What makes a scrambler a scrambler?

It has to be retro, and it must have a certain degree of off-road capability. But you could argue that most modern-day scramblers aren’t really scramblers, but rather, naked bikes cosplaying as off-road capable machines from an era gone by. While I’ll save that controversial and inflammatory topic for another day, what I do want to talk about is the new Gryffin 450 from Janus Motorcycles.

For the uninitiated, Janus is a very special brand because it’s one of the few American manufacturers to focus on small-displacement machines. Making it extra special is the fact that Janus’ bikes blend form and function, and as such, are perfectly at home both as a centerpiece in your collection as well as ripping it on- and off-road.

The Gryffin 450 boasts enduro proportions with a 21-inch front wheel

The Gryffin 450 boasts enduro proportions with a 21-inch front wheel

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When it comes to the Gryffin 450, simplicity is key. As a nod to real scramblers of a bygone era, the bike is—on paper, at least—everything you could ask for in a scrambler. It’s light, tipping the scales at a claimed 330 pounds, and rolls on full-on enduro scale wheels measuring 21 inches up front and 17 inches at the back. Performance-wise, it’s a geek on the street but a freak-in-the-sheets type deal thanks to an SWM-sourced 445cc thumper. With 30 ponies on tap, it’s a brappy yet slow ride on the street, but surely more than willing to whip its tail on loose gravel and sand.

In the styling department, the Janus Gryffin doesn’t just look old. It’s made with manufacturing techniques that’ve been passed on from generations. Drawing inspiration from classic bikes of the 50s and 60s, it features hand-formed and beaded fenders. The exhaust is also hand-formed and hand-welded from stainless steel, and the chassis and cantilever-style forks are also crafted entirely by hand.

It's powered by a 445cc SWM engine

It's powered by a 445cc SWM engine

The Gryffin’s paintwork is a labor of love, featuring hand-painted graphics and pinstripes, all offered in hundreds of combos to suit even the most discerning of enthusiasts. Additional stylistic yet practical touches include a leather or canvas bag, vintage-style pannier racks, and highway bars.

Rounding out the premiumness of the Gryffin 450 is a retro-style headlight cage, motocross footpegs, multiple tire selections, and a passenger seat on the rare occasion you’ll be riding two-up aboard this stylish machine.

The Gryffin 450 is a hand-crafted work of art

The Gryffin 450 is a hand-crafted work of art

New Janus Gryffin 450 Is Every Bit A Scrambler

The Janus Gryffin 450 is every bit a scrambler

So, how much will all this cost you? Well, Janus Motorcycles opened bookings for this bike with an MSRP is set to be $13,495—definitely a ton of cash for a 450 scrambler, but certainly justifiable for a special work of art you can just so happen to ride.

But what do you think? Is the Gryffin something you just have to have? We sorta think so. 

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