‘1920 Scoot’ mini replica set for safari

Like Burt Munro, Jeff Cameron reckons you live more in five minutes on a "motorsickle" going flat out than some people live in their lifetime.

The Allanton builder has just spent the past 10 weeks turning what started out as a smashed-up 125cc Suzuki scooter with bits of blackberry bush stuck in it into a miniature replica of the speed record-setting Munro Special Indian 1920 Scout — only this one is affectionately called a "1920 Scoot".

Mr Cameron said it might not go super-fast like Munro’s, but it looked like it could go super-fast, and it was super-scary to ride, even at its modest top speed of about 90kmh.

"Downhill with a tailwind — I think it will be frightening because the handlebars aren’t really made for turning.

"We tried to keep them in keeping with the original Burt Munro machine, which only went in straight lines."

Jeff Cameron has built a miniature replica of Burt Munro’s speed record-setting Special Indian...
Jeff Cameron has built a miniature replica of Burt Munro’s speed record-setting Special Indian 1920 Scout for this weekend’s 250km Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari, from Christchurch to Hokitika. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
He used metal framing and sheets of fibreglass to create the streamlined shell, and while he had assured his wife Janine it was "quite safe-ish", it was more difficult to ride than your average scooter, he said.

No doubt she will be worried when he joins more than 400 other scooter riders on the Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari, which runs from Christchurch over Arthurs Pass to Hokitika today, to raise money for the Canterbury West Coast Cancer Society.

Mr Cameron said the charity was important to him because both of his wife’s parents died of cancer.

He wanted to do something to support those going through all that went with a cancer diagnosis.

"It’s a really good way to try and do something with the skills that I have, to raise some money — to do a good thing and have some fun while doing it."

It would be the second time he had participated in the two-yearly event, he said.

Last time he went as Batman on a Bat Scooter, complete with bat-phone and bat-signal.

Mrs Cameron said her husband’s attention to detail was legendary

"Many hours were spent at E. Hayes & Sons, in Invercargill, and I have lost count of how many times we have watched and rewatched the World’s Fastest Indian movie, rewinding the important bits and marvelling at Burt and his ability to just make things work."

More than $312,000 has already been raised for the charity this weekend.