New Hesketh 24 unveiled

1 of 3

These are the first images of the all-new Hesketh 24, unveiled this morning at the firm’s headquarters.

It is the first new Hesketh to be produced under the ownership of Paul Sleeman, who bought the rights to the brand in 2010, and has been battling to get a bike into production ever since.

High development costs forced him to give up his initial dream of building his own engine for a new V1000. After ditching that plan he consulted engine builders Cosworth and Rotax before opting to use an off-the-shelf S&S motor.

The 1950cc 56° V-twin X-Wedge is the motor is the heart of new ‘24’, and forms a dramatic centrepiece to the retro-styled café racer brute.

There’s nothing old fashioned about the technology or cycle parts though, with such headlines as Öhlins fork and piggyback rear shocks adding recognisable and trusted talent to the new Hesketh.

Read the whole story in next Wednesday’s MCN.

Hesketh History

– Hesketh Motorcycles was founded by Lord Hesketh in 1980 and the first model was developed in converted stables at his Easton Neston stately home in Northamptonshire.

– The first model was 1981’s V-twin V1000, the first Brit bike with four valves per cylinder and twin overhead camshafts.

– The bike was beset with reliability problems and Hesketh made only 139 before going into receivership in 1982.

– Hesketh funded a new company, which produced the V1000-based Vampire model. 

– Only 40 Vampires were produced before the new company was closed in 1984.

– Hesketh’s development and test engineer Mick Broom took on limited production of the bike, fixing some of the biggest problems and continuing to make up to 12 Heskeths per year until 2010.

– Paul Sleeman took over the company from Broom and embarked on a plan to bring the firm back to prominence.

– Friday June 13, 2014: Paul Sleeman pulls the covers of the new Hesketh 24