Classic Motorcycle brand facing liquidation due to customer dispute

classic motorcycle firm facing liquidation

Classic Motorcycle Company Hesketh Motorcycles are facing liquidation after a winding up order was served on the company by a customer.

Customer Paul Anderson, 57, first contacted Hesketh Motorcycles in May 2021 and paid a £10,000 deposit towards the last £30,000 Sonnet café racer model Hesketh were going to make.

In emails seen by Motorcycle News, Hesketh Managing Director, Paul Sleeman, confirmed that a build slot for the Sonnet was available, and on May 26 further confirmed via email.

“As discussed briefly on the phone today I will work towards a six-month completion for the final Sonnet but we have to be aware of some potential slippage, but things are looking better,” Sleeman wrote.

Almost two years later, Anderson says he has not received the bike and that his deposit remains with the company. Anderson said: “The bike didn’t materialise and then I had to chase him for answers.

He reveals: “I started to get quite cold feet about it and, wind on a couple of years, there is still no motorcycle. In the end I sent a demand for payment.”

“After multiple attempts to try to get any kind of acknowledgement from him, there was nothing at all, so I handed it over to my solicitors,” says Anderson.

Sleeman says the delay can be attributed to a combination of factors, including Covid-19 and Euro5 regulations.

“It has been very difficult times,” he told MCN. “For the record I did on many occasions try to settle with Mr Anderson but he was not receptive as he had his own agenda that has now become evident.”

The agenda Sleeman refers to are the rights to the Hesketh name, which Anderson had asked for as a deposit as repayment negotiations dragged on.

“What I offered him was ‘you give me the intellectual property rights to the Hesketh brand, and I will hold that as a deposit. We will do it legally and when you give me the money back it will go straight back to you’,” explained Anderson. “But he went quiet again, so we served a winding up order.”

During this time Sleeman unveiled the 450cc Hesketh Heresy at Eicma in November 2022, an act that to the outside observer would suggest a company looking to the future. However, three months on and liquidation proceedings are currently underway.

Sleeman said: “The liquidation is not complete yet. When published, you, like many others, will discover that there are two creditors, and no significant bad debt.”

Any potential creditors of Hesketh Motorcycles are urged to the liquidators.


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