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Victory Will Race Both Gas and Electric Models Up Pikes Peak This Year

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After last year’s DNF with Don Canet aboard Victory’s Project 156 racer, Victory is going back to the mountain for the 100th anniversary of the event this year with two bikes and two riders. A new Project 156 gas racer will be piloted by former Pikes Peak champ Jeremy Toye, while Canet will return aboard the Victory Empulse RR to compete in the electric division. Here is the full press release from Victory:

MINNEAPOLIS — May 20, 2016 Victory Motorcycles®, a brand that delivers Modern American Muscle by producing motorcycles with head-snapping acceleration, power and handling, will be racing up the mountain with two very different motorcycles in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), an event that marks its 100th anniversary in 2016.

In an epic gas vs. electric battle in the experimental class, Victory Racing’s® Project 156™ will be piloted by former Pikes Peak Champion Jeremy Toye while the Victory Empulse® RR racer will be ridden by Cycle World’s Road Test Editor Don Canet.

Project 156™, named for the number of turns on the mountain road, is powered by a full race-prepared version of the liquid-cooled four-valve 1200cc DOHC V-twin that motivates the new Victory® Octane™ production motorcycle. The Victory Empulse® RR is being brought to Pikes Peak to build on last year’s podium finish at the Isle of Man TT. Victory’s production Empulse® TT is the street-legal version of this winning motorcycle.

“Victory Racing® serves as an international R&D development program and test beds for future products, and since Pikes Peak is arguably the most challenging race in America – it’s exactly where we need to be,” says Alex Hultgren, Director of Marketing for Victory Motorcycles®.  “We are proud to bring the Victory Racing® team back this year for participate in the 100th anniversary of the ‘Race to the Clouds’ and try to take back the mountain for an American manufacturer.  We can’t wait to see which bike comes out on top in this battle between gas and electric motorcycles.”

Following an early test, Empulse® RR rider Don Canet was impressed with the package. “Having now had a leg over the Victory Empulse® RR racer, I’m very optimistic about our prospects upon returning for another go on America’s mountain,” Canet says. “Pikes Peak is an ideal venue for an electric powered bike to showcase its performance potential.”

“One of the inherent advantages of an electric motorcycle up Pikes Peak versus a normally aspirated engine is the consistent performance regardless of the thinning air,” says Brandon Kraemer, Product Manager for Victory Motorcycles®. “Running this bike at the Isle of Man TT last year helped us move our development forward, and by entering Pikes Peak with a new set of challenges, we’re ensuring we can push the development of our electric powertrains even further.”

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Jeremy Toye, a veteran roadracer who took home PPIHC Rookie of the Year and King of the Mountain awards in 2014, says he’s enthused about the opportunity to compete aboard Project 156™: “After seeing Don ride Project 156™ last year and seeing the dedication Victory Motorcycles® has to performance, I can’t wait to give it full stick up the course.”

“The Victory Racing® team is pleased to have successfully completed our first tests last month in our journey back to challenge Pikes Peak on its 100th anniversary,” says Brian Wismann, Victory Racing® Team Manager. “We’re looking forward to the next test, when we’ll really start to fine-tune our set-up to tackle the mountain.”

Scheduled for Sunday, June 26, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Brought to you by Gran Turismo is expected to feature a field of approximately 100 competitors.

Spectators are invited to join Victory Motorcycles® 5 p.m.-10 p.m. June 24 in downtown Colorado Springs to celebrate 100 years of the Race to the Clouds at the 2016 PPIHC Fan Fest. See favorite competitors and enjoy entertainment, motorcycle exhibitions, vendor booths, food and refreshments.

Visit PPIHC.com for more information about the event. Learn more about Victory Motorcycles® at VictoryMotorcycles.com.


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42 Comments

  1. As if putting out the octane wasn’t bad enough they put the same stupid 3 gallon tank as the scout. The only place that’s good for is the wall of death! I hope they don’t try to build anything other than cruisers, they have a long way to go!

