James Motorcycles Information Website

James motorcycles: A brief history.

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In 1908 James produced a remarkable "Safety" model in collaboration with an engineer named Renouf.  Both wheels were carried on outrigger spindles and featured internal expanding brake shoes. The engine featured inlet and exhaust valves working one inside the other - the exhaust valve being described as "tulip shaped".  A lever altered the valve lift as a means of regulating speed.  The saddle was carried on long leaf springs.
The model was updated for 1910 - 11 and featured what is claimed to be the first saddle tank.  Sadly neither machine seems to have been a commercial success and there are no records of survivors.

The first James two stroke appeared around 1913 and the company had, by then a fair reputation for well made and sturdy machines, with models suitable for solo or sidecar work.

During the First World War James supplied some machines for military service. 

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1908 "Safety"

1910 - 11 "Safety"


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