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James Classic Motorcycles

James Classic Motorcycles


    The James Cycle Company Ltd of Greet, Birmingham was founded in 1880 by Harry James and was, therefore, a well-established manufacturer of both pedal cycles and motor cycles when it introduced its model J18 autocycle for the 1938 season. The early version had a small fuel tank, no springing and no engine covers; inverted levers were used for the brakes. Like all of James's machines at the time, a Villiers engine powered it.

    The autocycle continued for 1939 as model K18 and at a price of 18 gns [£18.90]. A tradesman's version was also available. For 1940 it became the L18 and was joined by a deluxe version: the L20. This used the new Villiers Junior de Luxe engine instead of the Junior and also had the luxury of engine covers.

    The James factory was very busy during World War II. Although this production was mainly armaments and aircraft fittings, motor cycles were still being produced. Over 6,000 lightweight motor cycles were supplied to the armed forces. The autocycle too was still being made in limited numbers; these machines were probably supplied to civians undertaking essential war work. The factory was bombed and very badly damaged in December 1940. It was completely rebuilt within three months; however, nearly all of the company's archive material was lost in the bombing.

    After the war the autocycle was re-introduced and given the name Superlux - at a price of £53 6s 10d [£53.34] for 1948. It continued until 1949 when it was replaced by a new, Villiers 2F powered model. Both models were exhibited at the 1948 Earls Court Show, the new one being given the Superlux name and the older model becoming the Standard. The Standard model was soon dropped from the range. The new Superlux continued until 1953.

    Bike Image Description
    1914 James 1914 James 600cc.
    1915 James 4 1/2 hp, 600cc 1915 James 4 1/2 hp, 600cc This 4 ½ HP (86x103) is equipped with full chain drive and 3 speed James gearbox. A new feature for the 1915 model 4 ½ HP was the gear change lever that was positioned through a slot in the petrol tank instead of at the side of the tank This machine spent a large part of its life in Belgium, which might indicate it's an ex- army machine. Technically good, externally not restored.
    1918 James Model 6, 600cc 1918 James Model 6, 600cc
    1920 James Light Solo, 225cc 1920 James Light Solo, 225cc The two stroke models had bore and stroke of 64x70 mm, giving 225 cc. In the early twenties the bore was widened to 66 mm, giving a capacity of 239 cc. A 2 speed James gearbox is employed. Weight is only about 150 pounds. A nice example of vintage British two stroke technology.
    1923 James, 600cc 1923 James, 600cc
    1923 James Model 12 500cc V-Twin 1923 James Model 12 500ccm V-Twin
    1925 James 350cc 1925 James, 350cc James had entered motorcycle production during 1902 using FN engines, however they quickly progressed to lightweight two strokes of their own design and by the 1920's were producing machines with side and overhead valve singles and vee twins of their own manufacture in various capacities.
    1927 James 3 1/2hp 1937 James I17 Model 12 Sports V-Twin, 500cc.
    1937 James I17 1937 James I17
    1942 James ML 125 1942 James ML 125 Know as the Mechanical or Clockwork Mouse
    1946 James 122ML 1946 James 122ML
  1. Engine - Villiers 9D 122cc, two-stroke single cylinder
  2. Gears - 3 speed hand shift on tank
  3. Power - 3 1/2 hp
  4. Weight - 150 lbs
  5. Note; This model is shod with original 1945 Dunlop Universal tyres
  6. Top Speed - 40Mph
  7. 1947 James ML 1947 James ML Villiers 9D two stroke engine.
    1949 James Autocycle 98cc 1949 James Autocycle 98cc  
    1949 James Autocycle with 98cc Villiers engine 1949 James Autocycle with 98cc Villiers engine  
    1951 James Auto-Cycle 1951 James Auto-Cycle  
    1951 James Captain 197cc James Capyain
    • Engine - Villiers
    • Gears - 3 speed
    • Bore - 59mm
    • Stroke - 72

    James Captain Gallery

    1956 James Cadet, 147cc 1964 James Cadet, 149cc
    1955 James Villiers 1955 James Villiers
    1955 James Cadet J15 1955 James Cadet J15 150cc.
    1956 James Colonel 1956 James Colonel

    Powered by villiers 225cc 1H two stroke engine.

    James Colonel Gallery

    1957 James 1957 James 149cc
    1958 James Comet James Comet

    98cc, 2-stroke single.

    James Comet gallery

    1958 James Cavalier James Cavalier James 175cc Cavalier L17 1958
    1959 James L17 Cavalier James L17 Cavalier 175cc.
    1960 James Commodore, 250cc 1960 James Commodore, 250cc
    1960 James Comet 150cc 1960 James Cadet Image supplied by
    1961 James Cadet James Cadet 150cc.
    1961 James Commodore James Commodore
    1961 James 250 Commodore 1961 James 250 Commodore
    1963 James 250 Trials James 250 Trials Mick Andrews replica. Alan Wright frame, Rickman hubs, Parkinson barrel standard bore, full circle crank, polished conrod, 1st and 2nd lowered, Motoplat ignition, Rock shocks.
    1963 James M15 Cadet James M15  
    1964 James Superswift 1962 James Sports Captain, 199cc 250cc, 18 Bhp.
    James M16 James M16

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