Amal carburettor specifications

People are often asking about the correct carburettor model and settings for their pre-war Marston Sunbeam motorcycles. Well, those helpful people over at Amal have long produced free catalogues that offer just such information. The “Amal Pre War Supplement” being of particular interest.

Here is a scan of the relevant page for the Sunbeam models covered by the catalogue.

List of classic and vintage motorcycle vendor websites

Thanks to Mark Grant for researching this list of the purveyors of fine and perhaps not so fine classic and vintage motorcycles:

Marston Sunbeam parts lists now online

Well I’m pleased to say that I’ve just completed an upload of the “final” version of the Sunbeam parts list data base to this website. Nisha and her team of ladies in India who are responsible for a large portion of the data entry have been brilliant working with some very poor copies of the original books. There will be mistakes and omissions in the data so please let me know if any come to your attention and I will make corrections where necessary.

The data base contains nearly 20,000 entries of parts and information from all the original Marston Spare Parts Lists that I could locate over the last 2 years. The parts lists cover most models and variants from 1914 through to 1939 and the web page can be found at this link Marston Sunbeam Spare Parts Lists

I hope it will be well received and of use to owners and also to assist the club and others with planning the production of spares. I appreciate that use of the web page is not necessarily intuitive or stylish but it does seem to at least function and provides the basic set of facilities that I originally intended. Over coming months I’ll make a plan to address this once feedback arrives from users regarding facilities and so on. This work has detracted somewhat from my own bike projects and riding having taken the bulk of any free time over the last 12 months especially and I’m very much looking forward to a break from sitting at this PC in the New Year.

Lucas SS49 MDB /MDB 1 Magdyno

Lucas MDB Magdyno

I have been thinking about lighting kit for the ’28 Model 90 and came across this original Lucas document on the usual auction site. The title is : Running Instructions For The Lucas “MDB” Magdyno Lighting And Ignition Set for Motor-Cycles 1929 Equipment. So, I scanned it and posted it here in case anyone else is interested.

Lucas MDB 1 MDB1 Magdyno Running Instructions 1929

I think I need a Lucas SS49 headlight or headlamp to be correct for the year, there are some very nice replicas available from Vintage Replica if I fail to turn a genuine one up at sensible money.

Welcome to the new Sunbeamland web log

This is the first post on the new Sunbeamland “blog” where I hope to share pictures and information of interest to others fascinated by the world of old and vintage motorcycles. There is obviously a keen slant towards vintage Sunbeam motorcycles that were produced at the Sunbeamland works before the war.

12th April 2013: It’s a holiday

Latest recruit is this rather smart 1967 Triumph TT which is having a few months holiday in the dining room. One of Hugh’s restorations from The Bike Shed, it features 11:1 compression, Carillo rods, racing ignition and lowered gearing to make it a real hot “desert sled”. These rare bikes were the most successful desert racers of the era and I can’t wait to fire it up… open pipes… Castrol-R….

4th April 2013: 1928 Model 90 Dry build completed

The engine/gearbox have now been fitted to the frame so we now need to check the primary and rear chain aligments before proceeding.


18th March 2013: 1928 Model 90 Dry build begins

The engine/gearbox have been collected from Chris and the frame/forks returned from Archie and Kenny. These had been used to fabricate jigs in order to repair damage to Archie’s own ’28 bike after Kenny’s little incident. As Archie said, “be careful, we’re running out of stock”

As I get to grips with the project, it is becoming increasinly apparent that the work Peter Woodward has done on the bike is of the highest order. Everything is beautifully done and there is little remaining work other than wheel building, paint and plating. It is a joy to work on.

My vision of the bike is a gentleman’s sports tourer rather than out-and-out racer but the 21″ front wheel looks so right on a 90. The wheels from the ’30 racer fit perfectly so there won’t be any clearance issues when the wheels are laced up.

Of course it’s not all vintage in the dining room here. The ’99 RS250 Honda has had a complete chassis overhaul and the motor a new crankshaft. Low 1st/2nd gears are coming from belle France and lovely new cylinders from Rob at Racing Lines

23rd January 2013: The 1928 Model 90 engine is ready for collection

Chris Odling has just sent me pictures of the completed engine for the 1928 Model 90. The quality of Chris’ work is staggering.

There were quite a few problems with the bottom end of the motor, the worst of which required repairs to broken cylinder head stud positions and for the drive side main bearing location to be sleeved. The crank was in a sorry state too. In the end, Chris made and fitted a new crank pin and drive side main shaft. Although the existing main bearings were OK, after all this work it seemed only right to fit new ones. The top-end fared better requiring new valve guides, hairpin springs and for the valves to be ground in to new cut seats. We had a choice of high and low compression pistons and went for the lower of the two as the idea is for the bike to be a gentleman’s sports-tourer rather than a racer on the road. This also means we can use the high-compression piston in the 1930 ex-racer. There is an unusually large 2″ inlet valve and it will be interesting see how well the bike performs.

There are a 1001 other jobs that Chris has done to bring the engine and gearbox to this state. It has obviously had some major trauma in the past and it is only through Chris’ expertise and knowledge that it has been possible to bring it back to life.

Click here for a set of photos of the work done.

7th November 2012: Fore-and-aft

A friend has recently acquired this rather nice little 1923 350 “fore-and-aft” Douglas. Apologies for the poor picture quality.

21st October 2012: The grand sale begins

Time for a clear out and to experiment with e(vil)Bay. There’s a lot to get rid of and to begin, thanks to the country’s punitive 60% import duty, it was somehow cost-effective for a gentleman in Brazil to pay £130 shipping costs for the Alpinestars leathers (below). Sir, I thank you. Moving swiftly on it seems there may still be an unrestored Triumph Bonneville out there as bits left over from the ’64 restoration are selling like hot-cakes. They should all be gone by the end of November at this rate. However, a word of advice… Spanish language books don’t fetch much. Should have given them to Age Concern where I would most likely have bought them back a few weeks later having forgotten that I’d given up trying even if the language is Latin based which should make it easy but bloody-well doesn’t when you discover that your brain is now barely as agile as a clay wrapped hedgehog

One thing I am learning quickly is that the joy of “doing rather well” at fobbing some clapped out old rubbish off to an overly-excitable optimist can be short lived when the listing costs, final value fee and paypal charges amount to 15% or more of the final sale and postage price

14th October 2012: It’s not all about Sunbeams of course

If you take one of these….

Then add a little bit of TLC on the bench…

Maybe, if you’re lucky enough, you can end up with one of these…

It always helps if you have the right friends…

Many thanks to Mr. Hugh Brown (left) of Bike Shed fame for building this absolutely stunning 1966 Triumph Bonneville T120R

15th September 2012: Oulton Park, CBR600F, fold back the mirrors and hang on

Too tight leathers are now up-for-sale on eBay. Oh the pain, the pain….