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james ml 125 plea

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a friend of mine who was planning on taking his james to Normandy this june is in urgent need of wheels for his bike ,he needs complete wheels or just hubs for a wartime james ml125 either to buy or even borrow,it is the only james booked on the tour amongst 200 plus other wartime bikes and will play an important part representing the lightweight models used in France so please dig deep into your spares piles and see if we can help him out

Nigel

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These ML wheels seem to be very illusive. I know a couple guys looking for them. And another forum member has given up on his wheel less ML project after years of searching and bought another complete bike. Ron

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Sorry for my ignorance but what is the difference between the ml wheels used during the war and the one`s just after the war, as the one`s on the excelsior in my garage look very similar and the James wheel`s from the early fifties look the same it is hard to tell what the obvious difference`s are from just looking at photo's, there must be some.

Simon

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I think the James 125 became the Cadet.

Good contacts are:

BTSC - British Two Stroke Club.

Think there is a James forum on Yahoo somewhere.

Vale Onslow bought all the NOS off NVT when they went bust so might have spares...

 

I had a 1958 Captain, quite a bit of fun and just as quick as a Matchless G3

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It's really quite simple why it's difficult to locate James ML hubs (courtesy of the British Hub Company?)- they were totally, unremittingly crap. They had criminally undersized bearings (especially at the front) with little or no dust and mud exclusion, and pathetically weak spindles - there really is nothing to like about them. The brake plates weren't up to much either, the rear having a particular propensity to buckle. I dare say that they were all very well and good with meticulous maintenence but that is exactly what these bikes rarely got.

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These ML wheels seem to be very illusive. I know a couple guys looking for them. And another forum member has given up on his wheel less ML project after years of searching and bought another complete bike. Ron

 

the mate I am talking about is Daren over in Jersey who I know you have been in touch with so there may not be too many people searching,I know he has also spoken to Steve about his search for wheels ,there may have been a breakthrough today as another mate appears to have found a hub so watch this space

Nigel

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We must remember that the wartime ML was arguably intended as "disposable".............that said, the civvy version continued post-war up to 1948...........

 

There are few differences between the WD and post-war civvy version........I have both parts lists and cross-referencing is interesting...............

 

Very early post-war civvy retained the folding footrests, cylindrical toolbox and DU42 headlight..........however, the mudguards were extended........there is no photographic evidence showing any WD versions in service with the longer "civvy" mudguards..............

 

The WD engine was identical to the civvy one in spec, as were all sprocket sizes and gear ratios..............the wheels too, were identical..............

 

Later post-war civvy versions had different lighting fitted including a different headlight and rear-lamp.........rigid footrests were also fitted as was a kidney-shaped tool-box..............fuel tank filler cap also now of civvy type without the screwed-vent...........other differences included a stronger centre stand and a securing clip attached to the front-end of the rear mudguard.............the frame too, had the tyre-pump attachment pieces now as bolt-on items rather than welded to the frame as per WD versions...............handlebar mounting also changed from the single WD-type stem to a 2-piece bolt-on clamp arrangement.............

 

Even if you can find hubs or wheels, all the other bits (other than mechanical) are horrendously hard to find today...........after all, only some 6,000 WD ML's were made, about 3,000 less than WD RE Flea's and far, far less than most other makes..........original WD parts are accordingly very, very hard to find nowadays............post-war civvy wheels should do nicely though, IF you can find 'em.....I looked everywhere for 5 years and just gave up........oh, and they're 36 spoke not 40 !!!!!:D

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Unfortunately I can't help on the hub or wheel front. I took it to Normandy five years ago which wasn't too bad as it spent most of its time in the Jeep trailer. I had contemplated taking mine to Normandy this time but not taking the trailer so thought better of it, as it would always be a worry having to keep an eye on it. Not difficult, for those inclined, to remove a bike that small.

 

ml.jpg

 

H1HU

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