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Photos were taken 29th June 2023.

I bought this Raleigh just before lockdown and it needed quite a few jobs doing. It came with a thick bundle of history paperwork as the previous owner had done quite a bit of research. It's remarkably original and has some patina.

The internal oil pump (a metering device) was missing and these are a weak point in Raleighs of this era being made out of monkey metal they often break up. I had one made using good materials so it's a brand new oil pump! This is what I did to it...

The oil tank was removed for cleaning but was found to be spotless. The petrol tap doesn't seem to leak and I've not had eny evidence of rust dust from the petrol tank. The hand pump is used for primimg and without longer road trials I can't say whether the hand pump should be used during the ride and due to lubrication paranoia I tend to over-oil flat tankers. I did replace the hand oil plunger washers and it became messy so I put back the originals. To prime a dry engine the handbook says use 10 squirts from the hand pump.

In June 2023 it was dry enough to take it out for some rides. It starts very easily and I think the AMAC carb is the type that requires some air lever input. With the air lever being fully open the throttle must be quite a way open too to start the engine and I think that with some experimentation I should be able to bring the air lever into play. Starting is very easy.

The engine is remarkably quiet and smooth. Being a 500 I was interested to see if it has the grunt to get up the hill out of town and it sailed up there so the power seems to be about right for a 500sv.

The clutch and gears all work as they should. The first time out I seemed to have some false neutrals but I just needed to get used to the selector gate and the second time out I found every gear that I was looking for, I think it's just a case of getting used to it and to be gentle with it. Now I no longer have to think about it.

There is one problem. The front brake is rubbish. It's a decent sized brake especially for the period so I think that it should be able to do better. A good fettler would be able to improve it and it does need sorting out. The rear brake is excellent and the wheel can easily be locked.

Handling seems fairly neutral and there is no wobbly flexing which can happen with some flat tankers that I've ridden. The nature of the beast is that of a gentle touring bike.

Videos

First fire-up (early 2023, showing leaking valve cap gaskets) view
Recent (June 2023 short video) view

December 2023

I will either keep this bike or do a swap for it (let's see what happens). The Raleigh comes with a thick bundle of paperwork with plenty of ownership history. It's had a HUGE amount of money spent on it and needs the following fettling attention... If you have something to part exchange, I am looking for a well sorted machine ideally original and oily rag condition. These are on my hit list...
dave@barkshire.co.uk