Following the success of the 2005 movie about Munro's inspirational life – “The World's Fastest Indian”, the Southland Motorcycle Club created the Challenge to honour Munro, his ingenuity, determination, and love of speed and motorcycles.
After setting a number of New Zealand land speed records in the 1940s and 1950s, Munro competed at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, United States. His first trip to Bonneville as a competitor was in 1962, when he was 63, and there he set a land speed record of 178.97mph.
He travelled there a further eight times to compete and set two more world records. His 1967 record of 183.58mph still stands today, and on this trip he also managed to hit 190.07mph during a qualifying run which is the fastest ever recorded speed on an Indian motorcycle.
This year the Burt Munro Challenge runs from November 26 – 30.
The challenge features several racing disciplines including a Hill Climb, Beach Racing, Track Sprint Racing, Long-track, Super-X, Speedway, and Street Racing – all celebrating the life of champion racer Burt Munro.
Competitors and spectators come from throughout New Zealand, Australia and the world to attend the rally and challenge.
Time Magazine listed the Challenge as one of its “must do” events last year and its popularity is growing each year.
The rally site at Oreti Park has bikes on display by proud owners plus music, food and drink and other entertainment making for a great atmosphere.
Now in its ninth year, the Challenge was seen as the biggest all round motorcycle rally in New Zealand.
“Where it beats all the rest is that there are so many disciplines. There are bigger rallies (in terms of numbers in New Zealand) but they don't have the racing events we do,” Event Manager Jade Gilles said.
The challenge was underpinned by loyal support from the regular attendees known as “weekend warriors,” Mr Gillies said.
Registrations open in July at www.burtmunrochallenge.com
Wed 26 Nov, 5pm NZ LONGTRACK CHAMPS & GRAND PRIX
Thu 27 Nov, 10am NZ HILL CLIMB CHAMPS
Thu 27 Nov, 6pm NZ SUPER-X CHAMPS
Fri 28 Nov, 12pm ILT NZ BEACH RACING CHAMPS
Sat 29 Nov, 9am E HAYES & SONS TERETONGA SPRINT RACES
Sat 29 Nov, 4pm ORETI PARK SPEEDWAY SPECTACULAR
Sun 30 Nov, 10am WYNDHAM STREET RACES