Making a Motorcycle: Aluminum Fuel Tanks

Both our Phoenix and Halcyon fuel tanks are the product of many hours of deliberation, design, and iteration. They draw from classic motorcycle designs in their inspiration and our own vision for how our motorcycles should look and feel. And they're also the product of the constraints we operate within. Janus Motorcycles is a small production shop. Our smallness dictates that we make our motorcycles in small volumes, with our hands and simple production methods. Our production (not custom) operation dictates that each tank—while hand-built—is nearly identical and reproducible (without the use of exceptionally expensive or time-intensive methods). How do we produce a beautiful product within these constraints? Like this: 

Our tanks are cut from sheet aluminum and bent, formed, and welded into shape by our skilled team. Then they're finished and pinstriped carefully.

We've come to realize that we're walking the line between "production without personality" and one-of-a-kind customs (which are—by definition—un-reproducible). In other words, part of what you pay for when comparing a Janus Motorcycle to an off-the-line mass-manufactured brand is the human element in each of our limited-run motorcycles. And part of what you save when comparing a Janus Motorcycle to a one-off custom bike is that we've standardized (while not sterilizing) a good portion of our processes. 

We're very proud of what we're able to produce using simple production methods, our hands, and creative design. Sometimes, we've found, constraints actually improve creativity and inspiration.

Why Janus Motorcycles? Part 5: What are You Paying For?

We, as a small business, operate in the global economy, and the motorcycle market is full of massive manufacturers that make incredible products at a low price. How do we compete? In a competitive market, our size—both in CC’s and units shipped—helps us make our customers happy and our motorcycles uniquely remarkable… and also more expensive. Could we import crates of ready-to-roll motorcycles, add our decals and some gas, and make a much greater profit margin? You bet...

However, what sets us apart will never be our ability to compete purely on a commodity level with the big manufacturers. Our heart and soul that goes into designing and building Janus Motorcycles is our greatest feature and our prime differentiator. Even so, why pay for a motorcycle that isn’t as big, fast, or high-tech as other motorcycles from global manufacturers?

We believe that motorcycles—at their best—refuse to be "only practical" machines. They refuse convention. There’s a little “Why the hell not!?” in every motorcycle. They fly in the face of the idea that the only reason for being on the road is to get to where you’re going. We set out to make motorcycles that most closely match this soul of motorcycling. We make motorcycles that we enjoy building and our owners enjoy riding. You can certainly buy a motorcycle that has more horsepower for lots less. But you’d be hard pressed to find a motorcycle that had a better enjoyment-to-horsepower ratio. 

Image courtesy of Good Spark Garage

Image courtesy of Good Spark Garage

If you want a motorcycle because you want to go 120 mph as often as possible, or to be loud, or to travel as comfortably as possible from Point A to faraway Point B, there are great options out there. 

If you want a motorcycle because you want to enjoy riding on two wheels, if you want to ride a beautiful machine that isn’t purely practical, if you want to know the handful of people who built your motorcycle just how you wanted it, then a Janus Motorcycle is a GREAT option. We hang our hats on making motorcycles that are insanely fun to ride and a joy to own.

So, when you’re shopping for a motorcycle, ask yourself “What do I want to pay for?” You can pay for specs, speed, or size. Or you can pay for a thrilling and enjoyable ride.

Don't believe us? Check out our reviews. Want to try one out? Visit us at a Discovery Day: