Roland Sands does 185mph on a cruiser

Dailies -



What does it take to add a ‘1’ to the top speed of an air-cooled v-twin? A giant turbocharger and a 320-hour engine build help. The net result was 214bhp, 243lb/ft and a 185mph top speed in a timed mile at Maxton, where Roland Sands raced the Victory alongside JT Nesbitt and his Bimota SB8R. Only a blown piston kept him from reaching his 200mph goal.

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  • Jesse

    RS was worried about the safety of shaving 1mm off the outer diameter of a front fork, and then does a shakedown run with the stock engine, planning on hitting well over 100MPH… in denim.

    Regardless, 185MPH is face-meltingly fast. Good on ‘em.

  • Taco

    That’s one cool bike, with or without the bodywork. Hat tip to Roland Sands and his team. Now why won’t Victory make something similarly as cool?

    • Sean Smith

      Because it would get 8 mpg and burn up pistons.

    • Wes Siler

      Because Victory is trying to chase lowest common denominator, low information buyers and short term profit rather than be a leader in changing american motorcycling.

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

        That motorcycle looks so dope, even if it had stock power and suspension, it would still be 10x cooler than any current Victory model… and I imagine it would still fulfill Victory’s goal to sell to low-information buyers.

      • ike6116

        I like how you shit on Victory here and then talk about Robert Pandya being a good guy.

        Mr. Siler calls it as he sees it and for that we say thank you.

      • Robert

        We had success bettering our dealers business going from a 50/50 current to non current to an 80/20 ratio. We’re up 24% over the industry and 59% internationally and went from #5 in heavy cruisers (1400cc and up) to #2. We have to sell units and make a profit so we CAN explore other avenues. Not everyone agrees with the business strategy, but then again, not everyone is Eric Buell – that guy is freaking awesome and I have nothing but respect for what he does and how he does it. For all of you dying for an American Sportbike now – buy the upcoming Buell. We may be in that game in the future – but I wonder how many of those who wish we were doing something different would buy it when we built it? Cart, horse, chicken egg…I’m hungry now.

  • zipp4

    Wasn’t Mr. Pandya the guy that had the pissing match with JT Nesbitt in the comments not too long ago?

    • Wes Siler

      Yep, Robert is the PR rep for Victory and now Indian. Both him and JT are good people.

      • zipp4

        I wonder how the face to face reunion went.

        • Robert

          I never knew he was even there.

      • Robert

        Actually I still do Victory, and am filling in for Indian for awhile – but they will be hiring an Indian PR guy after the full team gets put together.

        So I guess you are right…I need a raise. Heh.

        • Sean Smith

          Are you technically an Indian PR guy that works for Indian?

          • Robert

            Half Indian. Half British. I expect a free Royal Enfield any day now…

  • cadillacjack

    That airport is very close to where I am, gotta go check that out, thanks!

    • Robert

      There is only one more event there – then it’s shut down forever. I think it’s in October.

  • Deryl

    At the 31 second mark check out the size of the sprockets. I don’t think the rear one could get any smaller or the counter shaft one any bigger.

  • jason McCrash

    I did 140+ on my Victory. The only mods were a S&S air filter, Supertrapp 2/1 and a fuel remap. I even got a shot of the speedo with a camera. Yep, I’m a moron. But I enjoyed the Vic for the 18000 miles I put on it.
    I have addressed the lack of non-cruiser Vics on the main Vic forum ( and been lambasted for it. “Vic is a cruiser company!”, blah, bah, blah. I agree with all of the guys that gave Vic shit on here. They have a huge tav market and need to bring some of that tech to the bikes. $12000+ bikes aren’t going to expand their market share other than taking cruiser buyers away from other brands.
    I don’t know why Polaris and HD are afraid to branch out. Oh, wait, I know why. They are pussies.

  • zipp4

    I can’t help but wonder if the bike would be any faster without all the RSD bling on there. But I suppose that is how these mutually beneficial advertising exercises work.

  • Duncan

    Turbo+nitrus= BOOM. Thats a lot of pressure they put on that unit.
    I do like it when creative people answer questions most of have not even thought to ask and are not afraid so share their results , even if they fail to accomplish their goal.
    As I see it, you can talk about things, or you can do things. Hats off to the doer’s.

