Imagine buying one of the biggest and most powerful car engines available and slotting it together as a special bike.
After many years working on other specials Allen Millyard did just that. The result is a Goliath of a motorcycle, not everyone’s favourite, but you have to admire his engineering skill.
There’s always been a fascination in some circles to experiment with bikes and make interesting hybrids such as a Yamasaki or an RD800.
Engineering types just can’t resist firing up the oxy and spinning a lathe to make something that people just ain’t seen before.
If you take a V8 engine out of an American muscle car and stick it on two wheels and you’re sure to get raised eyebrows, but use a 8-litre V10 and even the sleepy will fall out of the rocking chair.
Enter stage left – The Dodge Viper – an awesomely big super-car. Launched in the US in 1990 it was the result of Chrysler going shopping for a car company and landing in the Lamborghini aisle.
A brave idea was hatched to get one over their old competition at Ford with their classic AC Cobra and so they slotted the Lambo V10 engine into a modern day snake skin. The result was the much-grunting Dodge Viper.
Over the years many US car companies changed hands like a hot potatoes, dodging silver bullets in the combined automotive crises in both Europe and the US.
But somehow the gas guzzling, ill mannered, politically incorrect one-off Dodge has survived quarter of a century and still spins heads as fast as the dials on the fuel pumps.
So. Will the 500bhp engine fit in a bike?
Allen Millyard bought a second hand Viper engine for six grand, got it home and realised it was a biggie.
Eight litre engines are a monster when they’re a V8, but add another pair of cylinders and you soon realise that there’s nowhere for your knees and your hip sockets really hurt as you get all male with your posture.
To be honest the Millyard Viper is a bunch of heavy-duty bike bits bolted to an engine as the V10 is a stressed member (lol) in the whole design.
But a big hats-off to Allen as the package hangs rather well (oh, lol again), We’ve seen production bikes that look far less ‘together’ than this goliath.
The tank is immense and watching people ride the bike reminds you a little of the funky gibbon – you fear a sharp turn might mean they have to let go of one grip to get round, but the ‘5-into-1 each-side’ pipe system is well executed and the gigantic rubber and beefy forks all looks in good proportion.
In fact it is a stroke of genius that the bike looks this good. The donor car is massive and has an engine bay that, if welded up and filled with water, would double as an Olympic pool.
Car engines are also notorious for having all their gubbins on the outside making them look like a bit of a jumble sale, but somehow Allen tidied up all the necessities and kept ‘everything engine’ both clean and shiny.
Cooling a big engine is always a tough one, but the large chrome radiator hangs together within the design of the monster like a team of engineers spent years on it.
Even the air filters poking forward just below the bars look so integral it shows his homework is perfect.
The only negative we can see is the final drive chain which is surprisingly slim considering how many horses it’s going to handle pushing almost a tonne of metal down the road.
Maybe a shaft drive would have been a better choice but we bow to the expertise of the master engineer.
This isn’t a naïve dabble in the garden shed. Allen is a guy with a passion. He’s produced many fascinating bikes including a V8 Z1600, a Honda SS100 V-twin, a V12 Z2400, various Kawasaki five and six cylinder 2-strokes and the beautifully magnificent 5 litre V-twin known as the Flying Millyard.
So, we guess you’re all waiting to hear what the big number is, or whether this is this just some show machine, all mouth and not much trousers?
Well yes. It’s been reported that the bike pulls from tick-over with buckets of torque, it’s never, ever stretched, in fact up to about 100mph it barely gets out of bed. 150mph is a lazy yawn and a stretch leaving you wondering if the top speed is somewhere well over the horizon.
The bike was declared the world’s fastest road bike in 2009 with 207mph on the straight and narrow – Mad – Just imagine watching a Hyabusa going the wrong way in your mirrors.
Yes it’s a monster and yes it’s probably a handful on the road, but there’s something just a bit mad dogs and Englishman that said it had to be done.
Even if you prefer your bikes nice and standard, you have to admit this is one well-executed machine, even if it is the size of a block of flats.