The Gryffin 250 Vintage Scrambler

For this motorcycle Monday, we engage a bit of whimsy and look at an American-made 250 Scrambler. Janus Motorcycles  was founded by Devin Biek and Richard Worsham, and the bikes are produced by hand in Goshen, Indiana. The majority of the components are produced by Janus themselves, while a significant number are also sourced domestically (like wheels, brakes, and tires). The suspension is IKON from Australia, and the carb is from Japan. The engine is Chinese, which seems to be one of the few remaining places to buy small displacement motors.  The company is as charming as the bike, the owners often venturing off to distant locales on their bikes, including Baja. 

We make simple, beautiful machines that are a joy to own and ride. We draw on the Northern Indiana spirit of manufacturing to create a personal, unique, and relatable product.            –Devin Biek (co-founder)

The Gryffin is the most dirt-oriented of the models, a simple, durable, and lightweight option for travel. In a world of 1200+ cc adventure bikes, the Gryffin will get you to all of the same places, and for a fraction of the cost. The gauges and controls are all simple, with a cable-operated clutch and throttle—everything is analog.

For the backcountry, the Gryffin features a high-pipe (with heat shield), aluminum skid plate, and wire wheels. The only real limitation would be the short-stroke suspension, which will likely be more abusive to the rider than the bike, but no different from similar bikes such as a Royal Enfield. I do like that the front and rear tires are both 18 inches. At only 266 pounds, the bike will easily travel any road, and with a 33-inch seat height, the rider can duckwalk anything nefarious.

As a travel bike, it is ideal for backroads and developing countries. In those conditions, the rider could care less about the 14 horsepower and 11.65 pound-feet of torque (that .65 is important!). I do not see that as a hindrance, as most of the world has been traveled by motorcycles smaller than 250—it is really only the ego and smile muscles that benefit from more displacement. Fuel economy is listed as 70+ mpg.

During times like this (shelter in place), it is heartwarming to see these small companies offer Made-in-the-USA products. I searched the web for customer reviews, and everything seems glowing, even downright reliable. The 2-year warranty seems to reinforce that. In today’s trend of everything being bigger and more expensive, it is possible to buy a hand-built Scrambler for $6,995. Janusmotorcycles.com | 574-538-1350

Editors Note: We have not tested this model, so the feature is information only, not a recommendation or review.

Their heirloom-quality tool kit features all of the items needed to service and repair the motorcycle. The tools are also made in America by Wright Tools of Akron, Ohio. It can go in the handmade tool roll.

 

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Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. He lives in Prescott, Arizona