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James Motorcycles

James Models

James 10D
James 10D

James 1922 Models

James 1930 Models


Villiers-XIV-A-Engine
Villiers XIV A Engine

James 1934 249cc Sports

This motorcycle is a twin port two-stroke model fitted with the separate aluminium cylinder head type motor. The head is retained by only three bolts, it has two exhaust stubs and petroil lubrication.

It was fitted with the Villiers XIV A 249cc engine with a bore and stroke of 63mm x 80mm which was claimed to reach 60mph, and had strong pulling power at low speeds. This engine was available as an air cooled unit with petroloil (BYP), air cooled with autolube (BY), and water cooled with autolube or petroloil (RY).

All had detachable heads, a deflector topped piston fitted with inertia ring and either fixed or variable ignition. An outside flywheel was fitted to some models. They were made from 1934 to 1940.


James 1939 Models

K.8 247cc
K.9 249cc
K.15 148cc
K.16 148cc De Luxe
K.17 125cc
K.18 98cc Autocycle


James ML - Military Lightweight 1943-1948

Known as the "Clockwork Mouse", the ML was based on the 1939 K17 James Lightweight. It was used by British and Canadian airborne troops, and on D-Day they landed by glider during the invasion and also by landing craft for use by dispatch riders.

Post-war it retained the ML designation and a good many were exported to the United States and elsewhere.

Some 6 or 7 thousand military WD machines were built from 1943 to early 1945, all with ML frame number prefixes running from ML2 to about ML8500, with several sequence gaps. The ML prefix continued on post-war civilian models.

They were fitted with a Villiers 9D 122cc engine.

Winston Churchill's ML

Postwar James Motorcycles: Model Designation
(Work in Progress)

Common Name Designation Years of Manufacture
Superlux (JDL) Superlux 1946-49
Superlux (2F) Superlux 1948-54
ML ML 1946-48
Comet 1 Comet 1 1949-55
Cadet Cadet 1949-55
Captain Captain 1948-53
Cadet J5 1953-54
Commando J9 1953-55
Captain K7 1953-59
Cotswold K7C 1953-57
Colonel K12 1953-57
Cadet J15 1954-55
Comet 100 L1 1955-66
Cadet L15 1955-59
Commando (7E) K7T 1955-57
Commodore L25 1955-62
Cavalier L17 1957-59
Commando (10E) K7T 1958-58
Commando L25T 1958-62
Cotswold L25S 1958-62
Flying Cadet L15A 1959-62
Captain L20 1959-66
Sports Captain L20S 1961-66
Superswift (2t) M25 1961-63
Cadet M15 1962-65
Commando M25T 1962-66
Costwold M25R 1962-64
Superswift M25S 1962-66
Cotswold (Starmaker) M25RS 1964-66
Unknown Model M16 1965-66

Sources: James Franklin -- j.v.franklin at worldnet.att.net, (April 26, 2002)


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