By Sally Murrer and Douglas Whitbread

An eccentric dad has revealed how he turned a Henry vacuum cleaner into a mini ride-on motorbike.

Systems engineer Allan Gallop, 35, worked with a team of enthusiasts to fit the broken appliance with a two-stroke 50cc engine, handlebars and new wheels.

And the retrofitted machine can now achieve a top speed of 28mph – with hilarious footage showing a rider taking it for a spin along a stretch of tarmac.



But the inventor joked that the converted appliance – dubbed ‘Henry Hoofer’ – still handles like a household cleaner around the corners.

Allan, a dad-of-three, said: “Almost all the parts are recycled junk, with the exception being the braking system and tyres.

“The top speed is currently unknown as no one has been brave enough to find out yet.

“In theory, it should be around 28mph – but unfortunately he still handles corners as poorly as he did as a hoover.”

Allan, from Milton Keynes, Bucks., said he had struck upon the bizarre idea with members of a local charity group, called Men in Sheds MK.

The members, many of whom are retired, fabricate individual and collective projects, using wood, metal and electronics at a workshop.

And Allan said they had been speculating about what to bring to a national gathering of inventors when they struck upon the idea of converting the hoovers.

He said: “I’m not sure who came up with motorised Henry Hoovers but it was an instant win of an idea. My brain immediately leapt to ‘put an engine in it’.

“One of our members managed to secure around six broken Henry hoovers and when they arrived I realised that not only would a 50cc pocket bike engine fit but it could be rideable.

“The work began in earnest by stripping down the Henry to just the outer shell and cutting away most of the bottom and internal support structure to take measurements.

“I knew it would be a tight fit but on paper, it all worked out, so I began creating a frame from steel angle to mount the engine, steering and drivetrain.”

Photo detailing the construction of Allan Gallop’s ride on Henry. (Pix via SWNS)
Systems engineer Allan Gallop, 35, worked with a team of enthusiasts to fit the broken appliance with a two-stroke 50cc engine, handlebars and new wheels. (Pix via SWNS)

Allan said the hardest part of the design process was trying to fit the axle to the back of the hoover, which could support a set wheels.

He said: “The biggest struggle with the build was the rear axle – it’s 10mm diameter as that was the only size I could find pillow blocks in that also fitted the frame

“I was very fortunate that the shed had recently received a large lathe and milling machine as a donation and a fellow member was a retired machine shop teacher.

“Between us, we managed to design and fabricate custom flanges and hubs to hold bolt the wheels, sprocket and brakes to with a high level of precision.”

Allan said the machine cost very little to produce as most of the parts had been collected from junk and other recycled materials.

But he said if each component was purchased new, the motorised cleaners would cost around £400 to make.

The prototype was finally completed early this year, and after Allan posted videos of the hoover on TikTok, it received half a million views.

He added: “Well, it’s funny, isn’t it? I expected people to say ‘Look at this nutter riding a Henry Hoover

“But before I knew it the video had hit a million views! Suddenly I find people talking about it.

“I’m ecstatic at the popularity Henry has gathered because it brings some joy into the world, and that’s what is really important.”

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