Serge Bueno

Serge Bueno is a mix of know-how, curiosity, joie-de-vivre and perfectionism. His success is not just a stroke of luck, but the story of a man who has nurtured a dream, an ambition for years. He developed his project while convinced that this would be his destiny because it couldn't be any other way.

He has an unflinching low for working with materials, beauty, luxury, classic motorcycles and unyielding loyalty to his dream, his quest, his ultimate goal: America! Heroes Motors is all that, the American dream in its pure state!


“When did your passion for motorcycles begin?”

It started when I was rather young, at the age of 10. My big brother did motocross, he had a 50ty, and I loved it! One thing led to another, my passion grew and, at the age of 19 I got my first motorcycle: a Yamaha 600xt. I took to the road alone, seeking adventure, in the south.

I like being alone, I like these moments of encounters with myself, my motorcycle, the road that spreads out before my eyes. And for me, this was a great moment of happiness, freedom, independence. I went to the Kon Tiki camp ground in Saint-Tropez. The idyllic beaches of Saint-Tropez and Pampelonne, magical evenings at Les Caves du Roy, the tarte Tropezienne...


“let’s go back to your love of motorcycles. When did your love of restoring classic motorcycles start?” 

It started when l was 25 years old, at a flea market in Vincennes. A man was selling a Peugeot 350 from 1936. I fell in love. I convinced him to sell it to me and that‘s when it all started! From that day on, I spent every evening after work restoring it. The satisfaction that I felt once the work was done was a revelation! That’s how my love was triggered for classic motorcycles and restoring them.


“Why the classics?”

It's very Simple, they have a story, they carry the past, an art of living, and know-how. They represent a moment In life, they speak to us about times that are no more.

I went to architecture school, then I went to a school of fine arts where l studied painting and modeling, and then I studied engineering. I’m very curious and especially, a "jack of all trades"! If something interests me, I’m going to do everything necessary to keep learning more about the subject. 

I like working with wood, steel, leather, paint. Everything is useful to me in my work.

Everything is the result of a recipe: / needed all these ingredients. This learning brought me to where I am today.


“Between the revelation and today, twenty years have gone by…”

 After architecture school, I worked at a firm for 2 years. I didn’t like it. I preferred building instead of creating plans. Something was missing. 

In the 90s, by chance I became involved in information technology. I started learning desktop publishing. And one day, there was a call to tender for an IT firm and I was chosen. I founded my company, I managed it for 17 years and then I sold it in 2008.


“You still had room for your passion?”

 I had the chance to earn enough to live comfortably rather than quickly. At my home in Paris, I created a veritable workshop in my garage. That was how l developed my passion for classic motorcycles. I was so well-equipped that I could have build a rocket! I could go to my garage at 10 pm and not come out before 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning.


“What did you do with all those motorcycles?”

 Two things: I stored certain motorcycles in crates like fine wine and I told my friends that one day, I would open them in Los Angeles. That‘s what I did. And for others, l presented them at trade shows, in which I was often invited as a specialist in Collector’s motorcycles, Legends, etc.. 

I had the good fortune to be invited by Bonhams to the Grand Palais for auctions.

I developed a large network of famous people. I wanted excellence, I didn’t hesitate to spend ridiculous amounts for a motorcycle, even if it was only a wreck because I knew that I could make It a work of art and that it was a good investment. I built a reputation for myself and that allowed me to sell motorcycles at very high prices from the beginning, which allowed me to buy others.


“Did you need help at some point, after having accumulated so many motorcycles?”

Let’s say that between my work, looking for that rare pearl, my family life, I started to be a little limited on time. Especially when I was taking 6 months to restore a motorcycle. And then one day, about ten years ago, I had a wonderful encounter during a trip to Normandy. I met a mechanic and sculptor who worked for a museum,

Xavier Parent. He was riding I00km per day to go to work. So I offered him a deal: to work at my house for the same salary. I built his workshop at his home, with a paint booth, etc. And, to this day, he only works for me and dedicates himself to creating sculptures. He has helped me a lot.


“How did this need or desire to go to America come to you?”

In 2008, I wanted to make a change. I didn't like all that was happening In France. My children were growing up and I wanted to offer them something else. I don't know, like a need to share with them the notion that everything is possible, provided that you give yourself the resources, the work ethic, a willingness to work hard, persevere, passion...

I knew that we could find all that in America. So, in 2008, I sold everything, I packed up my Wife and children and we went towards an uncertain future that foretold numerous challenges. But, for us, it was time to write the next page of our story. My wife and I decided to go live in Las Angeles, Everything was plan am we had just signed the papers to buy a house.


“You speak in the past tense?”

Yes. because we didn’t leave. When we returned to Paris to finalize our departure, I was offered a job that I couldn't refuse, It was to last for 2 years. It was a real challenge! I have never regretted this adventure. But, despite everything, the call of Los Angeles, and especially, to create my project, was louder and louder. So, in 2010. Once the company was going well, I was able to leave with a clear conscience and tackle my own challenge.


“But why Los Angeles?” 

At the end of my architectural studies. I was 21 and really needed a break. I went to Los Angeles to join a friend. And there, it was love at first sight! It was obvious, my life was here. Everything I was looking for was in California! Upon my return to France, my goal was to prepare myself to come [we in America in the near future.


“So during all that time, you never stopped nurturing and fueling this dream?”

