Hesketh Motorcycles was an English motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1980, by Lord Hesketh who wanted to revive the British motorcycle industry with the help of his F1 racing experience gained in the past. During the same year, the company developed the first prototype equipped with a Weslake V Twin 1000cc engine which was the first British bike featuring a four valves per cylinder engine and twin camshafts.
Although lots of people said that this prototype could represent the first major success of the firm, it all went wrong, mostly due to the fact that these bikes were pretty heavy and unreliable, the company encountering multiple problems during the manufacturing process.
After Hesketh started the production of the 139 models, the company started looking for a helping hand from another motorcycle manufacturer that could help it develop and improve the bikes. Triumph Motorcycles, another British company, purchased the rights of the motorcycle, so a new V 1000 bike was rolled out, this time with the Triumph badge on it.
In 1983, Lord Hesketh decided to start a new company, dubbed Hesleydon Ltd, in order to manufacture a V1000 model with a full fairing, called the Vampire. Although the newly-founded company attempted to turn the Vampire into a major success but, due to many errors, only 40 units of the bikes were produced until 1984.
After this second failure, another helping hand came from Mick Broom, who bought the Hesleydon company, aiming to distribute the motorcycles in other countries.
Broom started improving the V1000, easily turning it into a long distance tourer. One twelve units of the Vampire have been built every year, along with other models such as the Vulcan and Vortan.
Another unpleasant event shook the company in 2006 when £40,000 worth of documents, tools and bikes were stolen,.