Road racer switches to endurance off-road to raise money for North Devon Hospice in friend’s name.

Well-known North Devon motorcycle road racer James Kiff is turning his hand to endurance racing in aid of North Devon Hospice.

Mechanic James, 34 from Muddiford, is embarking on a season of tough off-road races in memory of his friend Ryan Dunn, who died aged 30 in January 2014 just weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

The name of Truscotts technician Ryan, from Georgeham, will be proudly displayed on James’ brand new KTM300 EXC off-road bike.

“Ryan was a good mate; he was mad about bikes,” said James, owner of JK Auto-Tek in East-the-Water, Bideford.

“Racing is a very expensive sport and when I started, Ryan supported me when he had his own business.

“He never got to come and watch me race because of his illness and how quickly it happened. But now, I’ve put Ryan’s name on my bike and he’ll ride with me.”

Dad-of-three James is more used to tearing up the back straight at Silverstone and Brands Hatch than picking his way through a muddy forest, but said he’d made the switch to enduro racing to spend more time with his family.

“I’ve ridden off-road since I was three years old and started racing superbikes with Flying Fox Racing in 2009,” he said.

“But this is a new type of event for me,” he said. “It’s a four-hour event and the winner is the rider who travels the furthest.”

His first event – the Ashcombe Ironman Enduro – takes place near Dawlish this Sunday.

“It’ll be a good taster for the South West Enduro Championships, which runs from March to October” said James.

“The first round is the Brass Monkeys Enduro on Exmoor on March 27.”

James hopes to raise money for the hospice that cared for his late auntie Alison, as well as his brother-in-law’s sister-in-law, who died shortly before Christmas.

“Everyone knows someone who has received support from North Devon Hospice so I hope people will show their support,” he added.

You can sponsor James online at www.justgiving.com/James-Kiff