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Indian Motorcycle set three land speed records while just practicing

Here’s the way to prepare for a land speed record celebration — set some records of your own! While getting ready for the 50th anniversary commemorative run of Burt Munro’s still-standing 1967 achievement, Indian Motorcycle set three land speed records on July 16, 2017, at El Mirage Dry Lakebed, California.

On August 26, 1967,  Munro set a record that still stands. He had an average speed for two runs of 183.586 miles per hour (later corrected to 184.087 mph). Munro, who was 68 at the time, set the record on a 1920 Indian Scout he bought when it was new. His feat is the subject of the film The World’s Fastest Indian.

Indian Motorcycle sets three land speed records
Burt Munro’s 1967 Land Speed Record Certificate Image used with permission by copyright holder

On August 13, 2017, Lee Munro, Munro’s great grandnephew, is going to run a specially prepared 2017 Indian Scout at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah during Speed Week. The younger Munro will be riding a modified 2017 Indian Scout. The new bike has an 1,133cc engine and therefore will not be competing to break the original record, which was for motorcycles 1,000cc and under.

In preparation for the event at the Bonneville Salt Flats on August 13, the Indian team set three new land speed records. As Indian Vice President for Product Development Gary Gray said, “When you’re breaking records during test runs, you know your machine is on point. Our team of engineers has done an incredible job on the Spirit of Munro commemorative Scout.”

Spirit of Munro - Part 1 - Indian Motorcycle

Indian engine calibration technician Chet Michaelson set a new record in the M-PG (Modified-Pushrod Gasoline) 2,000cc class on a 2015 Indian Chief Classic. Michaelson had an average speed of 154.132 mph, breaking the previous 151 mph record.

Lee Munro was aboard the Spirit of Munro 50th anniversary 2017 Indian Scout. This bike and the streamliner shell were designed and tweaked by Indian engineers working on their own time. Munro was competing in the MPS-G (Modified Partial Streamliner) 1,350cc class. With a speed of 186.681 mph, Munro shattered the previous record, which was 167 mph.

Dan Gervais, a senior engine calibration technician at Indian Motorcycle, nailed the third land speed record for the company. Gervais rode a lightly modified 2015 Indian Scout in the M-G (Modified-Gasoline) 1,350cc class. With his time of 154.354 mph, Gervais bested the 153 mph previous record.

The excitement levels for the younger Munro and the Indian team from setting new records while prepping for Bonneville couldn’t be higher. “It’s an incredible feat to join my great uncle Burt within the land speed record book.” said Lee Munro. “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.”

More information on the Spirit of Munro commemorative run is available on the Indian Motorcycle website. Digital Trends is going to be at Bonneville to observe Indian’s next land speed record attempt.

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