Legend, Hall of Famer and they just made a film about him!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Dougal, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. This guy is incredible! Film is called: The Fastest Indian

    Herbert James "Burt" Munro
    (Bert in his youth) (25 March 1899 – 6 January 1978) was a New Zealand motorcycle racer, famous for setting an under-1,000 cc world record, at Bonneville, 26 August 1967.[sup][2][/sup] This record still stands today. Munro was 68 and was riding a 47-year-old machine when he set his last record.[sup][3][/sup]
    Working from his home in Invercargill, he worked for 20 years to highly modify the 1920 Indian motorcycle that he had bought that same year. Munro set his first New Zealand speed record in 1938 and later set seven more. He travelled to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats, attempting to set world speed records. During his ten visits to the salt flats, he set three speed records, one of which still stands today.
    Munro's Indian Scout was very early off the production line, being only the 627th Scout to leave the American factory.[sup][6][/sup] The bike had an original top speed of 55 mph (89 km/h).[sup][2][/sup] But this did not satisfy Munro, so in 1926 he decided to start modifying his beloved Indian.
    The biggest two challenges for Munro to overcome while modifying his bike were his lack of money and the fact that he worked full time as a motorcycle salesman.[sup][[/sup][sup]citation needed[/sup][sup]][/sup] He would often work overnight on his bikes (he had a 1936 Velocette MSS as well), then he would go to work in the morning, having had no sleep the night before.
    Because Munro was a man of modest means, he would often make parts and tools himself instead of having them professionally built. For example, he would cast parts in old tins, make his own barrels, pistons, flywheels, etc. His micrometer (a precision measuring instrument) was an old spoke.[sup][2][/sup]
    In its final stages, the Indian's displacement was 950 cc (as built it was 600 cc) and was driven by a triple chain drive system.
    • In 1962, he set a world record of 288 km/h (178.95 mph) with his engine bored out to 850 cc (52 cubic inches)[sup][2][/sup]
    • In 1966, he set a world record of 270.476 km/h (168.066 mph)[sup][9][/sup]
    • In 1967, his engine was bored out to 950 cc (58 cubic inches) and he set a class record of 295.453 km/h (183.586 mph). To qualify he made a one-way run of 305.89 km/h (190.07 mph), the fastest-ever officially-recorded speed on an Indian.[sup][2][/sup] The unofficial speed record (officially timed) is 331 km/h (205.67 mph) for a flying mile.[sup][2][/sup]
    • In 2006, he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
  2. Actually, the film title is: "The Worlds Fastest Indian". Each year a Burt Munro Rally is held in Invercargil (For those that are interested and can afford to travel). About 1962, a fellow apprentice Aircraft Mechanic who owned a 350cc MAC Velocette was on leave in Invercargil and, while exiting a side road and waiting for a break in the traffic, an "old geezer on a Army (sic) Indian pulled up along side him. My associate thought to himself "I will show this guy how fast my MAC is!". To his utter disbelief, the "old geezer" blew him into the weeds and disappeared down the highway! No prize for guessing who the "old geezer" was!
  3. The film was released in 2005.
  4. And it stars Anthony Hopkins as an adorably cantankerous old man.
    Excellent film...while it does take some liberties with the factual chronology of events, it doesn't take away from Munro's incredible accomplishments.
    It's available as a torrent...PirateBay, etc...but the film is now 7-years old, expect a slower d/load from most sites.
  5. I've watched the movie several times now, it's one of my favorites! Of course Hollywood takes some liberties and the adventures on his trip to the salt flats are probably all made up. But I don't care, it's a great movie, Anthony Hopkins is cool as ususal, lots of excitement and clean fun for the whole family.
  6. WETV in Chiang Mai is screening this film quite often on one of their Movie channels, love the character A. Hopkins plays. Sure the 'real one' must have been close to what the actor tries to show. One of the 'must see' films and none of the plenty rubbish Holywood ones so often forces down our throats. Rgds, FR
  7. I don't know about Burt's adventures on his way to Utah. Some of the liberties taken by the film makers relate more to the fact that lemon trees (pissed-on or otherwise) don't grow as far south as Invercargill and deer-farming didn't realy become established in New Zealand until about the mid 70's. Regardless, it is a great movie, played by a great lead role about a great motorcyclist.
  8. Burt Munro - the genuine article & legend.

