Raleigh Chopper: The definitive history and collectors' guide

Raleigh Chopper Mk1, 1970
The Raleigh Chopper Mk1, 1970 model

The Raleigh Chopper brought the style of Easy Rider to the backstreets of Britain in the 1970s. It took the UK youth bike market by storm and saved Raleigh from financial disaster.

The Chopper was a different bike for young people and it was a first choice as a Christmas present, but experts had safety concerns. The 1980s' BMX craze killed it off.

Origins

The precursor to the Raleigh Chopper and the reason for its existence was the Schwinn Stingray.

Schwinn Sting-Ray Deluxe, 1964
Schwinn Sting-Ray, 1964. This bike was the inspiration for the Raleigh Chopper Image by Nels Olsen licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (cropped with slight rotation).

The Schwinn Stingray came about because of a craze for customising bikes. Kids in California were taking bicycles made for younger children and turning them into something cool. They fitted high rise handlebars and banana seats bought from obsolete stock. Some fitted suspension forks and changed the front wheels for smaller ones.

Al Fritz, a Schwinn executive, noticed the trend. He persuaded the Schwinn bosses to introduce their own version called the Sting-Ray. It went on sale in 1963. [1]

The Sting-Ray had the same high rise handle bars and a banana seat. After a slow start, the Schwinn Sting-Ray became a best seller.

Raleigh wanted a piece of this market. They introduced two models, the Rodeo and the Fireball, which looked like Sting-Ray clones. They flopped.

What happened next is not clear.

Both Raleigh's Chief Designer, Alan Oakley, who sadly passed away in 2012 and Ogle's former Managing Director, Tom Karen, have claimed to be the Chopper's designer.

Dr Tom Karen says that Raleigh approached Ogle in 1968 to help them come up with a design to rival the Schwinn bike that was better than their first attempt, the Raleigh Rodeo. Tom Karen showed his original sketches, which look remarkably like the final design, to the Daily Mail in May 2014 after fishing them out of his garage. [2]

Alan Oakley always maintained he sketched out the design for the Chopper on a flight back from the USA in 1967 after researching into the American teenage market. He sketched out the design for the Chopper on an airmail envelope on his way back.

Tom Karen has said that Oakley played a part in the engineering needed to get the Chopper to market, but that the original idea was his.

Whatever the truth, the Chopper was a huge hit. It took the Sting-Ray concept and improved on it. The Sting-Ray might have been a great bike for the 60s. The Chopper with its wedge shaped frame was the ideal look for the 70s.

Neither bike was good design in terms of practicality. They don't offer any improved performance or ease of use over a conventional bike or one of the small wheel bikes such as Raleigh's own RSW or the Moulton, which were redefining cycling in the 1960s.

What the Raleigh Chopper did was to take some features from adult products, cars and motorbikes, and replicate them on a product designed for children. From the car, there was something that looked like an automatic gear shift. From some of the coolest motorbikes came the Hi-Rise handlebars, the padded rear seat and the sissy bar. These features made the Chopper irrestiable to boys who wanted to be grown up. At the same time, it was a product adults couldn't themselves have.

The Chopper design led to excellent sales results for Raleigh. So commercially the design was a great success.

Raleigh Chopper Mk1

The Raleigh Chopper Mk1 launched in 1969 in the USA and in 1970 in the UK.

In the UK the Chopper launched as 'The Hot One' alongside two new adult small wheel bikes: the RSW MkIII, 'The Dolly One' and the Moulton MkIII, 'The Smooth One'.[3]

Like some versions of the Schwinn Sting-Ray, the Chopper had 16 inch front wheels and 20 inch back wheels. The seat was large and padded.

The standard model had a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub controlled by a gear lever on the cross bar. It had a stand to prop it up with, like a motor bike.

Raleigh Chopper Mk2 saddle

In the US market the Chopper was more evolution than revolution. In the UK market it was something new. On both sides of the Atlantic this style of bike was known as a Hi-Riser.

The movie Easy Rider premiered in 1969. In the film, Peter Fonda and Denis Hopper cruise around America on stripped down Chopper motorbikes. The film gave the Raleigh Chopper instant cool.

In 1971 Raleigh saw a 55% increase in cycle sales due to the Chopper. The cycle maker went through lean times in the 1950s and 1960s as sales of adult bikes slumped. With rising affluence, more people bought cars, motorbikes and scooters. The traditional push bike had a down market image.

Raleigh charged a premium for the Chopper over the price of a conventional children's bike. In 1970 it cost £34 19s (£360 in today's money). The Mk1 Chopper was also available with an extra high backrest for £2 more.

Read more: How much did a Raleigh Chopper cost in the 1970s?

The Chopper was so popular in 1970 that retailers had to persuade adults it was not a suitable bike for them. A Raleigh advert from 1970 suggested that grown-ups should try the Raleigh Moulton folding bike (Raleigh had bought Moulton) or the RSW, another small wheeled bike.

The Chopper gave the kids something different from an adult bike, something of their own. The Raleigh Chopper brought the style of Easy Rider to UK streets and to boys in the ten to fourteen age group.

