Frenchman Joel Corroy is a big motorcycle enthusiast, which is so evident when you are welcomed with a strong handshake into his museum, based at Vesoul in France. He speaks very good English; he attributes this to the fact that he had to learn the language to find out information for his Sammy Miller Ariel HT5 trials project! He rode in world trials championship events on the Montesa Cota 348 that was so popular, and at the time when the likes of Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen, Martin Lampkin and of course the home-grown talent of Charles Coutard were the big names. He became good friends with Mick Andrews in the early eighties when he became the French Ossa importer during the ‘Yellow Gripper’ model days. The Spanish factory also supplied him with the orange 250cc models, on which he played with reed valve induction on the motors.
When the Ossa factory stopped production and closed Joel had already made his plans to build his own JCM machines, and the Joel Corroy Moto was born. He was pretty much involved with every aspect of the machine, including the technical side of the operation.
Between 1981 and 1987 he produced and sold almost one thousand machines worldwide, although the majority were sold in Europe.
From the beginning in 1981 he collected all the machines including both prototype and production models. After that he sold the name JCM and the rights to Streit Sa, and helped Roland Streit to set up the production facility for the’ Vega’ model – and that was it.
In his museum in Vesoul you can see the complete development of the brand JCM.
I have known Joel for more than thirty years and he has always been very helpful. When the French trials champion Charles Coutard moved to Montesa he took me to his home to test the new machine, which was very much a privilege. He also arranged a meeting with off-road legend Stephane
Peterhansel so we could do an interview with him at his private home.
Peterhansel lived in Vesoul before he moved to Corsica where he lives now. He has ridden in many Pre-65 trials in France, Italy, Germany and in England and of course in the Scottish.
Now he organises his own two-day trial in Arbecey, in which I rode the second year. In that two-day event he was fund raising for the Japanese people who lost their homes in the tsunami a couple of years ago. Many different nations now compete in this trial, which is immensely popular and takes place each year in August.
Joel is a busy man, involved in motorcycles on a commercial basis but also for fun, and when you ask him the question ‘what is your age?’, he always replies: ‘Have a look at my museum and you can see how young I am!’ But if you are interested in other trial machines go out there and visit the museum. It’s for free!
Corroy with his brainchild JCM
The first JCM engine
Take a look at the first JCM frame unit layout
The JCM machines in Blue (239 cc) and Red (323 cc) frames
All makes of trials machine, and on the stand in the back the SWM from Gilles Burgat
The Vega frame: Fuel tank under the seat and the air intake behind the steering head
The Greeves Collection Joel refuels his Ariel after marking out the hazards at Arbecey French trials machine collector Olivier Barjon helps the only Japanese rider at Arbecey, Kojiro Mori, who came over to bring the fund’s cheque to Japan
Good Old British bikes!
Competing in the Pre-65 SSDT