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Grandnephew of Burt Munro adds his name to the SCTA record book, looks for further success at Bonneville

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Photos by Nikolaus Wogen, courtesy Indian Motorcycles.

Last April, Dan Strohl mentioned that Burt Munro’s Bonneville Salt Flats record was still standing after 50 years, and that the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Run was coming up on August 12-13 at the Bonneville Salt Flats. He also stated that Burt Munro’s grandnephew, Lee Munro, was going to attempt to set a land speed record that would be listed alongside his great uncle without breaking Burt’s record.

On July 16, Lee Munro and two technicians from Indian Motorcycles, with the help of countless volunteer employees at Indian, successfully set new SCTA records for motorcycle speed at the El Mirage Dry Lakebed in preparation for the upcoming Bonneville event.

Lee Munro

Lee Munro.

Lee, after completing the requisite rookie runs, competed aboard a 2017 Spirit of Munro 50th Anniversary Indian Scout in the “Modified Partial Streamliner-Gas, 1350cc Class,” which required a speed of over 167 mph to set a new record. Lee actually went as fast as 186.681 to set a new record in that class and enter the record books that still lists Uncle Burt’s speed of 184.087 (corrected in 2014) set in the S-A Class in 1967. Burt’s record may never be broken, since most land speed racers avoid racing in his class altogether out of respect for the famous New Zealander.

Indian Motorcycles also set two other land speed records at El Mirage in July. Chet Michaelson, an engine calibration technician employed by Indian, set a new land speed record of 154.132 in the “Modified Pushrod-Gasoline, 2000cc Class,” aboard a modified 2015 Indian Chief Classic, breaking the existing speed record of 151 mph. Dan Gervais, another Indian engine calibration technician and another land speed racing rookie, completed his rookie requirements and then piloted his 2015 Indian Scout to a new record speed of 154.354 mph in the “Modified Gasoline-1350cc Class,” eclipsing the existing record of 153 mph.

Lee Munro

“It’s an incredible feat to join my Great Uncle Burt within the land speed record book,” said Lee. “Indian Motorcycles has been a great partner in not only providing me with an incredible machine, but providing me with an opportunity to recognize and honor all Burt Munro did for motorcycling.”

All racing eyes will turn to Bonneville, where on August 12-13 the Indian team and others will try to improve upon these SCTA records. You can follow their exploits at the SCTA’s website  or the organization’s Facebook page.