Motorcycle Throwback - The 1929 Majestic
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Motorcycle Throwback - The 1929 Majestic

Something about the late 1920's made motorcycle manufacturers want to branch away from the ordinary and into the future. With bikes like the 1928 Neander popping up, designers and inventers were stretching the bounds of today into the ideas of tomorrow. And, in 1929, the Majestic popped up in France. This new motorcycle was the response of Frenchman Georges Roy to the new love of art deco and the obsession with the futuristic. Just by looking at the sheer design of the chassis it is obvious that this bike was not meant to compete with the more practical motorcycles of the time, but to corner a new market all on its own.

This motorcycle was first seen in its prototype form in a 1928 Paris Motorcycle Show with a Cleveland engine, which was perfect amount of power for this machine. With much more weight than the typical motorcycle of the time due to the added bodywork needed to fully enclose the engine, the average engine of that time just wasn't enough. Unfortunately, after the prototype was put into a more commercial form, the Majestic was produced with several engines such as a JAP, Train and Chaise. While the motorcycle's form screamed of speed and modernity, these particular engines proved to not be quite enough to cut it, which may have contributed to the motorcycle's short production lifespan.

The body style itself was the main unique component of the motorcycle (if you couldn't already tell). No other motorcycle of the time had an engine that was fully enclosed. This new style was meant to be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye as it kept hidden all of the "unsightly bits and pieces" of a motorcycle. This design was the ultimate tourer of the time and became dubbed the "new motorcycle" of the day and age. This unique body was made with two identical pieces of pressed metal that was punctuated with louvers to allow the engine to breathe. And even though the motorcycle looks like a beast compared to the motorcycles of the time, the steering system was rather well designed for the size of the chassis. It was the first to use the center hub steering design but it was the best of that design at the time.

The 1929 Majestic   This motorcycle used center hub steering that was far better than any seen before.
The 1929 Majestic's chassis was made of two idenical pieces of pressed metal punctuated with louvers for circulation.   This motorcycle used center hub steering that was far better than any seen before.

But whether it was because of the unpractical modern design of the motorcycle or because the engine it was produced with was slightly lack-luster compared to the prototype, the 1929 Majestic only made it to the year 1933 where it sputtered out. Now, this motorcycle is merely a quirky blurp on the motorcycle radar history.

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