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Burt Munro Documentary: Offerings to the God of Speed


This isn’t a Hollywood movie staring Anthony Hopkins. It is an authentic documentary of the exploits of Burt Munro, a man from New Zealand who set records on the Bonneville Salt Flats aboard an Indian motorcycle he bought, modified and tested repeatedly over a series of years. Like another famous native of New Zealand, John Britten, Munro not only modified but manufactured many of his own parts, often without sophisticated tooling.

As you might imagine, Burt Munro was quite a character, and this comes across loud and clear in the documentary you can view below.

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  1. Wells says:

    The book “One Good Run” by Tim Hanna gives a wonderful and in depth account of Burt’s story and his multiple visits to Bonneville.

  2. joe b says:

    When it came out, One of the guys at work came up to me, asked me if I had seen the new movie, The Worlds Fastest Indian, it was about Burt Munro. I told him no, but I had met the old guy, when I worked at a motorcycle shop in Lancaster Ca. Early seventies, the owner came in (who himself had previous records and time spent at Bonneville) the back shop and said, Hey look out, this guy is here, he is harmless, but don’t let him ‘borrow any tools, ‘take any spark plugs, ‘gas, or ‘other stuff, you can talk to him that’s ok, just make sure he doesn’t steal stuff. In the early seventies it seemed like a lot of people were on the verge of becoming millionaires, but just needed $20 for gas. We talked some, I found out he already had a world record at Bonneville, was from New Zealand, had a funny accent, but seemed a likable old codger. When I told my friend at work that, he shook his head and walked away. It wasn’t until I myself saw the movie, I realized, I had blown him out of the water, because I had experienced with the man himself, what the movie was about. That’s my Burt Munro story.

  3. Duncan says:

    In the movie , he landed in Long beach and stayed in Hollywood on that first trip. …Except he landed 700 miles north in Humboldt bay and some of the locals helped him out .
    I was just reminded about this again last night and that there is a book in our local library about some of his exploits during his time here in Humboldt. I must go check it out!

  4. Jack Robinson says:

    I really loved the Anthony Hopkins movie about this. I think people that are passionate about things, like the character in this story, are some of the most interesting people in the world!

  5. John says:

    Wonderful story. Saw this before somewhere.

    The Hopkins version was close and faithful to this for sure. Have DVD on shelf, will watch again soon now.

    Not a bad way to spend a life.

    I work on memos, myself, my garage is for weekend depressure.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Wonderful story. Saw this before somewhere”

      that “somewhere” is actually on the World’s Fastest Indian DVD you own. it’s one of those “bonus features” included on the disc. iirc, Roger Donaldson the director of the movie was the one who shot the original documentary in ’71.

  6. Randy Dawes says:

    What a character. A true individual who spent life on his terms. How he accomplished what he did I have no idea. His mechanical abilities were way more than mine.

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