Victory Racing has confirmed it will again be competing in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb—this time running two different motorcycles up the notoriously challenging course.
RideApart referenced the repeat performance a few weeks ago when we reported on fresh rumors of a production version of the Project 156 bike.
Project 156 was named for the 156 corners on the Pikes Peak course. The bike will return this year, after being ridden by 2014 Pikes Peak Heavyweight Champion Jeremy Toye. Victory have not released new images of this year's Project 156 bike, so we don't yet know what—if any—changes have been made.
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Meanwhile, the brand will also be bringing a prototype version of the electric Empulse RR, which will be ridden by last year's Project 156 pilot, CycleWorld editor Don Canet.
“We are eager to bring the Victory Racing team back to Pikes Peak this year to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Race to the Clouds,” said Alex Hultgren, director of marketing for Victory Motorcycles. “One way Victory lives and breathes 'Modern American Muscle' is by continuously pushing ourselves through our performance and racing initiatives. And since Pikes Peak is arguably the most challenging race in America, it’s exactly where we need to be.”
Meanwhile, Toye, whose previous win came aboard a home-built Kawasaki ZX10, says he is looking forward to beginning testing of the Project 156 bike later this month.
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“After seeing Don ride...last year and watching a lot of the onboard video footage, I cannot wait to experience Project 156 for myself," he said.
Testing of the Empulse RR electric prototype has already begun and team manager Brian Wismann says things are going well.
“We wanted to get our racer some familiarity with the power delivery, handling and nuances of racing an electric motorcycle and we were able to accomplish that and more," Wismann said. "It’s really a testament to Don’s abilities that he was able to show up at a track he’s never ridden before, throw a leg over an electric bike he’s never ridden before and go as fast as he did ‘out of the gate’. We’re looking forward to the next test, when we really start to fine-tune our set up to tackle the mountain.”
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Canet has entered Pikes Peak twice before and says he hopes the third time's the charm.
"I’m very optimistic about our prospects upon returning for a third go on America’s Mountain," he said. "Pikes Peak is an ideal venue for an electric powered bike to showcase its performance potential.”
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It is set to take place Sunday, June 26th, and promises to be among the best in the race's history. Pikes Peak is America’s second oldest motorsports race, behind the Indianapolis 500.
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