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Hesketh has a long association with racing and not all of it glorious
Now under new management, the Hesketh 24 takes its inspiration from James Hunt’s 1975 F1 car and only 24 of these £35,000 monsters will ever be built.
Hesketh has developed and designed this latest from the stable using only the ‘top quality components and has been built with painstaking attention to detail’. And it easy to see why they claim that – just check out the gallery…
This from their PR:
<< The heart of this new model is undoubtedly the substantial 1,950cc V-twin S&S X-wedge engine, offering an undeniably high amount of torque. Air-cooled and with a proven power-train, the meaty V-twin was chosen for its excellent reputation and reliability. In a unique twist the X-wedge is also the engine used for the quintessentially British Morgan three-wheelers – a British icon using a proven American motor goes to show the quality of X-wedge.
Modifying the engine especially to suit the Hesketh 24, the team turned to expert British tuners, Harris Performance Engines, putting to good use their forty years’ experience in pushrod engines and drag racing to produce the exceptionally powerful 24 engine. Indeed Hesketh will be able to offer all limited edition Hesketh 24 customers at least three different power options on their bespoke model, with Harris providing stage engine tuning for various levels of preferred power.
The Hesketh 24 bodywork is in the unmistakable colours of James Hunt’s Hesketh F1 car with graphics designed and produced by none other than BSB champion, Tommy Hill. In fact, Tommy will be the first person to ride the Hesketh 24 in public at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed as he takes the new model up the famous hill-climb.
Dripping in brand-name components from the likes of Öhlins, Beringer and Baker, the Hesketh 24 uses only the best of the best – offering unbeatable luxury and exclusivity. For example, the seat is made from the finest Italian nappa leather. Fully waterproof and super-soft the seat is the work of F1 class leather upholsterers, d:class, who have already put their name on the seats of McLaren.
Each of the limited edition Hesketh 24 models will feature an 18 carat gold plaque on top of the tank with the unique number of that particular model. Along with the knowledge that each bike has been hand-built by Hesketh technicians at their Surrey headquarters. Hesketh 24 owners will enjoy full-service back-up from the Hesketh team with a comprehensive two-year warranty as standard. >>
Engine Type: V-Twin
Cooling System: Air
Valve Actuation: Push Rod 2 Valves Per Cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 105 mm x 110 mm
Compression Ratio: 9:75:1
Fuel System: Closed Loop Electronic Fuel Injection
Security: Keyless Ignition & Immobiliser
Exhaust: Two Into One Into Two: Stainless Steel & Carbon Fibre
Frame: Chrome-moly Tube Cradle Frame
Swing Arm: Steel Box Section With Integral Oil Tank
Front Wheel: 17″ BST Carbon Fibre
Rear Wheel: 17″ BST Carbon Fibre
Front Tyre: 120/70/ZR17
Rear Tyre: 190/70/ZR17
Handlebars: Renthal Tubular Tapered Steel Fatbars
Fuel Tank Capacity: 19 Litres (5 US Gallons)
Dry Weight: TBA
Seat Height: 820mm (32 Inches)
Wheelbase: 1550mm (61 Inches)
Gear Box: Baker 5 Speed with Overdrive
Final Drive: 525 “O” Ring Chain
Clutch: Baker Wet Multi-Plate KingKong Clutch Cable Actuation
Front Suspension: 55mm Ohline USD Forks
Adjustable Preload, Compression & Rebound Damping, Harris Racing Fully Machined Billet Yokes
Rear Suspension: Ohlins Reservoir- Style Twin Shocks, Adjustable Ride Height, Preload, Compression & Rebound
Power: 125PS @ 6000RPM
196Nm @ 3000RPM
Front Brakes: Beringer 300mm Floating Discs, 4 Piston Beringer Aerotech Caliper, Stainless Steel Braided Hoses.
Rear Brakes: Single Beringer 250mm Disc, 4 Piston Beringer Aerotech Caliper, Stainless Steel Braided Hoses
Electronics & Controls
Charging System: Cycle Electric Regulator & Stator
Instrumentation: Stack Race Instrumentation: Stack Electric Speedometer
ku.oc1566701285.selc1566701285ycrot1566701285omhte1566701285kseh@1566701285ofni1566701285 or see MOTO CORSA in the UK.
A brief history of Hesketh:
Hesketh Motorcycles is a British motorcycle manufacturer, initially based in Daventry and Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, England. The company was formed by Alexander, 3rd Lord Hesketh, to develop a prototype in 1980. After two variations of his business rapidly failed, from 1984 onwards the marque was maintained and improved by Broom Engineering based at Turweston Aerodrome, on the Northamptonshire border with Buckinghamshire, England. The most recent incarnation of the marque from 2013 is based in Kingswood, Surrey, England.
The project was inspired by Lord Hesketh, who planned to revive the failing British motorcycle industry and at the time had a background of F1 racing being the last private team to win a Formula One Grand Prix, with James Hunt at the wheel. Lord Hesketh wanted to use the skills and facilities built up in that pursuit to greater effect and production of a quality motorcycle was born.
