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