For 1925 The Famous James was advertised as the King of Motorcycles. Perhaps a play for extra attention from the public as Douglas was one of the few that had a Royal Warrant for their machines and there is nothing more in the James sales catalogue that states that they also shared this special recognition. To mention the name James most people will think of the James 2 stroke models from the 1950s. Great little motorcycles powered by the ever reliable Villiers 2 stroke engines. But back in the 1920s James were producing machines that were innovative and stylish, as seen in this excellent brochure. Quality includes manufacturing refinements such as cast aluminium mufflers and quickly detachable wheels.
Models include the No 17 250cc James Lightweight, No 11a 3hp 350cc, the new No 18 350cc OHV, the No 12 3 ½ hp 500cc Sports V twin, the No 19 4hp Big Single 550cc SV and the No 10 7hp V twin. In addition they also had six sidecars available. Some motorcycles were available as solo or sidecar combinations. As with other manufacturers James seized upon their opportunity to boast about their sporting successes in competition.
Their motorcycles were very attractive and if your name was James would you not want to own one?
Click on the front cover below to see the 29 page catalogue.
It is a 6.19M PDF so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.
The 25th March 1926 edition of The MotorCycle carried a road test on the James 349cc OHV model. Click here to see that article.
And for those of you who like to see the all new ‘talkies’ (movies from the 1920s) the modern equivalent being YouTube, then click here to see an excellent clip on the 1925 500cc Sports Twin. Impressive it is (and don’t forget to press the Skip Ad button on the right hand side of the screen).