The Chopper was joined in 1972 by a bike for younger children, the Tomahawk. But by then the safety record of the Chopper was being questioned. An Italian competitor, the Morando Easy Rider Bike, was withdrawn from sale due to safety concerns. Its UK distributors, the Barclay Group (Mobo, Chad Valley and Tri-ang), recalled models already sold.

Mk1 variants

1969 model year

The Chopper first featured in Raleigh's 1969 catalogue in the USA. There were four different versions with different gears, brakes and colour choices.

ModelDescriptonDetailsColours
DL500CSTSingle speed with back pedal Coaster brakeYellow, red, green
DL510AW 3 speedRear caliper brakeYellow, orange, red, black, blue
DL520TCW 3 speed3 speed hub and Coaster brakeYellow, blue, green
DL5303 + 2 5 speedTwin shift gear leverYellow, orange, green, black

DL500 and DL520 had a Sturmey Archer Coaster hub brake. The other two had rear caliper brakes. The 3 + 2 twin shift was also called a 'Split T Dual Control'.

1970 model year

Raleigh Chopper Mk1 10 speed

The Chopper changed for the 1970 model year in the USA. They strengthened the frame and added suspension springs to the rear to make the ride more comfortable.

There were two new models featuring Huret derailleur gears, a 5 speed and a 10 speed. There were also two models for girls added to the line up. The girl's bikes didn't have the cross bar.

ModelDetailsColours
Derailleur 10 speedPadded oversized sissy bar includedBlack, blue, orange
Derailleur 10 speedPadded oversized sissy bar includedYellow, orange, green, black, blue
TCW 3 Speed (boys)3 speed hubBlack, blue, orange, yellow
TCW 3 Speed (girls)Stem shifter (handlebar position)Blue or orange with black or white seat
AW 3 Speed (boys)Back pedal brakeBlack, blue, orange
AW 3 Speed (girls)Stem shifter, back pedal brakeBlue or orange
CST (boys)Single speed with back pedal Coaster brakeBlue or orange
CST (girls)Single speed with back pedal Coaster brakeBlue or orange

The 10 speed is the most highly prized of all Raleigh Choppers.

If you want one today, a perfect example will cost in the region of £2000.

Chopper Mk1 - UK market models

The Chopper was launched in the UK for the 1970 model year. The original colours were Golden Yellow, Flamboyant Green and Brilliant Orange.

In 1971 the colours were Brilliant Orange and Horizon Blue. There was also a new High Backrest model, which had a very tall backreset with extra padding. It also had its own unique colour, Mustard Yellow.

The Raleigh Chopper's car style gear leaver (Mk2 version)

Raleigh Chopper Mk2

A British Medical Journal report claimed that the high handle bars made steering unsafe. Others claimed that it was possible for two children to ride on one Chopper. Safety concerns prompted a revision to the basic design in 1972, with the Chopper Mk 2 having a shorter seat. Raleigh also made changes to the gear leaver style and handle bars. Raleigh had to defend the safety of the Chopper when questions were raised in Parliament.

Raleigh assured a safety seal of approval by geting RoSPA to test the Mk2.

The Chopper Mk 2, or Chopper II as Raleigh called it, got new colour schemes, Infra Red and Ultra Violet. In 1976 Raleigh added two new colours, Space Blue and Quicksilver.

The Chopper was a bike that put style before practicality. In the early years of the 1970s it might have been every boy's dream, but volunteers for a Which? report in 1972 found the Chopper slow and hard work. Most would have preferred a racing bike.

In spite of the style over substance approach, the Chopper won a place in the Council of Industrial Design (COID)'s Design Index.

Raleigh launched a new bike for the 9-14 age group in 1976, the Grifter. It had Sturmey Archer 3-speed gears, two sixteen inch wheels and off-road style studded tyres.

The last version of the Chopper was given a final makeover for the 80s. To fit in with the new desire for off road bikes and the coming BMX craze, it had a new studded rear tyre and new brakes. It was finished in 'Jet Black' and had more of an 80s' rather than 70s' feel to it. However, there was no hiding the original design. This was the last year Raleigh made the Chopper.

The Tomahawk also soldiered on to 1981. The model version was in 'Hot Red'.

Mk2 variants

These are UK market variants of the Mk2 Chopper:

Raliegh Chopper Mk2 GT Sprint (1972)

GT Sprint 1972-73

The GT Sprint was a Chopper with drop handle bars. It was available in two colours: flamboyant green (left) or fire bronze.

The Sprint had different tyres, a 'racing saddle' and a modified frame, but only 3 speeds.

It did not sell well. In 1973 Halfords offered the Chopper GT Sprint for £25.95, when a standard Chopper Mk2 cost £33.45.

The Chopper GT Sprint is a rarity today. Of course that makes it all the more desirable and a top notch one will now cost from around £1000 to £1500.

Raleigh Chopper Mk2 5 Speed, 1976

Raleigh Chopper 5 1972-1976

The Raleigh Chopper 5 had a new gear change based on the classic racing bike derailleur, but with the Chopper style gear shift.

