The NZ Transport Agency has warned motorcyclists on their way to the Burt Munro Challenge in Invercargill this weekend to slow down on areas of loose chip.

The 11th annual Burt Munro Challenge runs from Thursday to Sunday in Invercargill.

The challenge was introduced by the Southland Motorcycle Club in 2006 following the success of The World's Fastest Indian, the 2005 movie about Burt Munro's inspirational life.

Neville Hayes with Burt Munro's record-breaking motorcycle in his Invercargill hardware store earlier this year. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Neville Hayes with Burt Munro's record-breaking motorcycle in his Invercargill hardware store earlier this year. Photo / Mark Mitchell

NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright also warned other road users to expect an influx of motorcyclists South Island highways from Thursday through to the end of the weekend and early next week.

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"Motorcyclists also need to bear in mind the Transport Agency's and local councils' summer repair and resealing season is underway, which means they need to watch for loose chip and reduce speed accordingly.

"Please, take extra care on your way to and from Invercargill - we want everyone to get to this event safe and well and return home the same way," she said.

Some motorcyclists will take State Highway 6 down the West Coast, and others will travel through the Mackenzie and the inland routes.

Wright said all road users should be prepared to increase following distances and slow down around motorcyclists.

Just a few of the bikes at the Burt Munroe Challenge in recent years. Photo / Sally, Flickr
Just a few of the bikes at the Burt Munroe Challenge in recent years. Photo / Sally, Flickr

She urged road users to check conditions on the NZ Transport Agency's travel and traffic page, the Otago Southland Transport Agency Twitter updates on @NZTAOS and the Canterbury West Coast Twitter updates on @NZTACWC.

They could also check the Transport Agency Facebook South Island page, or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

Born in Edendale, Southland, in 1899, motorcycle legend Burt Munro bought his first motorcycle at the age of 15 and had his first Indian Scout in 1920 - the bike he would continue to modify for the rest of his life.

After setting a number of New Zealand land speed records in the 1940s and 50s he set out for the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the US in 1962 at the age of 63, setting a land speed record of 178.97 mph.

He travelled there a further eight times to compete and set two more world records.

His 1967 record of 183.58mph still stands today, and on this trip also hit 190.07 mph during a qualifying run, the fastest ever recorded speed on an Indian motorcycle.

The example of Burt Munro today still represents the Kiwi attributes of No 8-wire ingenuity, dogged determination, all packaged in a laid-back and humorous demeanour.