Raleigh Chopper

The Raleigh Chopper designed by Alan Oakley became one of the most sought after bikes in history. Early Choppers were on sale in the late 60's but shot to fame in the 70's when every child (and some adults) wanted one. The bike was characterised by its high back and long seat and motorbike rear wheel and was probably the first bike to have a centrally positioned gear shift.

Raleigh has recently put the Choppers into production once more.


I had a red Raleigh Chopper in about 1978 with the T shift,(looking back, pretty dangerous), but the one I really wanted was blue with a round shifter that looked like a cars. And handelbars that adjusted.
BTW, The picture above is of a modern Raleigh Chopper. An original photo would be good
dave196901-Aug-2014, 10:08:12 PM

The greatest bike there ever was - I had a silver mk 2 in 1977 ( wasn't the ltd edition though ). I still have one on the wall in the garage, the kids think it weird looking. Remember kids "this bicycle is not constructed to carry passengers" yeah right
silversmurfer21-Jan-2014, 12:39:35 AM

I never had one, my mum said they were 'too dangerous' :-(
I've recently bough one as a box of bits and restored it and am planning on doing C2C on it www.purplechopper.co.uk
barneybear6922-Apr-2013, 09:51:20 AM

My Chopper is fully restored in red and is up for sale due to another V W project.
Tim. Any one Interested.
timvdub@googlemail.c02-Feb-2013, 09:43:04 AM

I never had a chopper as akid my best friend had one and would let me ride it . I have got 5 now one to ride one mint and 3 to restore. I must still be a child at 55years. Is there something wrong with me?
timvdub@googlemail.c23-Jun-2012, 11:44:07 PM

I had an orange Mk1,was a hand me down from my mum's friends son.I had lots of fun with it,when I pulled skids it sounded like a car but rapidly went through tyres.I passed it on when I finished with it but wish I still owned it!
westy7201-Jan-2012, 11:51:32 PM

I have still got my Mk 1 Chopper I vaguely remember Swapping my scootec for it when I was about 9 cos even then it was the cooolest bike around although there were loads of other choppers around at the time and not many kids liked them for practicality I thought it was the ultra cool transportation of the eighties next to my Raleigh burner and skate board. roll on Choppers into the millenium.
chopper78201014-Oct-2010, 12:11:21 PM

great bikes, pure 80s!
thebhoywonder06-Apr-2010, 02:46:03 PM

Who remembers, coming to a sudden stop, sliding off the seat and landing squarely on the gear-shift? Those hidious minutes of innocent agony rolling around on the ground? Luckily no lasting damage was done & I now have 2 lovely boys of my own. My chopper eventualy died when I pulle my last wheelie, only to have the handle bars snap at the stem, with the front in the air! That landing was unpleasant too....
SteveAustin18-Jul-2009, 09:00:47 AM

i had a grifter, my dad decided to fill it with lead(so it couldnt be nicked as easily) made it the heaviest bike in the world, i now own 2 choppers, sitting in the shed ready for the day i have twin boys
johnjrambo02-Jul-2009, 08:48:06 PM

I remember the Chopper bike in the 70`s but never owned one. I did have a similar type and sized bike called a "Dragster" but i never saw anyone else with the same named bike. I cant remember the makers name. It was yellow with chrome mudguards but was lighter and faster than the Chopper. Can anybody else remember such a bike?
woofie6224-May-2009, 11:09:02 AM

