Around 1880, Harry James began producing the Penny Farthings Ordinary but it was not until 1897 that the company was available on the stock market. From 1880 until 1898 Harry James acted as the first managing director of James Cycles but it wasn't until 4 years later, in1902, that the first James motorcycles appeared and it was a motorised bicycle that had been fitted with a Minerva engine and utilised a twisted leather belt.
By 1908 James Cycles, thanks to a recent collaboration with an engineer named Renouf, would offer their first safety motorcycle but their machine had not been a commercial success and today there are no records of any surviving examples of these motorcycles.
In 1913 the first James two-stroke powered motorcycle appeared and the company had managed a bit of reputation for their well made and sturdy machines and during WWI James Cycles also supplied some of their motorcycles for use in military service.
After the First World War James Cycle produced a line of well made motorcycles that earned them a good reputation of quality and value.
In the early 1950's the James Cycle name was bought by associated Motorcycles Company who also owned Matchless and AJS motorcycles and later added the Francis-Barnett company.
In 1966 the James Cycle Company ceased production of their motorcycles and shut their doors for good, but left with a large new following of sport motorcycle enthusiasts.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Haris
Updated On: 05/06/2008