First there was the Project 156 naked 1,200 cc V-twin that Victory raced at Pikes Peak in June. Then a pre-production version of this engine debuted at EICMA in the Ignition power cruiser concept. Now Victory has unveiled the Combustion – the third and last concept model built around its new engine platform. The next time we'll hear of this motor, it will probably be in a new production model.
When Victory's parent company Polaris acquired Indian Motorcycles in 2011 it got much more than just a strong commercial brand to strengthen its yearly sales figures. Indian actually brought a new sense of freedom to the Victory brand. Relieved from the necessities of the traditional cruiser segment and the head-on competition with Harley-Davidson, Victory gained the vital breathing space it needed to pursue new adventures.
After the addition of Brammo to the Polaris outfit, Victory turned its attention to the electric motorcycles, competed successfully at the Isle of Man TT Zero and soon introduced its first production electric model.
With a clear intent to expand towards new motorcycle segments, Victory then launched the Project 156. Based on a heavily modified Indian Scout engine and with the valuable help of Roland Sands, the Pikes Peak race bike was competitive in its first attempt at the difficult and demanding hillclimb. Despite crashing out prematurely, the Project 156 demonstrated strong testing times and was on its way to a podium finish when it withdrew from the race.
Last month Victory selected EICMA for the unveiling of the pre-production version of its new engine. Evolved from the Project 156, the 1,200 cc 60-degree V2 was introduced in the heart of a custom power cruiser designed by Swiss drag racer and custom builder Urs Erbacher. The Ignition Concept looks more like a direct competitor of the Ducati Diavel than anything else we have seen with a Victory badge.
Yet Victory had a third ace up its sleeve and chose to reveal it at the New York International Motor Show. The Combustion Concept is another take on the same musclebike we saw in Milan a few weeks ago, this time designed by a certain Mr. Zach Ness.
Technical specs are scarce, but the visual similarities of the two concepts are more than evident. Below a seemingly identical base, the Combustion opts for a more American-styled cruiser design with bigger 18-inch spoked wheels, longer tail section and taller handlebars. The inverted fork and Ohlins shocks of the Ignition have been substituted by a conventional front unit and two custom-made shocks. We also notice the single front disc brake, as well as a new exhaust design by Ness.
The few lucky people who have swung a leg over the saddles of these concepts unanimously concur on the exhilarating performance of what Victory describes as its highest output engine ever. It will probably not operate at a 15:1 compression ratio like the Pikes Peak racer, but it should still make for a pretty powerful, rev-happy cruiser.
Essentially though, what we should remember about these two beautiful concept models is Victory's declaration that they are both "propelled by production intent engines that will power the new model Victory Motorcycle to be revealed in 2016."
Source: Victory MotorcyclesView gallery - 17 images