JJ is in the Chair!

Hello, I’m Janette – a.k.a. JJ – and as the current chairperson of the Norfolk Branch of the Honda Owners Club, I’d like to say Hi to members everywhere and extend a big welcome to any newcomers. 

Here’s a bit about me and my passion for my Hondas – for those that don’t yet know me.

I was born in 1973 in a Royal Air Force hospital in Wiltshire – my dad was in the RAF – but I grew up in Norfolk (Feltwell, Thetford, Griston and back to Thetford) after he was posted to RAF Honington in 1975.

I passed my driving test in early ’91 and my first CBT the following week but concerns within the family held me back from getting on a bike again until I married and moved to Ely in 1998.

I immediately took my DAS and was thrilled when my examiner said “you’ve passed – ‘what will you choose as your first motorcycle?’ He was more than a little surprised when I replied that there was a shiny new red VFR800FI waiting for me at home!

The Veefer

But starting biking wasn’t all plain sailing, of course, and I had a spill on a bend coming out of Watton that messed up one of my shoulders and really shook my confidence.  I downgraded to a ZZR600 but didn’t like it and I barely used it on the road. 

It was watching my son on his GSXR750 when he passed his tests that spurred me to get back in the saddle in 2018.  I got some tuition and bought my CBR650F later that year.

In February 2019 my son and went out for my first ride.  He was on his Fireblade but we took it pretty steady and there were lots of roundabouts practice cornering. That was it: I was away again! 😊

The same month saw me do my first ‘solo’ ride – it was actually a charity ride with over 100 other bikers from Krazy Horse in Bury St. Edmunds.  After that I was out and about on every dry day.

I was still nervous about bends but I was determined to nail it.  My CBR650F and I were featured in RiDE, MCN and Fast Bikes Magazine that same year, I’ve included a few photos because those days I spent with Simon Hargreaves & Co really spurred me on.

For Christmas my other half Paul treated me to a day at the Ron Haslam School of Racing.  It was a dream come true to be flying round the Donnington circuit on one of their CBR650Rs. Paul actually found it hard to keep up – he was used to his MT10 and it wasn’t easy to adjust to the Honda’s inline four.

I’m always aware that I took my original test back in the last century so I’ve done a lot of additional training – a Bike Safe Hugger day (via Suffolk Council), a Safe Rider day (with the Police) and an Advanced Rider (with the Bury St Edmunds ROSPA group).  I love learning and growing as a biker.

My ride is a beautiful CBR1000RR SP ❤️ and I couldn’t be happier with him – we can go pretty quick these days!

We get to every bike night we can across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, we do charity rides, we’ve marshalled a few too and attend most bike shows as we live and breathe bikes.

Every August we get to Silverstone for the UK round of MotoGP.  Even though my idol Valentino Rossi no longer races I still dream of making it around a track like he did!

We also go to a few rounds of BSB each year.

Now we follow my son around the circuits as he is competing in the No Limits Endurance class on his self-modified S1000RR. 

I had an off during a Knee-Down i2i course late September 2022 and managed to separate my other shoulder – but I was happily back on the bike six weeks later.

I have learnt to wheelie at Wheelie School recently and still went wing walking at Shuttleworth for my big birthday last year  so I’m still flying around 😂 

Paul and I plan to do a few track days this year at Snetterton but I’ll be borrowing his Repsol Fireblade – mine is far too precious!

I could never part with either of my Hondas – my CBR650F gave me my confidence back and is a lovely forgiving all-rounder but my Fireblade is the most beautiful 🚀 I could ever hope to own.