GoogleCustom Search

Raleigh Classic Motorcycles

The famous motorcycle company began making motorbikes in 1899 but production only lasted intil 1906. In 1919 it resumed at Nottingham and in the 1920s Raleigh became a famous marque boosted by the success of its racing team. However, this was short-lived and production ended in 1933.

In the beginning of the 20th century Raleigh's main business was in the cycle trade. Company founder Frank Bowden was a firm believer in variable gear systems and from the end of 1902 the Raleigh Cycle company put the Sturmey-Archer cycle hub gear on the market. There was some motorcycle production between 1899 and 1906, but only after the first world war some serious thought was given again to motorcycle production. In the early twenties a 699 cc flat twin was produced; from 1922 mostly single cylinder side valve singles were put on the market and these economical, well made machines proved to be great sellers. In 1925 the first OHV Raleigh was brought out: the Raleigh engineers had designed an overhead valve top end for their outside flywheel 2 ¾ engine. The Motor Cycle tested such a model in march 1925 and found it handled well, went well (62 mph) and was free from unpleasant vibration.

Bike Image Description
Raleigh Forecar 1904 Rayleigh Forecar
1922 Raleigh Twin 1922 Raleigh Twin
1923 Raleigh 1923 Raleigh 350cc, 2.75 HP. Single-cylinder side valve engine, chain-cum belt drive, Sturmey-Archer gearbox with hand change lever, girder forks, flat tank, luggage grid.
1924 Raleigh 350cc
Raleigh 350

Raleigh motorcycles earned an enviable reputation for reliability and quality during the 1920's, reinforcing the public perception with successes in reliability trials.

Image provided by

1925 Raleigh 225 Raleigh 225  
1925 Raleigh 2 Sports, 350cc 1925 Raleigh 2 Sports, 350cc The 1925 Raleigh Model 2 Sports offered here, features a large open flywheel, high cam side-valve sports engine, magneto- ignition and belt drive via a 3 speed Sturmey Archer gearbox.
1926 Raleigh 6 Sports, 350cc 1926 Raleigh 6 Sports, 350cc
1927 Team Raleigh  
1928 Raleigh 250cc
Raleigh 250

The Nottingham based Raleigh concern were active in long distance trials during the 1920's with their products earning a fine reputation for reliability and robustness which assisted their sales. This attractive little side valve single is typical of their product range. Raleigh was one of the first manufacturers to adopt a saddle tank, setting their machines apart from their rivals with fresh, modern styling.

Image provided by

1929 Raleigh Model 25 Raleigh Model 25 350 ohv twin port.
1930 Raleigh MO 1930 Raleigh MO sv 300cc.
1931 Raleigh MO31 Raleigh MO31 298cc, 3bhp.
1932 Raleigh onbekend, 600cc 1932 Raleigh onbekend, 600cc
1935 Raleigh Karryall 1935 Raleigh Karryall 750cc. One of the last vans built in Notingham.
1959 Raleigh RM1C 1959 Raleigh RM1C

The Raleigh RM1 was one of only a few genuinely British-built machines in an era dominated by European competition. It was only produced for 2 years; most had no clutch, so were not successful sellers.

By 1960 Raleigh started importing the Motobecane Mobylette from France and subsequently sold it as the Raleigh.As the RM1 was Raleigh's first model, and so many of us grew up around later Raleigh and Mobylette mopeds, the RM1 has a special place in the hearts of British cyclemotor collectors and riders.

1959 Raleigh Moped RM1 1959 Raleigh Moped RM1

Despite such cunning marketing strategies, the Raleigh Moped - now known by collectors as the RM1 - was not a success in the extremely competitive new 49cc market. Though it was sturdily built, the Raleigh had no suspension, and no gearbox or clutch. The model was only made for 2 years, and in 1960 Raleigh imported and sold the French Mobylette as its replacement.

Interestingly, the Raleigh Moped RM1 - a British-built machine sold at a time when the 49cc market was dominated by foreign competition - had another claim to fame - because the engine of the RM1 is actually derived from the Minimotor!

1962 Raleigh Roma Scooter, 78cc 1962 Raleigh Roma Scooter, 78cc
1965 Raleigh Runabout 1965 Raleigh Runabout
1966 Raleigh Automatic 1966 Raleigh Automatic
1967 Raleigh Wisp 1967 Raleigh Wisp Raleigh Wisp Gallery
1968 Raleigh Runabout 1968 Raleigh Runabout
1969 Raleigh Runabout Moped 1969 Raleigh Runabout Moped
1969 Raleigh RM9 Raleigh RM9
1970 Raleigh Runabout RM6 Moped 1970 Raleigh Runabout RM6 Moped

Please e-mail the webmaster if you have a picture worth adding to our database, e-mail: