James Motorcycle Resources

Just some pointers for information or links to:

  • The Correct James Red?
  • James Frame Numbers
  • Missing James Registration Number & V5/Logbook?
  • Useful Reference Books
  • The history of James Motorcycles and the different models
  • James Parts Suppliers & Services
  • Bike Clubs
  • Forums for James owners
  • Classic Motorcycle sales sites
  • Classified Ads for Classic bikes
  • Regular Bike Shows


The Correct James Red?

The correct red is a subject that is often requested and discussed on the James Facebook group and all other James motorcycle forums I've ever been on.

There is not a James factory specified colour code from that era and there are few accurate colour photos or colour accurate marketing material to help.

The standard answer is "Rover Damask Red" (also used by MG, the MGB GT for example) which was documented long ago by Alan Abrahams on www.simplywizard.co.uk.

However, it's not quite as simple as that because modern paints can show a slightly different colour due to their different reflective properties – glossy 2k paint that often looks lighter/brighter than older duller cellulose paint and the effect is even more pronounced if there has been a glossy clear coat on top as well.

Another common question is "Which RAL colour is closest".  I once found the RGB code for Damask red on an American MG forum (for an MGB GT) from somebody who had had the paint mixed and the supplier had given him the  code which was #88191F. The closest red to this (from https://encycolorpedia.com/88191f ) is RAL 3003 (Ruby Red).

(See https://www.ralcolorchart.com/ral-classic/red-hues for more info)

To complicate the situation, some people say that the factory themselves used different paint suppliers whose product varied in hue slightly.

So, as beauty is often said to be in the eye of the beholder, whatever shade of red you choose is up to you!

Other James Colours (from Simply Wizard)

What are the modern equivalents for the James paint colours ?

The following are the colours used by James from 1946 - 1966.

It is hoped that modern matches can be added to the list.  If you have recommendations please e-mail them to me.

WARNING !  Please satisfy yourself that the colour matches are suitable.  They are offered in good faith but cannot be guaranteed to satisfy everybody's idea of the perfect match !  Colour is VERY subjective.

James maroon - (British Leyland) Rover Damask Red
Martial Grey - late '50s - Du Pont: Slate Grey.  RAL 7015
Royal Blue - late '50s
Pastel Grey - late '50s
Seagull Grey - Colonel only
Stromboli Red  - early '60s - Ford Burgundy Red E7 FOR.2097 (D)
M15 Cadet Tank panel  - 1962 - 65 - BMW Chamonixweiss O85  BMW.O85(Y)
Riviera Blue -  Superswifts
Caribbean Blue - AMC Captains - Opel Monza Blue
Old English White - Scooter
Astral Blue - Scooter
Devon Red - Scooter
Peacock Blue - Scooter
Metallic Green - M16
Arden Green - Final L1 Comets - I.C.I. Ref.No. - PO30-NH77. 

Formulation for Arden Green paint.

As applied to the late James Comet L1 (1964).

I.C.I. Reference Number - PO30-NH77

PO30 - 9903 (221 grams)
PO30 - 9905 (895 grams)
PO30 - 9981 (339 grams)
PO30 - 9975 (1009 grams)
PO30 - 9964 (487 grams)

Tank panel blue - 1948 - 1951 - Volkswagen Beat Blue


James Frame Numbers

James Frame Numbers (downloadable excel sheet)


Missing James Registration Number & V5/Logbook?

Two options:

  • Contact the British two stroke club



  • Contact the Francis Barnet Club:

Francis Barnett Owners Club

John Harding

1 Flock Cottage

Hope Mansell

Ross-on-Wye, HR9 5TL

Tel: 01989 750731

Tel: 07973 889401

Email: johnharding197@live.co.uk


Useful Reference Books


James Motorcycle Information

Simply Wizard  - The best source of information about James Motorcycles

James Autocycles - Autocycles from James, and others

Villiers Info - lots of information about Villiers engines & carburettors (see also "Manuals and Literature")

Parts Suppliers

Villiers Services -  The largest stock of Villiers spares in the World. Reconditioning of Villiers engines. Re-lining of brake shoes

Villiers Parts - Villiers related parts and repair kits. Villiers carburettor and magneto reconditioning services.

Metal Magic   - some James ML spares

Bruce Main-Smith (Manuals) - Reproduction manuals from James and many others

Classic Transfers - Reproduction transfer from James and many others

VMCC James transfers - Reproduction transfer from James and many others

Armour Motor Products - Exhaust systems (downpipes and silencers) and associated parts for many James motorcycles

Jeff Hunter Engineering: (email only)

Rubber components for veteran, vintage & classic motorcycles. Footrest rubbers, speedometer mounting rubbers, handlebar grips, knee grips & tank rubbers, foot board rubbers & much more

Email: - jeffalanhunter@aol.com

Telephone: - 0121 745 1954

Current Price Lists:

UK Price List

non-UK Price List

R.K. Leighton (Seat recovering/Rebuilding)

Parkwood Products - remanufactured parts such as stands, mudguard stays and racks. Some Francis Barnett parts

Nookys Nuts - nuts and bolts for old bikes

Custom Fasteners - nuts and bolts for old and newer bikes

Motalia -  high quality stainless fasteners and parts

Vintage Steel Fenders - Vintage Steel mudguards from Australia, unfortunately nothing for a James currently but they are open to making new stuff if they get a suitable pattern. Worth browsing for fun

Bearing Boys - all kinds of bearings

Tracy Tools - Tap and Die specialists for British threads

Plating and Chrome Specialists

Centurion Motorcycle Projects - Interesting coatings such as "Ricochet"

Vintage Headlamp Restoration - take a look a the "Lamp Gallery"! Impressive! Re-silvering of reflecters.

Chrome Restoration Specialists - Re-silvering of reflecters. See the Motorcycle Parts Gallery also. I wish parts were this good when new! 🙂

Ashford Chroming - Re-Silvering Headlight Reflectors


Bike Clubs

British Two Stroke Club

National Autocycle and Cyclemotor Club (NACC)

EACC Autocycle Club

Francis-Barnett Owners Club


James Forums

Flickr - James Motorcycles

Facebook James Motorcycle - A facebook group for James Motorcycles

The WD Motorcycle forum -  for James ML (and other WD bikes) discussion



Classic Motorcycles for sale

Car and Classic (James Motorcycles only)

Cotswold Classics

Vintage Bike

Andy Tiernan Classics (AndyBuysBikes)

Clarkes Classics

ClassicCarsForSale (bikes)


Eddys Moto

Audley End Classics

Yesterdays (Netherlands)

(I'm happy to add to this list, just let me know kevin@james-motorcycles.com)

Classified Ads (Classic Bikes only)

Vintage Bike

Car and Classic (Classic Motorcycles)

Old Bike Mart

Bike Shows

Stafford Bike Show