James Motorcycles

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James 1931 Handyvan

James 1931 Handyvan

James began production of the Handyvan in 1929. Initially fitted with a 250cc two-stroke, it had a load capacity of 5 cwt. The Samson Handyvan appeared in 1932 with a much more powerful engine - a v-twin of 1096cc - and payload increased to 12 cwt. Available with open tray or enclosed van. Other models included 8cwt & 12cwt open-side vans.


To every class of Tradesman the question of transport of goods either to his premises or to his customers, is of supreme importance in these days when service is one of the foundation stones of a trader's goodwill. The "JAMES HANDYVAN" is, as its name implies, a Handy Van of the simplest type designed to meet the requirements of tradesmen who have multiplicity of loads to deal with.

The construction of the " HANDY VAN " is of the most simple yet robust character. The motive power is supplied by a Villiers' Two-Stroke Engine, which gives a remarkable output at low engine speeds, a factor making for long life and long service without continual adjustments. A three-speed box is fitted and enables the machine to tackle the steepest gradient with ease and without stress or fuss. The control of the machine is precisely the same as a simple Motor Cycle. There are no gadgets to give troubleā€”just a simple straightforward Motor Cycle proposition on to which has been built a sturdy, robust chassis with a well-sprung van body, THE DESIGN OF WHICH CAN BE VARIED TO SUIT ANY PARTICULAR TRADE REQUIREMENTS up to a limit of 3 ft. high and 3 ft. long.

We have fully tested this machine in our own works and have used it for delivery purposes for over 18 months, and the machine to-day is offered with the fullest confidence that it will meet any demand which the trader is likely to put it to within the limits of its capacity. We are selling this " HANDY VAN " under the same liberal Guarantee as our Motor Cycle Models.

Derived from a 1931 James catalogue posted to Early Motorcycle Literature