British Motorcycles

JES Motorcycles

JES motorcycles were produced from 1909 to 1924. The name came from the initials of J. E. Smith of J. E. S. Motor Works of Gloucester.
  • 1909 JES was first offered as an auxiliary motor set to fit within a bicycle frame and drive the rear wheel by belt. The engine was a 1 h.p. 116cc four-stroke with a front-mounted gear-driven Fischer magneto, and the whole machine was a bicycle with braced forks and a fuel tank hung from the top tube.

    The JES continued in this form for many years and was also built and listed as the City and the Imp.

Engine - 1 h.p., 2in x 2¼in. four-stroke, 116 c.c.
Iqnition - Fischer magneto, gear-driven.
Carburetter - J.E.S., single lever.
Transmission - Belt.
Dimensions - Ground clearance, 6in. Wheelbase, 43in.
Lubrication - Hand pump.
Price - 20, 22, and 23 guineas. Attachments to fit to push cycles, 12 and 14 guineas.

J. E. Smith, the J.E.S. Motor Works; Gloucester.

British Lightweights, 1914

  • 1920 The engine was enlarged to 142cc and inclined in the frame, but the original simple concept remained.

    1921 Added to the list was a 170cc two-stroke miniature motorcycle with two speeds and a vertical engine.

    1922 A single-speed version appeared.

    1923 The four-stroke was dropped, but the single-speed two-stroke ran on with a three-speed version. To these were soon added a lightweight with four-speed chain-transmission and the choice of 247cc two-stroke or 249cc ohv Blackburne engines - a move to more conventional machines.

    1924 The company acquired the Connaught marque of Birmingham, and for that year there were just two lightweight models. One with the 247cc two-stroke, but the other with a 348cc sv engine. Both had three-speed Burman gearboxes and chain-cum-belt drive. The auxiliary motor set was re-introduced. This was a 123cc two-stroke engine, chain drive and in either gents' or ladies' style of bicycles frame. It was also available as a conversion kit. The make did not survive beyond the end of that year.

JES 1921 Two-stroke

One of the simplest and lightest motor cycles on the market - the single-speed, two-stroke, 1½ h.p. J.E.S.

Olympia Show 1921


The J.E.S. motor cycle returns to Olympia with a splendid reputation accruing from several years' service. It is a machine which forms a step between the auxiliary-powered pedal cycle and the motorcycle of conventional type.

Several models will be exhibited, including single and two-speed two-stroke machines having a bore and stroke of 60x60 mm. (170 c.c). The single-speed models are now obtainable with a free engine clutch pulley.

J.E.S. miniature machines will also be exhibited with a new four-stroke engine of 60x60 mm. (170 c.c), and a lady's model fitted with this engine will be staged.

The Motor Cycle

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle

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