Bikies descend on Invercargill for Burt Munro Challenge

Bikies descend on Invercargill for Burt Munro Challenge

They call it motorbike heaven, with enthusiasts descending on Invercargill for the Burt Munro Challenge.

The highlight? The beach racing made famous in Hollywood's The World's Fastest Indian, and watching on was Burt Munro's son.

This is one to tick off your bucket list – pulling down on the throttle reaching speeds of 140km/h along Invercargill's Oreti beach.

"He wouldn't believe it was happening. He was a private person in many ways but quite enthusiastic about what he did," says John Munro.

For the 10th year, thousands from all over the country have come to worship their hero at the five-day motorcycle event.

"We are the world's fastest idiots. We did the dirt to Burt to come down here," says Tim Martin.

"Burt Munro is a destination. The rally is really good, the ride's even better, the South Island is awesome," says Murry Applegate.

Motorbikes outnumber tents at the temporary camp site.

"The wind has been an issue. Occasionally some of the boys lost their tent last night, but otherwise it has been magnificent and I am considering moving here. The weather is just splendid," says Duncan Grocott and Dean Paul.

But it's the bikes, not the weather they come for. Among the crowd is one of China's biggest movie stars.

"It is actually my first time here," says Shawn Dou.

"We heard about this competition from overseas. We came from China to participate in one of the competitions here."

For many the highlight is jump-starting the vintage bikes, and seeing a Burt Munro replica used in the movie taken for an exhibition run along the beach.

"It makes me very proud that the local community still recognises what he gave to Southland," says Mr Munro.

Everyone is proud to be part of the magic that is the legend of Burt Munro.

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