As if the eight-litre V10 Viper or the aeroplane-engined Flying Millyard weren’t enough, Allen Millyard has now produced this RC374: his tribute to Mike Hailwood’s race-winning RC166. And he’s built it for less than the cost of buying the genuine bike’s front wheel!
"It all started when I met Guy Martin at Castle Combe last July and he was parading one of the originals," says Millyard. "I’ve always fancied one but the price is out of my league. Riding home I started thinking: where can I get a couple of engines?
"So I called DK Motorcycles. I was after the Honda NC23 ‘Baby Blade’ engine but they’re so rare, so I went for the Yamaha FZR250R because they rev to 18,000rpm. It took from July to October to rebuild it as a six and get it running."
Building the Honda Six
Unbelievably, Millyard’s technical information all came from a book full of photographs meant for model makers. From those photographs, he calculated the scale then worked out the dimensions for the bike.
"Lots of people have made replicas but they don’t look quite right; they’re too fat or the wrong scale and they don’t feel like a real Honda Six. This is all correct. The wheelbase, the height, even the chassis is exact. It’s slightly wider at the cases because of the engine and it’s 374cc rather than 247cc.
"I had to make the crankshaft from scratch. I wanted to go back to the classic way of making things with needle roller bearings and wrought iron crank webs, with no real flywheel mass. Just working it out, getting it to fit back in and feeding the oil right was difficult.
"The second hardest bit was the fairing. I’ve never made an alloy fairing before. I beat it all out by hand the old-fashioned way."
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