I would say the Raleigh made BSA's were actually better. I went round the BSA factory in 1955 and you would not believe how dreadful it was. Where Raleigh either pinned or tacked the joints BSA used a pneumatic chisel to hammer a deep dent in the lugs to hold the tubes in before brazing. I actually had a BSA Gold Column in 1949 which was a good handmade butted 531 bike with specially made bsa parts, they made everything but the b37 saddle, Dunlop rims, tyres tubes, and mudguards.
Raleigh used BSA and Sun as cheap mainly export makes, many to US in the early 1970's.
Thanks for that information my friend, man, you must've seen many things come and go.
My dad used to have a BSA Bantam 175cc - he wrote it off in 1963, and he used to have a Raleigh Roadster back in the 50ies.
I read Major HW Tilman's biography - and he rode a Raleigh Roadster across Africa in 1929 - a journey of 2 months!!
Enough about Roadsters and such - It's actually the Gold Column I've decided upon and am on the lookout for!
It should be affordable - as I don't want to spend too much as I doubt I'll ride it much