Welcome back to Behind The Bars, The Bullitt’s celebration of the humans behind the machines we love. If you need a little refresher on what BtB is, last year over a bourbon or two, we decided it would be fun to profile some of the people who inspire us, challenge our point of view, or are just general badasses that make the motorcycle industry even more special.
Allow me to introduce Jose Gallina, a skilled creative deeply embedded in the motorcycle industry and currently based in sunny Southern California. While his name might not be an instant recall, chances are you’ve encountered his work – a portfolio of motorcycle photography that has found a home on prominent platforms like BikeEXIF and has become a familiar sight on our pages here as well. His photography captures a unique perspective — some of my personal favorites are of Noise Cycle’s ’52 Panhead.
Over the years, our paths have intersected countless times here in SoCal, cultivating a friendship rooted in a shared appreciation for motorcycles. Today, I invite you to delve a bit deeper into Jose’s story as we explore the nuances of his creative journey and his ongoing impact on the world of motorcycles.
Name: Jose Gallina
Company: SPEEDMILK / Jose Gallina
Tell us a little about yourself. Maybe a fun fact or something not commonly known.
My father is one of those guys that just is not about Harley-Davidson and sometimes I wonder how much of my love for choppers and nice Harley’s comes from the rebellious spirit I had in my youth.
Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I was born in Toronto, Canada. Now I live in South Orange County.
What do you do for a living?
I currently fill the role of Marketing Specialist for MV Agusta NA and I produce and shoot media. I also work on other motorcycle-related projects as well. One fun side project I’m involved in is an event I put together with a bud called ‘Italians Do Them Better‘ festival, which takes place in Los Angeles.
Speaking of other projects, I’ve been seeing some of the stuff you’ve been working on for SPEEDMILK but can you take a minute and let us know what that’s all about?
SPEEDMILK is really just meant to be something that all speed and machine fanatics can connect through. It’s for the people that like their bike stuff a little more elevated, a little more passionate, and a lot more raw. There is a printed zine that comes out as I finish them. The zines are mostly photographic, but the upcoming Vol. 5 does include a couple of interviews with some incredible motorsports artists. The bikes and other things I have featured in the printed magazine all spoke to me by having an element I found to be super unique, real and tasteful. I made some hats at one point and may develop a few more garments here shortly. I just want to give the unique, the misfits, the obsessed, and the ones that really love the nice stuff an intersection to meet at, connect, feel understood, and get inspired. The world can always use one more custom bike, but it can really really use six more very nice(mostly Italian) ones. I also run some production projects under the name.
How does anyone interested follow along online and how do they get prints?
You can follow the @speedmilk Instagram! You can check out the OG Speedmilk Tumblr . I do make one-off prints of any of my photos if someone emails me. I sometimes still surprise myself when I look back at who has wanted my photographs on their walls. I also sell the zine on Big Cartel. There is no subscription since I don’t have a fixed deadline for them. I finish them as I can and when I feel like they are ‘perfect’.
Where do you want to take SPEEDMILK in the coming years?
I would like to focus a little bit more time into pushing the ideas I mentioned above. I want everyone to have a SPEEDMILK hat or garment and feel cool, understood and inspired by it. I hope I can inspire more people into falling deeper in love with their motorcycle or other fast machine. I want people to feel okay with pushing their creativity and expressing it in connection to their bike. One of the brand mottos is ‘Solace in Speed’.
What was the first bike you bought and why did you buy it?
The first I *bought* was a 1998 Sportster that I then did a mild build on with Scott Jones of NOISE Cycles. But the first bike I learned to ride on the streets with was a 1959 Ducati 175 with a 250 top and a 5-speed transmission. It as a close family friends and was always at our house and he told me ‘ride it like it’s yours’
What one person has influenced your interest in these machines – what about them helped form your ideas on this sport?
My father, Jesse James, Valentino – I can’t do just one. My father taught me to care for, and how to, every machine. Jesse taught me that hard work can pay off and that you shouldn’t take no for an answer or take shit from anyone. Rossi set the example that being fast, sexy, positive, kind and Italian is a good way to go.
You get to design your dream moto vacation for you and three buds, all expenses paid. Where do you go and why?
I have always wanted to ride the entire coast of Italy. Start in Torino and move West then go down and boat over onto Sicily. Come back up the East coast while visiting some small towns along the way. I would eventually stop and check out my friend Mikey’s hometown in the North East of Italy; he would be one of the 3 buds.
What’s a life lesson you learned from motorcycles?
I learned that if you prepare and you set everything right and you exercise a proper and reasonable amount of caution nothing is that dangerous.
Have motorcycles helped you discover some aspect of your personality and/or have they helped you understand your purpose?
Yes. That I just do not quit and if I want to or need to I can find solutions quickly and continue on my way.
You have $10k and one hour to buy a bike…. Go.
Bro, I like new exotic Italian bikes… but, today, I would find the nicest 999 I could. (For 10k)
When you’re not wrenching or riding, what else keeps you busy these days?
I go to the gym. I think about business ideas. I study.
Gear is a big part of this sport, what is one thing you cannot live without when riding?
My Bell Race Star DLX Flex. ProTint is the most clutch thing. I can ride from day until night and never have to stop or fumble around with anything on my helmet.
Name a designer (or individual), not in the moto space, that influences your work.
David Alexander Flinn – AKA: DAF, 50 Cent, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Leo Messi, Mike Ness, Coulter Jacobs, Colton Dobson and Marco Passaquindici, Pat Tenore, and Tim Cadiente.
Photo Inspo: Photography by David Alexander Flinn.Any previous builds or projects that you’re proud of, or surprised with public perception?
My ‘66 Harley. I still get DMs from dudes around the world giving me props on it.
Any cool projects/builds you’re currently working on?
I have some ideas… they would take $XXX,XXX to build, so maybe I can do it with the right client or wait until loaning money isn’t so expensive again. If you poke around @speedmilk you might gather a clue or two for what it could be.
What’s next for you? What project has your attention?
At this point I really want to put my full dedication into helping MV Agusta reach the heights it deserves to reach in the NA market. And I hope that the energy that comes from the actions here in NA have a positive effect on the brand that eventually boosts the entire thing globally.
You’re editing your own moto video – footage of you riding with best friends. What song opens the video?
We’re in this industry because it brings us joy. What was your most joyous day on a motorcycle to date?
Riding MY MV Agusta F4 RR. I just couldn’t believe it was mine. I owned an extremely sexy version of one of the most iconic motorcycles of all time.
Extra Credit #1 – This industry is small, so give a shout out to a few people who are doing something unique, interesting or worth copying.
Don’t copy anyone, but certainly take inspiration: Mikey Ojeda, Tyler Wheeland, Aaron Guardado, Shaun Guardado, Shaik Ridzwan, Kay.
Extra Credit #2 – Please nominate one additional personal that you think we should feature in “Behind the Bars”. Bonus points for females.
Anything important we forgot to ask, or anything else you want to add?
Be kind. Be honest with yourself. Learn who you are first and everything else becomes easier. If you don’t spend time to be healthy now you will spend time being sick later. You can never lose by helping others do better than they otherwise would. Oh and, I’m not a dick I just have a serious case of male RBF! So say ‘hello’! 🙂