Gun teenager catches eye of Honda scouts
By STEVE SPINKS
WHAT started as a simple form of transportation has almost become a career for Kyogle's Dean Ferris.
The 17-year-old started riding motorbikes on his parents' farm because it was the best way to get around.
Now he is on the way to becoming a full-time motocross rider after being signed by Honda.
The teenager impressed Honda scouts after an outstanding performance at a Toowoomba motocross in June.
"I was riding in the Under-19s series this year but for a couple of rounds the Under-19s weren't held," Ferris said.
"So I entered the pro-class as a privateer and finished second.
"Ever since then I've had interest from Honda."
Included in the deal is everything from bikes to clothes, and he will also be competing in the National Motocross and Supercross events.
Ferris will show off his Honda bike tomorrow in the second round of the Kyogle Dirt Bike Club motocross championships at Grevillia.
His eventual hope is to move to the United States and emulate his hero Chad Reed.
Reed is one of the highest-paid Australian sporting stars, but he is hardly known in his own country.
The Kurri Kurri boy is among the best riders on the US Supercross circuit.
"He's a good bloke and a big inspiration," Ferris said.
"He gives blokes from little towns like ours a lot of hope."
Ferris will head to the US in January for training with a group of 10 riders from the Australian Institute of Sport.
More than 140 riders will compete in the Kyogle Motocross tomorrow.
Competition will start at 10am.
Entry for spectators will be by gold coin donation, which will be passed on to the Rural Fire Service and SES.