While the 1960s saw plenty of action from American LSR legends like Craig Breedlove, Mickey Thompson, and Art Arfons, it was a friendly older gentleman from New Zealand, Burt Munro with an old (heavily modified) Indiana motorcycle that stole all our hearts. Even folks unfamiliar with LSR racing saw the movie World’s Fastest Indian and fell in love with Burt and his bike.
Well, Burt’s little Indian may not be the fastest in the world this time next year if these college kids from Queen’s University succeed in building a specially-engineered motorcycle to break his 1967 land speed record.
They’re taking aim at clocking well over 230MPH when they hit Bonneville Salt Flats next August with a full fairing motorcycle in the 1000cc Streamline Class S-F.
And just why are these kids from Belfast taking on such an endeavor? Sam Marsden, the lead on the project, credits the story (and movie) of Burt Munro with sparking his interest in engineering. Marsden, diagnosed with severe dyslexia, was told as a child he wouldn’t amount to much, but between the movie and a special engineering professor in his life, he’s found a calling in mechanical engineering.
With this reverence to Munro and his Indian, the students are incorporating his name and record speed in the eventual name of their new bike.
Queen’s University is offering some support for the build, but students of the “Project Velocity,” team need your help to get to the Bonneville Salt Flats next August. Why not throw a buck or two towards their Kickstarter campaign? They’ve got a month to raise roughly $80,000 in a month, so they could use the help.
About Burt Munro:
Been living under a rock? Don’t know who Burt Munro is? My goodness… It’s time to change that… Born Herbert James Munro in 1899, this New Zealander set the 1,000 cc LSR at Bonneville in 1967 at the young age of 68. He’s been the subject of countless books, documentaries, and interviews, but most laymen known him from the Anthony Hopkins movie, World’s Fastest Indian. Here are some classic shots from Burt during his first trip to Bonneville followed up with other photos from his life:
And finally... Burt at home being Burt:
More land speed record stories from Roadtrippers Rides: