Some of my favorite custom motorcycles are one with engines that seem totally inappropriate for use in a two-wheeler. Perhaps the best example of this idea is the Millyard Viper V10, a motorcycle that will make you drool while shaking like a Chihuahua.
The Millyard Viper V10 has been around since 2009 with its maker, Allen Millyard, having since covered 9,150 miles on the one-off build. And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to keep something like this running, he’s uploaded a video detailing the maintenance before taking it for a thrilling test drive. You need your headphones for this.
Millyard builds the motorcycles of dreams. For the past two decades, the man has paired interesting power units with custom motorcycles. He is perhaps best known for the flying mill, a two-cylinder board tracker from a Pratt and Whitney 1340 radial aircraft engine. We’re talking about a 5-liter V-twin motorcycle that sounds like a vintage airplane.
Millyard has also built some great Kawasakis. His 883cc Kawasaki KH500 Millyard Special, for example, takes Kawasaki’s already fast 500cc two-stroke triple and adds two more cylinders. Or better yet, Millyard even took and grafted two straight-six KZ1300 cylinder blocks together into a V12.
In 2003, Dodge rolled out the Tomahawk on the floor of the Detroit Auto Show. Calling it a motorcycle might be a bit farfetched, since the Tomahawk had a Viper’s V10 engine with a seat and four wheels attached.
Only one working prototype was built, with nine more being produced as non-functional $555,000 Neiman Marcus sculptures.
But that didn’t stop the vehicle from capturing the attention and imagination of motorcyclists everywhere. Millyard and his son Stephen saw the Tomahawk at the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed and Stephen told Millyard he could do better. And he certainly did.
As motorcycle news notes, Millyard began buying an 8-liter Viper V10 from a 1995 Dodge Viper GTS on eBay. Then, in July 2007, he started building, with a rolling chassis by Christmas. It was done in April 2009 and in an interview with Motorcycle News, Millyard said:
“All told, construction took about a full year,” Allen told MCN. “Really, I did it to beat the Americans at what they do best. They’ve made two attempts at building a Viper motorcycle (the Tomahawk and a one-off Boss Hoss version) and this is better than both.
And unlike the Tomahawk, this is road legal.
This thing is so sturdy and so heavy that there were no forks on the market that could hold it, so Millyard made our own. There is also no frame. Instead, a subframe bolts to the front of the engine, while a single-sided swingarm attaches to the transmission. The motor alone weighs 750 pounds, and the bike totals 1,389 pounds.
The eight-liter Viper V10 engine puts out 500 horsepower in this motorcycle, and Millyard has demonstrated that such power can be controlled on two wheels. And while it didn’t hit Millyard’s goal of 250 mph, it did hit 207 mph.
Sure enough, the maintenance shown in the video above is minor. Before he was ready to get his MOT, Millyard checked his creation. It needed a few repairs, like the lighting wiring put back in place and some air in the rear tire.
It’s great to see and hear such a great one-off motorcycle doing so well. The fact that Millyard has put so many miles on it is also a testament to its skill. If you haven’t, watch that video to the end and make sure you have your sound on.