On the 3 November 1916 civilian production was suspended by the British
of Munitions. John Marston Ltd issued an over-stamped 1916 catalogue for
1917. 1916 machines were available from stock.
As a result of the Russian Government's decision in
1916 to mechanise its army, Marston's was contracted by the Ministry of
Munitions to supply 850 v-twin 8 h.p. side-car machines and 500 solo
machines. Despite the Tsar being deposed in April 1917 the contract
continued until the summer of 1917.
The 3½ h.p. Sunbeam solo machine was considered too
low a capacity for the Russian Government. Their specification resulted in
Marston producing a v-twin solo machine using a 5 h.p. (654cc) JAP engine
installed in a modified 3½ h.p. frame.
Similarly, the 8 h.p. MAG-engined model from 1916
was modified to take an 8 h.p. JAP engine of 996cc (85.5x85mm). A slightly
altered frame, increasing the wheel-base from 60 inches to 61.5 inches,
and larger 28 inch wheels provided the space and ground clearance for the
The belt-driven French military model which had
commenced production the previous year continued.
* Robert Cordon Champ, 1980, 'The Sunbeam Motorcycle'. Haynes Publishing.
* The Motor Cycle, May 3rd 1917 (thanks to Juris Ramba, Latvia and Annice
Collett, librarian at the Vintage Motor Cycle Club)
* Stephen J Mills, 1994, 'AJS of Wolverhampton'. Published by the Author
(for details of the Russian Government contract).