Burt Munro's world speed record celebrated
The operator of the world's southernmost Triumph Bonneville motorcycle dealership, Greg Baynes, celebrated the 46th anniversary of Burt Munro's world speed record at the Bonneville salt flats in 1967 in a special place yesterday.
Baynes was at the British High Commissioner's residence in Wellington as part of a marketing exercise for owners of Triumph Bonneville dealerships throughout the country.
Munro set his under-1000cc world record as a 68-year-old.
The record still stands today and was set on a 47-year-old 1920 Indian motorcycle.
Munro's August 26, 1967 speed at Bonneville in Utah of 183.586mph (295.43kmh) still stands as the world speed record for under-1000cc motorbikes with a streamliner.
Baynes left Invercargill at 7am yesterday and arrived in Picton at 6pm.
He covered the 894km distance at an average speed of 81.27kmh on his Triumph Bonneville 2013 865cc machine.
This was 213kmh outside Munro's world-record speed.
"I certainly was not travelling anywhere near Burt's record speeds. This bike tops out at about 200kmh. For the most part we stuck to the road rules on the way up," Baynes said.
Baynes won the 2012 Burt Munro "50-mile" New Zealand beach racing championships at Oreti Beach last year.
He said winning the race was special to him because that was where the Burt Munro legend was born.
Baynes reached top speeds in the race of about 180kmh.
"Burt means a lot to us in Invercargill. It is quite remarkable what he did all those years ago," Baynes said.
British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell said she was happy to be able to offer her Karori home in Wellington for the Triumph Bonneville motorcycle owners conference.
She described the Triumph Bonneville motorbikes as "awesome machines".
"They are at the cutting edge of Britain's push into world markets," she said.