SEARCH BY VEHICLE

K&N Partners with Roland Sands Design & Victory Motorcycles in Race to the Clouds

       Printer Image
The Project 156 motorcycle is a hand-built road-racing bike with a prototype Victory v-twin engine

The Project 156 motorcycle is a hand-built road-racing bike with a prototype Victory v-twin engine developed at Victory’s Minnesota research and development facility

The Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, also known as the Race to the Clouds, is an annual automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the summit of Pike’s Peak, Colorado which will take place on June 28, 2015. Having started in 1916, it is the second-oldest motorsport event in America after the Indianapolis 500. The track measures 12.42 miles (19.99 km) over 156 turns, climbing 4,720 feet (1,440 m) from the start at Mile 7 on Pike’s Peak Highway, to the finish at 14,110 feet (4,300 m), on grades averaging 7 percent.

American motorcycle manufacturer Victory Motorcycles, in partnership with custom bike builder Roland Sands of Roland Sands Design and Cycle World Magazine, plan to race a new prototype engine at the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. The prototype racing motorcycle, named Project 156 for the 156 turns in the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, will feature a liquid-cooled American V-Twin engine and be piloted by Cycle World Road Test Editor Don Canet.

A liquid-cooled v-twin engine represents the future of performance for Victory and features twin 67mm intake throttle bodies

A liquid-cooled v-twin engine represents the future of performance for Victory and features twin 67mm intake throttle bodies with downdraft runners as well as a performance valve train

“We have an intense focus at Victory Motorcycles to prove the performance of our vehicles,” said Rod Krois, Victory General Manager. “Competing as an American OEM at America’s race is an exciting opportunity. The grueling conditions at Pike’s Peak provide the perfect proving ground for our new Project 156 race engine.”

The Roland Sands Design team developed and built the chassis to cradle the Project 156 motor to race the 2015 Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb

The Roland Sands Design team developed and built the chassis to cradle the Project 156 motor to race the 2015 Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, also known as the Race to the Clouds

The Project 156 motorcycle is a hand-built road-racing bike with a prototype Victory v-twin engine developed at Victory’s Minnesota research and development facility. This liquid-cooled engine represents the future of performance for the Victory brand. It features twin 67mm intake throttle bodies with downdraft runners for maximum power and torque as well as a performance valve train with titanium intake and exhaust valves for maximum revolutions per minute (RPM).

The Roland Sands Design team developed and built a 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.”

Roland Sands reached out to K&N air filters to design and build a custom air filter box and fuel tank that would complement the prototype engine

Roland Sands reached out to K&N air filters to design and build a custom air filter box and fuel tank that would complement the prototype engine, hand built frame, and twin throttle bodies

Roland Sands reached out to K&N air filters to design and build a custom air filter box and fuel tank that would complement the prototype engine, hand built frame, and twin 67mm intake throttle bodies with downdraft runners. The advanced composite technology used in carbon fiber reinforced polymer, commonly referred to as carbon fiber, results in an incredible strength to weight ratio. The use of carbon fiber is ideal for applications that require strength, lightness and stiffness. K&N filters has an on-site composite department which builds hand-laid carbon fiber components ranging from air filter bases to custom dragster air scoops and racing air boxes.

K&N filters has an on-site composite department which builds hand-laid carbon fiber components ranging from air filter top plates to custom dragster air scoops and racing air boxes

K&N filters has an on-site composite department which builds hand-laid carbon fiber components ranging from air filter top plates to custom dragster air scoops and racing air boxes

John Jump, Powersports Brand Manager for K&N Engineering, Inc., said “Our involvement with the RSD Victory Motorcycles Project 156 draws from a relationship established several years back. Not only have we been involved with Roland Sands and many of his project builds through the years, we also have had a long lasting relationship with Falkner-Livingston with proven success at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This time Don Canet, the pilot of Project 156, will get the honor of pushing this bike to its limits and into the clouds. K&N supports many racers who compete at the mountain, but our involvement and development of the carbon fiber parts that went into this bike, as well as our collaboration with the builder, team and rider will make 2015 the most exciting year to date.”

Cycle World Road Test Editor, Don Canet, has been anxiously awaited his chance to throw a leg over Project 156 for some seat time

Cycle World Road Test Editor, Don Canet, has anxiously awaited his chance to throw a leg over Project 156 for some seat time in preparation of his second Pike’s Peak Hill Climb

Cycle World Road Test Editor, Don Canet, has anxiously awaited his chance to throw a leg over Project 156 for some seat time. “Ever since Victory and Roland Sands introduced me to this project I’ve been counting down the days to the event,” said Cycle World Road Test Editor Don Canet. “This will be my second time racing the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. Now that I’ve had a taste of what it’s like I’m ready to get back and finish stronger in 2015.”

Unfortunately, the Victory Motorcycles Project 156 suffered a setback on Saturday June 13th in a practice accident on the Pikes Peak race course. Don Canet did not suffer any serious injuries, and was immediately up from the crash, however the motorcycle was damaged enough to require a complete strip-down and frame straightening. “As I was going up the mountain I lost the front end under braking, asphalt temperature was extremely low and, counter-intuitively, I think the tire was getting colder as the run went on,” said Canet.

The Falkner-Livingston team transported the race bike back to the Roland Sands Designs headquarters in Southern California for evaluation. “Not going to lie…” said RSD project leader Cameron Brewer, “Project 156 is really beat up. But we are racers at heart and I can promise Victory Motorcycles, Cycle World Magazine, RSD and Pikes Peak fans that we will rebuild the bike – she took one hell of a hit, but we are committed to this program.”

Don Canet’s crash during Pikes Peak testing only adds further testament to the unpredictable nature and ever changing conditions of the Race to the Clouds. With such an extreme ascent up the mountain and Colorado’s always changing weather conditions the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb is never short on thrills. It will be interesting to watch as the Roland Sands Design team scrambles to get Project 156 back in one piece and see how Don will perform come race day.


Horizontal Advertisement


Did you like this story? Select 1 to 5 stars to rate it.

K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.