Sunbeam Model 90 Works Replica Toolbox

The talented Martin Shelley has reproduced a new toolbox assembly to fit saddle tank Model 90 and 95 Sunbeam motorcycles 1929 – 34. This was made as an exact copy of the toolbox and mounts from the only known surviving 1930 works TT Model 90 and features a soldered box with leather front, correct lockable latch, and alloy feet cast in heat treated LM25 and supplied with 1/4” BSF fasteners as per original.

You can see the original box on the 1930 Model 90 that was discovered north of the border a few years ago. Whilst I have yet to fulfil my ambition to examine and scrutinise every inch of that bike I was happy to put my money where my mouth is and buy one of these lovely boxes myself.

Get them while they are hot direct from Martin for a very reasonable £250. Or you could buy the cast feet separately for £50 a pair. If you are interested, why not drop Martin a line on this email before they are all gone.

Look nice fitted to this delightful Model 90 so they do.

Sunbeam Model 6 Longstroke and Lion pistons now available

Due to a technical problem (I forgot!) the 77mm Model 6 longstroke pistons weren’t available in the shop. I only have a few in standard and +0.040″ oversize so please get in touch if you need a high quality forged piston in your 1925 to 1929 vintage Sunbeam sidevalve.

They can be modified by Chris Odling for use in later engines with the recirculating oil system.

I’m building a 1927 Model 6 motor at the moment that came with a 1928 Model 6 that I purchased recently and one of these should work very well in the new engine.

Sunbeam Model 6 Longstroke pistons now in stock

Sunbeam Model 6 piston

Following on from the successful production of pistons for OHV 500cc Sunbeam models Chris Odling and I thought it would be useful to produce some high-quality forged pistons suitable for the Model 6 side valve long-stroke. The Model 6 was produced from 1922 until 1939 becoming known as the Lion after takeover by ICI. With its 77mm x 105.5mm bore and stroke this was the last side valve powered motorcycle to win a Senior TT.

There were of course changes along the way and the piston produced is nominally compatible with models produced from 1925 until 1929. Before 1925 a 5/8″ gudgeon pin was used rather than the later 7/8″ type and the change to a scavenge pump from total loss oiling in 1930 means a different piston ring configuration is required. It is possible that these pistons could be adapted to suit.

I have limited availability of pistons in 77.0mm +0.000″ and +0.040″ sizes. An all-up  weight of 434g has been achieved for the 77.0mm which is within 2g of the target weight that we set out to achieve.

Once we have given the new items a good look-over I’ll be contacting those who have reserved pistons already and adding them to the Sunbeamland shop.


Update on spares in the shop

Tax disk/disc holder Tax disk/disc holder

Don’t forget to checkout the Sunbeamland shop where there are a variety of items in stock including a limited number of these vintage tax disc or license disc holders. They are replicas of an original late 1920’s Pennant item that was loaned to me some time ago and would make a great addition to any quality vintage motorcycle i.e your Brough Superior, Sunbeam, Velocette or cammy Norton.

There are also various other vintage motorcycle spares that are left over from various projects that might be useful. For example, we have quite a number of different controls and levers including items from Amal, Amac and Bowden. Decompressors, valve lifters, magneto advance/retard control.. that sort of thing. Have a look round and let me know if there is anything you might be interested in.

There’s not much left in the seat department, so grab a bargain whilst there is anything left in stock. I’ll accept sensible offers on most items just to clear the space.


Sunbeam Model 9 pistons now in stock in the Sunbeamland shop


I’m pleased to report that a rather pretty box containing a small batch of low-compression Sunbeam pistons arrived this morning. Like the 7.5 :1 CR Model 90 versions produced earlier, these are a lightweight forged item but will give around 6.5 : 1 CR depending on the head and barrel combination in use. Targeted at the Model 9 it is suitable for late 20’s early 30’s 500cc OHV bikes and we have limited availability of both +0.020″ and +0.040″ over-sizes.


Our research showed that the weight of Model 9 pistons varies surprisingly depending on both year and manufacture. After collecting and checking pistons from Marston, Heplex and Specialloid a target weight of 400g was achieved for the new item – including rings, pin and clips.

