50th Anniversary of Burt Munro’s World Land Speed Record
In 1967, New Zealand’s Burt Munro set the SA 1000 motorcycle class world speed record at 184.087 mph—a record that still stands in what is now the S-AF 1000cc class. That epic record was set with his hand-built 1920 Indian Scout based streamliner.
To mark Munro’s achievement and the record that has kept the Indian motorcycle name in the record books longer than any other record, Indian Motorcycle plans a special commemoration. The company is joining road racer Lee Munro, Burt Munro’s great nephew who also hails from New Zealand, to recreate the historic run at Bonneville on August 13.
While the Bonneville run by Lee Munro will not be out to break the 1967 record, it will honor Burt Munro’s legacy and the mark he made in motorcycling.
Lee Munro will be at the controls of a modern Indian Scout with a powertrain modified by the Indian Motorcycle engineering team. The goal will be to become the world’s fastest modern Indian motorcycle. Indian’s team of engineers volunteered for the attempt, working on the project “after hours.” Several test runs are slated for El Mirage, Calif., in preparation for Munro’s attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Lee Munro was born and raised in Invercargill, New Zealand, the same town as his great uncle Burt. Munro is no rookie to two-wheel high-risk sports, beginning with downhill mountain biking. After winning many local races and finishing fifth in the 2002 New Zealand Championship, he started motorcycle road racing. He won his first race and captured numerous titles on every road and street race circuit in the South Island of New Zealand.
He plans to race the Isle of Man and attended the Manx GP in 2016 to gain knowledge of the track and prepare to compete. Most recently, he won the vintage class at the Methven Street Races earlier in 2017 on a 1941 Indian motorcycle.
“My uncle Burt was a significant inspiration for my own racing career, and his appetite for speed is clearly a part of my DNA” said Lee Munro, the grandson of Burt’s first cousin. “What Indian Motorcycle is doing is fantastic, and I couldn’t be prouder to partner with them and pilot my own Scout at Bonneville in honor of my Uncle and the 50th anniversary of his historic record.”
“Motorcycling is about shedding boundaries and limitations to go beyond the norm, and there is no better example of that than Burt Munro,” said Reid Wilson, Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director. “Driven by unparalleled determination and a legendary passion for the pursuit, Burt Munro embodies the spirit of Indian Motorcycle, and we couldn’t be prouder to honor his legacy with an updated version of his historic record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in August.”
For more on Burt Munro’s long-standing land speed record, see our coverage:
- Burt Munro’s Indian Land Speed Record Still Stands 50 years Later
- Rider’s Library—World’s Fastest Indian-Burt Munro, a Scrapbook of his life
For more information about Indian Motorcycles, visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.
Photography by Jeff Allen
Indian Motorcycle 50th Anniversary Burt Munro Record Attempt Photos