Monday, May 24, 2010

MAN, MACHINE and DESTINY = Speed Record till date.

Motorcycle Indian Scout (1920 A.D) with Engine no. 5OR627 entered in to motorcycle History records with almost unexpectedly, and the History maker is Herbert James 'Burt' Munro (25 March 1899 – 6 January 1978), (Bert in his youth) was a New Zealand motorcycle racer. Both together on historic day 26 August 1967 at Bonneville are famous till to-day for setting an under-1000cc world record 206 mph(i.e 331 kmh), Munro was 68 and was riding a 47-year old machine when he set his record.

The following are his records.

• In 1962 he set a world record of 288 km/h (178.97 mph) with his engine bored out to 850 cc (51 in³).

• In 1966 he set a world record of 270.476 km/h (168.066 mph).

• In 1967 his engine was bored out to 950 cc (58 in³) and he set a class record of 295.44 km/h (183.59 mph). To qualify he made a one-way run of 305.89 km/h (190.07 mph), the fastest-ever officially-recorded speed on an Indian.The unofficial speed record (officially timed) is 331 km/h (205.67 mph) for a flying mile.

• In 2006 he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

At Invercargill, New Zealand in 1899 when Burt was born doctors told that he lives only for two years, because his twin sister died at birth. Doctors never knew his destiny took him to the speed records in motorcycle history.He had cadiac and health problems when he made the records.
Munro bought the Indian Scout in 1920. He worked 25 years to modify his motorcycle capable for high speeds. During day he worked as machanic and a motorcycle sales man and in the nights he would work on his Indian Scout.
Physics of motorcycling blended in him so well that he could make an incredible Engine out of scrap. His methods, to say the least, were unorthodox. He used an old spoke for a micrometer and cast parts in old American report has him casting pistons in holes in the sand at the local beach! He built his own four-cam design to replace the standard two-cam system and converted to overhead valves. He made his own barrels, flywheels, pistons, cams and followers and lubrication system. In their final form he in effect hand-carved his con-rods from a Caterpillar tractor axle, and hardened and tempered them to 143 tons tensile strength. He built a seventeen plate, thousand pound pressure clutch and used a triple chain drive. He experimented with streamlining and, in its final form, the bike was completely enclosed in a streamlined shell.The leaf-sprung fork was dispensed with and what appears to be a girder fork.

With mimimul income to survive his humble attitude, determination, love for Indian motercycles and unbreakable speed records he died at the age of 57 years.

"Some people are born to make History, so they called as LEGENDS."

Article and photos courtesy of Dave Blackwell, member of the New Zealand Racing 'Team Indian' , founder of IORNZ (Indian Owners Register of New Zealand).

Burt Munro, 1899-1978 - A New Zealand Motorcycling Legend, Part One

Burt Munro, 1899-1978 - A New Zealand Motorcycling Legend, Part Two