An email arrived the other day from one of our readers who had just returned home from the Cassington Classic Brit Bike Show. He'd just taken a few photos of Allen Millyard's giant boardtracker, the Flying Millyard, built to house the engine he had created using two cylinders from a Pratt and Whitney 1340 radial. The result is a 5000cc V-Twin and it's a beauty to behold.
Allen doesn't seem to take a lot of photos of his own bikes, but he does take videos, so these photos, along with the videos I've included below, gives you an idea of of what he's done.
To begin, the bike, at idle, has the pleasant sound of an old radial biplane idling on the taxiway, if you've ever heard an old Waco or Stearman, you know what I mean, and on the road it seems to cruise without effort, as a 5 liter V-Twin certainly should. The Flying Millyard, though, does show one shortcoming of building engines this big, and that is, trying to get the proportions of the bike right when it's going to be ridden by a normal human being. The engine can't be squeezed into a normal frame of any sort, so you end up getting an outsized lump in the center with very long handlebars for the rider out back.
As I look at this bike, I wonder if turning the engine sideways and letting the cylinders flow through the air as intended, might be a better option, not only would it would look like a huge Moto Guzzi, but the cooling fins would work better, too. There would be some space taken up by the transmission, however that was handled, but you might be able to shorten the bike a bit in the process. I don't know, but a few sketches on the back of a napkin might be time well spent. Of course, Allen may have thought of that and ruled it out for other reasons and anyone who can build engines like he does is free to do with them as he pleases, but the thought does cross my mind when I look at this. Hmm, ...
Thanks for the photos, Nigel! They're much appreciated.