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T h e   W O R K S H O P


Here's where to look for your technical info. They can take a bit of tracking down from specialist book sellers:-

Leslie Heathcote's 'The Book of the Sunbeam' part of The Motor Cyclist's Library series by Pitman - first edition in May 1933 and subsequent reprints until 1954. Republished as 'Sunbeam Four-stroke Singles 1928 - 1939' by Bruce Main-Smith & Co Ltd in 1977.

The Motor Cycle Manuals, Spare Parts Lists and Catalogues for various models produced by John Marston Ltd. Photocopies are available from the specialist booksellers, such as Bruce Main-Smith, who deal in classic vehicle literature.

Robert Cordon Champ's 'The Sunbeam Motorcycle' from 1980 with its useful technical appendices and indispensable chronicle of technical improvements. Factory photos of machines in this and the complementary 'The Illustrated History of Sunbeam Bicycles and Motorcycles' from 1989 are invaluable.

Part 8 of the series of 14 weekly parts of Newnes 'Motor Cycle Repair and Upkeep' - dating from 1931-32. This instalment covers Sunbeam engine dismantling, timing, transmission and cycle parts by H G Gale.

Geoff Purnell's 'Motor Cycle Restorer's Workshop Companion' from 1992 published by PSL - an excellent general guide to a range of workshop techniques.

Radco's 'The Vintage Motorcyclist's Workshop' from 1986 published by Haynes is arguably the best all-round guide to veteran and vintage motor cycle restoration.


As the owner of a fine old motor bicycle, hand-made by engineers and craftsmen in a factory that ceased production in the 1930s, you know there is little or no chance of lifting the 'phone or typing an e-mail and asking ...

"Can you supply a rear brake fixed stop on rear engine brake stud for a 1927 Model 6 ... its spare parts list reference number is A.251, and factory part number is 1838. It looks like it was 2/- in 1927."

The solution is a little self sufficiency. Or, for some, self sufficiency to the point where they can cope with all the processes of factory production bar those that are probably now illegal under health and safety legislation or environmental health acts.

What you will find is that you will start to amass two things: as much technical info as you can gather - and that includes all those verbal comments from fellow 'Beamers - plus an ever-expanding workshop. The latter, much to the delight of any partner you may share a home with, can at times include the stove, fridge, sink and gas fire! Good luck!


The website was recently informed about this detailed 'blog' recording the restoration of a 1933 twin-port Model 8 (engine KK 4128).

The blog is written in Japanese but the photos are very detailed. It provides a month-by-month account of progress. The link below takes you to the first entry in January 2009. Look out for a couple of Mrs Sidevalve's photos of the Sunbeam Dirt Track Racing Sunbeam from Netley Marsh 2007 amongst the entries!



Clive Larby from the UK contacted the web-site in August 2008. As the new owner of a 1929 347cc Model  1 or Model 2 side-valve machine he had a good deal of work ahead of him to get it back on the road. This included the fabrication of the complete kickstart mechanism for a Sunbeam 'AT' wide-ratio gearbox.

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11 JULY 2008

What is it about exhaust nuts? They seem to be one of the parts you can generally rely on to be a problem on an old motor cycle. Consequently it seems they regularly get 'bodged' at some point in an engine's life. Here are my trials and tribulations in the hope they may help someone struggling alone in their shed.

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Inevitably your Sunbeam will end up sharing its stable with a host of workshop equipment - starting with an array of tools and going on to include welding gear, drills, lathes, panel beating hammers and dollies, homemade jigs and templates ...

... when it all seems too much and and you're struggling to get that quart of stuff into the pint pot that is your shed, remember the Sunbeamland factory in Wolverhampton is sitting empty awaiting a new tenant!!