England’s once-comatose motorcycle manufacturing industry is bouncing back with Hesketh Motorcycles being the latest to release a new model.
When it arrives in February, the limited edition Hesketh 24 will be the boutique company’s first new model in the 21st century.
It comes as Triumph Motorcycles is branching out with 14 new models in India, the world’s largest motorcycle market, sportscar manufacturers Lotus and Caterham have announced they are joining the motorcycle manufacturing industry and Gladstone Motorcycles recently became the first new bespoke motorcycle manufacturer since Hesketh in 1984.
The handmade Hesketh 24 is inspired by their Formula 1 roots, using James Hunt’s F1 Grand Prix winning ‘24’ car as the basis of the bikes’ styling.
Only 24 will be made and they will retail at £35,000 (about $62,000).
It is powered by a 1950cc, 56-degree V-twin engine with about 90kW (120bhp) and features exotic components such as Ohlins suspension (track and road), Beringer brakes and Brock’s performance BST carbon fibre wheels.
Hesketh Motorcycles was formed by Alexander, 3rd Lord Hesketh, in 1980 and produced limited models until closing in 1984.
Broom Engineering took over and maintained the brand until Mick Broom sold the company to Paul Sleeman in 2010.
The solo-seat Hesketh 24 is the first model released under the new ownership.
“The Hesketh 24 is a nod to the F1 success of James Hunt and the Hesketh Racing team and we tried to incorporate this is in subtle touches, such as the small Scottish and English flags on the tail as seen on the original F1 24 car and the outline of the Zandvoort circuit that offered Hunt the famous 1975 victory,” says Paul.
“The design of the bike itself is centred around the big V-twin muscle at the heart of the bike, with overhead air intakes inside the tank above and a 22.7 litre fuel cell mounted below the engine.
“To stay true to some original Hesketh features the front light offers a modern half cowl and the top tank follows the distinctive Hesketh shape.”
He says they will also develop and release a two-seat version.