Motoring ahead

ON Saturday mornings the Uriarra Road garage of Eurotune Motorcycles fills with riders from across the region.

They stop by as much for the company and a chat over a cup of coffee with owner Anders Mykkeltvedt as to ogle the motorcycles on display.

"To a certain degree it's their club," Mr Mykkeltvedt said.

"They come in for a coffee and a chat, and we organise rides and we've had bands in here to play. It's a very strong little community," he said.

Eurotune Motorcycles first opened in Queanbeyan in 1982, and is the oldest Triumph Motorcycle dealer in the country.

It moved from its original location near Aldi in Queanbeyan over to Fyshwick in the mid-eighties, but has been back in Queanbeyan on Uriarra Road for the last 26 years.

Mr Mykkeltvedt said the current location was working well for the business, due to the cheaper rents on offer in Queanbeyan.

Being across the road from Jax Tyres was another bonus, he said.

"One of the biggest advantages [of trading in Queanbeyan] is lower rents, and it's easier to get a good location. It's very easy if you go to Fyshwick to find yourself lost in the wrong street and almost completely anonymous.

"And it's good to have Jax Tyres across the road. It's another automotive business in this area, and you find that while people are getting their tyres fitted, they come over for half an hour and look at all the bikes. Then they go home talking about what's going on at Eurotune," he said.

Eurotune is both a retailer and repairer of motorcycles. It sells Triumph, Ural and Royal Enfield Bikes, and the garage services most makes and models with skill and care.

The team includes experienced mechanic and Eurotune co-founder Aksel Martinsen as well as young mechanic Robert Douglas, while long-time receptionist Helen Whigham helps hold the admin side of the business together.

"After thirty or so years together with Aksel and Helen, we've settled into each other's foibles a bit I suppose," Mr Mykkeltvedt laughed.

While the store celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, Mr Mykkeltvedt said one of the biggest changes he'd seen in the industry during his time was the high turnover in motorcycle shops.

"The biggest change I've seen is just the sheer volume of bike shops that have opened and shut over the years. In Canberra, you've got three or four big shops that have been there a long time, but there's been plenty that have come and gone," he said.

As to the secret of Eurotune's success, it all came down to passion, Mr Mykkeltvedt said.

"We've stayed open during recessions and downturns when the people who worked here didn't get paid for a time [by choice]. I think that's the biggest secret- the passion for it, and putting more into the business that you take out," he said.

Visit Eurotune Motorcycles at 144 Uriarra Rd, Queanbeyan, or for more information, check out www.eurotunemotorcycles.com.

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