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  2. Dave says:

    Hopefully the response they’re seeing from these marketing efforts is more positive than the response they’re getting here. They make cruisers, that’s what is profitable for them now. If sporting motorcycles come back, they’ll be in a more credible, knowledgeable position to deliver on that, but only when it make business sense.

    As for the here and now? Obviously they’ve found some value in it, because they’re doing it again. This is the same marketing exercise that motivate the Big-4 auto makers participate in NASCAR. Hats off to them. Any participation in racing is a positive for those of us who prefer sport bikes.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I agree with your take completely. I do think that Victory is going to eventually meander into sportier bikes, and these race efforts will pay some dividends in the end should that be the case.

    • Mike says:

      Dave ….I also agree with your assessment ……..refreshing.

      I was going to post this earlier to you, but I was afraid of supporting the logical path made me sooooo fearful of replying as such……just kidding on this part.

  3. Mike says:

    Polaris = an amazing company and this article highlights a great effort by an American company and Americans ….four items all the whining experts here could never accept…..experts when combined could not make a knockoff of a Lambretta GP bike using the original to copy.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Nobody is critical of Polaris’s/Victory’s efforts in this endeavor. Our gripe is not with their promotional racing aspirations

      No, it’s just that the great American effort we’d like to see from these Americans at this amazing company is a desirable American motorcycle that isn’t a cruiser… Four items all of the whining experts here would heap great praises of joy and admiration at and dance to as we fumble about trying to make our knockoff Lambretta GP bike. Now that would be a bold effort. Racing to the top of a mountain is child’s play in comparison.

      • Mike says:

        In the minority here, but my prediction is Polaris will enter the sport bike market -or- buy a company to enter this market -or- both….. and follow up with variants.

        Would this outcome win over the “experts” or comedians here that should be working for Fallon to join you to “heap great praises of joy and admiration on Polaris” here…..of course not.

        Why….for the reasons I stated in my post…..and based on history where I estimate that 50% to 75% of the replies here are negative no matter the topic!!!

        >>>>>>

        I also disagree with your comment…. “Nobody is critical of Polaris’s/Victory’s efforts in this endeavor. Our gripe is not with their promotional racing aspirations.”

        Hummm….I admit in advance to a life long reading comprehensive issues so help me out here….how about you stating the author and date/time of the all the positive comments related to the Polaris promotional racing aspirations.”

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I actually think they are going to take a stab at the sport/sport standard market at some point as well.

          Sure saying that “nobody” is critical of the racing effort is an obvious exaggeration, but the initial reaction to Victory’s building of Project 156 was overwhelmingly positive as gauged by my highly tuned skills of casual observation. Even in this article, the negativity on display is centered around Victory’s decision to spin the 156 into the Octane (rather than an MD commentary approved machine), not the race.

          Now, let me get this straight… You want me to cite (with date, time and author) ALL of the positive comments related to Victory’s racing effort? You’ve asked me several times before to back up what I’ve said, and I have always delivered. So in the spirit of our past exchanges, I am going to hit you with a few of (but not ALL) the positive snippets taken from the “Victory Reveals Project 156…” article from this site in June of last year to support my opinion that the race effort itself isn’t under fire. But from here on out, you are going to have to either do your own homework or just accept that I am always right! 🙂

          Jim says: Polaris, build this bike. June 3, 2015 at 4:08 pm

          Kent says: The first Victory that has ever appealed to me. June 3, 2015 at 4:19 pm

          Xootrx says: It’s exciting to see them formulating their image through accomplishments… June 3, 2015 at 4:41 pm

          Bob says: Now that Polaris has Indian up and running, it’s obvious which way they’re going to take Victory. Good move. June 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm

          ApriliaRST says: Here’s a chance to redeem the US’s reputation after that long, painful experience of Harley-Davidson’s VR1000. Go, Victory! June 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm

          xLaYN says: whish the best to the effort!! June 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm

          Gary says: Massive credit to Victory for giving this an earnest try. June 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm

