Difficult: Setting a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Impossible: Setting a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt flats 36 years after you've passed away.

And yet, here we are, in the year 2014, and a new record has appeared in the most recent tally at Bonneville, showing one Burt Munro holding the AMA Land Speed Record in Class S.A. 1000, at 184.087 miles per hour, set aboard a custom 953cc 1920 Indian streamliner motorcycle. If you were to look at last year's list of records, you'd also see Burt Munro, except that the speed listed would say 183.586 mph.

No big deal, he just beat his old record, right? Not so fast – Munro passed away some 36 years ago, and the official certificate issued for the new record is held by Munro's son, John. The explanation boils down to the use of a calculator. It seems the AMA made an error when it originally calculated the average speed of Munro's two timed runs. John, the son, noticed the discrepancy, pointed it out to the AMA and now holds further proof of his father's high-speed exploits from way back in the year 1967.

Sure, it's little more than a rounding error, but it nonetheless reminds us how perseverance can stand the test of time, even aboard what most might see as an outdated relic; that relic, of course, being The World's Fastest Indian.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      summazooma
      • 4 Months Ago

      absolutely one of the best motorsports movies ever... The World's Fastest Indian

      Andre Neves
      • 4 Months Ago

      Isn't it just plain amazing how that thing managed to go over 180mph.  Just look at it.

      Brodz
      • 4 Months Ago

      Brilliant story. Brilliant movie. Brilliant bike. Brilliant man.

      Robert Ryan
      • 4 Months Ago

      The man from Invercargill New Zealand surprised everyone

      john m
      • 4 Months Ago

      Pretty cool how this happened.  And good catch by the son.  Great movie!  I may have to watch it again myself:)

      Paul Allen
      • 4 Months Ago

      Nice, but the AMA did the math wrong again, should be 184.084.

      Quite logically, FIA rules average the times of the 2 runs, not the speeds.

      In this case it's not much, but in some cases there could be a big difference. To see how this works, take an extreme case of one run at 120 mph and the return at 180 mph. The average of the speeds is 150 mph, but the real average of the vehicle's speed over those 2 miles (calculated using the times), is only 144 mph.

      Autoblogist
      • 4 Months Ago

      Lol @ the butt crack crease.

      Esteban Rápido
      • 4 Months Ago

      We always seem to under estimate Indians in our society.