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…”

 

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?

 

Work Begins on KTM’s New Middleweight V-twins

KTM announced at the 2014 EICMA motorshow in Milan that they would be looking to fill a gap in their product line up by way of new midcapacity v-twin powered bikes ranging between 600cc and 800cc in size. Despite releasing a large number of new models over the past few years, there’s a distinct lack of mid-range road bikes from KTM in this area. As it stands, between the 390 Duke/RC390 and the 1050 Adventure sits the 690 Duke and Enduro – single cylinder machine which really pushes the capacity limits of what most people are prepared to accept from a thumper.

Cycle World has obtained some spy pictures showing a test mule based on the 690 Enduro being run alongside a BMW F800GS –  a parallel twin bike that KTM would be squarely targeting given the success KTM has had in the offroad category with it’s larger capacity bikes.

Unlike the current KTM 690 Enduro, this test mule/prototype has the exhaust on the right hand side of the bike rather than the left and is hanging off the side of the rear more. While the plumbing from the engine indicates it’s still using the single cylinder engine, the fact that it’s being tested alongside the BMW bike indicates that KTM is having a good look at how the BMW performs.

According to Stefan Pierer, head of KTM, the time frame for these new machines is around three years so don’t hold off on making your new purchase. The platforms will also be available to sister company Husqvarna.