For 25 years, Burt Munro (1899-1978), from Invercargill at the south end of New Zealand, has been working on his motorcycle, a 1920 Indian, to increase its speed. He dreams of taking it to the salt flats of Bonneville, Utah to see how fast it will go. By the early 1960s, heart disease threatens his life, so he mortgages his house and takes a boat to Los Angeles, buys an old car, builds a makeshift trailer, gets the Indian through customs, and heads for Utah. Along the way, people he meets are charmed by his open, direct friendliness. If he makes it to Bonneville, will they let an old guy on the flats with makeshift tires, no brakes, and no chute? And will the Indian actually respond?