Mid-life career swerves don’t come much bigger than Matias Corea’s. The Barcelona native co-founded Behance, the world’s largest online creative network. But he then left the company to ride from New York to Patagonia on board a BMW R80G/S Paris-Dakar.
A book about the journey followed—Two Wheels South—and Matias now uses his multi-faceted skills to customize classic BMW motorcycles under the banner of Brooklyn-based Myth Motor.
Long distance riding is in Matias’ blood, and Myth Motor gives other riders the tools to create their own memories. “The core idea is to enable adventures on these beautiful airheads we love so much,” says Matias.
“Some dream of a six-month intercontinental journey, and some want smaller two-week journeys from time to time. Others prefer the thrill of peeling off for the weekend into the dirt roads of their home state.”
“In the beginning, I was focused on building a machine that would be perfect for the long-distance adventure traveler. But I saw the opportunity to expand the offering to three different types of setups—Touring and Enduro, as well as Adventure.”
This particular bike was built for Eric Della Vedova, a man who is passionate about BMW. He owns a stock 1985 R80 G/S, but wanted more power, better handling, and a better riding position.
“Eric is 6’2″ and the stock airheads are a size too small,” says Matias. “So, he asked me to build his next touring machine.” The donor bike was to be a 1984 R80 ST, the dual sport OG.
Matias has installed a taller KTM front end with 11.8 inches (300mm) of travel, collaborating with an ex-Renault mechanical engineer to design a new aluminum triple tree for mounting the 48mm WP forks and custom bar risers.
The tree has two sets of holes: one for mounting an HPN faring, and another set for the stock G/S headlight bucket that Matias uses on his enduro builds. The plan is to reproduce the trees and risers for a range of proprietary Myth parts to go on sale in the future.
The Myth risers lift the center of the bar 1.7 inches (45 mm) higher than stock. They clamp onto aluminum alloy Magura bars, which have a taller bend than usual—to move the rider’s hand position considerably higher.
Lowering the foot pegs 1.5 inches also allows for a more relaxed and comfortable position, for long days in the saddle. “The combination of higher bars and lower pegs makes the standing position for off-roading much more comfortable than the stock G/S,” Matias notes.
The taller forks are matched to an elongated 15.7-inch swing arm that extends the wheelbase by four inches—increasing stability and reducing the ‘jacking’ effect of the BMW Monolever. It also makes the bike considerably taller, improving Eric’s riding comfort still further.
To give Eric the extra power he was looking for, Matias has rebuilt the engine from scratch, using a 1070cc Siebenrock kit with slightly shorter than usual ‘touring’ conrods, for more torque at lower revs. The pistons are 98mm short-skirt items; like other key components they have been balanced, and all the seals, clips and bearings are new.
To get more power out of that configuration, Matias also dual-plugged the heads and increased the intake valve size. With the rally air filter and a fairly ‘open’ Siebenrock exhaust, the R80 also needed an upgrade from 32mm to 40mm Bing carbs.
Temperatures are kept in check with a new seven-row cooler, with high-flow stainless steel lines and a mechanical thermostat.
The electrical side is robust rather than revolutionary, with a little help from Moto Borgotaro. “Eric likes being self-reliant and wants to maintain his bike,” says Matias. “So, I used an EME electronic ignition and charging system—they are reliable and plug into the main harness.”
To stiffen the frame and improve handling, the frame was reinforced with 12 plates, and the subframe is modified and pivoted upwards to allow for the increased swing arm travel. Matias then added a built-in luggage rack and new diagonal struts for longevity and rigidity, plus a mount for the exhaust and a locking mechanism for the seat.
“The seat needed to be slightly taller, to make the position more comfortable,” he says. “I turned to my dear friend Seba Achaval from One Eye Deer and we built it on top of a new G/S solo seat pan.”
It’s sculpted with memory foam and has been upholstered with vinyl side panels and an Alcantara top (for an anti-slide effect) by Ginger McCabe from New Church Moto.
The touring tank is from an R100GS and holds 6.4 gallons: “Big enough for a long day’s ride—but much smaller visually than the 11.4-gallon HPN tank that I use on our Adventure model.”
The wheels are certainly built for adventure: they’re 21- and 18-inch Takasago Excel rims with heavy-duty spokes. And if things get out of hand, Eric can squeeze on a 320mm front rotor with a modern Brembo caliper.
Matias has finished off the BMW with understated monochrome paint, plus a splash of warm red on the fairing and swingarm. Like everything else on this bike, it’s beautifully judged—and will stand the test of time. Eric now has the perfect companion for his adventures, wherever they may take him.