Crash results in DNF for Victory at Pike's Peak

Victory Motorcycle's Project 156 adventure came to an unhappy end Sunday when a crash resulted in the bike being unable to complete the Pike's Peak course.

Biker News Online reported earlier in June on Victory's exciting Project 156 bike, powered by a prototype V-twin. Ridden by Cycle World editor Don Canet, and designed in conjunction with Roland Sands, the motorcycle was a showcase of American motorcycling talent.

Unfortunately, talent can't always beat Mother Nature and competitors at this year's Pike's Peak International Hill Climb faced uniquely cold and icy conditions that made test runs difficult and dangerous. Another racer, motorcyclist Carl Sorenson, was killed during a practice run. 

Canet and Project 156 also fell victim to the challenging course. During a practice run roughly two weeks ago, Canet suffered a low side at 75 mph. Canet was thankfully uninjured but the bike was heavily damaged when it slammed into a steel guard rail.

Almost instantly the Project 156 team got to work trying to salvage the motorcycle in what little time they had before the race. Through tremendous hard work and long hours they were able to see Canet setting off from the starting line.

Things began well, with Canet actually earning the second fastest time as he tore through the 2.5-mile checkpoint of the 12.4-mile course. Unfortunately, things went bad thereafter when Canet tucked the front end on a hairpin turn and came off. 

Showing an amazing resiliency and desire to succeed, Canet was back on the bike and running again within 23 seconds. The damage to the bike, however, was apparently too great. As it climbed into the highest altitude section of the race it gave out. Canet was unable to get it restarted and therefore couldn't finish the race. Engineers believe there may have been an electrical fault.

"My disappointment is more for the team and how much work they put into Project 156 from the very beginning," Canet told Cycle World.

The Victory team also expressed disappointment but said that ultimately the project had been a success. Polaris' motorcycles product director, Gary Gray, told Cycle World that Victory wants to attempt the race again in the future.


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