Sunbeam Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Sunbeam 1932 Models

Introduced in 1931, the OHV 350cc Model 10 had a very short life and was removed from the 1932 catalogue during the year.

The Lion sidevalve models continued in two versions, 500cc and 600cc, as did the OHV Model 9. The 500cc Lion was re-named the Model 6A, whilst the 600c Lion replaced the flat-tank Model 7 and became the Model 7A. This was the final year that the flat-tank Model 7 was available from stock.

Cycle parts

There is a return to the all-black, gold-lined petrol tank after the previous year's use of a chrome plated tank with black panels.

The rear mudguard acquired a hinge and an additional lower stay to allow easy removal of the back wheel. Front and rear wheels are designed to be interchangeable, which required a redesign of the front forks. The 'dog leg' fork was introduced on all models except the Model 10.

Engine and gearbox

The Lion sidevalve engine was redesigned, with both the 500cc and 600cc now fitted with a detachable cylinder head; the valves were enclosed within a protective box, and the exhaust pipe diameter increased from 1½ in. to 1¾ in.

A 4-speed gearbox was introduced and the push-rod clutch mechanism with its cast bridge was replaced. A quick thread clutch mechanism was introduced on the left side side of the machine.

1932 Model List

Model 10 (344cc OHV)
Model 6A Lion (492cc side-valve)
Model 7A Lion (598cc side-valve) - see 1932 Lion
Model 9 (493cc OHV)
Model 90 (493cc OHV) - see Model 90 1932
Model 9A (596cc OHV)



Price £65


ENGINE. Single cylinder two-port O.H.V. detachable non-detonating turbulent head. Enclosed rocker gear and push rods lubricated automatically. Tecalemit grease un system to rocker shafts. Double coil valve springs. tappet adjustment direct to stem of valve. Exhaust valve lifter operated by cable from handlebar. Sunbeam dry sump lubrication system for engine entirely self-contained with Oil reservoir in crankcase. Amal carburetter. Large exhaust pipes, with Sunbeam patent silencers.

TRANSMISSION. Front chain totally enclosed in Sunbeam patent Oil bath chain case. Rear chain protected by special chain guard. Sunbeam shock absorber on engine shaft. Sunbeam hand-operated clutch.

FRAME. Saddle tank frame with low riding position giving great control over the machine. Sunbeam adjustable handlebars and adjustable rubber-covered footrests. Accumulator carried on seat tube below saddle. Carrier with pannier tool bag in each side. mounted on strong platform.

Sources:, factory literature.