Hesketh Motorcycles

Hesketh 1983 V1000 Combination

Lord Alexander Hesketh sought, with the V1000, to produce the finest motorcycle in the world and re-establish the British motorcycle industry. Analogies to Vincent and prestige cars such as Aston Martin and Bentley abounded in the press prior to the models release. Power was provided by a double overhead cam, 90 degree vee-twin engine designed by Weslake, housed in a rigid tubular frame, which was offered with either an enamel finish or a striking nickel plated finish. Components were sourced from the leaders in their fields such as Brembo (brakes) and Marzocchi (suspension). When the press were allowed to try pre-production examples the analogies seemed to be correct, the large capacity twin endowing the machine with effortless performance whilst the handling, braking and quality were all of the highest order, although concerns were voiced about the quality of the gearchange.
Unfortunately, commercial pressures dictated that production started before the machine was fully developed. The general downturn in motorcycle sales combined with the machines high price and the by now "well reported" problems, that were subsequently resolved, led to sales that were not as significant as had initially been hoped for with the result that the firm went bust in May 1982 after approximately a hundred bikes had been built. Following the disposal by auction of the contents of the factory, a new firm was established continuing production for another year on a much reduced scale and introducing both the faired Vampire and the EN10 modifications that resolved the faults of the earlier machines. Following the closure of Helseydon, Mick Broom took over both the production of new machines and the supply of spares to owners of the earlier models. Under his stewardship the V1000 has been continually developed, current models utilising radial tyres, carbon bodywork and engine management systems among other innovations.

Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions

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