You know, in case you needed confirmation that both bike and builder are one-of-a-kind.
If you want it badly enough, you, too, can build a custom bike. It’ll take plenty of resources, and you’ll have a better time if you have some mechanical tools and skills to help you along the way. Still, there are custom bike builders, and then there is the singular engineering mastermind known as Allen Millyard.
He’s truly in a class of his own, and builds like the Flying Millyard—which he’s brought to plenty of shows around the UK—are why. That was, of course, back when shows were a thing—but if there’s anyone who’s probably building something amazing during all our quarantine downtime, it’s this guy. Just take a look at this video, where he takes you inside how he built the utterly magnificent Flying Millyard.
For those unfamiliar, it’s a 4888cc air-cooled, pushrod, 70-degree V-twin that makes an estimated 80 horsepower—but even as I type that, it vastly oversimplifies what he’s accomplished here. Millyard took two cylinders from a Pratt & Whitney 1340 Radial engine, made his own con rods, made his own carburetors, and basically engineered a whole bunch of bits to make it all work. Thankfully, he explains all of it here.
There’s a fair amount of whimsy and freedom that you can see at play in this video, as he lays out everything he fettled to get the build exactly the way he wanted. While he’s capable of doing much more than a whole lot of people, he also knows his limits and isn’t afraid to outsource to specialists when he deems it necessary. It’s all in service of fulfilling the vision in his head, after all—best to do it right the first time if you’re going to do it at all.
All told, the build took him around 11 months in total. Before you start wondering what you’ve done with your life, please bear in mind that the man is apparently retired, so he probably has more time available than many reading this might. Still, it’s an important reminder to stay curious, keep learning, and keep putting what you’ve learned to good use—because it could lead somewhere completely amazing.