Victory's Pikes Peak disaster

Published: 22 June 2015

The stunning Roland Sands built Victory Project 156 Pikes Peak race bike has suffered a small setback during testing for the insane hillclimb race at the end of June. 

When we say small, we mean catastrophic.

Rider Don Canet lost the front end, and the resulting Project 156/Armco interface saw the Armco win the battle by a considerable margin. The damage is so significant that you could chuck a small brown leather sprung saddle on it and claim it's a steampunk slammed bobber. Thankfully rider Canet wasn't seriously injured, and was up on his feet immediately after the crash. You can see the whole crash unfold from Canet's perspective thanks to his onboard camera.

Sands said "Yea. She's seen better days.... the crash destroyed the subframe, ignition, wiring loom, gas tank, exhaust, frame, foot controls, front disc, shock, linkage, engine plates and more."

Cycle World Editor and Project 156 rider Don Canet did not suffer any serious injuries and was immediately up from the crash, however Project 156 was damaged enough to require a strip-down and frame straightening.

“We have been making significant progress on the engine tune of the motorcycle each time it went out and were able to start focusing on the handling aspects of the bike,” explained Canet, who knows the course well after taking third place in his debut at the Race to the Clouds last year. “As I was going up the mountain I lost the front end under braking, asphalt temperature was extremely low and, counter intuitively, I think the tyre was getting colder as the run went on.”

The Falkner-Livingston racing team kindly helped Victory to transport Project 156 back to the Roland Sands Designs (RSD) headquarters in Southern California for evaluation. “Not going to lie…” said RSD project leader Cameron Brewer, “Project 156 is really beat up. But we are racers at heart and I can promise Victory Motorcycles, Cycle World, RSD and Pikes Peak fans that we will rebuild the bike. She took one hell of a hit, but we are committed to the program.”

The Sands team now have an even bigger battle on their hands to be ready for the historic hillclimb on June 28, but they're still confident of making it to the start line.

Pictures: Victory Motorcycles, Roland Sands Design, Cycleworld, Don Canet