Why we love Burt

Excitement builds for Burt Munro Challenge

BY REBECCA RYAN
Last updated 11:09 22/11/2011
Burt Munro Challenge
DOUG FIELD/The Southland Times

FLYING THE FLAG: Rally enthusiasts Steve Winteringham with Francie Winteringham preparing for the rally.

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Burt Munro Challenge

Street racing and whitebait patties Are you part of the Legend? Southern hospitality a winner for victor Close racing entertains keen crowd Two motorcyclists suffer serious injuries Challenge draws big bucks Competitors take on Teretonga Two challenges, nine bikes and cheap beer Riders from all over NZ take up Challenge Baynes wins the Burt

You can almost smell the motorcycle fumes as excitement for the 2011 Burt Munro Challenge builds.

Organising committee member Steve Winteringham, putting the final touches on some of the displays, said he expects this year's rally to be bigger and better than before.

Mr Winteringham said there would be something for everyone at the sixth annual event.

His checklist for the public and riders included checking out the new 700kg bronze "very Burt Munro'' sculpture, getting as close to the action as possible and ``sharing a yarn'' with the riders who all have a story about Burt.

Modelling the 2011 Burt Munro Challenge merchandise range, Mr Winteringham said hundreds of T-shirts, flags, caps and hats bearing the Burt Munro logo have been printed will be available for sale at every event this week.

10 reasons why we love Burt

  1. Munro's inspirational story was made into the movie ``The World's Fastest Indian'' in 2005.
  2. Following the success of the movie, the Southland Motorcycle Club created the Burt Munro Challenge in his honour.
  3. Born in Invercargill in 1899, Burt is a true Southlander.
  4. Despite a lack of money and the fact that he worked full time during the day he was absolutely dedicated to motorbikes, sometimes working overnight on them, then going to work in the morning having had no sleep.
  5. Instead of having parts and tools professionally made, Burt would make his own. For example, he cast parts in old tins.
  6. After setting several  New Zealand land speed records in the 1940s and 1950s his next goal was to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, United States.
  7. At age 63, he set a land speed record of 178.97mph in Bonneville in 1962. 
  8. He travelled to Bonneville another eight times to compete and set two more world records.
  9. In 1967 he managed to reach 190.07mph during a qualifying run, which  is the fastest ever recorded speed on an Indian motorcycle.
  10. His official 1967 record of 183.58mph still stands today.

Click here for more stories from the Burt Munro Challenge.

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