The National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, England, between Birmingham and Coventry, is selling some of its Reserve Collection at the Bonhams Motorcycle Winter Sale. The auction, held on December 5 and 6 at Bicester Heritage, 90 minutes northwest of London, includes a coveted 1928 Sunbeam Model 90.
Displacing 498cc, the 1928 Sunbeam Model 90 was a formidable racing machine. This motorcycle, though not of a particular pedigree, was produced the same year the Sunbeam factory riders won the Manufacturer’s Team Prize at the Isle of Man TT.
Known as the Bullnose, the Model 90 had many of the factory racers’ features. The overhead-valve motor has dry-sump oiling, and the rider uses a pump with a handlebar control to add additional oil, as need. We like the Bink three-jet carburetor, dual unmuffled exhaust pipes, front suspension, steering damper, sprung seat, right-hand shift lever, and kneepads on the 2.5-gallon fuel tank.
“We are pleased to be offering enthusiasts and collectors the opportunity to acquire motorcycles from our Reserve Collection,” The National Motorcycle Museum Director James Hewing said, “with those that have been restored in our own workshop having a solid silver plaque fitted to them confirming the provenance.”
Sunbeam motorcycles were manufactured from 1912 to 1956, with scooter production lasting until 1964. Sunbeam experienced many ownership changes, with Imperial Chemical Industries owning the brand when the Model 90 was produced. Associated Motorcycles bought the Sunbeam name in 1937, and sold it to BSA six years later. From 1946 to 1956, three BMW-inspired Sunbeam models were manufactured at BSA’s Redditch, Worcestershire facility.
“We are delighted to have been entrusted with this premium patriotic collection from such a prestigious name in the motorcycle world,” noted International Department Director for Bonhams Collectors’ Motorcycles Ben Walker. The Bonhams Motorcycle Winter Sale is a rescheduling of the postponed Autumn Sale.
Selling for £105 new, this 1928 Sunbeam Model 90 is expected to fetch at least £22,000 on the Bonhams auction block.