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Classic Trial - - CONTENTS - Words: Steph Mi­la­chon and Jonny Pic­tures: Jean-Pierre, Me­lanie Goy Ar­chive and Colin Bul­lock

Jean Pierre Goy

Num­ber-one mo­tor­cy­cle stunt rider Jean-Pierre Goy was orig­i­nally a tri­als rider. From his ear­li­est days rid­ing in tri­als com­pe­ti­tions to his lat­est stunts on the big screen French­man Jean-Pierre tells us all with the good hu­mour and can­dour that are in his na­ture.

You’ve be­come well known, thanks to your stunt rid­ing, but you started on a tri­als ma­chine. Can you re­call for us your twowheel his­tory? I started rid­ing on a cy­cle at my fa­ther’s sawmill. A tri­als ma­chine came later dur­ing the 1980s and dur­ing this time I started to com­pete in lo­cal, re­gional and then na­tional and fi­nally rid­ing in­ter­na­tional events. It all went pretty well un­til one day I dis­cov­ered in­door tri­als which rapidly be­came my favourite play­ground. In ad­di­tion to win­ning events I gave a small show at the end just be­fore the prize pre­sen­ta­tion. It was this ex­pe­ri­ence that gave me the idea of cre­at­ing a real show.

I be­came a fac­tory rider for Fan­tic in 1983. From that point on­wards things just fell into place. I went to an event in Ja­pan where I made a large num­ber of tele­vi­sion shows and rode at some other im­por­tant events.

It seems in­cred­i­ble but true that along with Jac­ques Martin we did Auto Moto, Paris-Bercy su­per-cross, Le Mans 24 hours, Bol d’Or 24 hour and the Moto GP scene. It was around this time I started to get in­volved with stunt rid­ing on cam­era. I was Jackie Chan’s dou­ble in Oper­a­tion Con­dor and Yves Re­nier in Com­mis­saire Moulin.

In 1993 thanks to BMW France I re­alised my dream. This was to pro­duce a spec­tac­u­lar stunt show with big ma­chines that were per­haps not ideal for the job. In 1997 I was asked to be Pierce Bros­nan’s dou­ble in the James Bond film “To­mor­row Never Dies” and in 2008 to ride the Bat­mo­bile in the lat­est Bat­man film. As you can see I didn’t have much time to get bored!

You were a top-level tri­als rider; why did you stop? I don’t re­ally know why I stopped, maybe be­cause I was good enough. What in­ter­ested me was to ride the sec­tions how I saw them. Other rid­ers from those days un­nerved me and they had a ten­dency to crit­i­cise me with my un­usual lines.

I was just 20 years old and ev­ery­thing that I in­vented back then with my freestyle rid­ing is be­ing used by the top rid­ers to­day. What an­noys me the most is that I have had no ac­knowl­edge­ment of the rid­ing level I achieved and how far ahead it was at this time. Yrjo Ves­ter­i­nen, a great cham­pion that I con­sider as my teacher, told me in 1979 that I was one of the best he had ever seen. We tend to for­get that even be­fore Spa­niard Jordi Tar­res it was you that mod­ernised tri­als! Rear-wheel jumps, flick­ing the back end round, re­vers­ing, how did this all come about? All from my over-ac­tive imag­i­na­tion which is still the same to­day. I have hun­dreds of on­go­ing projects in my mind. Af­ter all the years of be­ing a stunt rider work­ing with Remy Juli­enne you were pushed into the pub­lic eye thanks to your stun­ning stunt in the James Bond film “To­mor­row Never Dies”; was that a dream comes true? No, I never gave it a thought. The years with the Juli­ennes are a mixed bag of ex­pe­ri­ences, some good oth­ers very bad. I did how­ever have some great times with Michel Juli­enne. With the Bat­man film in 2008 you made the long­est stunt ride in the his­tory of cin­ema. I sup­pose the Bat­pod was a hor­ror to ride? Was this your big­gest chal­lenge? No, ac­tu­ally it was pretty easy to ride the Bat­pod. I was more im­pressed rid­ing the ma­chine through the streets of Chicago dressed as Bat­man! James Bond, Bat­man... suc­cess­ful films, I sup­pose you are rich now? When you work hard you get paid well. You have mas­tered all types of ma­chines, what’s your se­cret? I don’t have a se­cret, it’s just nat­u­ral talent. How many shows do you do a year? Be­tween 20 and 25 but it’s not my main work or my big­gest mo­ti­va­tion. I’m al­ways a lit­tle per­turbed by the de­scrip­tion of what I do as a “stunt” as this doesn’t re­flect well on the im­age of a mo­tor­cy­clist or the safety an­gle. Which fac­tory do you ride for? I ride for Jean-Pierre Goy! Now I can ride with­out the aid of a fac­tory. My prin­ci­ple spon­sor is Wun­der­lich, which is a man­u­fac­turer of top-end ac­ces­sories for BMWs. They have been with me for quite a few years now and Chris­tine and I have dis­trib­uted the ac­ces­sories in France and the French over­seas ter­ri­to­ries. We have a shop at home where clients can come and have their parts fit­ted in the work­shop; we also sup­ply mail or­der. Other than that in the near fu­ture I will ride brand new BMWs Tell us about your rid­ing school? It’s a trail rid­ing school where we give con­fi­dence to rid­ers to go off-road. We have two ar­eas. One is 36 hectares and the other is 10 hectares with a lot of sand and some pretty tricky tracks. Next year we will have road-race course. We have an­other base in Morocco with a dozen BMWs near Mar­rakech. I teach many BMW own­ers who are par­tic­i­pat­ing in some of the rally raids or­gan­ised by the fac­tory in Mex­ico and Aus­tralia. I’m not just mar­ried to BMW; Chris­tine and I wel­come ev­ery rider that has the de­sire to en­joy them­selves at my side – what could be eas­ier! You ac­cept all sorts? Ev­ery­one that calls them­selves a biker – of­froad, trail, road racer etc, is wel­come. I can also rent them a BMW. In 1993 you had al­ready talked of a school so why did it take you so long to re­alise your dream? I didn’t have the time or all the skills I needed on the bike. You also have a B&B, is it open to any­one or just rid­ers at your school? The pri­or­ity is the rider, but af­ter that any­one. For a while you had a mo­tor­cy­cle shop and you im­ported cloth­ing, your shows, and films. That must have been tricky to or­gan­ise? Do you al­ways live in the fast lane? Dur­ing that time it was more re­laxed than to­day... My shows, films, rid­ing schools, my Wun­der­lich dis­tri­bu­tion as well as the B&B is more hec­tic.

