James Motorcycles Information Website

James motorcycles: A brief history.

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After the war production was limited by raw materials shortages and the need to consign almost all production to the export market.  There were only two models ready for production - the autocycle and the M.L.  Both models were developed a little over the next couple of years but it was not until the 1949 season that new models became available.

In the early fifties the company was bought by A.M.C. the makers of Matchless and AJS motorcycles.  They bought also the Francis-Barnett company and the next few years saw considerable badge-engineering although, right to the end,  each make kept some  models distinct from the other.

A full range of models was produced through the fifties and sixties in capacities up to 250cc and the range included a scooter to try to capture some of that market which had blossomed in the late fifties.  Unfortunately it was the wrong design too late and though a wonderful machine it must have cost the company dear in development.


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1948 James M.L.

1961 - 64 Scooter


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