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Victory Motorcycles is racing in the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) this coming weekend with two very different motorcycles in an epic gas vs. electric battle dubbed “Thunder vs. Lightning.”

In these newly released videos, the Empulse RR and Project 156 were tested at the Thunderhill Raceway ahead of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday 26th June.

Empulse RR video > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCPCgoE-hj4

Project 156 video > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfxMSciKZho

Victory Racing’s electric Empulse RR will be raced up the mountain by Cycle World’s Road Test Editor Don Canet while the gas-powered Project 156 will be ridden by a former Pikes Peak Champion, Jeremy Toye.

The Victory Empulse RR is a race-prepped version of the road-going Victory Empulse TT. This bike was raced at the Isle of Man TT in 2015 where Lee Johnston rode it to a 111.620 mph average lap speed and 145 mph top speed for a third place in the SES TT Zero race.

While the base frame and overall design of the Empulse RR is essentially the same as the production Empulse TT, a lighter monocoque carbon-fibre subframe is used and the battery, controller, and Parker Hannifin-sourced motor have been upgraded with repackaged battery cells offering more capacity, new motor windings and an updated control system and wire harness. Visual differences from the IOMTT version raced last year include less bodywork, a more upright riding position and the addition of hand guards to protect Don’s hands from the cold mountain air.

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“The Empulse RR has a couple of things going for it that are going to make it hard to beat, owing to its all-electric powertrain,” says Brian Wismann, Victory Racing Team Manager. “Does this make the Empulse RR the clear favourite? Not necessarily. Batteries are negatively affected by cold temperatures and there’s no place to charge on the mountain, meaning any misstep in logistics or setup will cost Don the time he needs to get up to speed. He’ll clearly have a strong contender underneath him, but as we know… anything can happen when the flag drops!”

“I  jumped at the idea of piloting the Empulse RR up America’s mountain as soon as I heard Victory Racing discussing the idea,” Canet says about his decision to compete on an electric motorcycle. “We all know thunder follows lightning, and it’ll be no different at this venue! Toye is going to have a heck of a job cut out for himself in trying to beat me to the top.”

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Don Canet pushes the electric Empulse RR towards the summit of Pikes Peak where even in June there are still some unmelted snow patches

“There are definitely advantages of having an electric bike on the mountain – particularly when it is being piloted by a seasoned racer like Don Canet,” says Brandon Kraemer, Product Manager for Victory Motorcycles. “But we also have a very focused, competitive former Pikes Peak champion in Jeremy Toye ready to push the envelope with Project 156, so this one is anyone’s game. Whichever platform takes top honours; the winner is the Victory rider of the future who will be enjoying the same technology on their future street motorcycles someday.”

“Our first outing with the Victory Empulse RR, on the Isle of Man last year, exceeded our expectations,” says Rod Krois, General Manager for Victory Motorcycles. “Now, at Pikes Peak, we’ll see whether the Lightning of the Empulse RR can make it up the mountain faster than the Thunder that is Project 156.”

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Project 156 is ridden hard by Jeremy Toye during a sunset practice session in the week before the Pikes Peak race

Are you on #TeamThunder or #TeamLightning? 

Scheduled for Sunday June 26, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Brought to you by Gran Turismo is expected to feature a field of approximately 100 competitors.

Spectators are invited to join Victory Motorcycles 5pm to 10pm on Friday June 24 in downtown Colorado Springs to celebrate 100 years of the Race to the Clouds at the 2016 PPIHC Fan Fest. See favourite competitors and enjoy entertainment, motorcycle exhibitions, vendor booths, food and refreshments.

[NEW PHOTOS HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE MEDIA SITE FROM THIS WEEK’S PRACTICE SESSIONS UP PIKES PEAK]

Visit PPIHC.com for more information about the event. Learn more about Victory Motorcycles at VictoryMotorcycles.com or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

ABOUT THE BROADMOOR PPIHC
Founded in 1916 by Spencer Penrose (also the founder of The Broadmoor Hotel, Pikes Peak Highway and El Pomar Foundation), The Broadmoor PPIHC takes place on a 12.42-mile public toll-road boasting 156 turns, while competitors climb 4,720 ft. from the 9,390 ft. Start Line at Mile 7 marker on the Pikes Peak Highway to the 14,115 ft. Finish Line at the mountain’s summit. The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Brought to you by Gran Turismo is the second oldest motor sports race in America and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. First competed in 1916 and this year marks the 100th Anniversary & 94th Running of the “Race to the Clouds.” The current record is 08:13.878 and was set by Sebastien Loeb in 2013. There is no other racecourse in the world like The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. That is why it attracts race crews that are willing to spend several hundred thousand dollars and months of preparation to compete for the right to be the King of the Mountain. The race is self-sanctioned and is the most diverse one-day motorsports event in the world with everything from Sidecars, Motorcycles, Semi-Trucks, and 1,400+hp EV & Unlimited Racers being able to compete in the same event. To purchase tickets and learn other information on the PPIHC, visit www.ppihc.com

ABOUT VICTORY MOTORCYCLES
Victory Motorcycles® designs, engineers, manufactures and markets a full line of cruisers, baggers and touring motorcycles. Every Victory model delivers industry-leading performance, comfort, style, storage and reliability. The first Victory was produced on the Fourth of July, 1998, in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where every Victory motorcycle continues to be produced today. Information about Victory Motorcycles®, apparel and accessories is available at www.victorymotorcycles.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/VictoryMotorcycles

ABOUT POLARIS INDUSTRIES
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader with annual 2015 sales of $4.7 billion. Polaris fuels the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts with our RANGER®, RZR® and POLARIS GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; our SPORTSMAN® and POLARIS ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; VICTORY® and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; SLINGSHOT® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, SWITCHBACK® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories sold under multiple recognizable brands, and has a growing presence in adjacent markets globally with products including military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. www.polaris.com