Mad genius Allen Millyard does, in fact, bring all the SS50 and C90 mills to his yard.
When you see a magnificently bonkers build, like Allen Millyard’s Kawasaki V12, it’s absolutely fascinating all on its own. Thing is, you’ll undoubtedly have questions about it, no matter your level of personal expertise. One of the greatest things about seeing ridiculously high levels of creativity on display is that they inspire your own, as well, and you can’t help but want to know more.
In today’s video, Millyard takes the whole world inside his Honda SS100 builds via YouTube, and also lets us take a tiny peek inside his SS180 V Twin build, as well. As of May 2020, he’s built four separate SS100s, and just one SS180 V Twin. I mean, how many have you built? Me, neither. We’d better get to work learning from this master engineer.
The impetus for this video came from something going wrong with one of the SS100s. Millyard said he noticed a clicking sound in fourth gear, so he wanted to take the engine apart to find out what had gone amiss. Lo and behold, once he stripped the engine down and took the gears apart, he found that the fourth gears both had teeth missing. Replacement was simple, so all he had to do was clean it up and start putting everything back together.
That’s where the fun starts for those of us viewing this video. Millyard handily narrates everything he’s doing, and answers the majority of questions you might have while watching. You know, little things like, where does he get his engine gaskets from? (Answer: He makes them himself, and shows us all how it’s done in this other video. What a guy.)
As he puts the bottom end engine cases back together, he immediately checks that the crankshafts and gears rotate as they should, and that nothing is impeding their smooth movement. That’s crucial at every step of the way, because it’s a lot easier and less frustrating to have to take apart a couple of little things to check why a movable part is stuck than to have to take apart the entire engine after you have it back in the bike again.
Mind you, one thing Millyard doesn’t do is stuff a rag or something inside any gaping engine holes so that gravity doesn’t have its way with piston pin circlips, dowels, or any other fiddly bits. (We mere mortals might want to do that if we’re not as skilled as he is, because losing little bits down your engine cases kind of makes you want to tear your hair out.)
Anyway, Millyard’s calm, soothing voice walks you through all the steps with genuine warmth and enthusiasm for the task at hand. Even though it’s clear he’s been doing this for a lifetime, you can tell that he still loves it, and that coming up with and enacting all his mad plans simply doesn’t get old. If you want to know how to live your best life, one workbench session at a time, this is it.