'It’s got to be done': Millyard and Cole set sights on 200mph pillion record after previous run recognised by Guinness

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Stars of ITV’s The Motorbike Show Allen Millyard and Henry Cole are celebrating following their recent two-up top speed success being officially recognised by Guinness as a new world record.

The duo now holds the record for ‘fastest tandem motorcycle’, having achieved 183.5mph (295.31kmh) on Millyard’s home built eight-litre, 500bhp Viper V10 machine.

But Millyard has now shared that there is more to come as the duo set their sights on the 200mph mark. “It’s nice to have an ambition and it’s more than capable,” he told MCN. “I had the wrong gearing. I geared it to 225mph at 5000rpm. If I’d geared it for 200mph at 5000rpm then it would’ve done it.

Henry Cole and Allen Millyard pose on the V10 Viper bike

“It’s got to be done hasn’t it, really? Not many people have put a bike together in their shed – especially with a car engine.”

The new and now officially recognised record replaces the previous 181.42mph (291.98kmh) benchmark, set by American couple Erin Hunter and Andy Sills at Bonneville Salt Flats in 2011.

“I didn’t really think we’d do it, but thanks to Allen and the bike he built in a little garage near Reading, we’re world record holders!” Henry Cole added. “It’s the biggest rush you’ll ever have!”

Henry Cole and Allen Millyard

The record was set on May 25, with the pair riding the 630kg brute at Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire. Tackling the 3000-metre long runway, the pair set their best time on their sixth and final run.  

The high speed runs appeared on series 12, episode five of The Motorbike Show, which can be watched online through the ITVX streaming service.

What’s it like carrying a pillion at 183.5mph?

“It’s like having a topbox on the back of your bike, full of cement,” Millyard joked with MCN. “I was very cautious and careful, and progressively went faster and faster across the day.”

He later added: “Top marks to Henry for agreeing to do it. He showed complete confidence in my riding ability and my hand-built motorcycle, which is really flattering.

“I knew he’d be a reliable pillion and wouldn’t panic, which could destabilise the bike, with disastrous consequences at high speed.”

Hold on! Pillion speed record broken by Millyard and Cole

First published 12 July 2023 by Dan Sutherland

Allen Millyard and Henry Cole get up to speed on the Viper V10

TV favourites Henry Cole and Allen Millyard have set a new speed record for two-up riding, reaching 183.5mph aboard Millyard’s own 8000cc Viper V10 naked bike.

The UK&ITA record was set at Elvington, with the pair reaching the ludicrous speed from a standing start over 1.25-miles – beating the current Guinness World Record of 181.426mph, set by Erin Hunter and Andy Sills back in September 2011.

“I’m on a homemade bike that weighs 600kg with no fairing,” Millyard told MCN, having ridden the 13-year-old machine on the day.

Allen Millyard and Henry Cole on the Viper V10

“I’ve got that to manage and then I’ve got someone on the back. It’s like having a topbox on the back of your bike, full of cement,” he joked. I was very cautious and careful, and progressively went faster and faster across the day.”

The pair were also able to set a new one mile, standing start speed record of 178.614mph, covering 29 miles up and down the Yorkshire runway on the day. The bike has broken the 200mph barrier with Millyard at the helm.

“I got the nod from Allen, and he said to me: ‘Do you fancy going on the back of my bike?’ I want to attempt the land speed record for two-up on a motorcycle,” Henry Cole said during a recent MCN Premium online Q&A event.

Allen Millyard on his Viper V10

He added: “We had a right laugh, but I’ve got to tell you it was a struggle!”

The record attempt was shown in full on the Monday, July 10 episode of the Motorbike Show on ITV4. If you missed it or want to watch it again, be sure to head to ITVX online to catch up.