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Hesketh V1000

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The British made Hesketh V1000, first launched in 1981 featured Marzocchi suspension and Brembo brakes. The V1000 did not sell well. Later a faired tourer, the Hesketh Vampire was introduced, it too proved to be unpopular with the masses.
 Hesketh V1000



For those of you who are wondering what on earth I’m talking about, the Hesketh motorcycle brand was the brainchild of one Lord Hesketh, the owner of the last ever privately owned F1 team to win a Grand Prix – according to Wikipedia. Hesketh’s vision was to rebuild the once great British Motorcycle Industry with a hand-built and home-engineered motorcycle of his own design. So in 1982, after two years of development, he self-financed a purpose built factory and commenced the first run of the Hesketh V1000. Unfortunately the factory was destined to fail and after several issues with reliability, manufacture of the bike finally ceased with only 139 ever being built.
 Hesketh V1000


But the story doesn’t end there. In 1983 Lord Hesketh, refusing to be beaten, opened a new factory with a new brand name; Hesleydon Ltd. This new company developed a slightly modified version of the V1000 called the Vampire with an oil cooler to the rear and a full fairing. They built a total of 40 before also going into receivership.

We have tried to retain the looks of the first V1000 model made over 18 years ago to maintain the classic appeal, but if you look carefully you will notice modern radial tyres and uprated forks. However, you will not see the computer engine management system, the new internal oil system or the detail to the fit of parts identified over twenty years of development.The sum of all this is a unique classic and modern machine hand built just for you.


The Engine
 Hesketh V1000


The heart of the Hesketh's unique character is in its classical V-twin engine. It's heritage stretches back to the turn of the century. Landmarks created by such innovators as George Brough, and Phil Vincent, fed the pre-eminence of the V-twin philosophy. Following Brough's withdrawal after the war, Vincent carried the mantle of subsequent development, his Rapide, Black Shadow and Black Lightning leaving an indelible impression even today, thirty-five years after production ceased.
For a motorcycle, the 90-degree V-twin with transverse crankshaft has more to commend it than any other engine configuration.
 Hesketh V1000


 The relative simplicity resulting from having but two cylinders extends to the ignition and carburettors. Furthermore, the narrow configuration makes for a low centre of gravity and low drag coefficient, the benefits of which are manifest in economy, performance, balance and handling. Comparing a V-twins slim crankcase -little wider than a single's - with that of a modern multi-cylinder indicates the dramatic reduction in frontal area.


With a lower engine speed capability than the equivalent engine with more cylinders, the V-twin produces greatly increased torque at lower engine speeds allowing a more relaxed style of riding to achieve a given performance.
Despite slightly less even firing intervals than are given by a narrower cylinder angle, the 90 degree V-twin is fundamentally the better as its crankshaft can be counterweighted to give perfect primary balance. Installed as in the Hesketh, with the front cylinder almost horizontal, it has proved to be very smooth together with first class cooling characteristics and eliminating undesirable gyroscopic or torque reaction effects.


The basic philosophy of the Hesketh as an enthusiast's performance touring machine has dictated the criteria in terms of engine characteristics and performance. The decision to adopt a V-twin configuration was followed by years of concentrated research, design. development and testing, blending a traditional engine concept with the finest, and in some cases innovative features of modern technology.
The production engine is a well oversquare 992cc V-twin. An extremely high design strength was the fundamental requirement in the conceptual stages, illustrated by the very robust bottom half, the castings of which embody the gearbox. Following the rigidity theme, the crankcase mouths are extended to embrace much of the cylinder liners, with the result that the aluminium jackets of the barrels are very short.


The Hesketh engine features a one piece steel forging , exceptionally stiff, running in large diameter roller bearings; Aircraft specification steel blanks are used for the connecting rods which have split big ends housing copper-lead bearings of high load carrying capacity.


