The World’s Fastest Indian: Burt Munro’s Indian Scout — Classic…

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The “Munro the 1920 Indian Scout by New Zealander Burt Munro to at the.

Kiwi motorcycle Burt Munro’s amazing comes to the screen in Roger The World’s Fastest Indian .

seaking with Donaldson, it as no surprise to learn the Aussie-born was once an avid motorcyclist, and the of an Indian Scout. Back years ago, in the ‘60s, and ‘80s, I rode often. But I moved to Los Angeles, and L.A. and just didn’t seem a good mix.

But now I think, oh God, I wish I had Donaldson says, reflecting on his in the saddle of a WWII-era Indian , followed by a post-war Norton 500

Donaldson’s movie is a tribute to New Burt Munro, a man obsessed wringing the most he could out of the Indian Scout he bought new in And wring he did, landing in the books when he took his heavily modified Scout to an timed 183.586mph at the Bonneville Flats in 1967. It’s a that stands to this day — no motorcycle has ever gone

More impressive yet, was 68 years old when he flew the timers during his record

Munro began modifying his Scout in 1926, and for the next 50 he single-mindedly applied himself to the bike into the world’s Indian. In his quest for more Munro made his own overhead-valve head in place of the Scout’s flathead — he even experimented a double-overhead cam conversion. In time, almost doubled his Scout’s displacement, taking it to just shy of

A consummate, self-taught machinist, was obsessed with his Indian . He made his own cylinder castings salvaged cast iron made pistons from cast-offs from other and literally carved out connecting from a Ford truck The Indian was his life: Munro a friend in a 1971 letter In 1948 I decided to give up and concentrate on getting a good run out of my old

Donaldson first met Munro in when, as a fledgling documentary maker, he and then-partner Mike journeyed to Invercargill, New Zealand, hearing about Munro’s at Bonneville. Mike had his Norton, and I had my and we had heard about this old boy in We wrote to him, and he invited us to him.

Munro, Donaldson says, was by their interest in him and wheeled his old out of his shed and fired it up. The engine to life; a sound to split eardrums, Donaldson recalls. started coming on in the neighbors’ and when Burt finally revving the engine, the night was with the yells of his disapproving suggesting that 11 p.m. was an time to start ‘demonstrating’ his motorcycle.

Indian Scout

That visit, and a trip with Munro to — Munro’s last — resulted in and Smith’s documentary film, to the God of Speed. The title came words that Munro had on a battered shelf in his shed, held the dozens of burnt and pistons and connecting rods had experimented with in his Indian Scout.

Munro fascinated Donaldson. I he had set land speed records, and in he was old, the bike was ancient, and added up to somebody out of the mold, says.

The documentary aired in New in 1973, but Donaldson couldn’t get out of his head. Munro died in and in 1979, with his first film, Sleeping Dogs, his belt, Donaldson decided to a feature film based on I always thought the documentary do him justice.

He was so inspirational, Donaldson

Donaldson wrote the script for The Fastest Indian . and over the years he had offers to fund the but turned them down, to change the script to something marketable. I was determined not to compromise my of the story, Donaldson says. So he and finally a few years ago he committed to putting Munro’s story on

He sent the script to Oscar-winner Hopkins (who worked Donaldson in the filming of The Bounty Mel Gibson in 1983). Hopkins the script: I’ve had a good playing psychopaths or uptight I’m fed up with those, says. I don’t want to any more of them.

I’m a happy guy, and Burt character and philosophy suits my

Hopkins liked the script so he accepted a fraction of his usual That certainly helped who footed a significant portion of the costs for The World’s Fastest from his own pocket.

I think the we were prepared to spend our own gave other people the to get involved, Donaldson says. The reflects Donaldson’s passion, and the essence of Munro, a man cast in his own obsessed with winning, and to let go of his dream. All my life I’ve to do something big … something bigger and than all the other jokers, character says in the film.

Donaldson’s film is ultimately a study; a compelling look at one of most unique and uncelebrated Opening nationally February 3, the is a must-see for motorcyclists — and maybe the motorcycle-themed movie ever MC

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Indian Scout
Indian Scout
Indian Scout
Indian Scout

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