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Raynal Classic Bikes

Assembled at 41 to 43 Fleet Street in Birmingham the Raynal was the quintessential English lightweight motor cycle of the period being constructed by a virtually unknown company from bought-in parts including, in the case of the example below, a Mk. 1V 269cc Villiers 2-stroke engine fitted with a Senspray carburettor. The Mk. 1V was the first Villiers engine to have the luxury of an enclosed flywheel with a (patented) built-in magneto ignition system. Drive was by chain-cum-belt through a 2-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox and clutch. Being sprung both vertically and horizontally the front fork was of a more expensive type than normally employed on this class of machine and made for reasonable comfort on the poor roads of the time. Unlike the very similar but better-known Sparkbrook, made by a long-established bicycle manufacturer, Raynal appear to have made just this one model (and then only in very limited numbers), from around 1914 to 1922.

One may search contemporary motorcycle magazines and lists of exhibitors at exhibitions, but nowhere can any mention of Raynal be found, their publicity efforts being as low-key as their bikes.  However, someone must have had an affection for the marque (possibly A.B. Jackson) for in 1937 the name was revived for use on a utilitarian, pedal-assisted auto-cycle. This model joined Cyc-Auto and Excelsior as Britain's only manufactures of this vehicle type during the 1930s. After around 8000 Raynals had been produced a halt was finally called in 1951.

A.B.Jackson went on to produce his own 98cc Villiers-engined motorcycle, the ABJ, from 1949 to around 1954 - when the company reverted to being a bicycle manufacturer. Thanks to for providing this information.

Bike Image Description
Raynal Autocycle
Raynal Autocycle

The Raynal had been introduced during 1937 and became the archetypical autocycle with production continuing until 1950. This example is powered by a Villiers Junior engine and equipped with a large toolbox mounted on the right of the carrier and a full lighting kit. The machine is hand-painted with a black finish.

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1938 Raynal Autocycle Raynal Autocycle  
1938 Raynal Autocycle 98cc Villiers 1938 Raynal Autocycle 98cc Villiers

The Raynal was a popular and well-respected model in its day. With the outbreak of war so soon after its introduction, production was limited, so it is not often that a Raynal comes onto the market these days.

Raynal Auto Cycle - 1940
Raynal Auto Cycle - 1940 98cc
Raynal Auto Cycle Raynal Auto Cycle This is Raynal Auto powered by a Villiers 98cc JDL
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