Some of my favorite custom motorcycles are ones 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’ll make you drool while you tremble like a chihuahua.
The Millyard Viper V10 has been around since 2009 with its creator, Allen Millyard, putting 9,150 miles on the one-off build since. And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to keep something like this running, he’s uploaded a video detailing maintenance before taking it on an exciting test ride. You’ll want your headphones for this.
Millyard builds the motorcycles of dreams. For the past two decades the man has paired interesting powerplants with custom-built motorcycles. He’s perhaps best known for the Flying Millyard, a boardtracker housing two cylinders from a Pratt and Whitney 1340 radial aircraft engine. We’re talking about a 5-liter V-twin motorcycle that sounds like a vintage plane.
Millyard has also built some amazing Kawasakis. His 883cc Kawasaki KH500 Millyard Special, for example, takes Kawasaki’s already quick 500cc two-stroke triple and adds on two more cylinders. Or perhaps even more stunning, Millyard has even taken two inline-six KZ1300 cylinder blocks and grafted them together into a V12.
In 2003, Dodge rolled the Tomahawk out onto the Detroit Auto Show floor. Calling it a motorcycle might be a stretch as the Tomahawk had a Viper’s V10 engine with a seat and four wheels attached to it.
Just one working prototype was built, with nine more produced as non-functional $555,000 sculptures from Neiman Marcus.
But that didn’t stop the vehicle from catching the eyes and imaginations of motorcycle riders everywhere. Millyard and his son Stephen saw the Tomahawk at the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and Stephen told Millyard that he could do better. And that he certainly did.
As Motorcycle News notes, Millyard started by sourcing an 8-liter Viper V10 from a 1995 Dodge Viper GTS on eBay. Then in July 2007, he kicked off the build, having a rolling chassis by Christmas. By April 2009 it was finished and in an interview with Motorcycle News, Millyard said:
“All told, it has taken about a full year to build,” Allen told MCN. “Really, I did it to beat the Americans at what they do best. They’ve had two attempts at building a Viper-engined bike (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 beefy and so heavy that there weren’t any forks on the market that could support it, so Millyard made his own. There also isn’t a frame. Instead, a subframe bolts to the front of the engine while a single-sided swing arm mounts to the transmission out back. The engine alone weighs in at 750 pounds, and the bike is a hefty 1,389 pounds total.
The eight-liter Viper V10 engine is making 500 horsepower in this motorcycle, and Millyard has shown that such power is controllable on two wheels. And while it hasn’t reached Millyard’s goal of 250 mph, it did reach 207 mph.
Sure enough, the maintenance shown in the above video is minor. Before it was set to get its MOT inspection, Millyard checked his creation over. It needed a few fixes like lighting wiring put back into place and some air in its rear tire.
It’s awesome to see and hear such a great one-off motorcycle is out there doing so well. The fact that Millyard has ridden it so many miles is a testament to his skills, too. If you haven’t, watch that video to the end and be sure to have your sound on.