 Yes. I met my wife at a very young age and I always talked to her about this dream. Well, about this reality, that one day. I‘d live in the USA. Muriel grew with my dream. We're a team, my quest became hers. And today, despite the sacrifices, leaving family behind, among other things, she doesn't regret it for an instant and neither do the children.


“in 2010, you finally arrived in LA?”

When we got there, we didn‘t know anyone! But the good news was that we arrived with good financial support. I was able to launch my project with peace of mind.

The first year, I had to develop a network to understand the city. Little by little. We met people. And one day, I met Thierry Guetta. He was the one who found my space!


“Thierry Guetta, Mr Brainwash”

Yes, it was here, in this space, that the Brainwash adventure began. He told me that it had brought him luck, the same would happen for me!

 I took over the space, there was nothing there. I thought about everything. I closed myself up in here for 6 months. I wanted to be alone, I needed this solitude to think, create and breathe life into the project. in the same space, I wanted a workshop, showroom, offices, a bar, and a boutique. In this way, as soon as my customers arrive, they understand the meaning behind Heroes. In the end, I bring together luxury and know-how, history and passion. 

When I received visits from celebrities like Olivier Martinez, Johnny Hallyday, Arnold Schwarzenegger, they were receptive to the refinement of the place and happy to have access to a restoration workshop.


“What is the concept of Heroes?”

 Selling luxury motorcycles, collectors’ motorcycles, dining services in collaboration with the best artisans and use of the most refined materials. Customizing my own motorcycles: meaning taking a motorcycle, creating it in my image, creating limited series and creating a line of derivative products. Offering beautiful leather seating, t-shirts "Made in L.A.", custom leather handles made in Los Angeles, helmets... I had planned everything, all the visual aspects, communication, stickers, leather jackets...


“What was your plan of attack once the space was completed?”

 Selling vintage motorcycles, it’s not easy because there are experts! It takes real products with a complete pedigree. it takes excellence! 

I worked a lot on the image of Heroes, especially via my website. There you’ll find my press clippings, my story, everything is there: more than 20 years of passion, work, and experience! I had the need and feeling that the future buyer was going to understand and absorb the Heroes concept. It was essential to share that on my site. I sell practically all my motorcycles through the website, I use the social networks a lot. With Instagram, I’ve established a bond of trust with my followers, I wanted it to be organic and to expand very quickly.

Heroes is more than a brand, it’s a way of living, a lifestyle.


“Was the first sale difficult?”

Believe it or not, the day after opening, I sold my 1st motorcycle: a Vincent, the Bentley of motorcycles! It sells for between $100,000 and $150,000. So I signed up with the Hollywood Club of Vincent in California to receive their newsletter, which provides all the email addresses of all owners of Vincents in California. That way, I had a pool of 600 potential customers. l started to send emails in which I put my Vincent up for sale. The very same night, I got a call from someone wanting to buy it.


“And then, what did you do?”

  After that sale, I was very busy in the workshop. I’d bought some motorcycles at auction in Las Vegas to restore them. I needed time to build the image of Heroes. I had to develop my contacts in the restoration field and I didn’t know anyone who could create the chrome parts or machine large parts because l didn’t have the tools... I went to the Valley, Burbank, Hollywood, and l was able to develop a network of subcontractors who provide me with leather, paint, and chrome.

Once again, I had some exceptional encounters. All these people were veritable artists. Right now, Ge Targino is working with me in the workshop. He has incredible precision and talent. The first year I participated in the elegance competition of Beverly Hills and I won the first prize. Next, I competed In the Steve Mc Queen Show and I also won the first prize.


“How and where did you find these motorcycles?”

 It's my agent in Europe, Eric Levi, who uncovers the rare times. I met him at a trade show 15 years ago. He's a key character in the Heroes adventure. Once the motorcycles are found, l go to Europe to select them at the sites of resellers.: this winter, l found a rare jewel: a Majestic, streamlined in 1929, a French motorcycle released in only 100 copies, valued at $250 000 to $400,000. I restored it and then sold it to a museum in Dallas.


“I am told that you created your own prototype”

Yes, that’s true. I needed a basic modern motorcycle, I had the idea of building the same motorcycle in a limited series of 10 models, with steel available and treated in different colors. l designed it and built it entirely: the gas tank is made of flat aluminum sheet that's, cut, welded, formed and worked on an English wheel, l modified the frame, the horizontal suspension, it’s a first, seat, light, handle bars... All the parts are manufactured here. Once it’s complete, I’m going to completely disassemble it and subcontract the fabrication of parts because I can’t do that from my workshop. But everything will be produced in California based on my prototype.


“you exhibit and also sell miniature bronze sculptures of classic motorcycles.”

With Xavier Parent, we share some Vision on racing motorcycles from the beginning of the century... and I entrusted him with a project that has been ripe for a long time: making bronze sculptures of these fabulous motorcycles. Reproduced at half scale, we create them in a limited series of 8 copies. it’s around 2 months of work, all branded Heroes Motors. Right now, Xavier is working on a Norton.


“What’s next?”

It’s a small in the workshop. The idea would be to keep this space for restoration and move the showroom to Beverly Hills or Malibu with a lounge area, boutique, bar, and artistic exhibitions. I don‘t want to part with this workshop because I’m too attached to it. My motorcycles are born here, the place holds this soul, creation, resurrection almost!


“What is your ultimate goal?” 

To be recognized as a specialist in classic motorcycles! I want to share my passion, it’s a source of pride to show the quality of my work.


Serge Bueno



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