Many thanks to Rob from Racing Lines Derby for a grand day out at the TT riders Association luncheon yesterday. This annual celebration of TT riders past and present was held at the National Motorcycle Museum. Whilst Nick Jeffries acted as MC, we shared a table with the legendary and apposite John Cooper. Others present included 5-times in a week TT winner Ian Hutchinson and Triumph factory rider Percy Tait. Publisher and TT rider Malcolm Wheeler rode into dinner on a Ducati to take over presidency of the association.
Beforehand, we squeaked a couple of hours to check-out one or two of the many wonderful exhibits.
It is of course impossible to do justice to such a collection so I didn’t bother. Instead, I took a lot of photos of the Sunbeams on display which included a number that were restored by our good friend Peter Woodward. These included a Model 80, Model 9 and two Model 90s and they can be seen in the gallery together with many other detail shots.
Debates about provenance may continue in certain circles but the 1925 Sunbeam Sprint must be one of the most beautiful bikes in the museum.
Ex-Dance racer, unbeatable in its day
I’m pleased to say that we now have the recently manufactured high-quality, lightweight forged 7.5:1 pistons available on the Sunbeamland Shop in +0.020″ and +0.040″ oversizes. Modern materials and CNC machining mean that all-up weight is within a few grammes of the original Marston’s item and I’m enjoying the experience of running one in on my own 1930 Model 90. They should fit any of the late 20’s early 30’s 500cc OHV bikes and we hope to be following up with production of a small batch of 6.5:1 pistons aimed more at the Model 9.
Forged piston for Sunbeam Model 9 and Model 90 7.5:1 compression ratio
I just had to post this lovely old photo that Richard Jones showed me at the autumn Stafford Show. Anyone here remember Revill’s of Main Road, Hathersage?
I wonder how much business was brought in by “wringing machine” repairs? Later wandering around the show I spotted this 1935 Sunbeam 350 twin-port was up for grabs amongst the auto-jumblers paradise.
It’s the same kind of ingenuity and inspiration that put men on the moon that gave rise to these next two creations.
And of course John Phizacklea made sure of a couple of stunning Sunbeams on the Wilts club stand. The recently finished Model 3 sits well alongside John’s own trials spec. Model 9.
One of the best machines at the show to my eye was this beautiful Rudge TT replica, tucked away in the corner of the VMCC stand. As far as I could tell it looks to be in a fantastic “as raced” condition complete with twin-floats, twin-fillers and cable operated damper. Just awesome.
And finally, there were of course some two-smokes too…. One of my favourites was this beautifully prepared, late model RS250 Honda. Nice touches include the radial front brakes fitted to the custom-made fork bottoms. The equally gorgeous Joey Dunlop that features the single-sided swinger of the earlier model bikes can just be seen.