1982 Hesketh V1000 for Sale

If you’re hanging around the garage on Sunday afternoon, talking about forgotten motorcycle brands, you can probably win some points with your gearhead friends if you mention Hesketh.

1982 Hesketh V1000 R Side

In the late 1970’s, the British motorcycle industry, once the world’s standard-bearer of performance and styling, was in seriously bad straights.  Lord Alexander Hesketh, whose background in Formula One racing inspired him to try his hand at building two-wheeled machines, had a plan to change all that by introducing a state-of-the –art, top-drawer gentleman’s performance machine that captured the style and spirit of the Vincent twins.

Basing his machine around a big-bore, 992cc 4-valve, 90degree V-Twin motor, he had a running machine ready by the early 1980’s.  Unfortunately, a lack of thorough development led to a bike that was overweight and unreliable.  It wasn’t especially sporty and it wasn’t really good at touring.  It was however, very expensive and didn’t sell well.  Caught up in the rest of the British biking industry crash, the company went under after producing less than 150 machines.

1982 Hesketh V1000 R Tank1982 Hesketh V1000 L Engine

Hesketh made a second grasp at life with a revamped machine geared towards the more touring-oriented customer that was graced with a huge, Windjammer-style fairing.  Known evocatively as the “Vampire”, it looked different, but was no real improvement mechanically and the company sank again, until an improved V1000 was produced by Mick Broom, a Hesketh test rider.

His company Broom Development Engineering solved the rear cylinder cooling issues that had lead to some of the engine’s previous reliability issues and updated the wheels, suspension, and brakes to at least keep modern machines in view.

Take a look here for the original Canadian ad: 1982 Hesketh V1000 for Sale.

The bike being offered appears to sport the very classy nickel-plated frame common on these machines.  From the original listing:

21874 miles Never thought I’d put this motorcycle up for sale.  Extremely rare.  Only two or three other ones in Canada.  I had this bike shipped over from England ten years ago.  These motorcycles are hand built.  When I bought it it had 3462 miles on it.  This has been a reliable motorcycle and one of the smoothest motorcycles I have owned.  (I’ve owned 35)  This bike is completely original and stock.  If you look at the pictures there is one small hole in the little fairing.  This bike had the EN10 update done to it by the engineer before it was flown over.  Not interested in any trades. 

1982 Hesketh V1000 R Engine

It looks like Heskeths are still being produced by Broom new, if you live in England and are in the market for a heavy, bikini-faired sport-tourer with 80’s styling and a booming V-Twin.  If you’re on this side of the Atlantic, you can pick this one up instead, since it’s virtually the same machine that’s been produced for the past few decades.  The asking price is $20,000 Canadian, which seems a small price to pay for such exclusivity.  You surely won’t ever see another at your local bike night.


1982 Hesketh V1000 Dash

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2 Responses

  1. riot says:

    Well, I can certainly say I learned something from this post – I have never heard of Hesketh before today.

    Rarity notwithstanding, I can’t say that I want one. At $20k, I should hope that my machine would at least be beautiful if not quite so rare. With a few exceptions, 1982 was a bad year for styling (hair in particular), where the transition from overly-boisterous early 70s swoopiness was slowly giving way to 80s angular efficiency. This bike appears stuck in the middle with elements from both, and well – it isn’t all that successful. Further, it lacks the lovely simplicity of contoured castings which I believe is one of the hallmarks of the classic brits.

    Oh well, nice try Lord Hesketh. BTW how many titled lords are there over there? It seems a good portion of them enjoy motorsport in any case.

  2. HOCAdmin says:

    Nice bike in, what proved to be, the most popular colour combo (red/gold/nickel). The price is about average as a UK buyer could expect to pay anywhere between GBP 10,995 – GBP 14,995 for a well-sorted, reliable example in good condition.

    The fact that this bike appears to have completed nearly 20K miles without dealer support and/or major rework speaks volumes for this particular machine… Some examples could barely turn a wheel without major rebuild work being equired. Others. like this one it appears, go on and on forever…

    As for the styling..? Well, if we all hankered for exactly the same things in life, what a boring old world it would be… I waited almost 30 years before buying my own V1000 (red/black/black) and my only regret is that I waited at all..!! I get massive enjoyment from riding and tinkering with it and I’d bet a lot that the future owner of this bike will be similarly afflicted.