Models illustrated in the 1916 catalogue are identical to those of 1914.
James 1929 Models
James introduced a new model designation system this year, beginning with the letter A.
James 1930 Models
James 1931 Models
James had bought the Frank E. Baker business the previous year, and for 1931 added five Baker machines to the range, all with Villiers engines. A total of 12 motorcycles appeared in the 1931 catalogue.
Villiers XIV A Engine
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
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.
James ML - Military Lightweight 1943-1948
Postwar James Motorcycles: Model Designation
(Work in Progress)
|Common Name||Designation||Years of Manufacture|
|Comet 1||Comet 1||1949-55|
Source: James Franklin -- j.v.franklin at worldnet.att.net, (April 26, 2002)
James Colonel, 1953-57
Introduced in 1953, the Colonel was fitted with a 225cc 225cc Villiers 1H engine and shared the fully-suspended frame with the 197cc Captain. It had full width hubs, and considerably improved front suspension was added in 1955.
James 98cc Comet
Introduced in 1948, the Comet followed the ML and the Autocycle. Fitted with a Villiers 98cc 1F engine, it was rigid-framed with girder forks. Two models were offered, the Standard with direct lighting and the De-Luxe with a battery.
James M25S Sports Superswift 249cc
The standard Superswift was very similar to the Francis-Barnett 250 of 1962 - unsurprising, as they were built in the same factory. Fitted with a Villiers twin-cylinder engine and a tank of distinctly Italian appearance, mirroring that of the Sports Captain. In 1964 the Sports Superswift appeared, the major difference being the four-stroke Villiers. It was one of the last models, as James ceased production in 1966.