Bike Find of the Day – George Roy's 1929 Majestic
The Majestic is an excellent example of the the Art Deco aesthetic. The bike is a streamliner.
Structurally, the machine features a light-gauge steel body and a 500cc engine compartment covered with mesh, and the body includes louvers to dissipate heat.
The really innovative feature of this bike was the hub-center steering via sliding pillars along either side of the front wheel. The rear suspension is of a rigid design in keeping with the standard of the day.
Design work began on Roy’s “New Motorcycle” in 1920, but his machine finally hit the market in 1927. The Majestic was built at Chatenay Malabry and was exported to Germany and Czechoslovakia.
This machine’s originality lay principally in its pressed-steel frame, a construction technique which began a trend that would reach its zenith in the late 1930s. Its builder’s real innovative genius lay in his use of the techniques of steel pressing while he minimized the potentially enormous investment in presses and forming machines.
The frame would can be accurately described as a rolled – rather than pressed – steel construction and was cut out in advance and shaped before being riveted together.
This version of the New Motorcycle used the single-overhead-camshaft 500cc Chaise power unit, which originally appeared in 1928. Overhead-valve versions came out in 1928.
The original concept of the Majestic was to create a two-wheeled competitor for delightfully “streamlined” cars of the day.
The New Motorcycle featured a production run from 1929-34…
1929 Majestic Specifications
- Engine: 502cc (90x79mm) air-cooled Chaise single-cylinder four-stroke; splash lubrication
- Power Rating: 14 hp @ 3800 rpm
- Valves: parallel overhead
- Fuel System: carburetor
- Transmission: multiplate dry clutch; 3-speed hand-shift, chain final drive
- Suspension: girder forks (front); rigid (rear)
- Brakes: 6.7 inch drum (front & rear)
- Wheels: 3.50×19 inch or Confort Bibendum balloon tires (front & rear)