Custom-built “Spirit of Munro” Streamliner
The All-New Thunder Stroke 111 Engine powers a one of a kind tribute to Burt Munro’s ‘Munro Special’. The bike portrayed in ‘World’s Fastest Indian’ Motion Picture.
Indian Motorcycle, the first American motorcycle company, revealed a custom-built streamliner named the “Spirit of Munro”. A special surprise announcement on Saturday, March 9 at Daytona Bike Week revealed the one-of-a-kind vehicle. This followed the reveal of Indian Motorcycle’s new Thunder Stroke 111cc engine. The incredible new power plant for the upcoming 2014 Indian Motorcycle.
The World’s Fastest Indian
Fully custom-built, the Spirit of Munro is an all-metal tribute to the racers and mechanics throughout history. Many have collectively built the legacy of record-breaking racing performance and strength that is Indian Motorcycle. This custom “Munro Special” honours Burt Munro’s record breaking streamliner. His historic 1920 Indian Scout that broke the under-1000cc land-speed record in 1967 at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The motion picture “The World’s Fastest Indian” famously portrayed Burt’s original streamliner.
“We are a brand that will always strive to push the envelope in everything we do. So when the idea of building a streamliner to both showcase the new engine and pay homage to the racers, mechanics and engineers of the past landed on my desk, it was an easy decision,” says Vice President of Indian Motorcycles, Steve Menneto.
“We are proud to showcase America’s passion for Indian Motorcycle in such a unique and historic way.”
Designed from the ground up to house the new Thunder Stroke 111 engine the Streamliner showcases its awe-inspiring power and performance. The Spirit of Munro is not simply a display bike. It is machine built to run. A custom exhaust and intake system is mated with a chain drive conversion to allow for the tall gearing necessary for top speed runs. The all-aluminum bodywork was hand-formed using traditional tools and techniques. Wrapped around the modern Thunder Stroke 111 engine is a custom chassis capable of handling top speeds.
“Part of the process of building a new motorcycle is building many pre-production and production test engines,” said Gary Gray, Product Director for Indian Motorcycle. “The Indian Motorcycle engineering team is fully conscious that every day we are working with history. Over the course of design and development many parts and complete engines are built, tested, disassembled and measured. We thought it a fitting tribute to pay homage to the racers who have helped build the legend of the Indian Motorcycle brand over its 112-year history. By placing one of our pre-production engines in a one-of-a-kind vehicle .”
Jeb Scolman of Jeb’s Metal and Speed in Long Beach, California, got the nod to construct the Spirit of Munro bike. Jeb’s extensive credentials building land speed racers, along with his hand-formed bodywork on a Stutz Blackhawk replica revealed him as the perfect builder for this tribute machine.
Spirit of Munro
“When the guys from Indian Motorcycle called to ask if I would be willing to play a part in this historic endeavor, I could not say ‘yes’ fast enough,” said Jeb Scolman. “We built the Spirit of Munro in just three months. They were straight long work days. It was a brutal schedule. However, to be a part of re-launching this brand and giving Indian Motorcycle fans a historic new piece of Americana made it all worth the effort.”
Iconic machines from days gone by influenced the sculpture design. As well as creating a unique package for rider and mechanicals. Using aircraft inspired and traditional custom techniques, the Spirit of Munro is a striking tribute to the past. And an irrepressible inspiration for the future of America’s first motorcycle company.
The Spirit of Munro will be on display at the Daytona International Speedway every day of Daytona Bike Week. It will take part in the Indian Motorcycle Spring Dash lap of the Daytona 200 on March 16, 2013.
Who is Burt Munro?
Rumour has it that from the day he was born, Burt Munro want to go fast. Whether racing horses across the paddocks of his family’s farm or competing as a professional speedway driver Burt lived life driven by the passion to push the boundaries and go faster. According to Indian motorcycle’s records Burt’s 1920 600cc Indian Scout was the 627th Scout built by the iconic manufacturer. The bike’s top speed of 55 mph more than suited most riders. But not nearly enough for Burt. Needless to say, he commenced modifying the machine to get it to go faster. Despite limited means and a complete lack of funding, Munro worked day and night to perfect his bike, which he took to calling the Munro Special.
By 1940 Burt and his bike started claiming a number of New Zealand speed records. A decade later, his highly modified Scout had become too fast for New Zealand’s speed courses. Consequently he formed a new goal … to have it timed on the flat expansive Bonneville Salt Flats. Over decade Burt and his Scout race on the Bonneville Salt Flats nine times. He set world records in three of them. In 1967 Burt made his final trip to the salt flats. His bike by this time was so highly modified with a unique amalgam of home made components it needed to be stripped down and rebuild after every ten minutes of run time.
World Speed Record
His dedication and innovation paid off. In 1967 at 68-years-old, Burt Munro, made motorcycle history by setting a new official land speed record – 184.087 mph with unofficial top speed of 205.67 mph. Not a bad effort for a bike that was almost 50 years old. Burt Munro was inducted into the AMA hall of Fame in 2006. A fitting tribute to the pursuit that began eight decades earlier. You can see a recreation of this in the motion picture “The World’s Fastest Indian”.
Order your Munro clothing here.