Register Members List Member Map Media Calendar Garage Forum Home Mark Forums Read

Go Back > News & Media > Motorcycle News & Media > Industry News
Forgot info?

Welcome to! You are currently viewing our forums as a guest which gives you limited access to the community. By joining our free community you will have access to great discounts from our sponsors, the ability to post topics, communicate privately with other members, respond to polls, upload content, free email, classifieds, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free, join our community!

Register Today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

FREE MH Decals by MAIL!


Share This Thread: 
Subscribe to this Thread Thread Tools
Old 09-24-2015, 07:00 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Feedback Rating: (0)
Posts: 140,728

The Burt Munro Challenge In New Zealand | EPIC RIDES


More south than you’ve ever been, on the south end of the South Island of New Zealand, once lived a motorcyclist named Burt Munro. For a country with a total population less than half the Los Angeles basin, New Zealanders have an uncanny habit of punching far above their weight (see also: rugby, sailing, wool production). Burt Munro was no different, singlehandedly modifying an ancient Indian motorcycle into a Bonneville land-speed record holder and taking up permanent residence in our collective imagination after Sir Anthony Hopkins played him in the movie The World’s Fastest Indian.


In Burt’s hometown of Invercargill, the Southland Motorcycle Club (SMC) holds an annual rally in his honor, called The Burt Munro Challenge. The SMC puts on an entire racing season in a single weekend. Classes include several divisions each of modern and vintage motorcycles, competing on everything from a conventional road circuit to city streets to a dirt track to the same stretch of beach where Munro once made speed runs in his famous streamliner.

Two circus-size tents, one for food and one for bands, dominate the large field adjacent to Teretonga Park road course and Oreti Park Speedway. Brightly colored dome tents and 1,000 motorcycles huddle along the tree line to the west. A half mile away, on Oreti Beach, competitors sprint down the long, smooth sand on everything from vintage Rudges to modern Yamahas to Harley-Davidson Sportsters. Sand and salt spray blast into the dunes, scouring spectators’ eyes. You’ve got to really love motorcycles to be here.


The next morning dawns chilly and overcast. Rain starts as soon as I arrive at Teretonga Park for the Burt Munro Challenge Road Race series and persists for the remainder of the day. Races run rain or shine. This close to the Antarctic, there are no do-overs. Between downpours the sun shines and the wind blasts. Tire selection is critical: The track surface in a single lap can vary from damp to submerged.


At Oreti Park speedway, the heat races start shortly after the Teretonga Road Races finish. This small dirt oval contains the best racing. Fast, handlebar tangling, four-lap heats are do or die. Specially constructed sidecars, wheels already tilted toward the inside of the track, run clockwise, opposite the motorcycles (not simultaneously). Alternating the circulation, spectators crowding the barriers receive an even coat of sticky dirt.


Streamliners, supermotos, speedway sidecars, vintage road racers—you can see all those and more in action at the Burt Munro Challenge, all to celebrate the memory of one very humble (and very stubborn) Kiwi-born motorcycle racer.

Ten hours of racing and I bail. Burt would not be happy, but I’m going to town, where the main streets of Wyndham are barricaded off to form an intimate street course. Another full slate of racing is on tap. You get your money’s worth when you register for SMC’s Burt Munro Challenge.


The three-day rally ends with a sigh, moto-pilgrims dispersing by ones and twos throughout today’s final track sessions. It’s an inspired gathering of real motorcyclists and one worth traveling halfway around the world to attend. We join the melancholy exodus out of town, turning east onto the quiet, post-rally highway and twisting the throttle on the Victory Road Annihilator, traveling considerably slower than Mr. Munro would have preferred.


NewsBot is offline   Reply With Quote
Similar Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Riding New Zealand | EPIC RIDES NewsBot Industry News 0 09-20-2015 05:50 PM
Take A Nordic Trek Through Finland | EPIC RIDES NewsBot Industry News 0 07-22-2015 09:30 AM
Exploring Poland | EPIC RIDES NewsBot Industry News 0 06-10-2015 12:20 AM
Meeting Burt Munro | MEGAPHONE NewsBot Industry News 0 01-03-2015 04:03 AM
DFW Supermoto epic rides UniFiddy Super Motards 39 03-09-2014 11:02 PM

Thread Tools


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:40 PM. is not responsible for the content posted by users.
Privacy Policy