The name Burt Munro is now inextricably linked with Indian Motorcycles, and it makes me very happy indeed to see them working hard to maintain his Legend. If you are unfamiliar with the remarkable story of Burt Munro and his World Record breaking Indian Scout, it is well worth having a read.
In preparation for the Burt Munro 50th anniversary commemorative run, Indian Motorcycle has set three new land speed records, according to the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA). Burt Munro’s great nephew, Lee Munro, and a pair of Indian Motorcycle technicians entered the record books on July 16 at El Mirage Dry Lakebed.
“When you’re breaking records during test runs, you know your machine is on point. Our team of engineers has done an incredible job on the Spirit of Munro commemorative Scout.” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Product Development for Indian Motorcycle. “Running within a different class has allowed Lee to truly honor his great uncle Burt. As Burt’s record still stands, Lee now joins Burt within the record book.”
First among the three Indian riders was Chet Michaelson, engine calibration technician at Indian Motorcycle. In the M-PG (Modified-Pushrod Gasoline) 2000cc class, riding a 2015 Indian Chief Classic, Chet eclipsed the record of 151 MPH with a speed of 154.132 MPH.
he second Indian rider was Lee Munro – aboard the Spirit of Munro 50th anniversary 2017 Indian Scout. Competing in the MPS-G (Modified Partial Streamliner) 1350cc class, Lee needed to exceed 167 MPH for a new record. After completing his rookie runs during the May meet at El Mirage, this was the firstchance to let the bike loose and explore its potential. Lee recorded a speed of 186.681 MPH, a new record and the Indian team was two for two.
The third and final Indian rider was Dan Gervais, senior engine calibration technician at Indian Motorcycle. Dan was competing in the M-G (Modified-Gasoline) 1350cc class with a lightly modified 2015 Indian Scout. Like Lee Munro, Dan also completed his rookie runs at the May meet at El Mirage. Dan’s speed of 154.354 MPH edged out the 153 MPH record and gave Indian its third record of the day.
“It’s an incredible feat to join my great uncle Burt within the land speed record book,” said Lee Munro, the grandson of Burt’s first cousin. “Indian has been a great partner in not only providing me with an incredible machine, but providing me with an opportunity to recognize and honor all Burt Munro did for motorcycling.”
On August 12 and 13, Lee Munro will pilot the modern Indian Scout with a powertrain modified by the Indian Motorcycle engineering team. The attempt will not break Burt’s record, but instead will honor his storied legacy in the world of motorcycling. Fueled by their own ambition to push beyond boundaries, Indian’s team of engineers volunteered to be a part of this historic attempt, working on the project “after hours.” The record- setting run at El Mirage was the team’s second and final test runs before heading to the Bonneville Salt Flats.
I will be following their progress very closely…….