  • Paul B

    I don’t get it. The NHRA Pro Stock bikes have run 195+ in a quarter mile naturally aspirated. Seems to me one of those bikes with a smaller sprocket would do 200 mph pretty easily.

    • Peter88

      Water cooled in-line four vs. air-cooled narrow angle v-twin (among other things).

      That was a great video.

      BTW very nice stuff recently gentlemen: this , T.E. Lawrence, Rossi.

      • Paul B

        Harley Davidson Pro Stock bikes are not water cooled inline fours. ;)

        • Peter88

          Sorry, I thought NHRA Pro Stock only ran normally aspirated gasoline in-line fours. The Drag racing Harleys certainly do run very well. I saw a guy on Pass Time run a low 10 with a stock looking Road King and a 165 C.I. S&S motor. Could it be that doing a standing mile instead of a standing 1/4 is too much for the Harley drag motors?

    • Jesse

      Agreed, and the Pro Stock bikes are impressive as hell when they do it.

      I would throw out there that RS may have wanted something that still (albeit vaguely) resembled a Custom Cruiser, rather than a drag rail with two wheels, like this HD “V-Rod.”

    • Robert

      I we were to stick this all billet powerplant into the Victory it could do every bit of 200 mph also…but I’m pretty sure the parts for this thing are not found in any Harley Davidson dealership – that Victory engine started as a new production motor making 97 horsepower.

      • Paul B

        Thanks for the link Robert. First good glimpse of the Pro Stock motor I have seen.

  • Scott Pargett

    Cool dude. He could be doing lines of blow in chateau marmot all day while just letting his product line sell.

    Instead he’s out trying to push the limits of what’s capable in a platform most people wouldn’t look twice at.


  • Ben Rendel

    why did he change the bike number to 9515 at the end of the video?

    • Robert

      Ah – that was the race organization – they made us change the number. I think we lost 10 horsepower with that change…

      • Ben Rendel

        well obviously.

  • Robert

    The amazing thing about Maxton is that it’s a standing start to the timing lights – basically a very very long drag strip…with some manner of shrubbery growing through the seems in the concrete. There is a smooth(er) line – but Roland hit some severe bumps finding that line too!

  • KeithTurk

    First things first…. Roland paid 100% attention to the rookie orientation and all of the race procedures… Like JT… Roland came to race and was willing to listen…. Frankly with all “VIP’s” and High profile guys… it’s always a Pain in the ass… These two guys were freaking Awesome… and incredibly easy to deal with…

    Roland was bummed his junk didn’t run better… however… mid 180′s on your first outting is pretty damn spectacular… and again he and his crew took on a Very steep learning curved and wacked it’s ass….

    nothing but respect for the effort…

    Keith Turk
    Race Director for Maxton and the ECTA

  • Paul B

    Let’s cut to the chase here. Who was faster, JT or RS?

    • JT Nesbitt

      I did 149.8 MPH on a motorcycle that I rode to the meet (500 miles), after taking delivery of it for the first time. It had totally whacked out throttle bodies and mis aligned TPS, plus an intermittent ignition trigger. Definitely a sick motorcycle, but I was on vacation, and just out having fun. The point that I want everyone to get here is that you don’t have to have big money, factory sponsorsip, and a film crew to go landspeed racing. Hell, I just showed up and ran. Everybody should try it at least once. Keith Turk, the race director, is right here and will gladly take anyone’s questions! Come on, taste it – you might like it!! — JT

      • Robert

        The guy having the most fun there was the kid on a CB100 (with the forks way high through the trees) who was racing his Dad and getting jazzed about .5 mph. Land speed is Grass Roots awesome. It was cool to shoot alongside the RSD crew also – some shots even made it into the video.

  • KeithTurk

    for comparison purposes.. cubic inch per MPH??? Race bike Vs Street bike… amount of prep??? so on and so forth… it’s like comparing apples to plum’s…. I like both but I wouldn’t stick my thumb in an Apple Pie…

  • mugget

    that’s cool stuff – I’m looking forward to the next chapter in road to 200!