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Russian Army 5HP V-twin Sunbeam
21 April 2009


My name is Juris Ramba and I am a historic motorcycle collector from Latvia.

I was delighted to browse through your wonderful website. However may I draw your attention to the fact that there is a significant lapse in the Sunbeam model ranges for 1916 and 1917. I have a poor copy of The Motor Cycle describing the 5HP Russian Military model. In fact I have such a model and am working to rebuild it. The machine is in surprisingly well preserved condition apart from a few missing parts, like rear chain enclosure and wrong type of exhaust system. It is said to have served in the Russian and then later in the Latvian army.

During my 35 years with British Vintage motorcycles I have only seen 1 other rolling chassis of a similar machine which was sold to Germany about 9 years ago.

I have attached the article to illustrate the 5HP model.

Also a period photograph of this machine taken somewhere in Latvia. On the photo as bought you will notice that the machine has a wrong front mudguard, wrong handlebar, wrong fork top clip setup, wrong timing cover, no footboards, incomplete rear chainguard and wrong exhaust system. I have reworked and replaced the wrong items and am now working on the rear chain case and the exhaust system. When everything is assembled and in order it will be stripped and painted -- in olive drab military colour.

I have seen an 8HP Russian Military Sunbeam in Moscow. It had its original gearbox replaced with some other obscure gearbox, but otherwise it looked great -- also apart from a missing timing chaincase and cover...Luckily I found a piece -- roughly 1/2 of the original long and wide timing cover and could persuade a modelmaker to recreate the chaincase model for me...

I also have a 1930 model 9 Sunbeam which I have been slowly rebuilding for at least 15 years and which may take another year or two to finish. Why so slow, I hear you ask... Initially it was the iron curtain, now it is other commitments and several dozen of motorcycles all requiring attention and a lot of work and money of course, that goes into them...

Kindest regards,

Juris Ramba


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