VICTORY PROJECT 156: The Mountain Wins

At Pikes Peak, sometimes the track is your toughest competition. With great photos!

Project 156 Pikes Peak race day action

By now, you may know that the 93rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb took place yesterday. Fastest motorcycle racer was Jeffrey Tigert of Torrance, California, who rode a Honda CBR1000RR to the 14,110-foot peak in a swift 10:02.735.

We’re sorry to report that our Road Test Editor, Don Canet, who was racing the prototype Victory Project 156 built by Roland Sands Design, did not make the finish. Canet had a great run going. He was the second-quickest motorcycle to the Picnic Ground, which is about 2.5 miles into the 12.4-mile course. But at the tight Brown Bush hairpin, Don tucked the front wheel on the paint line and crashed. Canet was able to get going again and stay on a pace that kept him in the lead of the Exhibition class, but the V-twin-powered Victory prototype, which sounded like nothing else on the mountain, quit running up near the Upper Gravel Pit, just a couple of miles from the finish.

Project 156 Pikes Peak race day prep

Said Canet: “I was off to a strong start and competitive with the fastest bikes on the mountain. My disappointment is more for the team and how much work they put into Project 156 from the very beginning. The bike was working really well today despite being a prototype and being rebuilt after the practice crash a few weeks ago. To go fast here you have to ride outside the paint lines and I got caught out crossing over one. I never let go of the handlebars and got right back up again but unfortunately the bike stopped running in the last section. Overall, I’m really proud of the team’s effort.”

Look for a first-person Pikes Peak report by Canet soon. In the meantime, enjoy these photos, which capture the high caliber of the Project 156 effort and make us wonder if a street-legal Victory along the lines of this prototype would be a commercial success.

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