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Burt Munro and the fastest Indian in the world
Burt Munro and the fastest Indian in the world

We always speak of the old school with longing, thinking almost that any past time was better. We remember pilots like heroes of the past, so turned into legend that sometimes one doubts if they really existed. It is said as those no longer remain, that the competition on two wheels has lost all the romanticism it had and has been invaded by millionaire economic interests that act as a motor relegating the passion that could be breathed before to a secondary role.

When we have our minds on these issues, it is the images of Kevin Schwantz and company that appear. However, as we have seen previously, the history of motorcycling is littered with true lesser known dreamers. One of them was, without a doubt, Burt munro.

Burt Munro, a man of legend

Indian twin scout

The Indian "Munro Special" reached 295, 453 km / h and is currently on display in Burt's hometown of Invercargill

He did not make history by winning countless world championships, or by making impossible overtaking or knocking down to unsuspected limits. No. Burt was one of those people who follow a dream, that despite encountering dozens of seemingly insurmountable barriers, he armed himself with courage, patience and guts to overcome them one by one to make it happen.

Few believed in him at first, but faith in himself was enough to pull it off and make his old Indian Twin Scout the fastest on the planet.

Munro special

Upon unloaded rubber tires with a utility knife the old Indian fell 47 years, by 68 of the pilot with arteriosclerosis at the time of achieving his last great record. For the 20 years prior to his trip to Bonneville, he worked nights modifying his favorite motorcycle, handcrafting each part using alloys made from scrap from other engines.

His arrival in the salt desert was not easy for someone from a small town in New Zealand traveling to the United States and precisely that fact was already enough to think that they were in front of someone really special, of a livelihood, of a lover of speed.

Burt and the Indian

After a first world record set in '62, Burt went to the American desert up to ten more times. In 1967, under the Utah sun, he achieved his greatest feat: driving at 331km / h with his Indian - when it left the factory it did not exceed 90km / h -, which at that time was already cubing 950cc. However, officially the record was 295,453 km / h having achieved the previous one in a qualifying race.

Despite the notable difference that exists that brand continues, Today, in the Bonneville archives as the fastest Indian in the world ever seen. It was nicknamed "Munro Special" and is currently on display in Burt's hometown of Invercargill.

Burt died on January 6, 1978 due to natural causes at the age of 78, having achieved their dreams and living much longer than any of us ever will.

PS: Your passionate story inspired a film released in 2005 with Anthony Hopkins in the role of Burt and that I cannot fail to recommend: Burt Munro: a dream, a legend. You can get it on DVD for an approximate price of 13 euros at, for example, Fnac.

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