MYMSA motorbike. Film still.


MYMSA (Motores y Motos, S.A.) is the name of a company that produced motors, motorcycles, micro-cars, and special vehicles in post-war Spain. It was founded by the Aragall brothers two years after they designed and produced their first motorcycle in 1951. The move was natural for them as they had grown up in their father’s repair shop. Their father, Francisco Aragall, had worked in a Ford factory for a few years before he started his own business, where he not only repaired vehicles but also developed his own models by adapting and adding mechanical improvements to obsolete truck frames.


Between 1953 and 1963 they supplied a self-sufficient market, which, due to the car fabrication restrictions imposed by Franco, dealt with motorcycles. MYMSA motorcycles were well known for their toughness and reliability, making them very popular.


MYMSA’s decline started when Franco’s government created SEAT, a state-owned vehicle production company. The SEAT 600, its first and most popular model, was launched in 1957 and coped with market expectations.


The brothers were marked by this entrepreneurial failure. 

This loose connection to my region made me choose this particular model, and so I emailed Josep and Jaume Aragall with a proposal to take part in an art project that I described as follows:


To film a local industrial legacy with current robotic means of production. 

 Josep and Jaume are cousins, sons of the company founders. Although they have no professional or amateur interest in mechanics and/or the automotive industry, they decided to invest in the family’s industrial legacy by acquiring and restoring MYMSA motorcycles. When MYMSA closed, the family was left without any motorbikes.


They accepted my proposal and so I got to visit the ‘small museum’ they run in the garage of a warehouse building in Santa Perpètua de la Moguda (Barcelona). This ‘museum’ works as a tiny factory distributed in three different spaces: a storage room for purchased motorbikes and other materials connects to a small restoration workshop with access to the actual exhibition space, where the motorbikes, once restored, are shown together with graphic material.


They lent me a motorbike and Joan, the one and only worker at the ‘museum’, brought it over to the film set at the Barcelona Fab-Lab. We signed a loan document and I paid an insurance fee that covered an item valued at €12,000 – a motorbike that was restored for exhibition purposes and does not run.

Monument to LUBE in Lutxana, Basque Country. 35 mm b/w negative scan.

One MYMSA motorbike

Exhibition details. Digital photography. Copyright by Sant Andreu Contemporani.


MYMSA A-1 was their first model and was based on an existing system called Schürnle, patented by DKW in 1929 and classified as public domain after World Word Two. It was publicly presented at the Barcelona Fair of 1953, and all its parts were produced in-house. Its initial yearly production was nine units, which were produced in Talleres Aragall. MYMSA A-1 was first produced in series in 1965; the total yearly production amounted to 263 motorcycles.


Series were made up of about six units each, all of which remained statically held to benches throughout the complete production process. Workers moved around the benches, repeating each action six times before moving on to the next. Serial production is a concept that evolved parallel to technological development and organisational engineering. Today, motorcycles move along robotised assembly chains. Six-axis robotic arms perform many of the activities previously executed by humans. KUKA Robotics is the main robotic-arm producer for the automotive industry. A German company, its Spanish branch is located at 54 Argullós Street in Barcelona, not far from Carrer Clot, where Talleres Aragall originally stood.


MYMSA X-13 was first produced in 1957. The metallic covering of its structural elements makes it different from previous MYMSA models. Its design is inspired by Lube Rehn, produced by NSU-Lube, a company based in the Basque Country in Spain, whose inspiration lay in German motorbikes.

Jaume and Josep Aragall felt proud to have MYMSA star in an art project. Moreover, it was shown in an exhibition that took place at Fabra i Coats, an old factory restored as an art institution, which is located very close to where MYMSA used to stand.

Housing where MYMSA used to stand. 35 mm b/w negative scan.

MYMSA 'museum'. 35 mm b/w negative scan.

Joan at work. 35 mm b/w negative scan.