Victory Motorcycles Unveils Isle Of Man Electric Race Bike
Victory Motorcycles has been quite the busy bee these days. Mere days after showing a preview of its much-hyped Project 156 bike with Roland Sands Design for the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Polaris-owned motorcycle brand has unveiled a different motorcycle it plans to race in a different competition.
It doesn’t come with a name - not yet anyway - but apparently, this electric bike will be Victory Motorcycles’ entry into the SES TT Zero Challenge at the 2015 Isle of Man TT.
In hindsight, Victory’s decision to enter the TT Zero Challenge shouldn’t have come as a surprise considering the recent wheeling and dealing its parent company, Polaris, went through back in March 2015 when it purchased Brammo’s electric bike and powertrain technology. The bike itself will likely use some of this newly acquired technology to go with participation from world-class manufacturer Parker Hannifin, which provided the GVM PMAC motors and what Victory describes as "highly sophisticated electric controls” to maximize the bike’s peak power, power delivery, and overall durability.
The set-up sounds impressive but it still isn’t a guarantee that Victory’s electric bike will win the event. But as far as statement-making purposes are concerned, Victory’s decision to enter the TT Zero Challenge was heard loud and clear.
Coinciding with the disclosure of the company’s planned participation in the race, Victory Motorcycles also announced that William Dunlop will take the saddle of one of the two electric motorcycles and will be joined on the other bike by Lee Johnston.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Victory Motorcycles performs in its maiden participation at the TT Zero Challenge. Expect it to have its hands full against a strong field that includes the Mugen Shinden Yon and the Sarolea SP7.
Continue reading to read more about Victory Motorcycles’ decision to enter the Isle of Man TT’s "TT Zero Challenge"
Why it matters
The announcement caught me a little by surprise, partly because I was anticipating updates on Project 156, Victory’s highly touted project with Roland Sand Designs that will compete at the 2015 Pikes Peak International High Climb.
So yeah, this announcement came out of left field. But like I said, hindsight’s a funny thing. As soon as I thought about Victory’s plan to compete at the TT Zero Challenge and the recent developments surrounding parent company Polaris, the more it made sense to me.
If the mothership recently purchased a company that specializes on electric powertrains, you would want to test out that technology to see how you can best utilize it for your future electric motorcycles. It just so happened that the TT Zero Challenge will take place on June 10, 2015 as part of the week-long festivities tied into the 2015 Isle of Man TT.
It’s worth pointing out that this is Victory Motorcycles’ first time at the Isle of Man TT. Actually, it’s also the first time the US-based company is competing in a European motorcycle racing event so yeah, its participation in the TT Zero Challenge is a pretty big deal.
I think it’s a smart decision to enter the race, not because I think Victory has the bike that can topple Team Mugen’s Shinden Yon rocket launcher, but because the event can serve as a barometer for the company to see how its design and technology can measure up with some of the finest electric race bikes in the business today.
I don’t expect Victory’s electric motorcycle to win the event, but I do think that it’s going to make an impression, one way or the other.