After WWII, as part of reparations, BMW gave up its designs of the BMW R75. Bikes like Chang Jiang and Ural used these designs, but England’s take was the Sunbeam S7. You can see the BMW influence when you look at a side profile, but Sunbeam wanted to differentiate themselves by utilizing a inline vertical twin instead of the German boxer twin. Unfortunately, Sunbeam’s engineering changes, particularly to the driveshaft, chewed through drive components. The bike was left with the double whammy of being expensive and not very reliable, meaning it sold very poorly in the three years it was built (’46-’48). Sunbeam made some modifications the following year with the S7 Deluxe, but the original S7 is now the most sought after, despite its relative inferiority as a motorcycle compared to its successors.
At the time of production, Sunbeam was owned by BSA. The original S7 was over-engineered, which partially led to its high price. The parallel twin was an overhead cam engine, and it produced 24 horsepower. The engine was actually capable of more, but it vibrated badly and the worm gears Sunbeam used instead of BMW’s bevel drive would get stripped. Sunbeam decided that the fix was to…detune the engine to 24 horsepower. Buyers didn’t appreciate that.
This specific Sunbeam S7 was purchased from a museum, and while it’s in good shape, there’s a few non-original parts that should be noted. The front fender nose piece, tail light, and trim ring are from period Harleys, and the luggage rack is from a similar vintage Indian. Considering the rarity of this bike, those non-original pieces are understandable, and could be used to make the price a little more reasonable for the buyer.
Find this Sunbeam S7 for sale here on eBay with a BIN price of $25,000 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.