Indian Motorcycles To Return To Flat-Track Racing

In an interview with Alan Cathcart (see here) at CycleNews it has been revealed that Indian Motorcycles will go racing in the AMA Pro Flat-Track series either late next year or early in 2017. Indian and Harley-Davidson went head to head in flat-track as early as the 1930’s – now that rivalry looks set to be reignited.

“I don’t have anything more to tell you at this stage, beyond the fact that the decision has been made, and we’re definitely going racing with Indian in the oval-track world with a factory-supported team” said Steve Menneto, Vice President of Polaris Industries’ motorcycle division.

But what would Indian enter into such an event? They currently sell nothing that would be suitable for oval dirt track racing both in engine capacity or chassis design. Rumors have been circulating for the last year or so that Indian would launch a competitor to Harley-Davidson’s Street 750 and Menneto certainly hinted that might be the case. Yes, a circa 750cc Indian V-Twin is on the cards.

It’s been a huge year for Polaris Industries. Firstly they announced the purchase of Brammo’s electric motorcycle division and subsequently entered the Isle of Man TT with a Brammo powered Victory motorcycle. Victory also entered the Pikes Peak Hill Climb with a prototype machine (titled Project 156) – which has now been confirmed as a 1200cc engine that will be used in an upcoming Victory motorcycle some time next year.

One last little tidbit from the interview was the mention of the Victory Core – a brilliant concept bike made way back in 2009. Menneto stated “I’m interested in producing it, because it says a lot about the Victory brand from a marketing perspective, so I’ve got the team looking at doing that. Are we going to build the Core? We’re trying really hard to figure out a way…”


The Ronin Motorworks “Oishi Yoshio” To Race At Pikes Peak

Victory Motorcycles aren’t the only interesting entrant in this years’ Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Ronin Motorworks, creators of the beautifully unique Ronin 47 will be entering this years race with the first of the 47 motorcycles they are building. The bike is appropriately called Oishi Yoshio after the leader of the Forty-seven Ronin in their 1702 vendetta and thus the hero of the Chūshingura.

Revealed in an update on their Facebook page, regular Pikes Peak entrant Travis Newbold will pilot the EBR 1190RX based machine up the mountain in the Pikes Peak Heavyweight class. Travis completed his first test ride on the back up test bike and provided the following quote:

“The first ride was a pretty darn good success. This is the secondary race bike. The primary one is going to be mental! I was pleased to find the Ronin handled very well. I pushed it harder and harder all day and did not have one single moment that the tires did not track like rails. The next month is going to be a lot of fun as I get more seat time. I am one lucky fucker!”

The Ronin racer and its backup prototype bike is painted in a color combination that is a nod towards the classic Japanese anime science fiction series, Genesis Climber MOSPEADA . The actual race Ronin will be #1 (Oishi Yoshio) of the 47 bikes released and is based upon the EBR 1190 that primarily differs from the other 1125 based Ronins in that it has a larger engine and chain drive.


Victory Project 156 Unveiled

The teasing thankfully hasn’t lasted long with Victory Motorcycles and Roland Sands Design today unveiling the finished the awkwardly named Project 156 motorcycle a few weeks after first announcing the build. Project 156 will be entered into the Pikes Peak Hill Climb later this year and marks a big change in direction for the traditionally cruiser orientated motorcycle brand.

The prototype racing motorcycle, named Project 156 for the 156 turns in the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, also known as the Race to the Clouds, will feature a liquid-cooled engine and be piloted by Cycle World Road Test Editor Don Canet. It’s by no means a pretty bike, but given that it’s been created for a one off race, function is far more important that form.

The plumbing is clearly visible, the tri-split radiator on show for all and the lack of a front cowl obviously makes Project 156 built for speed and not pretty. The press release admits that Project 156 represents “the future performance of the Victory brand.” While it hasn’t confirmed the origins of the engine, it’s clearly adapted from the V-Twin used by the Indian Scout. Liquid cooled, twin 67mm throttles with downdraft runners for maximum power and torque as well as a performance valve train including titanium intake and exhaust valves to allow for maximum engine speed.

The Roland Sands Design team developed and built the chassis to cradle the Project 156 motor. “This truly has been an All-American effort,” said Roland Sands. “The Race to the Clouds is a legendary event and we couldn’t be more proud to partner with Victory on the endeavor. We’ve built lots of custom motorcycles, but building a purpose-built race bike for this project has been a unique experience that we’ll remember for a long time.”

It’s a big time for Victory Motorcycles, with the company also racing in the Isle of Man TT this week with a Brammo electric powered sportsbike.


Project 156 Engine Revealed – Indian Scout V-Twin?

The collaborative project between Victory Motorcycles and Roland Sands Design to enter a motorcycle in this years Pikes Peak event has released its second update, with this one showing us a clear view of the engine powering the bike. And it looks a lot like the V-Twin found in the Indian Scout.

While the current Indian Scout produces a fairly average (for a race bike) 83 hp and 63 lb-ft of torque, the general consensus is that the 1,133cc power plant has a lot more capability than that just waiting to be unleashed. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to see the engine bored out to 1,200cc and power increased to around 150 hp with various modifications.

Project 156 Engine Revealed - Indian Scout V-Twin?

A picture of the engine from Roland Sands’ Instagram

As we stated in our previous report, it would appear that Victory is pivoting away from cruisers and into sportsbikes and roadsters – differentiating itself from sister brand Indian Motorcycles. With an entry using Brammo electric technology in the Isle of Man TT and a race bike entering Pikes Peak, it’s clear to see that Victory is making a concerted effort to get its name publicized before revealing production versions of these machines in the next few years.

Named Project 156 after the amount of turns at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the second video discusses the engine and the difficulties faced with naturally aspirated motors due to the altitude changes during the ride to the top. Perhaps Victory will next enter their Brammo powered electric bike next time?