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29.5.07

Burt Munro - God of speed

Franklin, engineer from Indian, conceived the design for the Scout in 1912.The bike bought by Burt Munro carried engine no. 5OR627 and can therefore be seen to have come very early in the life of the machine. This bike will remain his for 57 years ! God, I have still to keep my shovelhead 43 years !
In 1967, with his engine punched out to 58 cu.in. (950cc) he set a class record of 183.586 mph. His visits to the Salt were not without incident. As he later explained "we were going like a bomb. Then she got the wobbles just over half way through the run. To slow her down I sat up. The wind tore my goggles off and the blast forced my eyeballs back into my head - couldn't see a thing. We were so far off the black line that we missed a steel marker stake by inches. I put her down - a few scratches all round but nothing much else". At the time Burt was riding at close to 206 mph! Born in 1899, Burt Munro died in December 1978. He left behind him a legend of courage...And his Indian ! Thanks to Dave Blackwell, member of the New Zealand Racing 'Team Indian' , founder of IORNZ for the infos. Also see, the movie with Anthony Hopkins.

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