TWMX Race Series Racer Profile | Brian Jr. “BJ” Burns
Hometown: Moreno Valley, CA
Classes: +30 Pro
Sponsors: Stephen Geary, Chapparal, Enzo, Maxima, MX University, Pro Taper, Hinson, Emig Grips
BJ Burns is a familiar face around SoCal MX tracks. In addition to being a popular motocross coach, he’s also helped former 250 National Champion Dean Wilson numerous times when he has been without a factory ride. Burns shows up and races with us occasionally, and we are always impressed with his super smooth style.
Give us the 50 cent summary on your pro racing career…
Yeah, I used to race pro and then after I stopped racing pro, I started being a mechanic. I worked as a mechanic for a while and then started working with Sebastian Tortelli doing motocross schools and found my passion there. I’ve been doing MX University, coaching riders since 2015.
Is that when you launched MX University? Is that your own deal?
Yes sir it’s my own deal. Just me and the wife.
Have there been any high profile clientele come through the university? I know you’re always helping Dean Wilson in some capacity or another.
I mean Dean Wilson is definitely my best friend. I help him out any way I can and he is definitely a big part of the school, helping me with everything. I can’t fully claim him because he has Sam Hall, but I like to think I have a little piece there, so that’s definitely the biggest.
So when you’re helping out Deano at the races, I know that you’ve been a mechanic for him a couple of times, but then you’re also looking for lines and pointing things out to him. Correct?
Yeah, Dean is actually really good at lines. He has awesome technique, I’d say he is very efficient on a motorcycle and he is really good at using all of the track. He’s had some great coaches and has been able to learn there. There are sometimes where you get so closed minded, that it helps to have someone that could see something a little different. Yeah, I try to help out as much as I can!
What makes a good coach? Someone that can explain technique?
I think a lot of people think there is a secret method or there is a secret technique to motocross and there is really not. I mean, you could break down a video of someone like Ken Roczen who is obviously, super talented. He’s in the right position 95% of the time. He’s really good with his feet. There’s no secret for him though and people search for that. I think a good coach is someone that is going to be there, someone that’s accountable, someone that’s gonna know when to push you and know when to hold back and keep your emotions level. I mean I think that’s a huge part of it that goes overlooked, technique wise- I mean if I had to focus on one thing that would be a big difference that gets overlooked is it all starts with the feet, you know your foot position is critical. Even I’m bad at this sometimes. I’ll see pictures of my toes pointed out or something like that. Riding on the balls of your feet and having your feet gripping the motorcycle is such huge advantage, once you master that, it makes dirtbike riding a lot more fun.
It’s good to see that you take time for yourself to come out and race as well. We’ve seen you at some of our races before…are you having a good time today?
Yeah awesome! The Milestone crew has done a phenomenal job with the amount of rain that we got. The track is awesome, I really like changes since Mini Major. They slowed it down, they’ve added more corners. Then obviously, the TransWorld offering competitive people and you get out of here fairly early makes life cool. So if I can get in a race day and still be able to go home and have dinner with the family and even watch some football tonight, it’s a pretty cool deal.
Is MXU your full-time gig, do you do anything else?
Yeah MXU is my full-time deal. Every once in a while I work for Jeff Emig. I work on his bikes and try to keep him fresh, but MXU is a full-time deal. I’ve got Bradley Lionnett on my full-time supercross program and he’s progressing really well, so that’s a full-time job keeping him on the grind.
Do you have room for other students or are you booked right now?
I mean my max number is four, and right now I’m at two for full time. I do have kids in the afternoon and I try to keep that at four. Anything above four, I feel like I’m cheating the riders and cheating myself because it is too chaotic. So four is my ideal number for daytime and afternoon with the kids. That’s where I try to be is four.
How do the people find you? Did you have a website or just Instagram?
Just instagram! @MXUniversity I’m at the track here in SoCal, look for the four transit with the MXU logo on the back.