Hesketh 24 in the driving report

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Cathcart

Hesketh 24 in the driving report

Hesketh 24 in the driving report

Hesketh 24 in the driving report

Hesketh 24 in the driving report

21st photos

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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His lordship does himself the honor: One sips the French red, the other smokes homemade: Lord Alexander Hesketh (right) and Paul Sleeman, who has taken over the Hesketh brand.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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… This win was the only one for Hesketh, while James Hunt moved to McLaren for the 1976 season and won the world championship against Ferrari driver Niki Lauda.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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Formula 1 reminiscences: the paintwork, start number and the sketch of the Dutch GP track in Zandvoort are reminiscent of James Hunt’s victory in the Hesketh 308 in 1975 …

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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Although the engine and frame come from the USA, Alan Cathcart found the Hesketh to be a successful mixture of British handling and American engine power.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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“You have to grab a big handful of clutch” – actually the description of the stiff clutch cannot be translated.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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The rustic gear requires a rocker with double shift linkage. Lord Hesketh signed the clutch cover.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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The driving and suspension properties of the Hesketh are largely determined by the super-light BST carbon wheels.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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Four instruments in the carbon cockpit – but no tachometer. The characteristics of the S&S-Motors makes it unnecessary.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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The muscular motor is rigidly mounted in a double loop frame.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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The English entrepreneur Paul Sleeman presents the Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
Nakamura

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The Hesketh 1000, which his lordship initiated himself. Long before the Ducati 851 with a water-cooled dohc four-valve engine.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
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Hesketh 24.

Hesketh 24 in the driving report

The two-wheeled Cobra

The Hesketh 24, manufactured in a limited series of 24, is built by five employees in Surrey. It is said to cost £ 35,000. We have already driven it.

Paul Sleeman is a designer whose London company Tullman Design developed the world’s best-selling diesel key. This prevents the tank of a diesel vehicle from being accidentally filled with petrol. The profits from this successful coup and a few other products allow the fan of English motorcycles and owners of a Norton Commando to fulfill one wish: to become a motorcycle manufacturer. He bought the rights to the Hesketh brand from Lord Alexander in May 2010 and has since been working to reactivate it with a range of V2 motorcycles. The first to debut is the Hesketh 24.

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Hesketh 24 in the driving report

Hesketh 24 in the driving report
The two-wheeled Cobra

24 won the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort. “We tried to indicate this gently, for example with the small Scottish and English flags or the route from Zandvoort,” explains Paul Sleeman. The Hesketh, manufactured in a limited series of 24 units, is built by five employees in Surrey. It is said to cost £ 35,000 – including VAT. “A Hesketh motorcycle should represent excellent engineering,” says Paul Sleeman. “The V 1000 emerged from a Formula 1 winning car and was an extremely advanced motorcycle in 1981 – the first British street motorcycle with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder and water cooling. At that time Ducati built air-cooled two-valve engines, Guzzis and Harleys still work with pushrod valve trains. That was 30 years ago, admittedly, but we want you to recognize the 24 as a Hesketh at first glance. ”Yes, but it has a pushrod valve train …

The engine and construction come from the USA

Because the new Hesketh 24 is powered by an S&S-ohv engine from the USA, which was developed especially for them, but the Confederate Wraith and Hellcat engines as well as those of the Italian CR&S DUU is very similar. The engine builder from Wisconsin has developed a special version of the 75 kg unit, which comes with a 104 mm bore and 111.1 mm stroke to 1917 cm³ and delivers 124 brake horse power at 6000 rpm. The highest torque of 196 Nm occurs at 3000 rpm. The engine is connected to a 21-plate oil bath clutch called King Kong via a duplex primary chain, followed by a Baker six-speed gearbox. Hesketh offers the engine in three tuning stages, the tuning is carried out by Harris Performance Engines, dragster specialists from Kent. They are not related or related by marriage to the famous frame builder, but he will probably build the frames for the larger series of Hesketh motorcycles.

The muscular motor is rigidly mounted in a double loop frame made of chrome-molybdenum steel tubing; the construction also comes from the USA and is built by Racing Innovations in Oklahoma City. An underseat exhaust, Öhlins spring elements, radially screwed Beringer brake calipers and carbon wheels from BST complete the chassis. The 820 millimeter high seat is upholstered in nappa leather from Italy, and the paintwork is the work of former British Superbike champion Tommy Hill, who also drove the tests.

Modern and two-wheeled equivalent to the AC Cobra

As the first external driver, I was allowed to borrow the Hesketh 24 for a tour of rural Warwickshire, where I live. The roads there produced the outstanding handling for which BSA, Royal Enfield and Triumph were once famous. It quickly became apparent that Sleeman and his team have put an invigorating blend of American muscle bike power and British handling on the wheels, even though the chassis is from the USA. The Hesketh is the modern, two-wheeled equivalent of the AC Cobra – it pushes out of the curve with thrilling force, which it previously hurried lightly through.

