Motorcycles

Hand-built, mighty and rare – the 2018 Hesketh Valiant SC

Hand-built, mighty and rare – ...
By adding a supercharger to a 2.1 lt V-twin, the Hesketh Valiant SC makes for a very intriguing ride
By adding a supercharger to a 2.1 lt V-twin, the Hesketh Valiant SC makes for a very intriguing ride
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The 24 was the motorcycle that brought Hesketh back to life in 2014, inspired by James Hunt's 1975 F1 racer and produced in a very limited production run of only 24 examples
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The 24 was the motorcycle that brought Hesketh back to life in 2014, inspired by James Hunt's 1975 F1 racer and produced in a very limited production run of only 24 examples
The Hesketh Sonnet is the cafe racer version of the 24
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The Hesketh Sonnet is the cafe racer version of the 24
The Hesketh 24 poses next to James Hunt's Hesketh 308 race car that in 1975 managed a memorable win against Nicky Lauda's Ferrari
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The Hesketh 24 poses next to James Hunt's Hesketh 308 race car that in 1975 managed a memorable win against Nicky Lauda's Ferrari
A carbon cover over the passenger's seat of the Hesketh Valiant SC
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A carbon cover over the passenger's seat of the Hesketh Valiant SC
The fuel tank of the Hesketh Valiant SC holds 17 liters (4.5 gal)
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The fuel tank of the Hesketh Valiant SC holds 17 liters (4.5 gal)
An aluminium cover over the Rotrex supercharger of the Hesketh Valiant SC
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An aluminium cover over the Rotrex supercharger of the Hesketh Valiant SC
Unlike the Brembo calipers of the 24 and the Beringer ones of the Sonnet, Hesketh developed its own billet six-piston calipers for the Valiant SC
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Unlike the Brembo calipers of the 24 and the Beringer ones of the Sonnet, Hesketh developed its own billet six-piston calipers for the Valiant SC
The swingarm of the Hesketh Valiant SC also houses the 4.5 lt oil tank
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The swingarm of the Hesketh Valiant SC also houses the 4.5 lt oil tank
The air intakes of the Hesketh Valiant SC
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The air intakes of the Hesketh Valiant SC
The Valiant SC continues on the Hesketh tradition of building "gentlemen's motorcycles"
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The Valiant SC continues on the Hesketh tradition of building "gentlemen's motorcycles"
Smiths offered a stylish speedometer for the Hesketh Valiant SC
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Smiths offered a stylish speedometer for the Hesketh Valiant SC
At £50,000 (US$61,000), the Hesketh Valiant SC is probably looking at a small production run for select customers
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At £50,000 (US$61,000), the Hesketh Valiant SC is probably looking at a small production run for select customers
By adding a supercharger to a 2.1 lt V-twin, the Hesketh Valiant SC makes for a very intriguing ride
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By adding a supercharger to a 2.1 lt V-twin, the Hesketh Valiant SC makes for a very intriguing ride
The light alloy wheels of the Valiant SC are a direct tribute to the Astralite wheels that Hesketh used in the original V1000 of the 1980s
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The light alloy wheels of the Valiant SC are a direct tribute to the Astralite wheels that Hesketh used in the original V1000 of the 1980s
The exhaust system of the Hesketh Valiant SC is conveniently hidden under the engine
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The exhaust system of the Hesketh Valiant SC is conveniently hidden under the engine
The S&S X-Wedge V-twin engine makes the jump from the Hesketh Sonnet's 145 hp to the Valiant SC's 210 hp courtesy of this Rotrex supercharger
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The S&S X-Wedge V-twin engine makes the jump from the Hesketh Sonnet's 145 hp to the Valiant SC's 210 hp courtesy of this Rotrex supercharger
View gallery - 16 images

Hesketh Motorcycles' third model is the high-end Valiant SC roadster, which owes its name to a legendary high-altitude bomber. It offers an extravagant 210 hp output from its supercharged 2.1 liter V-twin, and a hefty price tag that will appeal to a very eclectic customer base.

For Formula One fans, the name Hesketh should ring some bells; Lord Hesketh's team competed at the top level of car racing from 1972 until 1978 and helped launch the career of driver James Hunt, who brought the privateer team's first and only victory in 1975 driving a Hesketh 308 against Nicky Lauda's Ferrari.

Soon after Hesketh Racing retired from F1, its owner attempted to set up a motorcycle business in the early 1980s by introducing the English-built V1000. The Vampire touring version that followed soon after did very little to help alleviate reliability issues, and this endeavour would soon come to a financial dead end – much like the F1 racing team had a few years earlier.

At £50,000 (US$61,000), the Hesketh Valiant SC is probably looking at a small production run for select customers
At £50,000 (US$61,000), the Hesketh Valiant SC is probably looking at a small production run for select customers

After several years in idle, Hesketh's rights ended up in the hands of Paul Sleeman, who moved the production facility to Surrey, UK, and in 2014 announced a new limited-production model. The 24 was a direct tribute to James Hunt's Hesketh 308 F1 car and its production run was limited to just 24 motorcycles. This time Sleeman didn't attempt to replicate the V1000 recipe, but instead built the 24 around an S&S X-Wedge V-twin engine with high-end peripherals and as many English parts as possible.

Last year Hesketh Motorcycles introduced the Sonnet café racer, which is based on the 24 and is expected in the second half of 2017. The Valiant SC is the third model of the boutique brand, also elaborating on the same base with a wild roadster theme. Its name is apparently inspired by the Vickers-Armstrongs high-altitude bomber that was part of the Royal Air Force's nuclear force in the 1950s and '60s. Hesketh's plans include as well a basic Valiant model, which should probably be a similar motorcycle minus the supercharger.

The Valiant SC is powered by a 2,097 cc (128 ci) S&S X-Wedge motor, coupled with a Rotrex supercharger purposefully tuned by TTS Performance. The end result is quite impressive, measuring 210 hp (156.6 kW) at 5,500 rpm and 295 Nm (217.6 lb-ft) at just 3,000 rpm.

Smiths offered a stylish speedometer for the Hesketh Valiant SC
Smiths offered a stylish speedometer for the Hesketh Valiant SC

The motor sits in a chromium-molybdenum steel alloy cradle frame, designed and fabricated for Hesketh by GIA Engineering. The motorcycle is suspended by a set of K-Tech units, including two Razor shock absorbers in the back and a pair of black inverted forks that appear to be a K-Tech KTR-3 racing set with Öhlins internals. Braking is handled by a pair of six-pot billet calipers designed by Hesketh at the front, and a rear four-piston Brembo caliper.

Furnished with gear from a variety of leading brands like Rizoma, Magura, Domino, Motogadget and Smiths, the Valiant SC's dry weight measures no less than 239 kg (527 lb).

According to Hesketh Motorcycles, the first Valiant SC models are expected to start shipping in the summer (North Hemisphere) of 2018, at a retail price of £50,000 (about US$61,000).

Source: Hesketh Motorcycles

View gallery - 16 images
3 comments
Buellrider
Expensive but nice. I like the Buell underbelly muffler. I bet it really moves on out.
possum1
A big V twin with a 5 inch Smiths speedo graduated to 150 mph - a tip of the hat to Vincent. I hope the supercharger whistles like a Merlin engine !
JimFox
Fat ugly PIG! That is NOT what motorcycling is about; bet it is just like a fat ugly pig to ride, too.