Strangely, it was only available in pink, a colour guaranteed not to appeal to boys in the 1970s. The Raleigh brochure called this 'Sharp Pink'. It also had red and yellow lettering.

Like the Sprint, it did not sell well and was quietly dropped in 1976.

It is, of course, highly collectable today.  Expect to pay around £1000 for a good one.

Raleigh Chopper Silver Jubilee Speical Edition, 1977

Special Edition 1976-1977

To celebrate 750,000 Chopper sales Raleigh released the Chopper Special Edition or Chopper SE in 1976.

It had diecast alloy wheels and a rear hub brake. The colour scheme was silver with black and chrome detail transfers.

The silver paint job fitted in with Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee in 1977. Although the Raleigh brochure does not mention this.

It was not a great seller and is also a rare bike today. You will need to spend around £1500 for one of these.

Raleigh Chopper Mk3

Raleigh Chopper Mk3

Raleigh brought the Chopper back in April 2004. They launched the Raleigh Chopper Mk3. Just like the original, it was a kids' bike, not an adults' bike.

The Raleigh Chopper Mk3 had a lightweight alloy frame. The gear shift was moved to the handlebars to comply with modern safety regulations. The seat was in two parts. Much of the original style remained.

The Mk3 originally came in the 1970s' colour Infra Red. But purple, blue and black were soon added.

It sold for £199.99 at Halfords.

In 2015, personal trainer, Dave Sims rode the 2077 miles of the Tour de France route of that year on a Raleigh Chopper Mk3, which was only slightly modified. He wanted to prove that you did not need an expensive bike to do the Tour and he raised money for the charity, Help for Heroes.[4]

Production of the Chopper finally ended in 2018.

Competitors to the Raleigh Chopper

The success of the Chopper encouraged other manufacturers to bring out their own Hi-Riser bicycles. The following models were also available in the UK in 1972:

Source: 'Bicycles for older children' published by the Consumers' Association in Which? February 1972

At that time (1972) a Raleigh Chopper cost £35.60. A conventional children's bike, such as a Raleigh Rebel, cost £26.70.

What did children think of the Raleigh Chopper?

In 1972 Which? conducted a test of children's bicycles. They included a selection of Hi-Riser bikes, including the Raleigh Chopper, as well as conventional lage wheel racing and touring bikes and modern (for the 1970s) small wheel bikes.

Only the boys were asked to rate the Hi-Risers. They found this type of bike was comfortable and stylish, but they were difficult to ride, slow and hard work, particularly going up hills. Most boys in the survey preferred conventional racing bikes to the Hi-Risers. [5]

Although there were safety concerns around the Chopper, particularly the MkI, Which? found this type of bike was safe to ride, if ridden sensibly. Their testers didn't like the Hi-Risers generally, but if you had to have one they recommended the most expensive, the Unity Cycles Dragster.

A chopper for young children

Raleigh made several Chopper-like bikes for younger children.

Budgie

The Budgie was a scaled down Chopper lookalike for very small children. The brochures often showed them with stabilisers suggesting it was a child's first two wheeled bike.

The Budgie was first advertised in 1976 and continued until at least 1981.

Tomahawk

The Tomahawk came along in 1971.

It was for children in the six to nine age group. It looked like a mini version of the Chopper.

The Tomahawk had an 11 inch front wheel and a 16 inch rear wheel. It had the same Hi-Rise handle bars and padded saddle as the Chopper. But it did not have the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. There was no gear stick on the cross bar. A plastic plate looking like the one on the Chopper took the space where the gear stick would have been.

It was for children with inside leg measurements of 21 inches to 25 inches. The colour choices were Infra Red or Fuschia (pink).

By 1981 the Tomahawk had the Formula 3's cut down saddle (see below) and was only available in 'Hot Red'.

Chipper

The Chipper was available from 1971.

The Chipper was a scaled down Chopper with a removable cross bar. Raleigh designed it to be suitable for boys or girls. Although they did show older girls riding the original Chopper in their publicity.

The removable cross bar meant that the Chipper was not adjustable. It was only suitable for children with a 21 inch inside leg.

It had the Hi-Rise handlebars and the banana saddle, but lacked the Chopper's arrow shaped frame. In looks it harked back to earlier Hi-Riser bikes.

The Chipper was available in flame (red), orange or purple.

Formular 3

The Formnula 3 was a deluxe version of the Tomahawk. It came along around 1976. It had new diecast wheels and a new cut down Chopper style saddle without the high back. It also had a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. Unlike the Chopper, the Formula 3's gear change was in the normal position on the handlebars.

Fake Choppers

Towards the end of the 1970s and into the early 1980s a number of Taiwan-made fake Raleigh Choppers appeared in the UK. Raleigh had found examples all over the world of bikes sold under names such as 'Choper', 'Cropper', 'Clopper' and 'Rally Chopper'. [6]

There was still a problem in 1981, when a batch of fake Choppers were found with Nottingham spelt wrong.[7] The badge said 'Chopper Nottinghan'.