Your wife and daugh­ter, how do they cope with your tran­sient life­style?

They love it. Un­for­tu­nately Christina can­not come so of­ten to film­ing; she’s re­ally busy with Wun­der­lich. Me­lanie at­tends a cor­re­spon­dence school and has a teacher at home.

Has there been a stunt that you have re­fused to do as you con­sid­ered it im­pos­si­ble?

No not re­ally, I have al­ways found a way to give them what they want. More prob­a­bly their limited imag­i­na­tion re­stricts me.

Have you had many in­juries?

One arm, a few ribs, foot, Scaphoid, knee and nu­mer­ous sprains and dis­lo­ca­tions. A bit of ev­ery­thing you might say.

One rider that I tend to com­pare you against is Ju­lian Per­ret who is also a great rider and show­man. Do you know him? If so what do you think of him?

I don’t un­der­stand why we must al­ways com­pare our­selves against an­other; ev­ery­one is unique. I start with the prin­ci­ple that I am be­yond com­par­i­son, I am the first and there will never be an­other Jean-Pierre Goy. All the oth­ers, even if they are re­ally nice, came af­ter me.

How long do you think you can keep up this work? Is your rid­ing school to help you make the jump?

I have been chang­ing since I was 16 years old when I left school. I haven’t even thought about re­tire­ment at all; even if I have the right, I’ll never re­tire.

Tell me your best and worst rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ences?

I don’t have bad mem­o­ries even if some­times it was more than a lit­tle com­pli­cated. My plea­sure is to find so­lu­tions.

When you see the prow­ess of rid­ers such as Bou or Raga with their tech­niques brought from cy­cle tri­als what do you think?

Noth­ing it leaves me cold. I try and watch Eurosport es­pe­cially the in­doors and I like it when you tell the his­tory of tri­als and its rid­ers but even so I’m never suf­fi­ciently in­ter­ested to watch un­til the end. I find this style of rid­ing not very spec­tac­u­lar.

Do you fol­low mod­ern tri­als at all and will we ever have the plea­sure of see­ing you rid­ing a com­pe­ti­tion just for the fun of it?

I watch Eurosport from time to time as I said, but as for a re­turn I very much doubt it.

Have you any ad­vice for our read­ers?

They should take the great­est plea­sure from what they do, and be true to them­selves.

At his fa­ther’s saw mill with a nice look­ing Du­cati.1981: Prac­tis­ing for Kick­start in the UK.

1982: An early stunt show.

1980: Com­pet­ing on the Fan­tic.

Rid­ing high on the front cover of Moto Jour­nal.

1982: I think they like the show — France.

1982: A Fan­tic fac­tory rider in the ‘80s, Jean-Pierre quickly made his name thanks to his in­no­va­tive tech­nique and his sense of the spec­tac­u­lar stunt.

Jean-Pierre on the Bat­pod dur­ing the long­est stunt in cin­ema his­tory – a real event!Still lov­ing his life on a tri­als ma­chine. Jean-Pierre mas­tered the art of rearwheel rid­ing like no other. He is renowned the world over.

Teach­ing at the ad­ven­ture schools.

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