1902 - 1966
Harry James began making
Ordinary bicycles (Penny Farthings) in around 1880. The company was
floated on the stock market in 1897 with Harry James as the first managing
director. He retired in 1898.
The first James motorcycles
did not appear until 1902. The Model A was a motorised bicycle fitted
with a Minerva engine, clipped forward of the front downtube, which drove
the rear wheel via a twisted leather belt. The
1902 James Model B used a Derby motor fitted within the frame triangle
driving the rear wheel via a friction roller. For
1903 James they used Minerva
engines and in 1904 changed to
F.N engines and bolted them into what is claimed to be the first loop
frame, which provided a sturdier mounting.