Indian showcases engine in ‘Spirit of Munro’ streamliner

Publish Date: 
Mar 11, 2013

MEDINA, Minn. - Indian Motorcycle is showcasing its new Thunder Stroke 111 engine in a “Spirit of Munro” streamliner custom-built in honor of Burt Munro’s “Munro Special,” portrayed in the 2005 movie “The World’s Fastest Indian.”

Indian Motorcycle, a division of Polaris Industries since 2011, showed the one-of-a-kind vehicle March 9 at Daytona Bike Week following the reveal of the new engine.

Indian calls the streamliner “an all-metal tribute to the racers and mechanics throughout history who have collectively built the legacy of record-breaking racing performance and strength that is Indian Motorcycle.”

The “Munro Special” 1920 Indian Scout broke the under-1000cc land-speed record in 1967 at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

“The Munro family is very happy to see such a wonderful tribute to our father,” said Munro’s son, John. “We see how dad’s passion inspires motorcycle riders to this day, as the ‘Spirit of Munro’ will surely do for years to come.”

Steve Menneto, vice president of Polaris' motorcycles business, said, “We are a brand that will always strive to push the envelope in everything we do, so when the idea of building a streamliner to both showcase the new engine and pay homage to the racers, mechanics and engineers of the past landed on my desk, it was an easy decision. We are proud to showcase America’s passion for Indian Motorcycle in such a unique and historic way.”

Indian asked Jeb Scolman of Jeb’s Metal and Speed in Long Beach, Calif., to construct the Spirit of Munro. Indian said it chose Scolman due to his credentials building land speed racers, along with his hand-formed bodywork on a Stutz Blackhawk replica.

“When the guys from Indian Motorcycle called to ask if I would be willing to play a part in this historic endeavor, I could not say yes fast enough,” Scolman said. “We built the Spirit of Munro in just three months of straight, long work days. It was a brutal schedule, but to be a part of re-launching this brand and giving Indian Motorcycle fans a historic new piece of Americana makes it all worth the effort.”

Scolman built the streamliner from the ground up to demonstrate the power of the Thunder Stroke 111 engine. A custom exhaust and intake system is mated with a chain drive conversion to allow for the tall gearing necessary for top-speed runs. The all-aluminum bodywork was hand-formed using traditional tools and techniques. Wrapped around the modern Thunder Stroke 111 engine is a custom chassis capable of handling top speeds. (Continued.)