I remember borrowing a kid's chopper. Went up Woodland Way in Eastwood. Steepish incline, so stood up to bear down on pedals. My knocked the gear shift into 2nd gear, the pedals whizzed, my feet lost traction, bear trap pedals took the skin off my shin. Lovely! Still got the scar on my shin, after 20-something years.
vanwhistler27-Apr-2009, 01:39:56 PM

i had the choppers rival THE BLACK PANTHER it was exactly the same shape and style of the chopper.. 1 thing i will remember is the seat had the white label across the end saying somthing like this is not designed for two people yeah right i always gave my mates a lift on it to and from the park. BRING BACK THE 70s
wayne196720-Feb-2009, 11:39:59 PM

yes i used to have it in the 70s! it was so cool to ride it with mirrors.ariel with flags at the back of the seat!!!!!aslo lots of front lights!!!..it was wicked to ride it!
steven large 17-Oct-2008, 09:23:07 AM

reading all the posts brings back so many memories, and even the mention of a vindec high riser, the poor boys chopper i think not! was quicker and lighter and becoming much sort after.
markb04-Mar-2008, 10:43:30 AM

i wish they never made the mk3
it was the most rubbish chopper yet
it let down the raleigh chopper mk1 and mk2 because it looks really cheap espeshaly that it has no gear console it is the worst chopper the chain gard looks cheap and does not sute especialy the plastic pedals even the chain wheel does not suite it it is black for and the new seat is dreadfull it is the most appaling bike ever dont you agree

joshua17-Aug-2007, 02:45:25 PM

the raligh chopper is the best bike it was my fave in the 1970 i remember racing with my friends and we would do wheelys on them i have still got mine it brings back god memories and bad memories when i crashed it into a tree i fixed it after that event
joshua17-Aug-2007, 02:09:38 PM

i had raleigh chopper it said on the back do not carry passengers there was about 5 of us on it, me on the seat and sat behind me one in front one on the handbars and one stood on the back
julie13-May-2007, 06:13:17 PM

The best one and only one i had was the Mk1 in bright red with the double high padded back rest.Ihad that for eight good years to play on and i have it still in my garage all wrapped up still like new
dave12-May-2007, 07:11:23 PM

Always wanted one as a kid, my Dad ordered one from the local bike shop for Christmas, but due to the popularity of the bike that year, failed to get it and had to do with a Vindec Hiriser the poor mans chopper. Now at the age of 41 I have a restored 1972 Chopper sat in my conservatory as a reminder of my youth.
Will06-May-2007, 07:51:07 PM

Allways wanted a Chopper but never got one. Had to make do with an old Moulton on which could I could burn the pants off even the posh kids on their Grifters and five speed racers! Found a red Chopper on a fly tip some years later but never got round to rebuilding it. Wish I'd Kept it now. Does anyone remember the bike that came in between the Chopper and the Budgie.... The Tomahawk!! (had one of those for a while too!)
budgie03-May-2007, 08:42:24 PM

My friend had a Chopper - The thing I remember most was the little warning on the back of the seat saying "NOT TO BE USED TO CARRY PASSENGERS" (or something similar!) - well of course, due to the shear size of the massive seat, that was like a red rag to a bull!! We used to give each other "backies" all the time - one of you got to sit back in luxury, while the "driver" had to use all his strength just to get the bike actually moving and had no choice but to stand up the entire journey... :o)
Hexen28-Apr-2007, 11:22:40 AM

i had one once , found it in a skip rode it , trashed it and then re skipped it now got a grifter MUCH BETTER
steve edwards15-Dec-2006, 02:49:16 PM

ah what a bike i loved mine,i remember giving my brother backys on it to the shop as we could both get on the seat.it was ok till we tipped it up one day and my brother ended up at a+e.what a bike
1975sarah197515-Dec-2006, 11:53:52 AM

Ha Ha i soooooo remember the chopper bike, but more so the kiddie version which was........the Budgie, very big seat on both n if you sat at back of the seat ya could fall off, lol such brill bikes pity i managed to break my nose on my 1st chopper because my mum thought she would upgrade me before i was ready lol
Chris Walker23-Nov-2006, 12:34:29 AM

My cousins had one, I used to gorge myself on it at their house ! They seemed to be common prizes for competitions in comics, papers, tv etc. Didn't offer a lot of protection from a sudden brake though by the look of it.
Aidan12-May-2006, 09:45:24 AM

