Today in Motorcycle History

W. H. Raven and Co

Ray motorcycles were produced from 1922 to 1926 by W. H. Raven and Co of Nottingham.

  • 1922 The firm was already well known for pedal cycles when they introduced a novel 198cc sv miniature. It had its engine in-unit with a two-speed gear and clutch, chain final-drive and a flywheel magneto.

    1924 The specification now included a kickstarter.

    1925 A further miniature called the T. S. Sports was introduced. This still had in-unit construction - a 172cc Villiers-Jardine three-speed two-stroke unit. The 198cc machine became known as the Ray Super Lightweight.

    1926 The above model continued alone and kept its styling for that year, at the end of which production came to a close.

The Olympia Show 1922.

RAY. (16.)

A Refined Miniature.

2 H.P. Model.

60x70 mm. (193 c.c): single cyl. four-stroke; side valves; automatic lubrication; Amac carburetter; flywheel mag. 2-sp. gear; clutch, no kick-starter; gear and chain drive; 24x2¼in. tyres. Price, £40 19s.

W. H. Raven and Co., Ltd.. 223, Castle Boulevard, Nottingham.

Weighing 130 lb. and with a saddle height of only 24in., the Ray is a perfect miniature without the somewhat crude specification of the average machine in its class.

It has an engine and gear unit and metal plate clutch, all running in oil from the crank case sump. Final drive is by½ x 0.205in. chain, also lubricated by oil from the crank case.

Accessibility has been the aim of the designer. Timing gear, cylinder, gears, and clutch may all be removed in a few minutes, leaving the crank case in situ in the loop frame. Plain bearings are employed in the engine - white metal for the big end - but the gear main shaft runs in ball races.

Quite a novelty is the use of a fly-wheel magneto, which, of course, gives one useless spark with each complete cycle. A plain electric head lamp supplied direct from a lighting coil in the magneto costs 30s. extra, and a more elaborate lighting set, including a battery, £4 2s. 6d.

The rear brake is of the external contracting type, provided with a neat spring locking wing nut for adjustment. 175 m.p.g. fuel consumption and a rather remarkable road performance are claimed for this thoroughly workmanlike little solo machine.

1922 Olympia Show
The Motor Cycle, November 30th, 1922. Page 832

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle.

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