IN its post-war re-entry into the motor cycle field, the Raleigh Cycle Co., Ltd., of Nottingham, in offering the now well-known flat twin spring frame machine, made a special appeal to those who prefer the luxury type of mount.
The large resources of this concern are now being directed to that market which demands the utility machine, and at this year's Olympia Show will be staged several examples of new single-cylinder Raleighs of 2¾ h.p. and 3 h.p.
Superb quality, sound design, excellent finish, and a truly competitive price will be features of the new machine, and after an inspection of the preliminary model we can state that these features are no mere talking points.
A Workmanlike Power Unit.
A particularly compact and sturdy appearance characterised the engine, which has an exceedingly neat and clean exterior, an ideal not always attained when an outside flywheel is used; no doubt this admirable quality is the result of mounting the flywheel close up to the crank case and taking the drive from the outside, in which location it is much easier to employ chain cases.
Plain bearings are used throughout the engine, there being nothing experimental or untried in the construction. The cylinder is an extremely heavy casting, having very large fins in the neighbourhood of the exhaust port : the exhaust valve cap also is formed with radiating fins. Standard lines are also followed in the timing gear, which has external cams and adjustable tappets operated by rockers. The exhaust valve lifter is of the external type, and is carried on a plate which locks the tappet guides.
Standard models will be equipped with the Sturmey-Archer two-speed gear with clutch and kick-starter and chain and belt drive. The primary chain is of ½ in. pitch x ¼in. width, and is enclosed, as beforehand. As an extra, a new type of Sturmey three-speed gear box may be had in lieu of the two-speeder. One point making for neatness is the mounting of the gear lever bracket on an extension of the off side engine plate instead of clipping it to the saddle tube, as is usually done. The final drive belt is 7/8 in.
The specification of the rest of the machine may be dealt with briefly. The wheels, which carry 26x2¼in. tyres, run on large hubs, which are built up from tubing and pressed flanges. The mud-guards are wide, and have ample clearance, so that oversize tyres may be fitted if desired. Brampton Biflex forks, made under licence by the Raleigh Co., are used; and the frame, which is of extremely stout construction, has round tubes throughout, and gives a low saddle position, owing to the fact that the top tube slopes directly towards the saddle, and has a downward curve as it approaches the saddle lug.
Cleanliness of Outline.
The detail work throughout the machine is excellent, and the design is very symmetrical. Cleanliness of outline is obtained by concealing the control wires in the handle-bars,, into and out of which they pass through special brazed-on lugs, and also by fitting a large tool case in the saddle tube instead of using the more conventional pannier bags on the carrier.
One detail worthy of note is the slight downward slope of the magneto platform. This is not accidental, as might be supposed, but is done in order to allow any of the popular combined ignition and lighting units, such as the Maglita, to be fitted.
In addition to the standard model equipped with upturned handle-bars and aluminium footplates, there will be offered also a sports model with semi-T.T. bars and footrests. Both models come within the 200 lb. taxation limit. Features common to both are the 1¾ gallon petrol tank, finished in the usual Raleigh colours (black with red and gold lining), and the heel-operated brake working in the V of the belt drum. A handle-bar-operated rim brake is used on the front wheel, but this will be substituted eventually for one of the dummy belt rim type.
Although mainly intended as a serviceable solo machine, the 71x88 mm. engine (350 c.c.) would no doubt pull a double load with ease, and it is more than probable that a further model, having a larger bore and capacity of about 400 c.c, will be staged at Olympia with a light sidecar.
The Motor Cycle, September 22nd 1921. p358.
N.B. Text is not contiguous in original publication.