Raleigh Choppers on TV

In an episode of The Good Life, 'I Talk to the Trees' broadcast in 1976, Tom and Barbara Good are going through Surbiton on their cart powered by a rotary cultivator. They are persued by a group of children playing Cowboys and Indians. One of the children is riding a Raleigh Chopper. (perhaps a Tomahawk might have been a better choice!)

Raleigh Chopper values

The Chopper Mk 1 is worth a little more than the Mk2. The Mk1 is rare and more desirable. If you want a good, usable Chopper, look for a Mk2 in presentable, but not perfect condition. You should be able to find one for around £400. Perfect examples of both models are worth more than double this price.

Chopper Mk1

Buy on eBay.

Chopper Mk2

Buy on eBay.

Chopper Mk3 (2004 reproduction model)

After the Mk3 ceased production in 2018, values of mint examples in original packaging have soared.

Mk3s can be found in their original packaging and will fetch upwards of £300.

Buy on eBay.

How to tell a Mk1 from a Mk2 Chopper

Gear lever

The most obvious difference is the gear lever. See the pictures below:

Raleigh Chopper Mk1 gear lever
Raleigh Chopper Mk1 gear lever
Raleigh Chopper Mk2 gear lever
Raleigh Chopper Mk2 gear lever

Rear stays

The most significant difference is the frame. The Mk2 had an improved frame designed to address safety concerns. The obvious way to tell which is which is to look at the rear stays. On the Mk1, they are straight. They are curved on the Mk2. See below:

Raleigh Chopper Mk1 rear stay
Raleigh Chopper Mk1 rear stay
Raleigh Chopper Mk2 rear stay
Raleigh Chopper Mk2 rear stay

Saddle

The Mk2 also had a shorter saddle. The change to the shape of the rear stays allowed a shorter saddle. Look at the pictures below. You can see that the Mk1 saddle goes further back.

Raleigh Chopper Mk1 saddle
Raleigh Chopper Mk1 saddle
Raleigh Chopper Mk2 saddle
Raleigh Chopper Mk2 saddle

Colours

The Mk1 and Mk2 Choppers had completely different colour schemes:

Mk1: Golden Yellow (1969-71), Flamboyant Green (1969-71), Brilliant Orange (1969-72), Horizon Blue (1971-72) or Mustard Yellow (High Backrest model - 1971-72)

Mk2: Infra Red (1972 onwards), Ultra Violet (1972 onwards), Space Blue (1976 onwards), Quicksilver (1976 onwards), Jet Black (c1981)

Raleigh Chopper in South Africa

Raleigh had a factory in South Africa. The Raleigh and TI subsidiaries merged in South Africa in 1959, before the two companies merged in the UK.

Raleigh made similar bikes to those made in the UK, including the Chopper. Those made in South Africa have a badge that says 'Raleigh Springs South Africa'. They also used some different colours from those available in the UK.

More on the Raleigh Chopper

See the Raleigh Chopper Owners' Club and Raleigh Chopper on Wikipedia.

Look for

References

[1] The Moulton Bicycle: A History of the Innovative Compact Design by Bruce D. Epperson, published MacFarland, 2018, pages 106-8

[2] The Raleigh Chopper's beginnings revealed: Early design sketches show the bike's iconic features before its 1969 debut by Sarah Griffiths, published in the Daily Mail online, 9 May 2014

[3] The F-frame Moultons by Tony Hadland, published by Lit, 2014 page 49

[4] This man rode the Tour de France route on a Raleigh Chopper, published in the Daily Telegraph, 31 Jul 2015

[5] 'Bicycles for older children' published by the Consumers' Association in Which? February 1972 pages 40-41

[6] 'Taiwan imitation goods cost UK firms millions' by Nick Davies, published in The Guardian, 6 December 1979, page 2

[7] 'Watch out for these toy fakes' by Len Collis, published in The Daily Express, 6 May 1981, page 24.

Your comments on the Raleigh Chopper

"I had a Chopper bike. I used it from the age of ten to fourteen. It was fantastic, red colour, the ease of lowrider seat. The banana seat was very comfortable and the gear position was attractive.

My Difficulties were: whobbles, wheelies were not uncommon, hard to run or make long distances with it." Chopper Lowerider

"i had a 'Raleigh chipper' (it was the smaller brother of the chopper) my dad brought back from the dump and restored it, but nether fixed the broken front seat bracket, so the whole seat used to tilt upwards exposing the stem, once i was out over the park on it, stood up to give it fast burst of accelaration and sat back down, you can guess the rest! it was about a week before i was able to ride it again! thanks dad." robert

"I rode a yellow Raleigh chopper from the mid-seventies right up into the mid-eighties and came off it most memorably as it wobbled out of control while I was freewheeling down a hill. I lost half an eyebrow and bear the scar to this day. Another time I almost castrated myself on the famously malpositioned gear lever. Not long after that I got a racer but missed the upright sitting position and the comfort of the wide saddle with its sturdy suspension." Chopper cropper

"hi ive just got one im having dowts on weather its a mk1 or mk2 its got gear solector in between your legs witch is the T bar shaped and the top of the seat back grab rail is curved squair not like a arch if you can help please contact me thanks damo" damion milner

