Victory reveals changes to Project 156 for Pikes Peak 2016 race

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American company Victory will be competing at the famous Pikes Peak International Hillclimb (PPIHC) event with both petrol and electric-powered motorcycles for 2016 and now MCN has been given exclusive information about the changes to Project 156 for this year.

Victory took part in the 2015 PPIHC event with the 1200cc V-twin petrol-powered Project 156 and a modified version of that bike will be joined this year by a new Empulse RR which is fully-electric powered.


Now MCN has been able to speak with Victory’s product manager to find out what has been changed on Project 156 in the past year to try and make it more competitive. Sources tell MCN there is still a strong possibility a road-legal version of this bike will appear in the near future although no one from Victory will officially confirm that at this stage.

Victory Racing’s Project 156 will be piloted by former Pikes Peak Champion Jeremy Toye while the Victory Empulse RR racer will be ridden by American motorcycle journalist at Cycle World magazine, Don Canet.

Project 156, named for the number of turns on the mountain road, is powered by a full race-prepared version of the liquid-cooled four-valve 1200cc DOHC V-twin from the new Victory Octane production motorcycle. The Victory Empulse RR is being brought to Pikes Peak to build on last year’s podium finish at the Isle of Man TT. Victory’s production Empulse TT is the street-legal version of this bike.

MCN was able to speak with Brandon Kraemer Product Manager for Victory Motorcycles in the build up to the start of the Pikes Peak effort. He explained the changes that have been made to project 156 in the year since it was last raced at the event in Colorado. He said: “For everyone but the race team it’s easy to forget the Project 156 engine came together in less than three months last year, so for this year’s 2016 race we have had more time to improve on some of the concessions which were made in 2015, mainly focusing on the fuel system.

“One of the biggest challenges for a naturally aspirated engine at Pikes Peak is tuning for the drastic altitude change from the starting line to the finish line. To address this challenge, our race development team worked on the tuning of the fuel system, making the fuelling more precise at low RPM to improve how the bike comes off the tight switchbacks. Motec has also been a key partner providing a comprehensive control system and tuning support at various track days and high altitude tuning sessions.

“Durability of the engine has also been improved, with a few key changes to the cooling and lubrication systems. Impressively, crank-train and valve-train components provided last year by partners CP-Carrillo and Del West were completely solid and required no further changes or re-development. Those who are familiar with racing know that the smallest component can take you out of the race, so our race development team took a detailed approach in reviewing last year’s components. Victory Racing is happy with the changes we’ve made and excited to be racing again in June.”


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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter