Indian Sets Three Land Speed Records at El Mirage

Jul 21, 2017 View Comments by

Spirit of Munro Scout

Fifty years ago, Burt Munro rode an Indian Scout Streamliner on the Bonneville Salt Flats and made history, setting an under-1,000cc record of 183.58 mph. In preparation for the Burt Munro 50th anniversary commemorative run, Indian Motorcycle has set three new land speed records during test runs at El Mirage Dry Lakebed in California.

First among the three Indian riders was Chet Michaelson, engine calibration technician at Indian Motorcycle. In the M-PG (Modified-Pushrod Gasoline) 2,000cc class, riding a 2015 Indian Chief Classic, Chet eclipsed the 151-mph record with a speed of 154.132 mph.

Lee Munro

Lee Munro, great-nephew of land speed racer Burt Munro.

The second Indian rider was Lee Munro, Burt’s great-nephew, aboard the Spirit of Munro 50th anniversary 2017 Indian Scout. Competing in the MPS-G (Modified Partial Streamliner) 1,350cc class, Lee needed to exceed 167 mph for a new record. He recorded a speed of 186.681 mph.

The third and final rider was Dan Gervais, senior engine calibration technician at Indian. Dan was competing in the M-G (Modified-Gasoline) 1,350cc class with a lightly modified 2015 Indian Scout.  Like Lee, Dan also completed his rookie runs at the May meet at El Mirage. Dan’s speed of 154.354 mph edged out the 153-mph record and gave Indian its third record of the day.

“It’s an incredible feat to join my great uncle Burt within the land speed record book,” said Lee, the grandson of Burt’s first cousin. “Indian 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.”

On August 12 and 13, Lee will pilot the “Spirit of Munro” Scout, which has a powertrain modified by the Indian Motorcycle engineering team, at Bonneville Speed Week. The attempt will not break Burt’s record, but instead will honor his storied legacy. Lee was born and raised in Invercargill, New Zealand, the same as his great-uncle, who was memorialized in the film The World’s Fastest Indian featuring Anthony Hopkins.

To learn more about the commemorative land speed run, visit Indian Motorcycle.

Text and Photography: Indian Motorcycle


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