Raleigh Chopper Mk 1 gear stick (Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0, author:Gerry Lauzon, imaged cropped to show gear lever only)

Hi Damo, It sounds like a Mk2 to me. The Mark 1 gear stick is left, the Mk2 is as illustrated above. Retrowow

"eek, i have vivid memories about the 'purple raleigh chopper' and that 't' bar geat changer....it almost turned me into a gelding... after one particular top spec crash....lol great days" tim

"I have just discovered that my mk2 Raleigh Chopper is actually a Mk1. However, it has mk2 gears and pedals. My parents bought it second hand for me 29 years ago. We think it is dated 1970 from the crank. Anybody got any ideas why it would have the wrong gear?? Thanks!" Lor

"I am now 49 years of age and in the 1970s had an original chopper bike, I still remember it to this day as it was such a sturdy and fun bike to ride. probably the best bike I have ever owned . I am looking to buy an original chopper in good condition soon if I can find one and keep it for prosperity." kevin hull



"hi all. i have a mk2 chopper but the seat bracket has rusted off the bottom of the seat. i have a spare mki seat. will this fit on my bike? does anybody out therte know how to repair mine? thanks all." adrian gibbs 04/07/2010

"I am restoring my childhood Raleigh Chopper that I got in 1973, at least I think it is Raleigh? It was given to me in Mexico. Does anyone know why there isn't a frame serial #, no speeds and such a short seat, maybe it is not a Raleigh?" Edgar 06/07/2010

"I'm looking for a mk2 to restore for a special project.I don't care what condition it's in as it's going to be totally restored for a temporary shop display.
The rustier and cheaper the better,I'm in Southampton but will pick it up or arrange couriers wherever you are.
Anything considered." Scott 27/01/2011

"can you still buy an original wembley trophy football,prefrebly orange.also which company made the originals." neil mitchell 14/02/2011

"i remember coming down stairs on christmas morning in the seventies to find my shiny new chopper mk2 it was like owning a rolls royce" kev barlow 24/02/2011

"The Raleigh Chopper was not launched in the UK. It made it's debut at American trade shows Jan 69. It was available for purchase June 69 in North America & possibly Australia & or South Africa. It wasn't till late 1970 when the UK got it's first Choppers." Prechopper 01/04/2011

"Just to reply to Scotts request (27.1.11). Its more than likely to late now but I do have a red mk 2 chopper in need of a full restoration.Its something I always wanted to do because as a kid we couldnt afford one.It cost me around 150 when a got it but then my health deteriated and now Im not able.If I got near my money back I would be content. - Michael 23.04.11" Michael McGoldrick 23/04/2011

"The Raleigh Chopper was NOT launched in the UK 1969. It was first introduced at American trade shows in January 1969 & first shipments to North American dealers in June 1969. It is introduced in the UK in late 1970." Prechopper 02/05/2011

"Hi, Im in the process of buying a mk3 chopper, it's in very good condition. but has the front mudguard missing.
I haven't been able to find a mk3 mudguard anywhere, will a mk2 mudguard fit onto it?

Also would I be able to fit lights from the mk1 and the raleigh origianl badge from an mk1 to my mk3?
Thanks." Bowiegirl13 11/05/2011

"also,
could i fit the original seat from an mk1 or mk2 onto the mk3 ?" Bowiegirl13 11/05/2011

"i have a mk1 chopper i have had since new its in my parents basement.. i respayed cortina 1600e colur in the 70s..its all there i cant find the chain gard..the orignal coluor is orange with the round back chrome seat.. the round gear nob is missing.how much do these sell for in this state not working.." martin 06/06/2011

"Ive just got a red mk3 chopper and need a bit of touch up paint. Can anyone tell me the correct paint to buy. Cheers." David Turver 26/08/2011

"Hi, I have a 70's chopper im about to restore. Does anyone know if the parts from a Mk3 (2004) model are the same as the 70's models, ie the chrome mud guards, back parcel tray?" Len 06/01/2012

"Does anyone know if parts from a chopper MK3 will fit on a MK1 or MK2 ? Things like the mud guards and the rear parcel tray." Len 07/01/2012

"I have just converted my RALEIGH CHOPPER to a 36volt electric bike and it runs very well with its Li-ion Battery,I am really pleased with this 70s icon..Jeff in Preston Lancs England.." jeff 04/03/2012

"Hello I have the same chopper as the top picture I need a new transmission. Case and a few other things . How much I am located in australia" Todd wakley 04/04/2012

"nedd help dating my chopper i found date stamp under strumley acher logo not off to side year first 69 6 also framenumber was 0526515 anyone with info?" jeff 11/04/2012

"Could anyone put a rough value on my Mk1 chopper? Looking to sell ... needs refurbed. 1970 crank. 30 years ago it was given to me second hand - it was painted and had gear changed from mk1 to mk2. Seat was also recovered at the time." Jessie 09/05/2012

"Hi,
Rough restoration projects are selling on eBay for £100+. It depends a lot on condition of course.

