America’s most successful endurance racer
Eight-time AMA National Enduro Champion (1974-81)
Eight gold medals in International Six Days Enduro
1970 American Motocross Champion
Three-time AMA Amateur Athlete of the Year (1976, ’81, ’94)
Launched successful line of riding gear
He earned the nickname “King Richard” by becoming America’s most successful Enduro racer. Burleson didn’t start riding until he was 18. By his mid-20s, he was at the top of the discipline, which involves competing against the clock on extended cross-country, primarily off-road courses with obstacles. From 1974 to ’81, Burleson won eight consecutive American Motorcycle Association (AMA) National Enduro Championships, a record that may never be broken. He also won eight consecutive gold medals in the International Six Days Trial (now International Six Days Enduro), sometimes referred to as the “Olympics of Motorcycling.” Before Enduro, Burleson had excelled in his first season of motocross competition (1970), finishing fourth overall in the Trans-AMA Motocross Series. As the top-ranked American, he was named American Motocross Champion (this was prior to the AMA National Motocross Series). Burleson was AMA Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1976, 1981 and 1994. After retiring in 1982, Burleson remained active in the sport, developing motorcycle off-road riding gear. He was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 1999.