More shed-building magic.
That new project feeling is intoxicating, isn’t it? You don’t even have to work on bikes or build customs to feel it; envisioning how everything is going to come together for any project is its own special kind of excitement. From the first time you put together something for the science fair as a kid, to whatever your maker-passions are as an adult—it's an absolutely elemental joy.
Lucky for us, that joy is also precisely what Allen Millyard is so good at stoking—both in himself, and in everyone who watches his build videos. You don’t have to be the kind of person who decides to source an 8-liter Dodge Viper V10 engine off eBay to build a bike to enjoy them. Millyard’s singular expertise, passion, and willingness to share his knowledge on YouTube makes it totally possible to live vicariously through what he’s created.
Of course, seeing that gleam in his eye as he’s eagerly describing details like having to build a front fork, front subframe, and rear swingarm assembly from scratch are the definition of inspirational. As usual, some parts are sourced from re-imagined bits of other bikes, but the majority of the build is hand-fabricated. Millyard also freely admits that he over-engineered some things, like milling brackets from inch-thick steel.
He also took the step of crafting titanium pistons and heat shields for the Pretech six-piston brake calipers on the front wheel, to be used exclusively with EBC ceramic race pads, of course. I mean, you only want the best if you’re going to do 189 mph runs at the Elvington Air Strip, or go test your mettle at the Isle of Man, right? Right.
One of the things I particularly appreciate about a Millyard build is getting a small glimpse into his seemingly boundless curiosity about how things work. He is indisputably good at engineering and building, but there’s a great example of what I mean in this video. Even though he utilized ceramic coating and stainless steel heat shields to manage the heat generated by his exhaust system, he found it was still way too hot to comfortably ride.
So, Millyard gathered more information. A bit of research revealed that the high-temp-tolerant material used to make the fake coals that some people put in their gas fireplaces is made of a very similar material to that used in space shuttle tiles. He got hold of some of those fake coals, sliced them up into tiles, and used high-temp silicon adhesive to affix them to the underside of his heat shielding. At one point, he even demonstrates exactly how heat-resistant they are by sticking a tile on his finger and using a blowtorch, as you do. If that doesn’t get the point across, nothing will.
Anyway, this is just part one of a two-part series on the Viper bike build. The second part will feature a startup, as well as at least one type of riding. So far, he’s put almost 10,000 miles on the thing. Will we get footage just riding around the crowded streets of London, going round the Isle of Man, in full anger at the Elvington Air Strip, or all of the above? Guess we’ll have to tune in to find out.