Hesketh 24 officially unveiled

First model in 30 years gets 1950cc V-twin and costs £35,000

HESKETH has officially unveiled the 24, its first bike after a 30-year hiatus in motorcycle production.

The 24 is powered by a 56-degree air-cooled S&S X-wedge V-twin motor tweaked by British performance tuners HPE, who have managed to squeeze 125hp and 140ft.lb of torque out of the 1,950cc block.

The engine has two exhaust cams and one inlet cam allowing it to spin to 6,500rpm through the five-speed overdrive Baker gearbox.

Hesketh has opted to use chain drive due to the high-torque nature of the engine, stating the width of belt needed for the 24 would make it look like a cruiser, whilst fuelling is handled by a 19L tank that runs from the top of the bike to a metal tank in the belly pan.

It’s covered in top of the range items such as Ohlins suspension front and rear, a twin disc Beringer brake setup, BST carbon fibre wheels and a leather seat which sits 820mm off the deck.

The bike’s frame has been built by Racing Innovations, whilst the exhaust and swingarm are produced in-house by Hesketh. The heavy Baker ‘KingKong’ clutch is cable-actuated and is the same clutch used in some Cadillacs.

Only 24 examples will be sold at which point Hesketh will concentrate on producing a two-seater version. According to the British firm there are currently 11 interested buyers, with three customers having already paid a deposit.

Hesketh also has plans to return to its roots and create a sports-tourer not too dissimilar to the V1000.

Owner and chief designer, Paul Sleeman, explained once the British firm is fully up and running - which should be in roughly eight weeks time - they could build one bike a week, depending on staff levels. He added that the whole Hesketh program has cost almost £900,000 since his takeover in 2010.

Speaking of the bike's history, he said: ‘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’.

Although we never got to see the bike in action due to a last-minute tweak to the fuel tank which prevented the bike from running; the 24 will have its first public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ridden by former BSB champion Tommy Hill, who also runs a design company and produced the graphics seen on the bike.

The 24 will cost £35,000 and comes with an extendable two-year unlimited mileage warranty. There’s currently no dealer network meaning purchase and servicing will take place at their factory in Redhill, Surrey.