1929 Majestic

1929 Majestic motorcycle with Chaise engine
This extraordinary French motorcycle from between the wars was spotted by Paul d’Orléans in Bavaria recently. He sums it up perfectly: “The Majestic is the physical embodiment of the Art Deco aesthetic, a streamlined torpedo which suggests Speed and Modernity.”

The real innovation is at the front—this is one of the first motorcycles to feature hub-centered steering (as beloved by Bimota of late). And yes, the front also has sliding pillar suspension, similar to that on a Lancia Lambda or early Morgan.

D’Orléans was lucky enough to ride this machine, but the styling apparently promises more than the 500 cc Chaise engine can deliver. Still, it’s hard not to be seduced by those swooping lines in light-gauge steel, beautifully accentuated by classic French racing blue paintwork. For that, we could forgive just about anything. [Image by Paul d’Orléans.]