“IT’S pronounced “Moto-chick-low”. The name comes from the compliance plate of all these old Ducatis, Moto Guzzis, Laverdas, Morinis…it’s stamped ‘Motociclo’ on the plate which means ‘motorcycle’.
“We do a lot of work on early Moto Guzzis here. I just picked up three this morning. As far as I know, no-one else in Sydney is working on the early Moto Guzzis. Other shops only do the new stuff. Here we’ll work on Laverdas, Ducatis, Moto Guzzis, Moto Morinis, early and late Triumphs, early BMWs—basically anything European. A lot of this stuff normal bike shops wouldn’t touch.
“We’re also the exclusive dealer for Moto Morinis. They’re a prestige Italian bike. It’s 1200 cc. It’s got a lot of culture behind it because it’s just as old as Ducati and it’s still owned by the same family—pure Italian machine.
“We also provide all this authentic name-brand classic stuff like Davida, Lewis Leathers, Stag jackets, Walden Miller, Gauntlets, American Engineers boots, Halcyon goggles, t-shirts, wax cotton oilskin, and lots of other stuff. We’re also an authorised outlet for Ace Café merchandise.
“My background’s Jack Graham Motorcycles—I did an apprenticeship there. I’m personally more into the British bikes. But at this shop we’ve been focusing on European bikes because there’s really no-one else around who’s doing it. It’s pretty hard to work on British bikes and maintain the overheads needed for a city shop. As you know, you might have a British bike on a hoist for three days working on a problem and you can’t really charge for that.
“We’ve been looking desperately for another mechanic for two years now, and it’s just so hard to find someone else who’s qualified to work on all this stuff. Out of all of these bikes you see on the floor (about 25), only five aren’t waiting for work. So we don’t really advertise the workshop because we just don’t have the manpower to get through all the bikes we’ve got waiting.
“It’s just us two (John and Nicole) so it’s taken us a while to get where we are now, and we’re almost where we want to be with the shop. We’re selling all the brands we originally wanted to sell, and we’re working on a good amount of bikes. If we can just find another qualified mechanic we’ll be set. We don’t want to get too big though because we’ve only got so much space here. A lot of the older guys love the smaller shop because it reminds them of how shops used to be in Sydney.”