Classic Trial - - CONTENTS - Words: Toon van de Vliet


With the ap­pear­ance of the JCM Vega 333 in 1987 the founder of JCM Joel Cor­roy did a step back­wards and sold his brain­child to Roland Streit – but first we look at the very early ma­chines. We re­mem­ber the JCM Tri­als story by re­turn­ing to the very first test I made of the new French ma­chines in 1983.

One of the nicest places on the planet, for tri­als people, is York­shire and in par­tic­u­lar one area near Grass­ing­ton. 1975 World Tri­als Cham­pion Martin Lamp­kin owned a pub­lic house named the Min­ers Arms at Green­how Hill. With the English world cham­pi­onship held in the area many of the rid­ers would stop with him, which opened the door for me to call in and test the new JCM of Charles Coutard.

The ma­chine I tested was one of the very early ma­chines that ‘Char­lie Cus­tard’, as he was known, was rid­ing for the man­u­fac­turer Joel Cor­roy. I be­lieve it was the same ma­chine that he had rid­den up 746 steps of the Eif­fel Tower near Paris in a pub­lic­ity show for the ma­chines!

Coutard al­ways per­formed well on strange ma­chines and this Tau en­gined ma­chine was no ex­cep­tion.

The Tau branded mo­tor was fit­ted to the first 100 ma­chines that Cor­roy pro­duced. Some of the in­ter­nals were from the Ital­ian Villa com­pany and were me­chan­i­cally very noisy, and they suf­fered from gear se­lec­tion prob­lems.

This pro­to­type was an ex­cep­tion though and pro­duced a soft power

de­liv­ery with a very nice de­liv­ery of power from the clutch, which had a very light ac­tion. The fuel tank was po­si­tioned un­der the seat with the air fil­ter inlet po­si­tioned un­der the dummy fuel tank cover, which made the steer­ing very light on the front but in re­turn was also very pre­cise. It had a claimed weight of 80kg with the mass of the weight in the en­gine.

The Leleu brand drum brakes didn’t im­press me and the later pro­duc­tion ma­chines had a disc front brake from Grimeca, which was a great im­prove­ment. The sus­pen­sion worked very well but felt a lit­tle soft, but then again the ma­chine was set up for the light­weight frame of Coutard’s body.

At the time the ma­chine was set­ting new stan­dards with its sin­gle rear-shock sus­pen­sion sys­tem but they al­ways looked very un­fin­ished. When the Yamaha sin­gle-shock ma­chine ar­rived the JCM strug­gled to com­pete with the Ja­panese qual­ity.

SSDT 1983 Charles Coutard

Toon puts the new JCM through its paces in York­shire

SSDT 1983 Joel Cor­roy

WTC IRL 1983 Charles Coutard

WTC GBR 1983 Charles Coutard

The Tau en­gine was used in the first 100 ma­chines

WTC ESP 1985 Bernard Cor­don­nier (JCM-BEL)

SSDT 1983 Charles Coutard’s JCM

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