Victory’s Project 156 Concept Engine
Words and Photos: John Gunnell
This year, at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, Victory Motorcycles presented the Project 156 concept cycle built around the first pre-production engine off the factory line in Osceola, Wis. Featuring a lean and muscular design, the Victory Ignition Concept engine represents the future of Victory Motorcycles' production machines.
European drag racer and custom bike builder Urs Erbacher took on the challenge of wrapping this motor in a package capable of putting the world-class power to the ground. The concept features and aggressive stand and frames the new engine with a cast-aluminum chassis, a performance suspension, and performance brakes. Erbacher added an aggressive Project 156 inspired paint scheme.
Erbacher examined Victory Motorcycles' existing cruiser line-up and created a concept with a frame that would put the new V-Twin engine at the heart of the bike. The engine itself has the same base architecture in the prototype engine used in Project 156—the crank-case, v-angle, rotating bottom end, transmission and clutch set-up is all the same. The liquid-cooled four-valve engine has double overhead cams with the aim of making class-leading power.
Erbacher and his team handmade twin exhaust headers that snake out from the cylinders into a single pipe and then into an Akrapovic muffler. The idea is to create the shortest exhaust for maximum power.
The front and rear suspensions are adjustable. Marzocchi forks stand proud at the front. “We have used the same forks on our ‘Erbacher The One’ custom bike for the past three years,” the builder explained. “The forks are really nice to ride with and they absorb a lot on bad streets. With the 50mm extra height in the front it gives you a more lean angle. The good thing is, we can also mount the Brembo brake on this fork and it brakes like a race bike."
Erbacher and his team put an Ohlins shocks at the rear between the frame and the swing-arm. The wheels are 15-in. rims made of aluminum. "These are superlight and are the right size for the Metzeler Racetec Interact tires we are using," Erbacher explained. "They give the bike a great look. We chose the red color as a nod to the Project 156 bike."
"We knew any production version of the Project 156 race motor would be a great centerpiece in any American bike, but we wanted to see a European take on the design for EICMA. So we sought out Urs Erbacher to see his vision." said Gary Gray, Victory’s director of motorcycle products. "In the end, I think we have a concept bike that both American and European consumers can get excited about."
The new engine is born out of the one-off racing power plant used in Project 156, which entered the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This new engine will power a new Victory motorcycle to be released in 2016.