Mint examples sell for £500+.

best regards" Steve 09/05/2012

"anyone want to buy a mk2 for restoring complete not to bad" john 12/05/2012

"Hi,

My son is looking to sell his 2004 Limited Edition Chopper (red bike with yellow writing) - unfortunately we have misplaced the certificate due to several house moves. The bike is in relatively good condition (it has been in storage for some time) with only a couple of scratches on the paint work as it was well used. Please contact me for further details. Tyne and Wear area......" Suzy 31/05/2012

"Can anyone tell me anything about a similar bike to the raleigh chopper. It is a panther made by oneil but i cant find any info anywhere and ive just come into possession of one and want to restore it" paul rogers 30/07/2012

"have you had any luck finding anything more about panther bike paul, i use to have one when i was kid in the late 70's, wish i could find a photo of one to reminisce about,was a smart looking bike, black and chrome, first and only new bike i had as a kid, would be great to see a photo of one''" colin summerson 05/10/2012

"As a kid I recall someone on my estate having a Panther which was Black and like a Chopper, I remember it clearly because it was almost identical to my own Chopper-type bike called a Malborough Bronco. I've since found out was also known as a Vindec High Riser according to this place...Pic is exactly my old bike, same colour etc.

http://www.nemusclebikes.com/bc27.php" Mark 10/10/2012

"I am about to restore a Raleigh chopper mk2 and looking for wheels. Do you know from where I can get either a pair or the front??
I am new into this and searching for websites or forums that can help me build it.

Thanks.." Glafocs 21/01/2013

"HELP PLEASE ! i have bought a new chopper the mk 4 hot one i am buying a 1970 huret 40mph speedo but i am not sure how to fit the cable to the bike or where if any one knows please hepl
many thanks martin" martin d 08/02/2013

"hi am looking for a mk2 special edition m2 sprint and a mk2 5 speed thanks" keith 28/04/2013

"looking for chopper mk1 or mk2 in good condition can anyone help thanks ." jeff oneill 20/10/2013

"Hi,
Can anyone tell me if a mk1 headstem will fit a mk2 handle bar.
many thanks,
Glyn." glyn 01/01/2014

"I was born in 1963 and my bike was a bronco i got it in the 70s the head label said made in Austria both wheels same size only kid with one it was great would love picture of it can't see it anywere on the net" dave 02/01/2014

"I am in the middle of restoring a 1971 mk1 chopper. But im in need of set of pedals, front wheel and stickers. Tried local suppliers but none left" John 25/02/2014

"Hi I have an original 1971 mk1 yellow chopper - unused and still has it tags on! Original tyres and everything new! Because of its age does have a few bobbles on chrome and paint but in excellent condition for age. Anyone interested, email me for more details...
Just out of interest how much do you think it's worth Retrowow?! Have a clue from article above... Cheers Howard" Howard Burnett 29/06/2014

"Hi Howard,

It is going to be worth around £1000. Unused with tags would be, in my view better than restored, even if the restored bike looks better. However, blemishes will detract from the value unless they are minor.

I hope this helps. As with all valuations it is difficult to be more than approximate. If you are after insurance value I would probably put it at £1500.

So as always it depends..." Steven 30/06/2014

"Hi there,

I have an original chopper that I am looking to sell. I was handed it down by my dad and I'm not even sure if it's an MK1 or 2. How can I tell the difference so it know what price to advertise it as?

Any help will be appreciated

Thanks
Hannah" Hannah McNamara 07/08/2014

"Hi
I have a Mk1 complete which needs restoration.
Needs re-chroming and re-paint. I have new tyres and spokes for it.
Do you know anyone who would be able to do the restoration for me?" Kevin 26/11/2014

"hi I'm looking for a mk1 chooper in good condition must be original Plz ASAP cash waiting thanks" Jackie 26/11/2014

"Hi im selling a chopper mk2 floucesnt purple in near perfect condition im asking 500 pounds co" tony 02/12/2014

"Hi, im wanting to sell my mk3 chopper only ridden twice, there's pitting on the chrome,otherwise it's lovely. People are saying there valuable & daft prices on eBay. Ta" Lisa webb 18/12/2014

"Hi, I'm restoring a mk2 chopper purple limited edition and the stickers on mine are a bit worn so I was wandering where I could by new ones or old replacements" Jakob Lewis 09/02/2015

"Looking to renovate my Mk 2 Chopper in purple. Started doing it myself, but don't have the time or commitment. Want to see it in great condition again, so am looking to pay for it to be sorted. Frame needs serious-pitting and re-painting and the chrome (wheels included) need re-chroming. Any suggestions where in the South East I can go for this?" Jason Martin 16/02/2015

"Please could you help me I am looking for a place that will do up my mk1 chopper could you help me I want it taken back to factory condition" Bill sevier 18/03/2015

"Hi. I have a 1974 mk2 Chopper in red . It has been ridden a for about 5 miles since new then stored. It is 100% original & unrestored & is 99% mint condition. Still has original clean oil on chain and 1974 air in tyres. Any advice on value and best advice to sell it. Cheers Aaron." Aaron Phillips 17/08/2015

