The Burt Munro Challenge is recognised as the largest motorcycle rally in the southern hemisphere, attracting approximately 5,000 visitors and participants from outside the Southland region each year.
We support the Southland Motorcycle Club to hold the iconic Burt Munro Challenge working with the organising committee to plan, manage and promote the event to both local and international markets.
The inaugural event was held in November 2006 and comprised of a beach race, Teretonga circuit racing, a speedway event at Oreti Park and the first Wyndham street race.
The evolution of the Challenge has seen the event grow to become a popular February racing fixture, involving a rally site, street races, a hill climb, speedway, drag racing and the iconic beach race.
History of the Event
Following the success of the 2005 movie “The World’s Fastest Indian", the Invercargill City Council approached Venture Southland to see what could be done to capitalise on the film's publicity.
Simultaneously, the Southland Motorcycle Club and the Wyndham Businessman’s Association both approached Venture Southland for assistance in establishing motorcycle events in Southland.
As a result of these two inquiries, the Burt Munro Challenge organising committee was formed. The committee, who is made up of members of the Southland Motorcycle Club, Venture Southland Staff and motorcyclist enthusiasts, has been responsible for bringing the rally concept to life, ensuring it goes from strength to strength each year and honouring the ingenuity, determination of Burt Munro.
More information on the challenge can be found here
Invercargill-based motorcycle racer, Burt Munro was the subject of “The World's Fastest Indian”, which showcased the numerous land speed records he set on engines less than 1,000cc at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the late 1950s and into the 1960s.
Born in Edendale in 1899, Burt Munro purchased his first motorcycle at the age of 15. In 1920 he purchased his first Indian Scout, a bike that he would continue to modify with his own custom made parts for the rest of his life.
After setting a number of New Zealand land speed records in the 1940's and 1950's Munro's next goal was to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, United States. On his first trip to Bonneville as a competitor in 1962, aged 63, Munro set a land speed record of 178.97mph. He travelled to Bonneville a further eight times to compete and set two more world records. His 1967 record of 183.58mph still stands today, and the speed of 190.07mph he hit during a qualifying run remains the fastest ever recorded speed on an Indian motorcycle.