Another British motorcycle marque is reborn and I have to admit, I wasn’t too aware of it. The release of the limited edition Hesketh 24 marks the beginning of a bright new chapter in the history of Hesketh. Hesketh Motorcycles was inspired by Lord Hesketh following his huge success in Formula 1 culminating in Hesketh Racing winning the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix with famous British racer James Hunt at the wheel.
The Lord and his team wanted to use the knowledge gained from their F1 victories and create an all new high quality, British motorcycle. After two years of intense development on site at the Lord’s Easton Neston estate, the first Hesketh motorcycle to be introduced to the world was the Hesketh V1000 and during 1981-1982 a purpose built factory was built at Daventry to manufacture the first Hesketh model.
After a move back to the original home of Hesketh, the Lord’s Eaton Neston estate, a new Hesketh model was introduced in 1983 – the Vampire. Both the V1000 and Vampire were the first British bikes to have four valves per cylinder (similar to those pioneered in the Hesketh Racing F1 team) and twin overhead camshafts.
Unfortunately a declining motorcycle market meant that Hesketh struggled in the early years and eventually ceased full scale production. However, thanks to the dedication of original test rider and development engineer, Mick Broom, small scale production of improved Hesketh machines continued from the mid-eighties right up until 2010 and as well as producing new machines, Broom Engineering offered expert support to Hesketh owners all over the world.
As the first all-new Hesketh model to be produced in some thirty years, the exclusive Hesketh 24 celebrates the marque’s impressive roots in Formula 1 with Hesketh Racing and their famous driver James Hunt. Taking inspiration from the Hesketh 308 F1 car that Hunt drove to victory in the 1975 Dutch grand prix, the Hesketh 24 will once again prove passion for engineering excellence and quality can achieve outstanding results.
Under new ownership and management, Hesketh Motorcycles Ltd has shown in the production of the new 24, just the beginning of plans to establish a British motorcycle company with a reputation for quality, luxurious, hand-built machines.
Named after the number on James Hunt’s 1975 F1 car, this new model will be limited edition with only 24 built and on sale internationally.
Developed and designed by the Hesketh Motorcycles team, the 24 uses only top quality components and has been painstakingly built with attention to every detail. The vision behind the Hesketh 24 was to produce a modern interpretation of what a Hesketh should be in todays’ market. Retro styling coupled with modern technology, the Hesketh 24 balances the style, quality and luxury of the original bikes, but with the technical excellence and reliability that the marque deserves.
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 unmistakeable 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 to 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.