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|The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d'Elegance offers classes for a range of motorcycle types and eras. Please download an application to join us in Las Vegas this Nov. 17. |
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d'Elegance always features motorcycles for every taste. Participants show bikes from several eras and disciplines. Some bikes are expertly restored while others are near-perfect preservations of the original. Dick Burleson, a Hall of Famer, is one of this year's show participants. The competition bike he is bringing -- a 1978 Husqvarna 250WR -- has been preserved in as-raced condition for decades.
Burleson is one of the better known Hall of Famers. From 1974 to 1981, Burleson won eight consecutive AMA National Enduro Championships, a record so extraordinary that it still stands today, and some think it may never be broken. In addition to his incredible domestic record, Burleson also won eight consecutive gold medals in the International Six Days Trials (now called the International Six Days Enduro). Among American off-road racers, Burleson is one of the all-time greats.
We spoke with Burleson to get some inside knowledge on the specific motorcycle he is showcasing at the Concours.
Q: What bike are you bringing to the show?
A 1978 Husqvarna 250WR.
Q: Why did you choose to bring this bike?
I raced this in the [International Six Days Enduro] in Sweden. It was what I rode to earn my fifth gold medal of eight [total]. Back in those days, you had to do everything yourself, so I was able to really personalize it. By luck, that bike made it back to the States and through no proper planning whatsoever, ended up in my basement and other than the very few times I have taken it to a show, it has been sitting there ever since.
Q: What do you remember about that particular ISDT that you rode this bike for?
It was an extremely rocky and tough race. That’s what I remember -- gnarly. The bike was designed in Sweden and ridden a lot there, so it held up well. Funny thing is if you compare it to today’s motorcycles, it is horrible.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of this bike?
Basically how personalized it was. Back in those days, we thought stock was best and this bike represents more of a production race bike. Today, my favorite aspect is that it is frozen time. This bike is in exactly the same state as when I finished the race, other than being washed -- same tires and all.
Q: Is there anything special about this year’s induction ceremony that you’re looking forward to?
[The late] Rod Bush [a member of the Class of 2012] was a personal friend of mine. So his induction is worth the trip for me. Plus, my son works for KTM so he will be there and we are looking forward to seeing him.