Your eyes are not deceiving you. The bike above is a Victory. And even more mind-blowing: it’s water-cooled. It’s called Project 156 and it’s one of the best shots at American dominance at this year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

The project is a collaboration between Victory and Roland Sands Design, with RSD working on the frame and suspension, and Victory supplying a prototype engine rumored to be based on the Indian Scout’s 1,133cc V-Twin.

That mill has been boosted up with a 15:1 compression ratio and stuffed with titanium intake and exhaust valves. More radical – for Victory, at least – is the trio of radiators for water-cooling the reworked mill. And it’s hard not to notice the aluminum fuel tank mounted underneath the engine, giving the twin 67mm throttles and downdraft runners plenty of space up top.

The frame is a custom RSD design, with carbon fiber body work, Öhlins suspension at each end, and the swingarm and linkage that looks similar to the Ducati 899 Panigale.

The lucky bastard that’s running the bike up up the 12.42-mile mountain is Cycle World’s road test editor Don Canet. And if you’re wondering about the name, it’s an ode to the 156 turns on the way up to Pikes Peak’s 14,110-foot summit.

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