The only way we can do what we do without a dealer network is with the Internet.”Richard Worsham
Richard Worsham and Devin Biek have long shared a passion for quality, lightweight motorcycles. “Our friendship is built on it. We both had been involved in that culture for years, restoring vintage mopeds,” Richard shares. After years of imagining their dream bike, the two decided to build one of their own. "We were just so captivated by the idea of building these little machines,” Devin says. Their first production model was the Halcyon 50, “a motorcycle unlike any other,” he describes. Time-tested style made the Halcyon an eye-catching machine, while its modern and lightweight design provided riders with a thrilling experience that was altogether unique in American bikes. Propelled by the support of their local community, the friends founded Janus Motorcycles in 2011 to share their craftsmanship with fans around the world.
Janus Motorcycles is unlike traditional vehicle manufacturers. They sell their bikes directly to customers online, instead of through a dealer network. “If you had given Henry Ford the opportunity to be online, with the marketing and exposure the Internet provides, I don't think he would’ve chosen to sell through dealerships either,” says Marketing Director Grant Longenbaugh. The company uses AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to market their bikes to motorcycle enthusiasts across the country. “About 50 percent of our online interest is driven by AdWords,” he adds. Google Analytics equips them with the digital insights to fine-tune their marketing and online presence. And through their YouTube channel, interested customers can follow every step of a Janus bike’s journey, from design, to prototyping, to production. “YouTube is the unsung hero of our business,” Grant explains. “It’s a substantial part of how people get to know us, feel a level of comfort with us, and trust us to make their motorcycles.”
Last year, about 90 percent of Janus’s marketing budget went to digital. The rest, Grant jokes, “was spent buying donuts and coffee to get people to come in for test drives.” The company now offers three different models and is on track to build 200 bikes this year. They make all of their fabricated parts within 20 miles of their facility and source their specialty parts, such as the engine and brakes, from the best suppliers they can find. “We’re committed to being open and personable, just as our motorcycles are accessible and understandable. That’s especially important since so much of our customer interaction is through virtual channels. If we’re successful, we’ll be able to maintain a meaningful and sincere brand as we continue to grow,” says Richard.