Victory Motorcycles will return to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) this coming weekend with two very different motorcycles in what they’re labeling a battle between ‘gas and electric’ and dubbing ‘Thunder vs Lightning’.
Victory Racing’s electric Empulse RR will be raced up the mountain by Cycle World’s Road Test Editor Don Canet while the petrol-powered Project 156 will be ridden by a former Pikes Peak Champion, Jeremy Toye.
The Victory Empulse RR is a race-prepped version of the road-going Victory Empulse TT. This bike was raced at the Isle of Man TT in 2015 where Lee Johnston rode it to a 111.620 mph average lap speed and 145 mph top speed for a third place in the SES TT Zero race.
While the base frame and overall design of the Empulse RR is essentially the same as the production Empulse TT, a lighter monocoque carbon-fibre subframe is used and the battery, controller, and Parker Hannifin-sourced motor have been upgraded with repackaged battery cells offering more capacity, new motor windings and an updated control system and loom. Visual differences from the IOMTT version raced last year include less bodywork, a more upright riding position and the addition of hand guards.
“There are definitely advantages of having an electric bike on the mountain,” says Brandon Kraemer, Product Manager for Victory Motorcycles. “But we also have a very focused, competitive former Pikes Peak champion in Jeremy Toye ready to push the envelope with Project 156, so this one is anyone’s game. Whichever platform takes top honours; the winner is the Victory rider of the future who will be enjoying the same technology on their future street motorcycles someday.”
See Project 156 and the Empulse RR in action.