Burt Munro Challenge
The call is out for Southlanders daring enough to follow in the tread of famous Southland-born racer Burt Munro on the Bonneville Salt Flats, in Utah.
Christchurch sidecar world speed record-holder Phil Garrett Garrett and his Flying Kiwi team are holding a competition to find four riders to be part of a 80-strong ''Kiwi invasion'' to hit the famous salt flats for the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials in August next year.
''It would be fantastic if one of the riders is from Burt Munro's stomping ground in Southland,'' Garrett said.
Being able to ride a bike was the first requirement but was secondary to the spirit of the competition, he said.
''What's really important about the trip to the USA is to live up to the reputation Burt has created along with the other kiwi riders who have followed,'' he said.
''People riding on the flats need to be good ambassadors for New Zealand. They should be proud but humble, capable but understated, good communicators and always have time to speak to anyone who approaches them.''
No stranger to reaching speeds of close to 300kmh at Bonneville, Garrett has had ''salt fever'' since he set a new world land speed record of 272kmh in a 1000cc sidecar at Bonneville in 2005.
''I'll teach the chosen four how to ride on the salt,'' he said.
His recruits will ride a 200hp, 1979 Kawasaki Turbo that has raced on the salt for more than 20 years - the same bike Garrett rode at Bonneville in 2008. It could reach 300kmh, but there was no pressure to reach top speeds, he said.
Garrett will be speaking at the Waikiwi Rugby Clubrooms tonight at 7.30pm about his experiences and the trip to Bonneville.
Entry is $10, which is for charity.
- The Southland Times