Spoiler alert: The process involves a hacksaw and a barbecue.
How do you turn a four-cylinder Kawasaki Z1 engine into a six-cylinder monstrosity? Allen Millyard is here to tell you how. You might think that you’d need plasma cutters and other flashy shop gadgetry, but after watching this video, you’ll see it's not quite as high-tech as you’d suspect. Yeah, Millyard does have some expensive machinery, but he’s also perfectly happy to use a hacksaw and a barbecue to get the job done.
If you’ve been reading motorcycle magazines for a while, you know Millyard might be the world’s maddest motorcycle engine builder. He’s a rocket scientist and nuclear engineer by day, but when he’s off the clock, Millyard modifies factory bike engines He usually does this by adding extra cylinders. In the past, we showed you his absolutely bonkers KZ2300, built around his homebrewed V12 engine, constructed from two Kawasaki KZ1300 inline sixes. In the video above, Millyard shows how he cuts up two Z1 cylinder blocks to construct a six-cylinder engine.
This is part of a YouTube series Millyard’s been working on since the start of April, 2020. With more time on his hands due to lockdown (thanks, coronavirus), he’s been detailing his Z1 Super Six build. It’s not the sort of project most riders would take on, but it’s fascinating to see the processes behind crank construction, how Millyard builds the cylinder bank, how he makes copper gaskets, and all the rest of the bike.
Depending how you look at it, the videos can be highly motivating, when you see what this guy is building in his shed. They can also be a tad depressing, when you compare your own wrenching skills (one YouTube comment says “It takes me half a day to change the oil and filters on my bike and half of the old oil ends up on the floor”).