In order to achieve the designed performance and efficiency, with excellent breathing and precise valve control at the higher end of the engine speed range, the adoption of DOHC four valves per cylinder heads was considered essential. The valves have an inclined angle of 40 degrees in aluminium casting with flat top pistons giving highly efficient pent roof combustion chambers and a compression ratio of 10 to 1. Roller chains, with slipper type tensioners and anti flutter strips, drive the camshafts which are supported in needle roller bearings and actuate the valves through inverted bucket tappets.
 Hesketh V1000

 Hesketh V1000


The ignition used is a high efficiency electronic computer control system for consistent timing at all engine speeds on both cylinders and freedom of maintenance. The fuel mixture is provided by two Dellorto carburettors with accelerator pumps and paper element filters and the lubrication system (again with a paper element filter) embodies a positive feed to the crankshaft, cams and gearbox are feed from a secondary system - a feature contributing significantly to the Hesketh's longevity. Engine starting is electric. The combination of a triple reduction drive and heavy duty battery supplying ample power at all times.


The Transmission


The two helical gears of the primary drive are wide and durable and their centres optimised for quiet running. Incorporated in the output gear is a multiplate wet clutch more than adequate for the engine's high torque characteristics. The clutch is of conventional design but its actuation is by a hydraulic system to ensure ultra smooth action with automatic adjustment and high mechanical efficiency.


The high torque characteristics result in the Hesketh requiring only five gears to achieve its full speed range. The compact gear cluster is of traditional British design. Gears and the very rigid shafts all run in Torrington low friction needle roller bearings. A noteworthy and innovative facet of the transmission is the train of gears between the gearbox output and the shaft carrying the final drive sprocket.


This layout enables the sprocket to be coaxial with the pivot of the rear suspension fork. Since the usual variations in chain tension with the wheel travel are thus eliminated, the 5/8 in pitch sealed rear chain has extremely good wear characteristics and when adjustment is required is quick and simple being controlled by keyed eccentric bushes in the rear fork, eliminating the need for the heavier and more expensive shaft drive system.


The Frame


The frame is a light but rigid Sifbronze welded duplex structure with the engine/gearbox forming the lower half and acting as a stressed member. The material used for the construction is Reynolds 531 tubing (recognised as being unsurpassed for this purpose) with thorough triangulation at the steering head for the necessary torsional stiffness essential to good handling characteristics.


The standard frame is finished in stove enamel to a colour of the customers choice.
The 43mm telescopic front forks, renowned for rigidity, excellent damping and long service life, have been chosen for the front suspension whilst the rear end stiffness is helped by unusually wide spacing of the fork's pivot bearing which, being Timken taper roller units, are extremely durable. The Marzocchi rear spring damper legs have multi rate springs with preload adjustment together with gas progressive stage damping.


The hydraulically operated disc brake assemblies have twin 310mm discs at the front and single 270mm disc at the rear giving extremely powerful and fade free braking; interaction between the rear brake and suspension is precluded by a parallelogram linkage from the rear of the gearbox to the floating aluminium torque arm carrying the calliper, allowing the suspension to work at optimum efficiency, even under hard braking conditions.


Close attention to practicality and riding comfort has resulted in a fuel tank sufficient to hold 22 litres yet slim enough for good knee grip. High engine efficiency has resulted in a cruising range from a full tank of over 200 miles. The overall styling, including the tank, seat and rear fairing, headlamp cowl and enclosure panels was designed in consultation with John Mockett who has become established as Britain's top motorcycle stylist.


The Hesketh is well equipped. Electric's include a Lucas RM24 15-amp alternator and a Bosch H4 halogen headlamp for excellent range and lateral spread; the 12-volt 27Ah battery and a compartment housing a total of 5 fuses are situated between the side panels behind the rear cylinder. In addition to the obligatory speedometer with mileometer and trip meter, the instrument panel carries a tachometer, warning lights for key functions and a quartz clock, while self cancelling turn indicators and mirrors are standard.



Year  19821

specification
Engine 992 cc aircooled V-twin
Transmission chain
Max speed 120 mph

Horsepower 86 bhp @ 6500 rpm
Weight 230 kgs / 506 lbs

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