A good original Sunbeam S8
A nice running / riding example
2 Owners from 1977
BSA who now owned the Sunbeam marque launched the inline twin range in 1947. The idea was to produce a luxury touring motorcycle with a smooth, quiet power unit for the post-war market. The advanced specification incorporated a rubber mounted, all alloy engine with an overhead camshaft, shaft drive to the rear wheel and plunger suspension. The early S7 bikes were equipped with ‘balloon tyres’ which gave the bike a distinctive look.
The high price tag and limited performance led to a redesign and the S8 was introduced in 1949. The S8 was sold as a sportier bike with a top speed of 85mph as well as conventional tyres as the balloon tyres had proven poor at higher speeds. New BSA forks were added as well to help its handling. The model was certainly the ‘Gentleman’s motorcycle’ in looks and performance and it was kept in production until 1957.
This wonderful 1952 example was supplied to its first owner Fredrick Benn on the 3rd of April 1952 by GBR Motorcycles, Colchester (the dealer plate is still on the rear mudguard). It passed through several owners in the Suffolk region between 1954-1975 when it was acquired by motorcycle and classic car collector Albert Ward. During Mr Ward’s ownership it was kept in full working order in his heated motor house however he did not ride his bikes on the road so it was preserved from British weather from 1977 onwards. It passed to the current owner in 2012 who lightly recommissioned it for the road.
All the tin ware is original and has not been repaired which confirms that the bike has been exceptionally well looked after. The bike starts and runs easily and it is ready to used and enjoyed immediately.
A nice history file containing a current V5C, 2 original buff logbooks, an early blue V5, various MOT certificated, invoices and an instruction manual accompanies the bike.
These motorcycles were expensive machines of their day and this quality shines through in this good original example.