          Vtwinsrock says: Wishing you the best at Pikes Peak. Go Victory! June 3, 2015 at 5:34 pm

          rider33 says: if I’m not mistaken, “Victory” means something about winning, ‘looks like the lads ‘got game… June 3, 2015 at 6:42 pm

          Dale says: Fantastic. Take that Milwaukee… June 3, 2015 at 6:42 pm

          my2cents says: looking forward to this race. June 4, 2015 at 5:19 am

          stinkywheels says: I hope Canet breaks 10 minutes with it. June 4, 2015 at 8:35 am

          chris says: Great job Victory and Roland Sands, and everyone else who developed and worked on this bike June 4, 2015 at 10:23 am

          JustANomad says: It’s nice to see Victory changing things up. If this really is an indication of where they’re headed, they have my interest. June 7, 2015 at 9:30 am

          Tom Shields says: So much eye candy! The want is strong. I can’t wait to see how it does on Pike’s Peak. June 8, 2015 at 8:07 am

          Jeremy in TX says: How is virtually every article lately devolves into an exchange about EBR/Buell? June 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm

  4. ben says:

    “Let’s make a sweet naked bike with a vtwin that can go around a corner.” “Then let’s put it into production, but before we put it into production, let’s turn it into a cruiser.” “There’s not enough cruisers on the market or in our product line.” “What we really need is a new cruiser.”

  5. Jeremy in TX says:

    This makes want to run out and buy an Octane, pronto!

  6. paquo says:

    victory not doing themselves any favors by building a one off racer not based on anything near a production model, it makes them look incompetent

  7. azi says:

    The last photo is a bit like a Gloster Meteor parked next to a Supermarine Spitfire. We’re living in historic times.

  8. Louis says:

    Nice, now where’s that review of the Suzuki SV650?

  9. TimC says:

    As others have noted, they lost me when they failed to deliver anything more than a warmed over cruiser after the last hype fest.

  10. Starmag says:

    An electric sportbike from a gasoline cruiser factory. That makes sense. In bizzaro world. Way to go Victory. Hit that demographic.

  11. Peter says:

    Its like they are insulting us. Project 156 was a complete marketing fail. All the hype of an upright naked sport and then the give us a freaking warmed over Scout….meanwhile devaluing both brands. Now a scout looks like badge engineering, just like GM is famous for. The most we will see from this is a ridiculous electric cruiser with forward controls and a riduculous 24″ seat height.

    • MGNorge says:

      “The most we will see from this is a ridiculous electric cruiser with forward controls and a riduculous 24″ seat height.”

      ..and they’ll call it the Electrolux.

    • Archie says:

      First of all, I think people who were expecting Victory to turn into Ducati were delusional. The Octane is just fine as is, except for the dull, dull, paint.

      Second, an electric cruiser might not be a bad idea.

  12. North of Missoula says:

    Anyone know what that green damping rod connecting the upper fork tube with the right front brake stay is about on the electric bike??

  13. fabio says:

    EBR has stopped racing??

  14. chris says:

    Great to see that at least one American company actually races ,good luck Victory, now let’s see a production version.

  15. chris says:

    At least we have one American company that actually races, good luck Victory.

  16. Stan says:

    If they would put a more horizontal 2-up seat, sane mufflers, DOT’ize, etc, the bike on the right would be parked in my garage immediately. What are they waiting on?

  17. mechanicus says:

    I dont know what to say. Their products sold to the public are so dissimilar to this they appear to come from a different planet.

    • yellowhammer says:

      Wait; trickle-down coming.

    • MGNorge says:

      I don’t know what to say other than, race to win, style to sell. Remember, we sportbike, sport touring, touring, Adv, dual-sport riders, etc. are in the minority…a vast minority.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      There’s just not much of a market for race bikes out there. A Pikes Peak win, would get them lots of press, and reinforce that they are on top technologically. Which is good PR even if all you sell are street bikes.

    • Mike says:

      Mechanicus: Your statement is why you and others are here day after day typing pathetic replies vs being in Board Meetings at Polaris!