The BMW Motorrad ‘Storied’ Series: Matias Corea of Myth Motor

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
Every one of Matias Corea’s endeavors bears the same hallmark. When it comes to brands, physical spaces, or the motorcycles that he builds as Myth Motor, he knows when something isn’t designed as well as it should be. And he has the know-how and zeal to make it better.

“Design is at the core of who I am, and how I look at life,” Corea states. “I’m a designer 24 hours a day. For me, it’s impossible to stop. So, when I have to make anything, it has to come from a lens of design, aesthetics, communication, and storytelling.”

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
In 2005, after moving from Barcelona to New York, Corea co-founded the prolific art and design portfolio website Behance. Behance was acquired by Adobe in 2012, and Corea spent three more years working for the company before deciding to move on. But his next challenge would turn out to be a deeply personal one.

Six months after leaving Behance, his sister passed away unexpectedly, sending him into a continual loop of grief and introspection. At the time, Corea had hit pause on his plans to ride with his friend, Joel, from Brooklyn to Ushuaia, Argentina. But as it turned out, that adventure was exactly what he needed to kick-start his next chapter.

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
“I thought, ‘What would I do if I had very little time left?’ And I rekindled the idea of the trip. It was clear; it was just like thunder. It mixed adventure, it mixed leaving this reality or this specific context. It meant reuniting with my friend, it meant photography, it meant motorcycles, of course, and it meant travel.”

Corea has been riding motorcycles since he was a teenager, but his love affair with classic BMW boxers came sometime later. Joel’s father had owned a 1976-model R 60/6 that had eventually been passed on to Joel’s cousin—and it was time for Joel to get it back.

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
“It was like a movie,” says Corea. “We went to a little street in Gracia, in a very small neighborhood in Barcelona. We got into one of those alleyways that don’t exist anymore, inside a building where there were little studios, and one of them was an old wood shop full of wood. It was 5 p.m., so the light was coming through and there was dust in the air.”

“The bike was there, under a tarp. My balls just dropped to the ground. It was the most beautiful motorcycle I’d ever seen.”

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
“We took a trip, very much a Motorcycle Diaries trip; a few months later after that, where we went down south. That kick-started our 20-year story arc of Two Wheels South. There’s a beautiful Polaroid of us coming back from that trip, with no gear whatsoever. The rings were gone, it was smoking everywhere. That bike could’ve killed us. But that started it all.”

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
After owning a few vintage boxers of his own, Corea made another friend that would impact his life significantly; Peter Boggia, owner of the specialist vintage European motorcycle workshop, Moto Borgotaro. Corea was impressed not only by Boggia’s knowledge, but also his willingness to share that knowledge.

The two never discussed the cost of the work though, and when Corea went to pick his bike up, the bill was a lot higher than he expected. While he begrudgingly cut Boggia a check, he found himself taking note of the logo on the invoice—and the rest of Moto Borgataro’s corporate identity. “I just went and gave him an unrequested design review of his brand,” he quips.

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
It was an awkward moment for Corea and Boggia, but it had an impact. The next day, Boggia called Corea and offered a trade exchange: motorcycle services for design. Corea mulled it over and then reacted with a counteroffer: design for instruction on how to repair his bike himself.

That connection sent Corea on the path to servicing his own motorcycle, then restoring an old BMW boxer, and eventually prepping his own BMW R 80 G/S Paris-Dakar for his north-to-south trip. Before long, Myth Motor was born—a New York-based custom motorcycle workshop, specializing in adventure-born BMW boxers.

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
There’s a sense of excitement in the Myth Motor workshop. Corea is diligently preparing two BMW airhead motorcycles, on which he and Joel will soon traverse from Barcelona, Spain, to Cape Town, South Africa.

Corea leverages his experience to refine, improve, and perfect his idea of the perfect overland motorcycle. And that counts for everything, right down to choosing steel over aluminum for certain parts, because steel welders are easier to find in remote places. The fact that Corea’s custom motorcycles are visually stunning is hardly happenstance.

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
“Because what is motorcycle design?” he asks. “It’s performance, ergonomics, convenience, and style. It’s the process of thinking through everything. The bikes look like crap until a month before I’m about to get it done. I don’t think about the paint job, because that’s not my problem. If it’s good or bad, the paint job could be flowers … I still need to take this bike to Africa.”

So, what awaits Corea once he’s completed his next big adventure? He’s not entirely sure, but he’s keen on figuring it out.

The BMW Motorrad Storied Series with Matias Corea
“I am a very one-step-at-a-time kind of guy. I think about the very end, but then when I’m in it, when people ask, ‘How did you go from here to Patagonia?’ One mile at a time. That’s all you need to think about.”

Storied: 100 Years of BMW Motorcycling is a three-part video series and limited edition print piece by The Simple Machine, created with support from BMW Motorrad USA. This is part one; read part two and part three.

Video directed and edited by Roberto Serrini | Additional images by Matias Corea and Ryan Handt

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