The Hesketh name will be revived and there will be new Hesketh motorcycles from 2012 onwards. But is there a place for Hesketh in today's world of motorcycling...?
Set up by Lord Hesketh back in 1980, the UK-based Heseth Motorcycles have been making and selling the V1000 touring bike for almost three decades now. Over the years, Hesketh have also made a few units of variants based on the original V1000. These bikes – the Vulcan, Vampire and Vortan – all use the same 1000cc V-twin engine, with minor mechanical and cosmetic changes. There seems to be no record of how many of each of these machines have been sold and we doubt if you’d find a Hesketh anywhere outside of the UK.
Until very recently, it looked like there was little hope – and probably no future – for Hesketh Motorcycles. However, according to a report in the June 2011 issue of Motorcycle Sport & Leisure magazine, a British businessman, Paul Sleeman, has bought over Hesketh from Broom Engineering, the company that’s kept Hesketh alive for all these years. And Sleeman fully intends to revive the marque and develop a brand-new motorcycle that will carry the Hesketh name in the future. Sleeman says he’ll build five more units of the original V1000 and sell them as ‘final edition’ models, after which it’ll be time for the all-new Hesketh to go into production, sometime in 2012.
According to the MSL report, Sleeman and his team spoke to engine suppliers like Cosworth, Ilmor and Rotax, though they choose not to disclose which supplier will finally be making engines for the new Hesketh bike. What they do tell us is that it will be a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 72-degree 1000cc V-twin (there will also be a 1200cc version later…), which will produce at least 150 horsepower. The first batch of these engines is expected to be ready in the next six weeks and Hesketh will be testing the engines for the next few months, before the bikes finally go into production sometime in 2012.
Whether there really is space for Hesketh in today’s world of motorcycling and whether running a small volumes motorcycle manufacturing outfit that’s based in the UK can be made financially viable, remains to be seen. Mr Sleeman, we wish you all the best!
The original Hesketh V1000 looks good... ...if you like this sort of thing
Source: Motorcycle Sport & Leisure