The stars of the 38th Carole Nash International Classic Motorcycle Show at Stafford were undoubtedly Allen Millyard and his RC374. The hand built work of art and engineering had spectators reaching for their digital world smart phones, to capture the first ever start-up of this six cylinder homage to the pinnacle of analogue era engineering.
It all started in July last year, and a conversation with a chap called Guy Martin. Allen had ridden his eight litre Viper V10 to Castle Combe, where Guy was parading a 297cc Honda RC174, the race bike on which Mike Hailwood famously won the 1967 350cc Grand Prix world title. Guy and Allen had a rather lengthy conversation and that was that. The build began the next day in Allen’s shed.
Ironically the donor engine, or should we say donor engines, are not from a Honda. The donor engines in question started life as Yamahas, two FZR250 four-cylinder motors to be precise. Precision is a key word associated with the build, as Allen meticulously added a cylinder to each side of one of the four-cylinder donor blocks, which resulted in the creation of the six-cylinder 374cc engine. Marrying the two engines together created an engine capacity of 374cc, thus the Allen Millyard RC374 was born.
Fast forward nine months land Allen wheeled the finished article from the Carole Nash stand, in the main hall of the show, outside to the paddock area. The time had come to put fuel in the tank for the first ever time. Allen’s nerves were clear and intensified by the large crowd that had gathered to see, and more importantly hear, the inaugural fire up of the complete bike.
The RC374 had been conveniently fitted with an electric start, and sure enough after adjusting the manual choke the Honda concept fired up for the first time ever. The six-cylinder hand-built creation filled the surrounding spectators ear drums with a 130db un restricted wail.
To see our video of the RC374 being fired up, click the link here and listen for yourself….