“You live more in five minutes on a bike like this, going flat-out, than some people live in their lifetime.” — Burt Munro, The World’s Fastest Indian
On August 26, 1967, New Zealander Burt Munro set a world record at the Bonneville Salt Flats with an average speed of 184.087mph on a 1000cc Indian Scout motorcycle — a record that, somewhat surprisingly, still stands. The 2005 film The World’s Fastest Indian, featuring a charming performance by usually-creepy Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, dramatized Munro’s feat. Folks fell for the quirky little film for a lot of reasons, Hopkins’ sterling performance notwithstanding.
But Munro’s quest is the driving force behind the story, and the quote above perhaps best sums up why the movie resonated with so many viewers and with Men’s Journal readers in particular: The World’s Fastest Indian isn’t about a motorcycle at all; it’s about the importance of pursuing your dreams. And hey, it’s got action, adventure, adrenaline — all ingredients for a great guy movie.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Munro’s feat, Indian Motorcycle is teaming up with Kiwi road racer Lee Munro — Burt’s great-nephew — to recreate the historic run at the Bonneville Salt Flats this summer. On August 13, Lee will pilot a modern Indian Scout with a modified powertrain in an effort to become the “world’s fastest modern Indian.” It should be noted that the attempt is a tribute only; Lee and indian only want to replicate the feat, not break Uncle Burt’s record.
“My uncle Burt was a significant inspiration for my own racing career, and his appetite for speed is clearly a part of my DNA,” said Lee.