just what exactly do all the numbers found on a Chopper frame
We’ve covered the frame numbers already, by now you should
have located the frame number, on early bikes on the rear dropout,
and on later bikes on the rear of the seat tube. If you are still
in the dark about your Choppers frame number, click here.
The frames were also a registered design; basically they were
copyrighted to prevent other manufacturers producing a frame of
identical shape and proportions.
The Mk 1 frames had a small sticker on the front of the seat tube,
which had “Reg.d Design Nos 934256 934304” written on
it, this sticker appeared in mid 1970 indicating that it took
a while from submitting a design to actually being allocated a
registered design number.
Why there were Design numbers I don’t know, but that first
number is suspiciously close to the seat design number.
The Mk 2 bikes had a sticker that heralded not only its design
number, but also its design shape… the Arrow Wedge.
Located on the right side thin top tube, in the area under the
seat, the sticker originally said “ Arrow Wedge Design Applied
For “ which ties in with our theory about the timescale involved
in being issued a design number. Early Mk twos and Sprints had
An actual number didn’t appear until early 1974, when the
sticker changed to read “Arrow Wedge Reg’d Des No 954915”
Indicating a two year wait for the design number to be approved
Strangely enough, around 1977 the sticker changed number, and
became “Arrow Wedge Reg’d Des No 954916” This was
despite the frame design staying totally identical to the earlier
bikes. If anyone knows the exact date or reason for this, please
The other design number found on the Chopper bike relates to the
Seat design. The metal plate (where the reflector mounts) on the
rear of the seat, has “Reg’d No 934257 Made in England”
stamped into it. The same design number existed on the seat backplate
throughout the production run of the Chopper, the same number
being used on both Mk 1 and Mk 2 bikes, despite the discrepancy
in length. This indicates that it was the overall design of the
seat that was registered, and not exact dimensions.
The Mk 2 Chopper seat was used on the Raleigh Tomahawk Mk 1, and
carried the same design details.
The seat used on the Raleigh Chopper Sprint and the Mk 1 Chipper,
which was basically the Raleigh Fireball/Rodeo seat from a previous
era, had no seat back plate, and no design numbers.
The Alloy base of the gear shifter mechanism merely had “Patent
Applied For” written on it. This is something you would have
expected to be patented, but for some reason it stayed “Applied
For” for twelve years!