1982 Hesketh V1000
Country: Great Britain
Engine: Air-cooled 90-degree V-twin 4-stroke
Ignition: Lucas electronic
Power Rating: 86bhp @ 6,500rpm
Bore x Stroke: 95x70mm
Valves: Double overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel System: Twin Dell-Orto carburetors
Suspension: Front telescopic forks, rear twin shocks
Brakes: Brembo, twin disc front, single disc rear
Top Speed: 130mph
Lord Hesketh, wealthy British nobleman, Formula One constructor and bike enthusiast, embarked on a mission to build a British Superbike. Using the best components, including the Weslake twin racing engine, an initial batch of bikes was built and released to the press for evaluation. The reaction was not favorable; the Hesketh motorcycles had many teething troubles and needed further development. With only 170 Hesketh V1000s produced, the company folded. An employee obtained manufacturing rights, cured the problems and continues to build a handful of machines a year to special order.
Update: In 2012, Hesketh reorganized under new owner Paul Sleeman. Sleeman has since produced a final five V1000 “derivatives” and says the company is moving to develop an all new motorcycle in 2013. Click here to go to the Hesketh website.