Indian Scout Burt Munro 1962
Burt bought his Indian motorbike new in 1920 as a standard model Indian Scout which had a side valve engine of 600cc capacity. The price was ₤120 with acetylene lighting although he could have bought an electric lighting model but it was quite a bit more expensive at the time. The engine number was 50R627.
Over the next few years Burt gradually increased the bore and stroke which enlarged the engine to just on 1000cc capacity.
Burt cast his own pistons using a large kerosene blow lamp and casting dies he made himself. Another modification he made was to the primary transmission. Burt made sprockets for this and fitted a triplex chain on the primary drive in place of helical gears as this was more efficient. The clutch is basically standard with extra springs fitted to cope with the extra power the engine was developing. In order to get closer ratios in the gear box Burt cut the layshaft and welded two pinions from an Indian Chief onto his Scout layshaft in order to get closer ratios on the three speed gear box.
Originally, Indian Scouts had only two cams which limited the valve timing so Burt changed this to a four cam system, allowing him to alter the valve timing on both the inlet and exhaust valves.
Over the years, Burt also built four different « Streamliner » shells for the Indian Scout, based on the aerodynamic shape of a goldfish .
On his first trip taking the Indian Scout to the Bonneville salt Flats in Utah, USA on 20th August 1962, Burt achieved a speed of 179mph, something people attending the famous “Speed Week” found absolutely unbelievable considering the age of both the bike and the rider.