You’d be forgiven for thinking 125bhp and 144lb ft are quite big numbers for a bike. Hesketh Motorcycles owner Paul Sleeman isn’t convinced; he’s planning to stick a turbo on the next iteration of the already spectacular ’24’, and is gunning for 220bhp and 250 ft lb!
GRR can also confirm that Hesketh, which launched its incredible ’24’ bike at FoS (pic below), has plans further down the line to make an ‘in-house’ V6 motor.
We sat down with Hesketh owner Paul Sleeman for a chat after sampling the ’24’ ourselves (more on that shortly …) during which he outlined where he plans to take the company in the next few years.
‘We’re going to build a turbocharged version of the current bike next year – but with two seats,’ he tells us. ‘S&S (who supply the whopping two-litre lump in the ’24) are up for it. We reckon we’re looking at about 220bhp and 250lb/ft of torque. After all, you can never have enough power, can you?’
Now 220bhp is wild enough, but 250lb/ft of torque… on a bike? The front wheel may never touch the ground again once you’ve set off! But that’s not all this skilled-engineer-come-grunt-addict has in store.
‘We’re looking very seriously at building our own V6. We wanted to do one for the ’24’ but after speaking to a number of manufacturers including Cosworth and Rotax it wasn’t going to happen. But with the Euro 4 regulations coming in to play in 2016 we’ll have to move on from the S&S motor. We collected a lot of data on the V6, and did some design work at the start of the ’24’ project. Hesketh definitely needs to be building its own engines.’
‘So why not a V8,’ we suggest. Tongue-firmly-in-cheek.
‘I’d do a V12 if I could!’ is the instantaneous response, giving the distinct impression that it’s something he’s already given some thought to. ‘But even a V8 wouldn’t really work on bikes any more, what with the radiators and so on…’
So there you have it. Next year you’ll be able to buy your very own turbocharged Hesketh, and possibly – by 2016 – a new V6-powered version. From there we can only imagine that Mr Sleeman is considering a turbine. No, wait, that’s been done. Err… rocket motors?