Sun Cycle and Fittings Co of Aston Brook Street, Birmingham
Sun produced motorcycles from 1911 to 1961.
Sun motorcycles were virtually unique in that they remained under the control
of the Parkes family from conception to the end of motorcycle manufacture.
They were also unique in that the company both started and finished in
the bicycle industry.
Founded in Victorian times, the brand has its origins in James
Parkes & Son, a brass foundry making, amongst other things, incandescent
lamps - hence the eventual Sun brand name. The company was run by
the Parkes family and the Sun name first appeared in 1885. James
Parkes died in 1896.
In 1907, Joseph Parkes, Jame's son, changed the name of the company to
Sun Cycle and Fittings Company, and the company was also incorporated
as a limited company. As established bicycle makers, it was the final form
of the company name.
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of motorcycles see the 1917
1913 Two more versions were added, plus one with a 3.5hp JAP
engine, but that one was soon dropped. Later that year came the first Sun-Villiers
model, but that was soon replaced by a 269cc two-stroke Villiers.
They then added V-twins with either Precision
1915 The company now used the Sun-Vitesse name for a two-stroke,
269cc model fitted with their own engine.
Post Great War. The company developed their engine further and added a
disc valve to control induction.
1921 In entering the 250cc TT, the firm reduced the size of their engine
slightly, but without much success.
1922 Their road model was joined by one fitted with a JAP engine.
1923-1924 Further models were introduced with Villiers
and Blackburne engines.
1925 The company started to use double names, such as Sun-Blackburne
and Sun-JAP. This trend lasted until the end of the decade.
1930s Although Villiers and
engines were still in use, the marques returned to the Sun name
1933 The production of motorcycles ceased for some years.
1940 The Sun name appeared once more, this time on three versions
of an autocycle, with
a 98cc Villiers engine.
1946-1949 Only one version of the autocycle was produced.
1951 The autocycle had gone, but two new models appeared, both with Villiers
1953 A competition model was added to the range.
1957 Attention shifted to production at each end of the scale. At the top
end was the 249cc Villiers
2T twin engined Overlander. At the other end came the Geni
scooter - this had 15-inch wheels and a 99cc engine.
1959 The company's first true scooter was produced. Called the Sunwasp,
it had a 174cc Villiers engine.
It was also the year that production stopped and the firm was taken over.
1960 Of the two scooters, the smaller went out of production that year.
1961 Production of the larger scooter stopped and that brought the marque
to a close. Raleigh picked up
the company, and continued the bicycle manufacturing side.