Back in January, 2022, Allen Millyard showed us the build process for the bottom end of his Kawasaki S1 550 four-cylinder engine. It was just one part of his latest YouTube video series, of course, but it seemed like as hopeful a way to start a new year off right as we’ve seen. It’s June, 2022 now, so we wanted to see how things are getting on with the S1 550.
In the latest episode, Millyard just got his frame back from being painted, and it’s now ready for the bike to be assembled. Luckily, the weather is also warming up in England, so Millyard eagerly brings his assembly efforts out into his back garden so a helpful robin can supervise. He packs a little bucket with the tools he’ll need, as well as a little tub of grease, and out into the sunlight he goes.
First up, it’s time to get the bearings situated in the steering stem, along with plenty of grease to hold them in place during assembly and also keep everything nicely lubricated when it’s complete. He then starts slotting other things back into place, including the battery bracket and engine mounts.
After the engine mounts, you know what comes next? That’s right, that monster of an engine. Millyard disappears into his shed and comes back out, carefully hoisting the engine aloft using just himself—no engine hoist, dolly, or anything else to help carry it out. It’s a workshop workout!
Since this is one of Millyard’s custom engine builds, where he’s added multiple cylinders together to create his own vision, that means it’s time for new bolts and spacers. After all, the old bolts are no longer the correct length to do what they need to do—and specifically-sized spacers are also necessary.
Now, of course, Millyard has a workshop full of tools, and the knowledge and talent necessary to whip up whatever hardware he needs. For the spacers, he gets some aluminum bar and simply makes his own, using his lathe and some other tools. For the bolts, he cuts down a pair of existing ones that are now too long. He then recuts the threads with a die (after chamfering the bottom ends, of course) so they’ll fit the nuts he wants to use.
What about Tracy’s baking and the Millyard family wildlife? Don’t worry; as usual, both make appearances in this video. As it happens, Tracy makes some very tasty-looking cupcakes, which she decorates to look like hedgehogs. Later on, thanks to the Millyards’ night-vision camera, we get a good look at their nightly hedgehog visitors to cap off this portion of the build after Allen has called it a night.