HESKETH 24 (2014 - on) Review
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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 qualityNext up: Value
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 rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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…
|Engine type||Air-cooled, pushrod 2-valve V-twin, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|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||-|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
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
2014: Model introduced
Owners' reviews for the HESKETH 24 (2014 - on)
No owners have yet reviewed the HESKETH 24 (2014 - on).