There is a new generation of Northland motocross riders coming through the ranks, and they all have the same last name.

Brothers Riley, 10, Liam, 8, and Rhys, 7, of the Perris family from Ruatangata have taken the North Island motocross scene by storm in 2019, with the three boys finishing third, first and third respectively in their age groups at the North Island championship series in Taranaki this month.

This came after a successful 2018 with all three boys winning the Whangārei club championships in their respective bike classes and, excluding the North Island championships, recording eight top-five finishes in competitions across the North Island.

All three have been riding competitively since they were about five years old. Liam and Rhys both ride 50cc bikes while Riley had recently moved to an 85cc bike.


With only four proper motocross tracks in Northland, it made training difficult for the family. But as the eldest of the boys, Riley said the passion for riding motivated him and his brothers to be the best they could be.

"Once motocross gets in your blood it stays with you forever and it's pretty cool riding with my brothers," he said.

Riley said he was surprised by how well he had done in his competitions and hoped he would be a role model for his brothers.

"I like to teach them starts and I tell them what they're are doing wrong and what do which might make them faster."

He said his father, Jason, had been a big inspiration for him and his brothers because of the time their father had put into teaching them how to ride.

 L-R: Liam, Riley and Rhys Perris stand and smile with their spoils from this month's North Island championships. Photo / Supplied.
L-R: Liam, Riley and Rhys Perris stand and smile with their spoils from this month's North Island championships. Photo / Supplied.

Jason, a rider of over 13 years, said he was ecstatic to see what the boys had achieved at such a young age.

"I'm pretty stoked with what they've achieved down there.

"It's pretty good for kids from Northland because the riders from down in Hamilton or Taupo get trained by the best in the country."


After giving up riding himself so his three sons could have a go, Jason said motocross was a way for the boys, along with mother Sharleen and younger daughter Ellie, to spend time to together as a family.

"It's something that our family all enjoys doing and as the kids get better, it really makes you proud when they start winning."

To fund a family of motocross riders was no easy feat. On club days the family would spend over $100 just in club fees on top of fuel and maintenance costs.

Jason said thinking about how much money went into the family's motocross hobby wouldn't bear thinking about, but said the thrill of the sport made it all worthwhile.

"It's like all motorsports, it's the adrenaline of racing, that's why I always did it.

"When you're on the start line and there are 40 riders there and you take off from the start, it's just that feeling of adrenaline you get, it's amazing."

Fortunately, the boys hadn't had any serious injuries in their years of riding so far. Jason said this was down to training well and being in the right headspace.

"You have to have the right mindset because if not, you're going to come off and hurt yourself. The more and more they do, the more and more confident they become."

As costs and the level of competition rises as the boys get older, Jason hoped his sons would stay in motocross as long as they still enjoyed it and had the money to do so.

"You see a lot of guys just drift away from it but some carry on and that's just the nature of any sport.

"I just hope they can carry on the way they are but very few people end up at the top of motocross in New Zealand and as they get older it becomes more of a money thing as well."

The boys next take to the track for the first round of the Northland championships in Dargaville on February 17 before heading to the Auckland championships on February 23.