It seems to be the year for re-imaginings of classics with the ‘New’ Brough superior a few months ago and now ‘The Spirit of Munro’. There’s been quite a bit of buzz over the past few weeks about this a custom built bike powered by the all new Indian Thunderstroke 111 engine. Both its name and aesthetics draw inspiration from Burt Munro’s legendary record breaking ‘Munro Special’ better known to many as “The Worlds Fastest Indian”
The result really is rather pretty. It is an skillfully hand crafted one of machine that is a testament to Jeb Scolman’s (of Jeb Scolman of Jeb’s Metal and Speed in Long Beach CA) skill. The bike has yet to be put to the test to see just what it can really do, hopefully this it will get a chance to stretch it’s legs and prove worthy of it’s name before to long!
Perhaps this is because I’m British and we tend to be a mite cynical but I have to admit to having mixed feelings about the whole thing. It is refreshing to see a big name manufacturer do something different to promote themselves. ‘The Spirit of Munro’ stylishly combines up to date technology with a distinctly classic flavour but while it’s nice to see the a newly reborn Indian paying homage to perhaps their most famous advocate, it all just feels a bit to staged.
The trouble in a way is the name; ‘The Spirit of Munro’ suggests something of Burt’s ethos. However beyond the Munro Special-esq streamliner, it’s difficult to see how much, if any, real Munro sprit there is in the thing. When compared to Burt’s constructions it looks a little to clean and polished.
Burt took a stock bike and over decades removed everything that wasn’t (and quite a bit that was) needed, made pistons from old ford axles, cylinders from sewage pipes and cut and shrunk his fins by hand. He did all this in the same tinny shed in which he slept. Burt then, the patron saint of men and women in sheds everywhere. The true spirit of Burt Munro is surely one of the homemade budget tinkerer.
While ‘The Spirit of Munro’ is beautiful (I mean look at it its stunning!), with all it’s mod cons like a speedo, electronic ignition and full size tank this new machine is all a bit to shinny, to designed to embody this ethos. It’s something quite different and for me at least it lacks an awful lot of what makes the Munro-Special, well, special.
None of the photos here are mine, I do not own copy right on any of them.