Well, wot can u say about the Chopper except it was a triumph of design over practicality. I traded up from a Raleigh Boxer to a yellow Chopper when I was 8 or 9 and I loved it. Why, I'll never know because it really was a bit of a pig to ride, the central gearleaver felt really fragile and it was a pain to change the back wheel if you got a puncture. It might have something to do with the fact is really was the coolest bike. You can keep yer Grifters and Mongooses. No bike summed up funk and flash quite like a Chopper. No surprise that Ogle Design and Tom Karen (who designed the VEEEEEEERY orange Bond Bug 3 wheeler) played a part in it's inception.
Steve Jablonski12-May-2006, 04:49:51 AM

Oh!! how i can see it now. Standing on the end of Halfords shop floor just begging to be bought. My Raleigh Chopper was the one thing in the world i would have died for as a kid. I remember everyone who had one gleefully taunting the poor kids who only had Grifters. When they said they were re-releasing Choppers this 40 year old was as excited as when he was ten. I could'nt wait to buy one again, then i seen it!.... this "thing". It was a mess. They killed it totally and even put the gears on the handlebars....i could have cried. The Raleigh Chopper - THE best bike ever invented. I want mine back soooo much, dont you?
Ian Grozier11-May-2006, 09:44:57 AM

i Missed the choper they stopped making them by the time i could get on one but i did have the toddlers version the budgie in purple
Andy Fairview08-Apr-2006, 02:15:12 PM

I had one of these. The mk2 with the T shift. We didn't have a garage so I kept it outside. It lasted quite a long time but as I got older and it got rustier I started using it as a sort of down hill bike (Before MTB) going down the farmers field across from our house. Very steep and full of ruts and holes where the cows had been. Didn't last long then! I ride a mountain bike today ;-)
Gaz 1 R22-Feb-2006, 04:52:01 PM

My god We used to love this bike! My dad would never let me have a bike, but my mate had one. We used to get about 4 people on it, plus one person behind wearing roller boots!!! I have seen they bought it back, but its just not the same!
Michelle English12-Oct-2005, 12:53:45 PM

there was a group of us girls,all used to play with tennis balls in your mums tights,play with our space hopper,ride our fantastic choppers (i still have mine)and british bulldog,remember with a coke can and lolly sticks....loved it...
vicki smith03-Mar-2005, 08:47:27 PM

I had the chipper first , and the progressed up to a MK 2 chopper . (MK 1 had no parcel rack , a round seat bar instead of square, had a knob gear change instead of a T piece, and had handlebars that you could slope back , the MK 2 had fixed angle . It was exactly the HD of the bike world , as it was heavy , didnt handle any good , but as with the Hog it was about image . And you could always tell when a chopper was coming by the clinking noise of teh pedal that caught the chain guard screw and eventually wore a slot in it ..... Have to say the new one in the picture above with split seat , and twist grip just hasnt caught the imagination the same , especially as you cant get 2 people on the seat (even if you were never supposed to ) Cool bike for the time !!!
GAZ -R05-Feb-2005, 02:49:41 PM

My memory is playing out with my mates wearing my fishtail parker on my Chopper. I lived in a back to back so we would play hopscotch and tig. Those were the days...
thomas hixon07-Jan-2005, 02:27:45 PM

This is a bike I do not regret not having. A friend had a purple coloured one with lots of rust and a really nasty foam seat which had disintegrated. I remember riding it down a slight slope one hot day and the handlebar grips decided to slip off into my hands! I ended up with the bike on top of me, with my head through the frame! There was also a smaller version of this bike called the chipper. My sister had one in metallic red. It also had the smaller front and larger rear wheel, the long saddle, but no gears. I seem to remember the saddle being totally rock hard and the tyres having no air in them! Long live full suspension!
Leslie Somogyi18-Dec-2004, 09:10:27 PM

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