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Victory prototype crashed at Pikes Peak

Practice off does major damage but team hopes to be ready

SLIDING backwards into an Armco barrier is bad news for any bike – but it's a disaster for a one-off Victory prototype built by Roland Sands and due to race up Pikes Peak in less than a week’s time.

It could have been much worse for both bike and rider (Cycle World's road test editor Don Canet) if the front end had tucked a moment earlier, since that would have sent both man and machine flying off the edge of the famous Colorado mountainside.

Full marks to Victory’s team for being upfront about the amount of work that faces them to get the twisted frame and smashed parts back into shape in time for the race this weekend. The damage is fairly severe, since the guardrail’s end post managed to get wedged between the rear wheel and seat unit, forcing the rear wheel down to an unnatural angle and smashing the exhaust and rear shock as well as damaging the hand-made frame.

The Project 156 represents the sportiest Victory-badged machine to date, with a high-performance V-twin derived from the Indian Scout’s DOHC, water-cooled unit and interesting tech including a belly mounted fuel tank (well, it was belly-mounted – after the accident it’s the detached part sitting next to the bike.)

We’re glad to see that Canet came away unhurt, even if that’s more than can be said for the bike.

And, as an aside, if you’re looking for any confirmation as to the level of nerve needed to ride at Pikes Peak, check out the few seconds of wet-weather practice footage at the start of the clip…

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