Victory to storm Pikes Peak
It’s the most hardcore road race in the United States, boasting a dizzying 156 corners laced up the side of the Pikes Peak mountain. This historic race is the domestic equivalent of the TT for many Americans, and Victory will be giving themselves even more to deal with this June by racing at Pikes in the same month as the Isle of Man TT. In addition to it giving them a crowded diary in June, the Pikes bike doesn’t share a single component with their TT racer.
Victory are building an entirely bespoke street-racer around a prototype racing engine – in just four months. So how well advanced is the project?
“It’s nearing readiness,” says Victory Director of Motorcycle Product, Gary Gray. “We need to start testing at the end of May. If you ask people who race at Pikes Peak they’ll tell you that we’ve left it too late. The engineering team has been working on a prototype engine specifically for this race, and it’s making great power.
“We’re very confident about the engine, and we’ve been working with Roland Sands for a long time, and it’s great to be working with him on the chassis. We’re really excited about having a rider of the calibre of Don Canet riding the bike for us, too.
“The engine shares a couple of components with other engines around the company, but not many, it’s purpose-built to go fast up the mountain. It’s all about power, and getting it to the ground.
“We definitely have the power side built, we’re just working on making sure we can deliver it all to the ground in the way Don wants to ride the bike up the mountain. We expect to be extremely competitive.”
Beyond the thrill of seeing a prototype Victory race bike being pointed up a mountain in anger, MCN believes the door is now open to the potential of performance road bikes. While
Victory’s cruiser platform bikes aren’t shy on performance, this is a whole new direction for the brand. While Gray couldn’t comment on the future potential of the project, the inference is clear, and this bike fits perfectly within the brand’s oft-repeated manta of American Performance – and with EBR once again closing their doors, there’s a real gap in the market for Victory to ride into.