Art Deco on Wheels: 1930 Majestic

It took owner Serge Bueno some six months to restore the Majestic, one of the wildest bikes ever to come out of France.

| May/June 2018

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    Serge Bueno's 1930 Majestic.
    Photos by Serge Bueno and Paul Garson
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    The oval aluminum dashboard is fitted with matching large face Jaeger speedometer and clock in Roman numerals plus an ammeter and lighting selector switch. Other Majestic models had less elaborate “faces,” some were built without the instrument panel altogether.
    Photos by Serge Bueno and Paul Garson
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    The World War I aircraft design influences are apparent on the Bernardet sidecar.
    Photos by Serge Bueno and Paul Garson
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    Under the mesh “curtain” resides the bike’s motive force, a 500cc overhead valve Chaise single-cylinder engine fed by an Amal carb.
    Photos by Serge Bueno and Paul Garson
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    Owner and restorer Serge Bueno spent several years coaxing the previous French owner to part with the bike.
    Photos by Serge Bueno and Paul Garson
  • majestic
    Serge Bueno's 1930 Majestic.
    Photos by Serge Bueno and Paul Garson
  • majestic
    Serge Bueno's 1930 Majestic.
    Photos by Serge Bueno and Paul Garson

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You could say Serge Bueno has come a long way on several levels.

At 14, he was zipping around Paris, France, aboard a 50cc Yamaha. He would go on to race motocross for 15 years, including the 2001 Rally of Tunisia, a 2,000-mile, 11-day desert run where he was one of the 60 who finished out of the 300 who started. And for decades he's been tracking down ultra-rare, historic motorcycles and restoring them to perfection.

Four years ago, Serge packed up lock, stock and motorcycle barrels, and moved from France to the U.S. He then built his Los Angeles, California, shop, Heroes Motorcycles, literally with his own hands, opening its doors on the day before Christmas 2014, during which he "unwrapped" a treasure trove of antique, vintage and classic machines, along with a fully equipped restoration facility.

It had been some 30 years since he opened his first motorcycle shop in Paris, specializing in unique racing machines from roughly the 1910-1950 era. He had also established a second location on the Normandy coast, an hour from Paris. His passion for unique motorcycles found him scouring the planet for machines, including the hunt for the rare parts needed to complete their restorations. By current count, he's resurrected over 100 rare bikes, aided by his training as an engineer working with a variety of metals, during which he also mastered old school painting techniques using rare pigments. Those skills translated well to the design and crafting of his own unique custom bikes, blending the best of the past, present and the future. The oval aluminum dashboard is fitted with matching large face Jaeger speedometer and clock in Roman numerals plus an ammeter and lighting selector switch. Other Majestic models had less elaborate "faces," some were built without the instrument panel altogether.



Coming to America

As for the motivation behind his trans-Atlantic/trans-cultural move to Southern California, Serge says, "Paris is a beautiful place, but Los Angeles is the place for my motorcycle work. So I sold my company in Paris and brought my wife with our four children and 40 motorcycles, and then began building my garage/workshop here on South La Brea Avenue." Word of mouth and social media brought customers in search of Serge's restoration magic or to purchase one of his completed bikes, and within six months he had sold 15 rare beauties just to get things rolling.

That was some three years ago, and he was already looking toward the future and his goal to see his shop become a motorcycle focal point in L.A., a place to be enjoyed by visitors from around the globe. Which brings us to his second Heroes Motorcycles location, recently established on L.A.'s upscale, poshy Melrose Avenue to serve as the showcase for the restorations completed at the original workshop on La Brea Avenue.






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