ML stands for Military Lightweight, as this bike was originally designed to be utilized by airborne British and Canadian troops in WW2. A civilian version was offered between 1946 and 1948, after which the model was replaced by the James Comet.
There’s a folk tale about how the bike got the nickname of “Clockwork Mouse” – supposedly on the afternoon of D-Day, a dispatch rider who was normally used to riding bigger bikes was asked for his impression on the James. His quote was “You wind it up and it goes – just like a ‘Clockwork Mouse'”. Whether or not you believe that story, the bike uses a Villiers 9D 125cc two stroke with a three speed hand shift transmission. For more information on the ML 125, check out this page dedicated to the model.
This example (VIN: ML20102) has 600 miles and it’s claimed to be in ‘mint’ shape. It was previously in a private museum and the seller says it runs ‘like a top.’ Find this Famous James for sale in Preeceville, Saskatchewan, Canada with bidding up to $710 and the reserve not yet met
This bike-uriousity brought to you by Rob B!