GOSHEN — Somewhere deep inside Google — the company, not the search engine — someone found Janus Motorcycles.
There aren’t many motorcycle manufacturers in the United States, much less ones small enough to fit inside 1,500 square feet in the back of a former dry cleaning building in a small Midwestern city.
Frames, fenders and engines come together in that small space at 211 S. Fifth St. Janus may make 90 motorcycles this year, which would double last year. This small company is awaiting final emissions approval from the Environmental Protection Agency that will allow it to grow even more.
It makes small, light motorcycles often driven by new motorcycle riders or collectors around town. The motorcycles weigh around 265 pounds and have a top speed of about 70 mph. “We kind of convert people to two wheels,” said co-founder Richard Worsham.
As Google kicked off its “Grow With Google” tour in Indianapolis in early November, marketing director Grant Longenbaugh spoke on a panel about using the web to grow business. Janus founders Devin Biek and Worsham were offering test rides on the small, handmade motorcycles. A YouTube video Google produced told some of the story of how Biek and Worsham make motorcycles with about seven full-time employees and craftsmen from shops around Goshen. Some of those craftsmen happen to drive horse-and-buggies rather than motorcycles because of their religion.