Michael Riley was born on 20 Oct 1913 in Ipswich. He attended boarding school in South London and on leaving school worked for two years in a machine shop in the East End of London. Later he was a Development Engineer for B.S.A. and became a designer at D.M.W. (Dawson's Motor Works/Dawson's Motorcycles Wolverhampton) after the departure of Leslie Dawson. He obtained his driving licence and first motorcycle when he was 14, in 1927 - a 172 cc Villiers Sports 2-stroke. He became a motorcyclist of some note, riding in reliability trials, and was a member of the Carshalton Motor Cycle Club, Surrey in the 1920s and 1930s, and then of Midland Clubs, particularly Wolverhampton Motor Cycle and Car Club. The first trial he entered was a Schoolboys' Trial; he had a flat tyre half-way round and when he reached the finish he found that the trial was over and everyone had gone! Thereafter he became hooked on trials and joined the Carshalton Motorcycle Club.
In 1936, riding a B.S.A., he won the largest trophy in motocross sport, the Patchquick Trophy, which was first presented in 1934. He entered the Scottish Six Days Reliability Trials in the years 1947 - 1952, initially riding for Carshalton Motor Cycle Club and afterwards for Wolverhampton Motorcycle and Car Club, winning a First Class Award in 1947, a Special First Class Award in 1948, best performance on a solo motorcycle 126-200 cc in 1950 and 1951, and a Special First Class Award in 1952. He served on the Group Trials Committee of the Midland Centre Auto-Cycle Union in 1949, and provided information for the writing of the Patchquick Motocross Official Programme for its Golden Jubilee Year 1991.
He died in June 1993 aged nearly 80.