.

Providing the suspension is a non-adjustable leading link set-up with progressive coil over shocks – claimed to aid stability during braking, as well as when tackling obstacles on those gentle trail rides. The arrangement is certainly in keeping with the retro ethos.

At the rear end, it’s a more conventional, but still retro, non-adjustable twin-shock. Braking is catered for by a single disc at both ends, with the front 280mm rotor coupled with a twin-piston Brembo floating caliper.

Janus Gryffin 450 fuel tank

At the back end, it’s a single piston Brembo stopper alongside a 220mm disc. Visit for more information.

Janus Gryffin 450 explored:

  • Pricey option The base-spec Gryffin 450 is $13,495 (£10,550). It would need to be around half that price to compete with more mass-produced competition in the UK market
  • Built by hand To set it apart from cheaper rivals, all 450s get hand-formed fenders, stainless exhaust and those leading link forks
  • Family ties The Gryffin is based closely on the Halcyon 450, but gets a larger fuel tank, lower seat, off-road rims, and shaves a claimed 13.6kg
  • Collectors’ item Those ordering a Gryffin by March 23 will receive a First Edition trim package, including a specially numbered plaque, engraved components and more