3 Responses to “My Terrot/JAP”

  1. Allee Willis

    Great looking. It looks so advanced for 1929. Did you soup it up or is that all original?

    Which is the fastest of the bikes you’ve posted so far?

    Was this considered the Harley of it’s day, i.e. who did this most appeal to?

  2. Erasmus Thump

    Terrot got it’s start in the Alsace region of France as a maker of industrial knitting machines — which it still does tot his day! They then began producing bicycles in the late 1800s and motorbikes and cars in the 1890s. They reached their pinnacle in the 1920s which is the era in which this machine was made. This particular machine was a factory test machine, used to study gearing and tuning to maximise fuel efficiency. I bought it from the chap who bought it at auction when Terrot’s motorbike factory in Dijon was finally sold.
    Originally it would have had a side-valve, or flathead engine but this was soon replced by an even older, overhead valve motor from John A Prestwich (JAP) who at that time made some of the most powerful motorbike engines in the world. Due to the shape of the top of this motor, it is called the Dog Eared JAP.
    All I did was replace the flywheels as they had little cracks, and then replace bushes and bearings and put it all back together. It still has its original Magneto France ignition and Bowden levers. It starts first time ever time and will run along happily at up to 50 mph. It has a hand-shifting three-speed grease gearbox which makes for crunchy gearchanges when you first learn, but it is forgiving. It vibrates like mad but has a soul to it that you canot help feel when you ride it. Wherever you go people stop and stare as you go by. As you cruise along to the pom pom pom of the motor you canot help but wonder about all those who have ridden this happy little nmachine over its 83 years… All I can say is that she is ever so happy to still be alive and running today…

  3. Erasmus Thump

    I should add that Terrot was France’s largest producer of motorbikes until it was finally absorbed into Peugot in the 1960s. Examples of Terrots can be found in almost every garage in France…