1967 RALEIGH WISP

It started with the humble bicycle, a must have during the Swinging 60’s with demand out-stripping supply. During this craze for push bikes Raleigh ingeniously installed the RSW 16 bicycle with an engine, creating an icon of its time. As much as wearing hot pants seemed to go with a Mini Moke, the Raleigh Wisp became the trendy bike to ride and – with endorsement by model Twiggy – became the classic moped of its time. At launch the RM 7 was priced at 57 guineas (£59-17-0d).

By 1967 Raleigh was already offering no less than nine mopeds. The Wisp was then described as a hybrid (somewhat different from today’s engine/electric machines) incorporating small 12ins wheels with the frame of the bicycle, a small engine of 49.9cc and substantial brakes. It had fully automatic transmission using a centrifugal clutch, the speed being controlled by the twist grip accelerator on the handlebars.

The Wisp was introduced in April ’67, finished in either Fiesta Blue or Spanish Gold it also featured a large rear mounted shopping bag and was aimed at both men and women. Several changes were made in 1968 the gearing being raised and the frame modified.

THE COLLECTION’S EXHIBIT

This example was donated by Greta Cooper who used it to travel in the Old Warden area.

Manufacturer: Raleigh Industries, Eastwood, Nottingham , England

Model: Wisp

Engine: 49cc, single cylinder, two-stroke

MPG (range): 150 miles

Max speed: 20-25 mph