    This Saturday the 26th August marks 50 years since Burt Munro achieved his record breaking run at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Come celebrate with us at Burt Munro's 50th Anniversary Street Parade with bikes lining up at Classic Motorcycle Mecca at 10am. Watch them ride through the streets at 12.30pm as they make their way to E Hayes & Sons Ltd - Invercargill. In the afternoon visit some of Burt's old haunts and pay homage to the Statue in Queens Park. In the evening get involved in the Charity Auction and then raise a glass to Burt in one of Invercargill's great Bars or Restaurants.


    The Burt Munro Story
    2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of Burt Munro's World Land Speed Record

    Burt Munro was born in Invercargill in 1899, and grew up on a farm in Edendale. It was in 1919 Burt bought his first motorcycle, a £50 Clyno. Twenty and invincible, Burt began to race. A year later Burt invested an Indian Scout for £140. The Scout was a very early model, being only the 627th Scout to leave the American factory, and had an original top speed of 55mph. Burt was ticketed for speeding in 1924. In 1925 he married Beryl Martyn and together they travelled to Australia and had two children. After a crash on the Aspendale Speedway in Sydney, the family returned home to NZ. #

    Burt raced his way through the motorcycle scene in New Zealand, and found work as a travelling motorcycle salesman at Tappers in Invercargill in 1930, selling some of his favourites: Velocettes, Triumphs, Francis-Barnetts and the occasional Harley. His record sales run was 44 bikes in 42 days. At Tappers he modified his Indian to reach speeds of up to 90mph. The more Burt tinkered, the faster he became and in 1933 he renamed the Indian ‘Munro Special,’ painting the name on the side of the tank. By 1937 Munro Special was racing at 110 mph.

    On the 29th April 1939, Burt Munro attempted to break the NZ Land Speed record. He failed, but in 1940 set an Open Class record of 120.8mph. He also set records for the fastest Bluff Hill climb. In 1941 a horrific crash on a Triumph Twin Speed saw Burt in recovery for over a year, but it would not stop him. A house fire, a divorce, and the death of his father could not deter him either, and in 1948 Burt gave up work to devote his life to making the Indian go ever faster.

    In 1951 Burt built a garage where he would live and work for the next 22 years. The Indian was getting faster, reaching speeds of up to 133.33 mph.

    On overseas trips through Europe, and later to the Bonneville Salts in Utah Munro witnessed Land Speed records being broken. He returned to New Zealand determined to build a streamliner for the Indian. Modeled on the shape of a goldfish, this begins to take shape in 1957. Munro set a half-mile record at the Canterbury trials:143.43 mph, and another on Oreti Beach.

    In 1960 Burt tested the first streamliner at highspeeds. He clocked 161.75 mph before the engine failed and after an epic skid, miraculously walked away unscathed.

    A second streamliner, made from fiberglass, wider than the original and with a tri-blade aluminium fin was built, and after recognising it was no longer safe to test such speeds at Oreti Beach Burt attended the Bonneville National Speed Trials for the first time in Utah. Clocking 178.97 mph Burt set a new record.

    Two washed out events at Bonneville saw Burt not compete again with his third streamliner until 1966. Here, with an enlarged engine Burt clocked 168.066 mph in the S-A 1000 class, and was unofficially timed going over 200 mph outside the course.

    In 1967 Munro returned with a fourth streamliner, this time with the nose cut off, and a longer tail. He set an incredible two-way average record of 183.586 mph which still stands today. Burt Munro was named ‘American Motorcyclist of the Year.’

    Burt Munro passed away in 1978 and was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2014, 36 years after his death, Munro was retroactively awarded a 1967 record of 296.2593 km/h (184.087 mph) after his son John noticed a calculation error by AMA at that time.

    His legacy continues in the Southern Hemisphere’s largest motorcycle rally, The Burt Munro Challenge.

    Burt Munro - Challenge.
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