Sunbeam 1931 Lion 500cc 1 cyl sv



1931 Sunbeam Lion Longstroke 492 cc cc side valve, frame#BI0059   engine# J5308

The Wolverhampton based firm of John Marston earned fame for their superb bicycles in the early years of the last century. 
In 1912 their first motorcycle was presented, a 350 cc  side valve model ( 75x 79 bore and stroke) with a 2-speed gearbox. 
Soon the capacity was increased to 500cc, and also models with proprietary V-twin engines were made.  
Sunbeam motorcycles gained fame for their very high standards of workmanship, their speed and their reliability:  races all over Europe were won in the early half of the twenties  with machines equipped with the very fast and reliable  “ Longstroke” side valve  engine with bore/stroke of 77x 105.5 mm. In June 1930 the Longstroke model was restyled, it got bought-in welded steel petrol and oil tanks. 
It was designated “ Lion” because the Lion was one of the ICI trademarks. 
From September 1930 all Sunbeams got the new Webb-type front forks with centre spring. 
The “Lion “ was one of only four models that were in the Sunbeam catalogue for 1931: the world Depressions had cast a dark shadow over motorcycle sales.
In the catalogue were the Model 10 344 cc OHV, the Model 9 and 90 493 cc ohv and the Lion. 
Later in 1931 a 598 cc version of the Lion would become available. 
This machine had dimensions of 85×105.5 mm.
This reliable, high quality Sunbeam tourer is very suitable for vintage rallies. 
It is equipped with Lucas electrics and is an older restoration.