Why we love Burt
Excitement builds for Burt Munro ChallengeBY REBECCA RYAN
Burt Munro Challenge
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
- Munro's inspirational story was made into the movie ``The World's Fastest Indian'' in 2005.
- Following the success of the movie, the Southland Motorcycle Club created the Burt Munro Challenge in his honour.
- Born in Invercargill in 1899, Burt is a true Southlander.
- 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.
- Instead of having parts and tools professionally made, Burt would make his own. For example, he cast parts in old tins.
- 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.
- At age 63, he set a land speed record of 178.97mph in Bonneville in 1962.
- He travelled to Bonneville another eight times to compete and set two more world records.
- In 1967 he managed to reach 190.07mph during a qualifying run, which is the fastest ever recorded speed on an Indian motorcycle.
- His official 1967 record of 183.58mph still stands today.
Click here for more stories from the Burt Munro Challenge.
- The Southland Times