Nobody else offers such an Anglo-American blend, especially not with such an impressive finish. The Hesketh 24 can also be seen under the carbon cladding parts. The quality of the paintwork is high, the sprocket is a metal work of art, the hand-sewn leather is classy and the analog instruments combine the old with the new. There’s a large speedometer and three smaller gauges for oil temperature, time and battery voltage, but no tachometer.

This is probably because the RPM is not really important for this engine. Simply press the starter button and the V2 will start and after a few seconds go into a leisurely idle state – it is ready. Then the driver has to “squeeze a large handful of clutch together” and engage first gear. In traffic jams or city traffic, driving the Hesketh is hard work for the left hand. After getting used to it, the gears can be inserted fairly smoothly, albeit slowly. It is worth using the clutch to upshift; from fourth to sixth gear is also possible without.

"Then it gets bad, very bad."

It was a pleasure to meet up with the S&S engine that I made friends with from Jay Leno’s Mobil 1 Powercruiser, the Confederate Hellcat, and the CR&S DUU know. It doesn’t rattle as rudely as other tuning units, but it throws a powerful sound out of the two Ducati-style exhausts. It sounds like the V2 equivalent of the Ford Cobra V8, with the same chunky, syncopated warble. And although S&S has decided not to mount balance shafts, it runs relatively smoothly for an American V2, pulls cleanly and without hacking from idle speed. Vibrations are mainly felt in the handlebars when you turn up the engine, but they could probably be ironed out with heavier weights at the ends of the aluminum handlebars. Everything nicely civilized until you use the torque reserves. Then it gets bad, very bad.

You don’t need the robust clutch to catapult yourself out of a U-turn at walking pace, but it’s better to keep the speed a little higher to avoid hacking the drive train. Mountains of torque are available up to the rev limiter, which kicks in at 6000 rpm, but there is no good reason to rev up that much. When surfing the torque wave, 100 miles are reached quickly, the lower two of the six gears are actually unnecessary. Nevertheless, one likes to switch, which is a welcome excuse for sonorous double-gas bursts and full explosions when closing the keys.

You have to keep the Hesketh 24 moving

The Hesketh 24 is a great motorcycle for heavy traffic, with which you can win every sprint, zap into every tight gap, to swing through the lines of cars. But you also have to keep them moving because the heat from the air-cooled one-liter cylinders and the barely insulated exhausts grills your knees and buttocks with every stop. One more reason to enjoy this motorcycle on country roads.

As a corner carver, it has high qualities, even if it will probably not be able to overtake a Tuono V4R on the inside line. The carbon wheel and the wide aluminum bar help when turning. But it is probably a bit too wide and too flat, so that the driver is stretched over the long tank and puts a lot of his weight on his arms and shoulders. That tends to get tough over time, which is why Paul Sleeman wants to offer different handlebars. And while I’m criticizing: The boom of the side stand and the gear lever are too close together; it is difficult to unfold the stand before dismounting.

She can brake vehemently despite her 246 kg

The designers have put part of the gasoline supply far down and use the swing arm as an oil reservoir. This lowers the center of gravity and ensures that the Hesketh drives more and more precisely the harder it is pushed. It instills a lot of confidence in the driver. The Öhlins shock absorbers are hard-sprung to prevent the hind quarters from buckling when accelerating, which could cause understeer when leaning. But thanks to the softer fork, there is no problem with that, and the suspension comfort is surprisingly good. The freedom from inclination was sufficiently measured; only the rear ends of the underfloor cladding occasionally touch down.

Despite its weight of 246 kg, the Hesketh 24 can brake vehemently without the fork breaking on its knees. If, however, the driver applies the brakes slightly in order to reduce the speed, the Hesketh straightens up immediately. An indication of too little lag. That could perhaps still be fixed, but on the other hand you can get used to the effect. Either way: Paul Sleeman and his team have created something very exclusive and valuable, a motorcycle that combines British styling and American V2 culture, custom coolness and a café racer look.

Technical data Hesketh 24

Engine: Air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 56.25 degree V-engine, three underlying camshafts, two valves per cylinder, bumpers, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, 1 x 52.4 mm, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox , O-ring chain.

Bore x stroke: 104.8 x 111.1 mm
Displacement: 1917 cm³
Compression ratio: 9.75: 1   
Rated output: 91.2 kW (124 hp) at 6000 rpm
Max. Torque: 196 Nm at 3000 rpm

Landing gear: Double loop frame made of tubular steel, upside-down fork, Ø 55 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of steel with integrated oil tank, two spring struts, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, Four-piston fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 250 mm, four-piston fixed calipers.

Carbon rims: 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires: 120/70 ZR 17; 190/70 ZR 17

Dimensions + weight: Wheelbase 1550 mm, steering head angle 65 degrees, caster 96 mm, spring travel v./h. k. A., seat height 820 mm, dry weight 232 kg, tank capacity 19 liters.

Price: £ 35,000

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