• YEAR : 1952
  • MILEAGE : 10100
  • EXTERIOR : Mist Green
  • ENGINE SIZE : 487

– In-line twin
– Original paint
– Shaft drive
– Mist Green color
– Marketed as The Gentleman’s Motorcycle

In total, 7658 Sunbeam S7s were built—which includes 5554 De Luxe models (some sources say that the original S7 production figure is actually less at around 1200 bikes). For the S8, the total production number stands at 8530.

What remains are widely misunderstood and heavily mythologized machines. And because less is demanded today of these beautiful Sunbeams in this plodding age of classic nostalgia and rose-tinted goggles, the bikes are correspondingly that much more appealing and acceptable than they ever were to the riders of yesteryear. In short, the Sunbeam S7 and S8 don’t perform as well as was intended. But nobody cares too much about that any more.

Better yet, not only is the S7/S8 still comparatively affordable, but it’s also one of the better-served marques of the post war years and is therefore relatively easy to keep mobile.

As a BMW beater, the concept failed. But it was a creditable and highly sophisticated attempt at breaking away from a traditional air-cooled, parallel twin, pre-unit, chain-drive platform that was, even then, heading toward a technical dead end.

It would be almost 60 years before the British motorcycle industry, under the auspices of (Hinckley) Triumph, would come even close to such an engine configuration with the introduction of the awesome 2004 Rocket Three.