The Hesketh motorcycle was developed on the Easton Neston estate, with the prototype running in the spring of 1980 using a special Weslake engine. The V-twin V1000 (based loosely on the marketing panache of the Vincent Motorcycle but looking much-like a contemporary Ducati 860GT), offered all sorts of advances; for example, it was the first British bike with four valves per cylinder and twin overhead camshafts(although commonplace in Japanese machines).After two years of development, the project was announced to the press and partners were sought for the manufacturing. However, none
After two years of development, the project was announced to the press and partners were sought for the manufacturing. However, none was forthcoming and so Lord Hesketh formed Hesketh Motorcycles plc. In 1982, a modern purpose built factory was set up to manufacture the Hesketh V1000 motorcycles in Daventry.
However, there were numerous problems. The bikes were heavy, made worse by a high riding style; and unreliable, with numerous manufacturing problems adding to an overheating rear cylinder due to lack of air flow. The resultant bad press combined with an underdeveloped bike, lack of cash and a collapsing market meant that after the production of 139 bikes, the company went into receivership.
Cagiva visited the Daventry facility in September 1982, with a view to absorbing the Hesketh into their range of machines. Sales Director Luigi Giacometti reported to Motor Cycle News that they were disappointed to learn that all the components were sourced from outside suppliers, that there were no manufacturing facilities excepting a few trollies, and that the Receiver wanted £150,000 (pounds sterling) for only a pile of papers and drawings.
He was sure they could cure the Hesketh mechanical problems, but Cagiva withdrew their interest after Hesketh marketing chief Peter Gaydon appeared in a TV interview, stating he feared a drop in quality and that the marque would end-up as a ‘spaghetti special’ under Cagiva.
The Triumph Motorcycles co-operative looked at buying the rights to the machine, as they lacked a new model beyond the aged Triumph Bonneville. A V1000 machine even appeared with a
Triumph badge on its tank, but Triumph also lacked funding to buy and develop the machine.
In 1983, Lord Hesketh formed a new company called Hesleydon Ltd to manufacture a revamped V1000 with a full fairing, called the Vampire. However, although the company had produced a motorcycle with export potential in mind, the Vampire retained too many of the V1000’s faults and only 40 were produced before the company closed again in 1984.
Broom Development Engineering
Mick Broom was the development engineer / test rider as part of the original development team of the Hesketh marque, and was based with the team in the old laundry at Easton Neston. When the original Hesketh Motorcycles plc company went into receivership, Broom was part of a team funded by Lord Hesketh which supported the owners of the original machines, offering maintenance and modifications to the bikes sold. This funded team eventually became Hesleydon Ltd, who obtained the necessary certification to sell overseas and went on to develop the Vampire after requests for a touring version of the V1000. Combined with the general down turn in motorcycle market, the high cost of the parts and the inability to raise finance to implement volume production assembly methods, Hesleydon ceased trading and Broom continued to support and develop the bike alongside development work for other motorcycle factories and clients.
Based in the same outbuildings where the development of the V1000 had begun, Broom and his team began improvement of the V1000 into a reliable “gentleman’s” long distance tourer. This included the resolution of the overheating through increased oil flow to cool the rear cylinder. room produced up to 12 motorcycles per annum, additionally developing the Vulcan and Vortan concept machines.
In 2006, having been forced to leave Easton Neston after its sale by Lord Hesketh to Leon Max, and Max’s intention to turn the stable block into a call centre for his Max Storeclothing brand, Broom Engineering relocated to Turweston Aerodrome near Silverstone Circuit. However, just before the move, and at the point where most items were in packing crates, a robbery occurred with total value of £40,000 – including irreplaceable records, tools, and bikes. This slowed progress on the intended small scale production at the new location.
Resuscitation of the brand
Under new ownership and management since Mick Broom sold the marque in 2010, Hesketh Motorcycles Ltd plan to establish a British motorcycle company through the production of new models over the years.
In early 2014 Hesketh Motorcycles announced the upcoming release of the Hesketh 24 that would be the first all-new Hesketh model to be produced in some thirty years.
The Hesketh 24
Designed and developed by Paul Sleeman, Hesketh Motorcycles owner and Chief Engineer, this proposed new machine – named after the number on James Hunt’s 1975 F1 car – will be a limited edition with only 24 built and on sale internationally.
The heart of this new model is the American S&S X-wedge engine, a high torque 1,950 cc aircooled V-twin with a proven power-train, chosen for reliability and reputation. The Xwedge is also the engine used for the recent Morgan three-wheelers.
British tuners Harris Performance Engines will modify the engine to suit the Hesketh 24 buyers’ preferences, offering stage engine tuning to produce at least three different power options.
The Hesketh 24 bodywork is in the colours of James Hunt’s 1970s Hesketh F1 car. Each of the limited edition Hesketh 24 models will feature an 18 carat gold plaque on the fuel tank with its unique serial production number.