PLANET ME­CHANIC What’s it like for an ex-pat me­chanic Down Un­der?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

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’

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