1901 Using an imported Schwan
engine, the first motorcycle was built. It was belt driven and mounted
over the front wheel.
A much better and stronger machine, with a 3hp engine set vertically ahead
of the pedals, then made an appearance. G.
P. Mills was soon to set a record on the Land's End to John O'Groats
run and this gave a boost to the firm's reputation. Although it took fifty-one
hours, the engine performed faultlessly.
1903 Introduced the Raleighette, a belt-driven three-wheel motorcycle
with the driver in the back and a wicker seat for the passenger, placed
between the two front wheels. Due to financial losses the production only
lasted until 1908.
1905 There had been a downturn in the trade generally and Raleigh began
to advertise their machines at a considerably discounted price.
1906 Trade had become very poor so the company turned its attention to
the production of bicycles until after the Great War.
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices see the 1917 Red Book
1920 They returned to the motorcycle market with a brand new flat-twin
model. This had the engine fitted in line with the frame.
1922 Two conventional singles were added to the lists, with either two
or three speeds and belt final-drive.
1924 The reliability of the marque was demonstrated by Hugh Gibson who rode a combination round the British coast, while Marjorie Cottle reversed the direction on a solo.
"The latest addition to the Raleigh range of motor cycles is a new 21 h.p. overhead-valve model, which has been designed essentially for speed work. It has a long stroke engine, is equipped with roller bearings in both big ends and. shaft bearings, has an all-drive chain drive and, with its low riding position and ease of control, should be an ideal machine for those who require speed as well as reliability. A new method of lubrication has been patented by the Raleigh Co. It combines the advantages of both the hand pump and mechanical systems, and is extremely simple. One oil pipe only connects the tank to the crank case, and either system can be used independently of the other. There is a hand pump on the tank which is connected by a feed pipe to the inlet of the mechanical pump. A byepass allows the passage of the oil to the crank, when the hand pump is used."
"Raleigh is another firm which has seriously entered the sports field, and the fast rider will be attracted by the super-sports models 26 S.S. and 23. The 348 c.c. model has improved frame, twin petrol tanks, new forks and adjustable bars. The 498 c.c. o.h.v. model 23, has a two port engine with enclosed push rods and valve gear."
1933 The production of motorcycles stopped once again and the company returned
to manufacturing bicycles. This trend lasted for many years.
1958 Late that year came the appearance of a moped using a 49cc Sturmey-Archer
engine made by BSA.
1960 A complete turn-about saw a replacement of their own moped by a model
built under licence from Motobecane and a copy of the French Mobylette.
Throughout the 1960s a variety of models came and went - all using the
same basic engine and transmission. The only true variation was the Wisp,
which had been turned into a moped from a small-wheeled bicycle.
1971 By now, most models had gone; production was faltering, and although
there was a trickle of mopeds and scooters - some built in Italy - the
market had seriously declined. As a result, the company returned to the
production of bicycles.