HESKETH 24 (2014 - on) Review

At a glance

Power: 145 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: High (547 lbs / 248 kg)

Prices

New £35,000
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Hesketh is the latest UK heritage motorcycle brand to be reborn and the ‘24’ is their first offering. As a mix of American hot rod power (the S&S engine) and semi-retro Brit style (the ‘24’ is a nod to James Hunt’s 1975 Hesketh F1 car) they don’t come much more bristly or brash and both classy and a little bit crass than this. This is a shouty, noisy, slightly show-off bike which is a little at odds with the understated, cool, classy lines of the original V1000. Sure, there are enough connections here for the ‘24’ to be a credible successor – the V-twin, the cowl shape, the classy Hesketh ‘signature’ on the cases – but by marrying it with Hunt/F1 style it’s become altogether more lary and brash.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Though most of the weight is carried fairly low, nimble it’s not. The ‘24’ is long, heavy with not much steering lock. The riding position, too, is more extreme than expected. Those flat bars conspire with full-on rearsets to cant the rider into a pretty aggressive, wrist-pummelling posture. Corners are a little bit trickier. Being long and lazy (the stubby front end is slowed with a steering damper) any cornering with gusto needs tee-ing up well in advance and then tillered and wrenched over with the rear wheel following along something like a trailer.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

By using a US-built engine it’s got shades of American hotrod. Thumb the starter and it earthquakes into life, the massive V-twin thundering and shaking, its ear-bleedingly loud twin underseat pipes blarting and shouting. Though powerful and punchy, the ‘24’ drives rather than leaps. This is a big, heavy rhino of a bike and never lets you forget it. It’s loud, bristly, extreme, hot and scary. Straight lines are, quite literally, a blast and (once some slight gearchange glitches are ironed out, which I’m sure they will be) could prove addictive, true hot rod style.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Yes there are prototype glitches, pre-production imperfections but all, I reckon, could be pretty easily ironed out and yes, too, it’s too early to proclaim on reliability, so we’ll mark it in the middle…

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

Hesketh owner Sleeman himself says he’s trying to position new Hesketh between revived Norton and forthcoming Brough Superior. With those at around £16K and £50K respectibvely and the ‘24’ ticketted at £35,000, he’s about right in terms of pricing. Still a helluva llot of wonga, though, for something with no track record and average performance.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

Premium price demands premium spec and the ‘24” has it: Top notich Ohlins suspension, Beringer brakes, BST carbon wheels (plus lashings of carbon elsewhere), posh bars, levers and more. Seat, for example, is waterproof nappa leather by F1 upholsterers ‘d:class’. Each bike will also be finished off with an 18ct gold, individually numbered placque on the tank.No electronics or refinement, though…

Specs

Engine size 1950cc
Engine type Air-cooled, pushrod 2-valve V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Tubular steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 248kg
Front suspension 55mm Ohlins inverted forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Ohlins twin shocks, fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 300m discs with four-piston calipers
Rear brake 250mm disc, four-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/70 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost -
New price £35,000
Used price -
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term One year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 145 bhp
Max torque 123 ft-lb
Top speed 120 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 148 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2014: Model introduced

Other versions

None

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