Custom Sunbeam - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-14-2009, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Custom Sunbeam

Holey Too Much Free Time Batman!

A while back, I bought a weird 57 BSA with some pretty unique mods including a Sportster front end. It's nothing compared to what I saw today.

The same guy owns all three bikes and does ALL the work by himself.
The first two pics are of well restored Sunbeam S7's. One is a '48, the other is a '55. They are 500cc twins, 4spd transmissions w/shaft drive, and 6v electrical. Pretty much all original spec.

The third bike gets freakish. It also is a S7 but apparently he did not have an engine for it. Of all the things one could think of to install in a old British bike, he chose a 1000cc Hatz diesel twin. These engines are often found in generators at your local tool rental place. As soon as he got the engine, he rebuilt it. Parts are still readily available. He lengthened the frame of the bike about 2 inches to fit it in. The original Hatz flywheel & clutch went away. Then he made a new flywheel and adapter plate to mate it to the Sunbeam trans. So far, so good. I always thought a diesel bike would be very cool & unique. The only one I ever saw was on some ratbike site.
The problem was that he could not start it. I don't mean that it wouldn't run. He just couldn't start it. It couldn't be kicked over with the Sunbeam kickstarter. He then fabbed a gear reduction attachment and tried to use a chainsaw engine to get it going. No luck. I guess the original starter couldn't be used because of the flywheel changes. I never got that complete story.
I would've continued to work that angle but what do I know?
He decided to convert it go gas! Yep. He machined the pistons changing the compression ratio from 20:1 to 6.5:1 . He retapped the glowplug holes and put in spark plugs, fabbed an intake manifold and attached a tractor carb, and made a distributor by hand complete with timing retard lever for easier starting. He made the cylinder cooling fins by hand too.

While this could look great next to my Bizarrley, the odds of me owning it are pretty slim. If it did happen, I might just try to refit another diesel into it.
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-14-2009, 08:52 PM
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Oh my goodness... That blows my mind. So cool

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post #3 of 12 Old 10-14-2009, 09:18 PM
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Awesome job. That guy must have some serious skillz and lots and lots of free time.

After many years and many dreams I have realized my goal of riding in all 50 states!

Now the rest of the world!

Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment. --Leonardo Da Vinci
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-14-2009, 10:26 PM
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what fehren said... i know fabrication... and that guy is a mad scientist...

put him and gpzturbo in a shop together and they would create something incredible...



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post #5 of 12 Old 10-15-2009, 12:11 PM
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Nice, he did a good job on it. Doesn't look that out of place. There's a guy around here who put a two cylinder diesel motor in a old Kawi sport bike frame. I'll have to find the pics and I'll post them later.

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post #6 of 12 Old 10-15-2009, 12:20 PM
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I WANT ONE !!!!

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-15-2009, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Update -

Well it looks like "we" are going to own it. We just can't let it go. I'll search for a replacement Hatz engine over the winter once my play money replenishes (more on that next week). We had a conference call today (haha) and think we can make it work. The original builder did the hard part.
Ya know- I have a spare turbo (or three) on the shelf.....

Firedave - I'd like to see a pic of that if you find it. I've only seen one other on a ratbike site. I think it was from England. Condition wise, this Sunbeam blows it away.

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post #8 of 12 Old 10-15-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-15-2009, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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The 1st one sold in less than 12 hrs for $6k.

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-15-2009, 06:46 PM
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Holy Crap.. That's really cool..

Beautiful work..

And then I studder in my own shallow mind.. Diesel?

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post #11 of 12 Old 10-15-2009, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpzTurbo View Post
that is a uber cool site... those guys build some wild stuff.... i would ride one of those diesel bikes ..



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post #12 of 12 Old 10-15-2009, 08:48 PM
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Here are the pics. Not the best since they're taken with my phone.







If I remember correctly he stretched the frame 6 inch's to get the motor/tranny combo to fit. It uses a Harley transmission. Nothing like seeing a guy take off on his bike and leave a puff of black smoke behind!

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