"It will be worth upwards of £1000." Steven 17/08/2015

"Can anybody tell me how many of the ben shermam limited edition mk3 chopper s were manufactured and is there any new old stock of this model available anywhere thanks.Also can you get replacement certificate for limited edition choppers any help would be appreciated" seanyboy 15/09/2015

"Will a rear mudguard from a my 3 fit a mk1 chopper ? Or where is best to buy a repro rear mudguard ??" Kennethandrewmaciver 11/10/2015

"Hi, whilst helping my dad clear out his garage we came across a 1977 silver jubilee Raleigh tomahawk, a blue grifter and a blue Raleigh bmx with yellow wheels......has anyone any idea who would be interested in these and if they are worth anything ????? All the bikes are in relative good condition.....thanks" Lee 22/10/2015

"Hi lee I would be interested in making you an offer many thanks Chris" Chris Carter 10/11/2015

"Hi Lee, I just came across your post re: chopper, grifter etc, did you sell them all? many thanks" Neill Butcher 08/01/2016

"have a bike here that is based on a chopper. it's a "mustang" by howard o'brien, coventry. can anyone tell me anything about this bike?" kev 25/01/2016

"I have just got a Mark 3 here in Spain, they are not common...here we used to have something similar called the Motoretta..I guess every country had their own versions..Can anyone please tell me what year the purple Mark 3 was released, as they seem to have changed colours over the years...thanks" Nik 05/02/2016

"Where's the best place to get my 1972 Raleigh Chopper restored to factory condition?" stewart mckenzie 09/05/2016

"Hello, I am considering buying a mk 3 Chopper (2010). But heard that earlier models were awful at going uphill... or travelling anywhere really. Please can you let me know if this applied to the mk 3 too? Thank you." Grace 23/07/2016

"My sister has a Raleigh Special Edition Chopper bike it does need restoring just looking about how she would sell this on and where is the best place to do this. It is the Silver Jubilee Special Edition 1976-1977.

Thank you" Emma 30/07/2016

"I have what I believe is a very complete original Mk1 Raleigh Chopper in yellow. Its very tidy and seems to me it hasn't ever been restored. I don't know a lot about these choppers..I bought it cos it appears to be so original and untouched. On the rear hub is has 1970 stamped into it so I guess its a 1970 chopper..If any enthusiast could help me as to whether the parts are all original I would be grateful. I can email photos." Geoff 07/08/2016

"Can any one tell me why my back seat plate as one hole ? Whe all the ones iv seen have two. Can you help please" Ian 19/08/2016

"My back seat plate as one hole. Ones iv seen have. Can you tell me why this is" Ian 19/08/2016

"Hi I have a mk2 original Raleigh chopper in need of restoration,its violet purple with indigo orange dacals.its even has original dynamo front and rear lights.i am open to offers for it.so if interested give me a call.07482274603." Gaz 19/09/2016

"in 1972 i had a light green mk1 5 speed derailleur purchased in devon UK so they must have been available to UK market.." jon 21/10/2016

"My sister had a orange MK 1 ,I'd love to get another one if the price was right." Len Selfe 06/01/2017

"Hi my sister had a orange MK1 we sold it in the 70s i'd love to get another in her memory." Len Selfe 07/01/2017

"I have an original Raleigh Chipper, never used in yellow.
Could someone give me an idea of the approximate value, I have looked everywhere on the internet and couldn't find any for sale, thanks" Tony 09/01/2017

"Can anyone tell me if the MK3 Raleigh Chopper wheel
will fit the MK2 Frame" Alan 08/02/2017

"I have a pretty much all original MK1 Chopper 3 speed in orange, In pretty good shape. I don't know what to put the price tag at, but if anyone could help that would be awesome." Jake 08/03/2017

"How do you get the gear lever off a 3 speed mk2 chopper [the actual chrome lever itself].
Many thanks.

Ace." ace 06/04/2017

"Hi I am selling a blue MK3 Chopper.

It will need a new rear tire if you wanted to ride it as the steel cord has broken through on side wall apart from that it is in very good condition.

Looking for around the £100.00 mark, location London / Essex." Darren 02/05/2017

""Hi I am selling a Black MK2 chopper.All original parts,paint etc.In very good condition.Only rode about ten times.Looking to sale for £500.00.Collection only. Cash on collection.Location London/Buckinghamshire.Telephone 07745311195. "Carol" 27/07/2017" c starling 27/07/2017

"Hi,
I have a chopper me 3 all chrome and pristine condition.
Does anyone know if any of the mark 3 models were made in Nottingham or were they all made abroad,
Does anyone have any information regarding the chrome model
Cheers" Neil campbell 26/01/2018

"I had a bike just like a chopper but had a long gear lever that went almost down to the pedals any remember what it was called" Martin 18/02/2018

"Hi, I'm selling my fully restored MK2 1977 space blue chopper. It's in mint condition, kept indoors and only taken out on fair weather days. Includes mirrors and squirrel tail on a chrome bar.
£950 ONO contact 07835544195 if youre interested. Rachel in Brighton." Rachel James 14/05/2018

