The interview on me was done a few weeks ago and was out in the New Straits Times papers on the 13th of Feb 2010. The writer also has a blog and had posted her interview with me there as well.
Enjoy the article.
Story and Photos by Grace Chen
Ask Terry Gallyot, Mr Asia 1999, who the real love in his life is and he’ll tell you it’s none other than his Harley Softail Springer 92/93. Of course, there is a Penang girl in the picture, but we will not go there. CBT is not a gossip pullout.
Just for a bit of epiphany, the Harley is Gallyot’s second ‘wife’ and it was very much a case of love at first sight when this muscle hunk set eyes on the V-twin 1340 cc stunner at a friend’s workshop in 1998 and decided that it was time for him to part ways with his Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic which he had been riding on for the past six years.
Parting with the Vulcan, as Gallyot reveals, was one of those long goodbyes. After all, it was the Vulcan that got him initiated into Headhunters MC, a motorbike club. Man and machine were initiated into the club in Phuket and while Gallyot prefers to keep the details of his initiation rite private, he discloses that it is not uncommon for newcomers to have to walk around in a box or to have their eyes blindfolded as they are asked to drink a ‘mysterious’ concoction.
Still, the split was inevitable. Gallyot has no regrets however, as he reckons that the Kawasaki had been the closest thing he could afford at that time and any avid biker will tell you that having any bike was better than none.
“Just like wanting to be a bodybuilder has always been in me, it’s the same way with the Harley. When I saw it gleaming at me in the workshop, I knew that we were meant to be together and the first sign was in the Malaccan number plate, my hometown,” recalls Gallyot.
To show off his new ride, one of the very first things that Gallyot did was to make a grand entrance with his new metal bride at the Mr Commonwealth event Melaka in 1998.
“When I reached the check-in area, there was a mixed reaction when I walked in with my leather outfit and Headhunter vest. I must have looked like a character out of ‘Terminator’ which was a stark difference from the other competitors who were looking tense and nervous,” recalls Gallyot who earned a second place in the event.
Gallyot’s affair with his Harley was no doubt an intense one. In the early days of their courtship, it was quite the custom thing for Gallyot to do a disappearing act (even while his gym was running on full!) just so that he could take his bike out for a quickie- a ride round the block and back. These, insisted this 125kg owner of Ultimate Gym in Wangsa Maju, were orgasmic moments. The rumble, the response of the throttle, the very thrill of riding on a Harley-it is a subject that Gallyot could write a book on.
“The Harley is a sturdy construction of steel, not unlike the Japanese models which is full of plastic bits which can easily shatter into smithereens on impact. A Harley however, can cut right through a car. That’s how tough it is,” says Gallyot
For Gallyot and his iron horse, being hefty, tough and macho is what life should be about.
“Don’t even suggest the idea of having ‘Hello Kitty’ painted on my bike. I’d break it!” exclaims Gallyot.
Not the type who will shy away from intimate details, it does not take much for Gallyot to talk about the more personal aspects of his machine.
To increase performance power, a two into one Thunderheader exhaust was fitted to boost back pressure and compression. The original fuel tank was replaced with a bigger 5 gallon tank and at present is able to go to about 350km on a full tank. That works out to about RM30 for a ride from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. A high flow petcock and an S & S carburetor was also added on. As Gallyot describes it, an extra bit of surge would be a great help especially when it comes to moving a King Kong sized rider like him along.
For better braking, twin calipers have been installed on both sides.
“I thought a bit of added braking power would come in handy when it comes to stopping. After all my bike and I are pretty heavy,” says Gallyot.
He also opted for drag handle bars for aerodynamic purposes and a La Pera Gunfighter seat for a more streamlined look, just so that it would not look like he was sitting on an overstuffed pillow. For a touch of unique subtlety, a special kind of black on black wrinkle effect paint in the shape of flames was airbrushed on the front fender. To give the wheels a chunkier look, Gallyot opted for Fat Boy solid aluminium disc rims. The engine and the Softail rolling chassis remains untouched as Gallyot does not want to run the risk of ruining the bike’s soul.
Expectedly, man and machine had some wild days. In the past, before the running of Ultimate Gym took up most of his waking hours, Gallyot would ride down to Hard Rock Café on Fridays, wait till the place was near closing time, jam the front brakes and spin the back wheels and smoke the place out.
“On one side, the manager would be running up to me and telling me to stop because he was afraid that I would chase all his customers away. The customers, on the other hand, would be clapping and asking me to do more,” laughs Gallyot.
For someone who is prone to such crazy stunts, it is sobering to hear Gallyot’s reminder that at any time, a motorbike will only have 2.54 cm of tyre touching the ground. That’s not much traction to speak of and the risk of losing that balance is ever present.
“If you wipeout, you might kill an innocent bystander. Remember that this person may have family and children. Killing him will effect everybody around him. So just think of that the next time you decide to have a few seconds of thrill,” says Gallyot.
For more bike and muscle talk with Gallyot, he can be found at Ultimate Gym, 12-2, Jalan 1/27F, K.L.S.C. Wangsa Maju, 53300, KL. Tel: 03-41436214. Open from 12pm.