This one here is another one of my favourites.
It is not custom build but a factory bike.
Around 16,000 Sunbeam S7, S7 Deluxe and S8 motorcycles were produced and it is thought that around 10,000! of these still exist, mainly due to the fact that since production started in 1946 there has never been a time when spares were not available, even when the Sunbeam was not a classic motorcycle and production had ended. How many other production line motorcycles can claim this kind of survival rate.
It is quoted that Sunbeam rear drive units are weak and unreliable, this however is not true and was caused by a printing error in a run of the Sunbeam motorcycle handbook. The error stated the wrong oil type which started to degrade the internal phosphor bronze worm gear components. The previous editions and those printed since have all given the correct oil type. With the correct oil the rear drive can last upto 100,000 miles or more, dependant on type of use.
This the Sunbeam S7 Deluxe fitted with Stewart Engineering aftermarket deep sump (Here is an S7 Deluxe without one) and optional pillion pad. In 1949 BSA Motorcycles - Redditch, introduced two new motorcycles the S7 Deluxe and the S8. These models were produced concurrently and the S8 did NOT replace the S7 Deluxe.
Production started with frame number S7-2501 on 27/05/1949 and although these frames are marked with the S7 prefix they are dimensionally different from the earlier S7 components. Production of the S7 Deluxe ended in 1956. Over 5000 examples of this model were produced, cost was around £220.00 when new in 1949.
The S7 Deluxe used the same basic engine as the S8 and the engine numbers on both models start with the S8 prefix. Therefore engine and frame numbers NEVER matched on either the S7 Deluxe or the S8. Many of the components are shared with the S8. This motorcycle was offered in black or mist green (picture below), however some dealers may have provided any colour from the ICI paint range used by the BSA factory.
This model is becoming highly desirable and therefore prices are climbing, it also provides a nice ride and can be very reliable, although the S8 is said to be 'Sportier'. This is the model that most enthusiasts imagine when thinking about Sunbeams, it carriers the popular (now, not necessarily then) balloon tyres, painted interchangeable wheels and cantilever saddle arrangement. There are lots of upgrade modifications available including the extended sump pan shown in the picture above. This increases oil capacity by a pint. Parts are easier to source for this model compared to its predecessor.
Restoration of this model should be fairly straightforward, however because Sunbeams were not produced in the same quantities as other BSA models like A7 and A10's, it should be considered a 'specialist' machine and low quantity spares reproduction means that some parts can be pricey when compared to other motorcycle marques.
Engine and Gearbox
This Black S7 was owned by General "Monty" Montgomery and is in the Louwman museum
The Hague Netherlands
If you have one just standing around or know there is one for sale, please let me know :-)