Once we have given the new arrivals a good look-over we’ll be making contact with those who have already reserved their pistons. So be quick if you don’t want to miss out!

Replica 1920-1930s Pennant Vintage tax disk / tax disc holders

The latest project coming to fruition is a limited edition run of 50 Pennant replica tax disk or tax disc holders. They are UK made from solid brass using a beautiful original Pennant as a pattern and feature the Pennant logo on the rear of the holder. Be warned, they are a seriously weighty item!

As we’re all worried about global warming and the resulting floods, the holder is bang up-to-date with the tax disk sealed from the elements in its own rubber pouch. Available in nickel, chrome or un-plated brass they will come complete with a bracket and stainless fasteners.

Please contact us for prices or visit the shop more information.



Rich beyond the dreams of avarice

Amac 10MDY and Amal twin floats

What a lash up!!! Just in case anyone was wondering how the carburation was developing on the 1930 M90 I thought I’d post this picture of the steps taken to check and correct the float height on the Amac 10MDY currently fitted to the bike. It’s the wrong carb for the year and I’d like a later Amal 29/001 if anyone can help but “we are where we are” on this one…

The Amal twin floats are most likely 15 degree items that have been machined to operate on the level so to speak. But they were clearly never designed to operate with the Amac. After making up a new, elongated float chamber holding bolt complete with a spigot for some clear plastic pipe it was easy to see that the float level was some 6mm too high. Adding the aluminium spacer drops the level back downwards and this setup should help with fine tuning once back on the bike. I’ll make up a proper brass spacer and new banjo bolt once the correct dimensions are established as the existing one is too short to work with the spacer.

All this is yet another example of how much time can be spent trying to get groups of disparate components from different eras to work together with some degree of harmony.

Amac 10MDY needle jet adapter

Having recently re-acquired my little Emco Compact 5 CNC lathe I found time over the Xmas holiday period to experiment with a little project that I’ve had in mind for a short while. I had noticed that the ’30 M90 was running rich at running-in speeds and sooting up the plug. Not a major problem, but closer investigation revealed a home-made needle jet in the Amac 10MDY carb.


Although, conveniently, this needle jet was made to accept the later small Amal main jets it was badly worn and the likely cause of rich running low-down. I asked around but was unable to locate any replacement needle jets or needles for that matter. So, following a chat with the ever helpful (and patient) Martin Bratby I decided to look into producing an adapter that would allow 29 series needle jets and needles to be used with the earlier Amac carb.


After a few false starts I came up with a design that could be produce on the little Emco. It was tight as there isn’t much wall-thickness to play with if everything is going to line up correctly but I was pleased with the result. The photo above shows the Amac jet-block with an original needle/main jet assembly next to a 29 needle/main jet screwed into one of the new adapters.


The next job is of course to try one on the bike to see how well it works. The plan is to start off with a 106 needle jet and the middle-clip of a 29 needle. I’ll probably adjust the position of the needle jet up/down in the adapter to fine-tune rather than move the needle clip itself as the “correct” relationship between slide-needle-needle jet is of course difficult to establish when mixing and matching the 29 and 10MDY elements.


To help with this, I have use of a decidedly un-1930s Innovate LM-2 AFR data logger that uses a Bosch car-type Lambda sensor rammed up the exhaust pipe to monitor the exhaust gases. Once lashed up on the bike, it is relatively easy to record the air-fuel-ratio at different throttle openings, engine speed and load. This makes fine-tuning of carburation using the modern fuels a lot less hit-and-miss for someone with my lack of sensitivity in such matters.

Druid fork handlebar clamps

I was short of a set of handlebar clamps for the ’28 bull nose Model 90 that we are working on and so had a few sets cast and machined-up using an original Marston clamp from the ’30 bike as a pattern. They came out quite nicely in high-tensile brass and will be serving in place of decorations over the Christmas period.

Handlebar clamps for Sunbeam motorcycles with Druid rather than the later Webb-type forks.

Handlebar clamps for Sunbeam motorcycles with Druid rather than the later Webb-type forks.

I had a few extra sets produced and will put them on the shop in due course in case anyone out there is also in need of a set.