SCTA Speed Week 2017, Bonneville Salt Flats

Salt. It’s essential for human life and, in large enough quantities, it breathes life into the spectacular world of land-speed racing.

The Bonneville Salt Flats in northern Utah provides an extraterrestrial experience for the uninitiated.

Over 30,000 acres of salt crust provide for such an expansive beautiful white landscape, that human depth and distance perception need constant re-calibration.

Lee Munro at Speed aboard 50th Anniversary Burt Munro Salt Flat RunsEvery summer since 1949, salt conditions permitting, the Southern California Timing Association has hosted Speed Week, a virtual Mecca for gearheads and speed freaks the world over. It is, perhaps, the last bastion of motorsport opened to the run-what-you-brung amateur enthusiast.

Indian Motorcycle was out in full-force at Speed Week supporting the debut of the Spirit of Munro streamliner, a one-off tribute to Burt Munro and the 50th anniversary of his record setting run, made even more famous in 2005 by The World’s Fastest Indian, a biopic starring Anthony Hopkins.

The modern incarnation is based on a production 2017 Indian Scout, but with the motor, chassis, and final gearing modified for the task at hand, all while still retaining about 70 percent of its “production” status.