Victory presents Project 156 racer for Pikes Peak
With the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb just around the bend, Victory Motorcycles has unveiled the final version of its hand-built prototype sportsbike that is set to debut at the infamous "Race to the Clouds." To be raced by Cycle World road test editor Don Canet, Project 156 is an all-American effort designed in co-operation with Roland Sands Design that could give US spectators something to cheer about.
In lessthan two weeks' time, the second oldest motorsport event in USA (the first is theIndy 500) will get underway for the 93rd time. When Victory teamed up with Roland Sands Design torace this historic event the aim was to create a race bike with aprototype engine within a very short timeframe – they only had four months’ time.
Informationon the technical side of this motorcycle is scarce. All we know is that it’spowered by a liquid-cooled V-twin using titanium valves that runs of a veryhigh 15:1 compression ratio and is housed in a tubular steel frame. There's no word yet ondisplacement or power figures.
Suspension is handled by Ohlins with a rearshock linkage apparently coming from a Ducati 899 Panigale. Braking has beenoutsourced to Brembo, Dunlop supplied its GP-A Pro tires, Motec offered thebase for the electronic management of the motor, and K&N purifies the air itbreathes. We also know it sounds great – the proof is supplied in the video at theend of this story.
Another irrefutablefact is that Project 156 will race, instead of just playing out a marketingscheme as a showbike. Don Canet, a former racer and road test editor forCycle World, is fresh from his Pikes Peak debut last year where he took third place on aDucati Multistrada.
"My role is simple but hugelyimportant: twisting the throttle with full faith in the skill of those behindthe engine and chassis, which, Lord willing, will carry me safely to the14,115-foot summit," writes Canet in his blog. "I’m losing sleep because of my burning desire to post a resultthat satisfies the investment and effort of all involved."
The motor’stesting was concluded in late May and the shakedown took place at the ButtonwillowRaceway Park in Southern California during the first days of June. Last week, Victory took Project 156 to Pikes Peak for some official in situ testing. Although it is unclear how many competitors werepresent, Canet’s best run took him to second place behind a Honda CBR1000RR riddenby Jeffrey Tigert. Considering that the latter is a proper Heavyweights racing competitor,things are looking very good for Victory’s participation in the UTV/Exhibitionclass.
Now, tofeed the rumor mill, the prototype motor does bear some aesthetic resemblance withthe Scout’s production power plant. In the Cycle World review of the Scout Canet wrote that "the low and lanky Scout fits the cruisermold, yet this American bike has a sporting heart. One hard run through thegears kindled my imagination regarding future applications of thisliquid-cooled V-twin." That was last October.
Then this from Canet's Editor-in-Chief,Mark Hoyer, in the same article: "What anice surprise to find liquid-cooling and Ducati-worthy intake and exhaust portson this all-new 60-degree V-twin. Most intriguing is the 86 horses it makes onthe dyno. That’s conservative for 1,133cc, which promises a bright future. WhenI said to Kevin Cameron I thought there was an easy 140 hp in this powerplant,he upped the ante quite a bit. How about a Sport Scout with similar styling anda standard-style riding position?"
Actually, this line of speculation would make a lot of sense. A few months hardly offers sufficient time to designa new engine out of thin air, though it is enough to develop a production engine to racinglevel.
Victory has just made an appearance at the Isle of Manelectric race and could well be planning ventures into new categories. Indeed, withall the American heritage it bears, a Scout-related sportbike standing squarelyagainst the European and Japanese competition would no doubt attract a strongfollowing, in the USA, at least.
We can almost infer such a notion from Rod Krois, VictoryGeneral Manager, as he explains that, “we have an intense focus at VictoryMotorcycles to prove the performance of our vehicles. Competing as an AmericanOEM at America’s race is an exciting opportunity. The grueling conditions atPike’s Peak provide the perfect proving ground for our new Project 156 raceengine."
Takingadvantage of the opportunity, the American Victory Rally will be held in the ColoradoSprings area, June 25-28. Victory owners will have the chance to ride to the summit ofPikes Peak on June 27 and on race day a premium hill climb viewing area hasbeen reserved exclusively for Victory owners.
The PikesPeak International Hill Climb is held west of Colorado Springs every year since1916, except during war years. The timed race negotiates a 12.42 m (19.98 km) twisting road that climbsfrom a 9,390 ft (2,862 m) elevation up to 14,115 ft (4,302 m) at the peak,composed of 156 turns – hence the Project’s illustrative name.
Below isthe latest of the official videos that followed the evolution of Project156 throughout its course. Another great video is hosted on Cycle World, withCanet’s testing run on the actual Pikes Peak racecourse.
Sources: Victory Motorcycles, Roland Sands Design, Cycle World
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I'd be curious how Project 156 would do against their unmodified TT Zero bike up the hill.