"Hi my son is off to Uni and so is selling a vgc 2010 reproduction model Raleigh chopper bike in a lovely classic red colour it has just been stored away with very little use. I had two chopper bikes myself in the 70s one red and one purple and loved them but had a nasty accident as a child when my bike wheel wobbled downhill I was going really fast though! I still have the scars today! With the first hand knowledge of how dangerous the chopper bike could be I was overjoyed when the much safer reproduction models came out.This is how I came to buy the repro model for my son, but he didn't share my enthusiasm for the chopper didn't love it's retro look so the bike he is selling is in excellent condition. It's for sale at £250 if anyone's interested please contact 01446 678094 thanks" Vivienne Edwards 07/06/2018

"Tengo una MK1 amarilla y me fatal la palanca de cambios soy de Ecuador

I have a yellow MK1 and I miss the shift lever I am from Ecuador" Byron Patricio Unda Unda 20/06/2018

"Anyone heard of a mobile cross from 74 -75." John lannigan 15/01/2019

"Hi John,
The 1974/5 catalogue features the Raleigh chopper MkII and the Chopper 5 (5 speed). There is also the Commando for children aged 7-11. Best regards" Steven 16/01/2019

"Hi iv just got a mk3 for buttons , it requires a front inner tube and a gear cable any ideas folks as am stuck finding anything" John codona 17/03/2019

"I am looking to sell my original, red, 1974 MK2, 3+2. It is in excellent shape since my parents had it in their basement since the late 70's. Located in the states (New Jersey) and can ship. Looking for $900 dollars." Mike 23/06/2019

"Interested in your 74 3+2, Mike - is is still available?

Thanks" Tony 09/07/2019

"Hi. Can you perhaps provide any information or point to where i can find information on choppers that were produced in South Africa from 1969 onwards? Thanks." Grant 08/05/2020

"i bought 2 choppers i think around the year 1999/2000. They had certifictaes with them i no longer have but he bikes are in their original box.
what models are these please." richard smith 11/05/2020

"Hi Richard,
Raleigh re-launched the Chopper in 2004. It was the Mk3. They did not make Choppers in 1999 or 2000." Steven 12/05/2020

"Hi, I have a chopper mk3 and it's a most unusual colour, it's red and white but I think it's possible that a lot of the red has faded. I've seen two others for sale with the same colours, but nobody has mentioned anything about the paint. Was red prone to fading to this extent? Any comments please. Thank you." Graham 25/05/2020

"Hi Grant, I haven't been able to find out much about Raleigh Choppers made in South Africa. I have added some information." Steven 26/05/2020

"Iv got what I think is an Mk1 chopper . I painted over it with a brush to red iit was originally blue ,Going to sell ." Christina 17/06/2020

"I have a pre release mk3 without the addition bar on the crank and the duck bill front mudguard. 36 were made and I'm thinking of selling, would love to know how many survived. Anyone else got one." Robin 25/06/2020

"I am looking for an explanation of what a 'crossover' model is. I have seen this on few adverts, but am puzzled by its meaning, can you help explain?" Andy 25/06/2020

"How many of each colour Mod mk5s were made ?" Paul 22/07/2020

"How many Mod editions were made" Paul 22/07/2020

"I am selling my collection of Choppers ideal as one bundle, email or call me if genuine, I paidalot for these and took me ages to collect:
Sandblasted and repainted SE in Parts bt near perfect
Mk1 Orange in good Condition
Mk2 Purple in Very good condition
Mk2 Blasck Prismativ good condition need finishing touches have the bits.
Mk2 Fizzy lemon 2 x frames sets all re painted and lots of bits to complete at least one.
Tomahawk
Lots of Spares too
Howard_Landi@hotmail.com" Howard Landi 06/08/2020

"Hi Howard Landi how much are you selling the choppers for?" Sue O'Neil 12/08/2020

"Hiya I have just bought a rally chopper but it says hopper not chopper can any1 tell me anything about this model exactly the same as mk2 rally just different name :-)" Nigel Huntington 03/09/2020

"Hi Nigel,
A few possibilities. Is it just that the transfer is damaged and the 'C' is missing?
Has someone restored the bike and put a transfer saying 'Hopper' on it instead of 'Chopper'?
Could it be a 70s or 80s fake? There were some Taiwan made fakes around in the late 70s and early 80s. Does the rest of the bike look genuine. Does the Raleigh badge look correct? Have you compared it with a known good Chopper?
Is Raleigh spelt correctly?

best regards" Steven 03/09/2020

"Is there a limited edition Raleigh Chopper MK 3 WILLIAMS F1 please ? Trying to find info but haven't been successful." DAZ 21/09/2020

"There's one for sale on eBay right now. I'm not convinced it's genuine. It looks like the previous owner stuck some assorted transfers on it. If I was buying that I'd like to see some documentary evidence such as an original invoice." Steven 21/09/2020

Name
Comment
To prevent automated Bots from spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

 

 

   
Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history
Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history