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 did not sell very well.
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. The S7 was updated to the S7 Deluxe in 1949, gaining additional oil capacity, new cylinder linings, and a new frame design in the process.
This example (VIN: S74872) is offered by the third owner, who somehow calls it both a “meticulous total restoration” and a “well preserved original” runner. Maybe it was restored many years ago? The odometer shows 3,365 miles and the seller notes that the mileage was not reset when the bike was restored. He also states that the only rode the bike up the street to keep the fluids moving and the bike active.
Find this Sunbeam for sale in Niskayuna, New York for $13,900 here on Craigslist.
This bike-uriousity brought to you by Todd B!