PLANET MECHANIC What’s it like for an ex-pat mechanic Down Under?
Jeff Green, 53, has worked with Ducatis for 27 years. He built Foggy’s first race Ducatis and ran his own independent Ducati business until emigrating last year
“Over here in Australia I’ve never seen so many miles on Ducatis, but everything looks like it’s only six months old. I took the exhaust off a fiveyear-old Monster the other day and I could reuse the stud nuts. In the UK the nuts would be seized on.
“You can tell if a UK bike has gone through a winter as the gold finish on the fasteners will have been lost. Here the sign of a well-used bike is more likely to be when the rear tyre has gone down well past the wear bars.
“Ducati owners seem to be a global breed in that you’ve got serious riders who clock up the miles, as well as some posers. But our customers are more multi-national with big expatriate Italian and Greek communities, and a lot of Chinese and Vietnamese. The Asian guys have got the cash to buy the latest bikes, while the Europeans are into performance parts. But over here the cops will have you if you are a fraction over the 60mph motorway limit, so we sell a lot of Diavels, Monsters and now Scramblers.
“I’ve gone ‘back to the ranks’ as a technician at Ducati Melbourne after running my own business in the UK, but the cost of living is the same here and pay is 25% better. Getting a visa takes 12-14 months, but they need trained technicians.”
‘Five-year-old bikes look like they are six months old’