Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The fastest Indian

Nope, not talking about Milkha Singh. He is the "Flying Sikh"

Finally saw the movie "The Fastest Indian" last night. Its about Burt Munro a racing enthusiast and his 1920 Indian motorcycle. Indian is America's oldest motorcycle brand and was once the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world.
The entire movie revolves around Burt's drive to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA to set a land speed record. He bought the Indian in 1920 and modified it to set a New Zealand record in 1938.
The movie is set in the sixties with focus on - his travels, meeting interesting people, money shortfall, race registration hurdles, heart problems and ultimately smashing the land speed record. Anthony Hopkins plays Burt with the utmost ease. Easy going, old timer who everyone seems to like and has an uncanny knack of getting people to like him. He gets support from unlikely quarters when least expected - a transvestite, a Red Indian and snooty white Americans.
Overall I personally thought this was Anthony Hopkins best role to date, beating Hannibal Lecter hands down. Its a must watch for anyone who remotely like Antony Hopkins, Motorcycles or inspirational shit.
The real Burt Munro:



Some stats:
Burt Munro -25 March 1899 to 6 January 1978
* In 1962 he set a world record of 288 km/h (178.97 mph) with his engine bored out to 850 cc (51 in³).
* In 1967 his engine was bored out to 950 cc (58 in³) and he set a class record of 295.44 km/h (183.59 mph). To qualify he made a one-way run of 305.89 km/h (190.07 mph), the fastest ever officially recorded speed on an Indian. The unofficial speed record is 331 km/h (205.67 mph).[3]
* In 2006 he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

He was 68 year old when he set the world record.

I was fortunate enough to see an "Indian" right here in Hyderabad. The connection I now feel with it is indescribable.





This is a 1944 Indian, with a 1200cc engine. Dug up from the earth and restored....

5 comments:

Inmate of infinity said...

One of my fantasies....hit the roads and go where the wind takes me...wish i had the guts to leave all and live my dreams! Will watch the movie. Havent seen any of anthony hopkins younger years' movies.

Satyajit said...

inmate:
I think what you need to see is "Motorcycle Diaries". Its about 2 young men taking a trip through South America. one of them was Che.

"The fastest Indian" is a 2005 release and Hopkins plays a 68 yrs old......

Inmate of infinity said...

I do! Its That Star wars guy na! The che wala is a spanish guy and a gal!

RITESH SAHU said...

zold is old may be

Nilesh said...

Satyajit said what I wanted to. Burt was 68 when he broke the record! Which is incredible! But MD & WFI are in different leagues. One is about brute speed while the other is more about the experiences of two travelers. I kinda felt that MD wasn't so much about the motorcycle itself. I mean they could have very well made "Corvette Diaries". But yeh, the common thread is the resolve of the protagonist!
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And if you fantasize about hitting the road, then watch MD and not WFI! A perfect breakaway movie.... :)