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  • Writer's pictureLawless

Mild and Wild

That Workshop where the Mechanic not technician has grease under the nails and petrol in the vein’s and doesn’t need to consult a book or a computer. Well I recon we’ve found another one! Mild and Wild, owned and operated by David Mercieca, Mild and Wild is making a name for themselves as the can doers of Sydney’s South West. A small 2 man operation located in Prestons (next door to Liverpool 40klm’s from the Sydney CBD) David and right hand man Brad Sharp have no problems finding work rather the opposite with word of mouth their best salesman. This has to be put down the 40years experience (both David and Brad each have twenty years service) the boy’s have raked up between them. David was brought up on an acreage just around the corner from his now workshop and as luck would have it across the road from LA Cycles owner and VTwin maestro Cows! Cow lived across the road from David’s farm and David would often watch Cow ride Harley’s he was working on or those he owned up and down the road. It wasn’t long after David like many young blokes got into dirt bikes and brought himself a YZ80 and as he grew up a few of his mates brought Harley’s. Already known for his mechanical prowess those same mates would take their bikes to the Mercieca family farm to work on their Harley’s. In 1992 David brought his first Harley Davidson. A 1971 Shovel that had been fully rebuilt by one of his Hot-Rod mates which he kept for 5 years. It wasn’t long after that Cow offered his enterprising young neighbor a job at LA Cycles. David did his time at LA Cycles and stayed on with Cow for ten years, leaving back in 2000. From there he worked with Fraser’s dealership for around a year but found working at a dealership too repetitious and got bored doing services.

David needed more and enjoyed doing custom and more adventurous work and decided to go his own way and in April of 2003 opened mild and wild. Business was good and all was looking rosy for David until tragically in December only eight months after opening the shop David was hit by a car breaking his back. It was six months before he could even walk and found himself having to take things one day at a time coming in the one day a week then two and then eventually full time. In 2006 with business going well Mild and Wild had out grown their original premises and David found himself in a situation where he could afford his own premises and brought a factory unit in Jedda rd Prestons and has never looked back. David still finds himself doing services but also finds himself in demand for the services of knocking up some of Sydney’s and maybe said Australia’s best radical custom rides. The first to give credit where credit is deserved David is quick to point out any of the metal fabrication isn’t done on site his reasoning for this is the fact that everyone who has tried to do everything in house has closed down! Saying “I know from experience the difficulty in trying to do every single thing to a bike on site and trying to make a living out of it, I decided to just stick to the mechanical side and assembly and making sure the bike goes together as best as could be possible!” Darryl from DM Fabrications does all fabrication on the shops creations. Right hand man Brad has been with David for the past three years, word got around that David was looking for someone so Brad decided to drop him a line and has been with Mild and Wild ever since. As mentioned Brad has been in the industry as long as David starting his career with Natli motorcycles at 18 years of age leaving at the ripe old age of thirty! Needing a change Brad worked on forklifts a while then South Coast Customs for a couple of years and then back to back where it all started Natli’s. As with David there was a 6mth stint at Fraser motorcycles in which Brad got here’s first taste of corporate business.

Swearing he will never go back Brad said it was the closes thing to working in an office or so he could imagine, give him a small work shop with a couple of blokes just brilliant! With the shop full of work from unhappy customers from other shops David goes on the defense of his comrades in the industry and even with all his experience David isn’t about to make any excuses making the point “Everyone makes mistakes even I make mistakes and all the other shops make mistakes and its easy to go around knocking people. But when you are actually in the industry and having a go it’s actually a lot harder than what you think! That’s why you see so many shops open and close which is especially true for the past five years.” You can’t buy knowledge or experience no matter how much money you have he says. Its been proven so many times with so many people with large bank accounts that have just gone out opened these custom shops taken out full page ads every month and poured enormous amounts of money into it only to close down in a couple of years! When it comes down to it they don’t know what they are doing. Brad and I started working on Shovels back in the mid to Late eighties and then EVO’s. So we have done our time and got our experience from way back then! Where a lot of people just jump in, buy a bike throw some chrome on it and think they are experts!” Another tip David has learnt over time is not to carry a lot of stock and just try to buy what you need. Mainly parts that wear out! David say’s its common practice for those starting out or pockets full of dollars to over capitalize in parts and spend say $30,000 on parts only to have $20,000 worth sit on the shelves for years and gather dust. It’s not to say Mild and Wild don’t carry parts or are unable to get your part quite the opposite with their long standing in the industry and vast resources Mild to Wild can get just about any part you need be it genuine Harley Davidson or after market and are now selected P&M dealers. Its only as David put it he would rather see the money put into the workshop than just sitting on a shelf gathering dust!

David also preaches caution when it comes to engine modification pointing out what seems to be fact that when you buy a bike you ride it and eventually you are going to get sick of the power! Your mates are going to do something to their bikes so you will feel the need to follow suit! Take not off a bloke that knows! David recommends just doing small alterations and ignores that urge to go over top! He says you go over top and you are going to break things and your bikes going to fall apart. You’ve got a bike that’s putting out 40hp and make it so it puts out a 100hp it aint going to stay the same. Just throw in a good cam, a bit of work to the head and compression and your going to enjoy the difference in power, be able to make it up those mountains and through the bends, keep up with your mates but most of all enjoy yourself. If you do decide on going all out on your whip straight up David has this to say “There are a lot of shops out there and no-bodies perfect, everyone makes mistakes. But when something happens sometimes the rider needs to take a little of the responsibility. If you want to thrash your bike and ride it like you stole it you can’t go blaming the guy that worked on it! A lot of people blame the people that worked on their bikes as soon as something goes wrong. Years ago people who wanted to make power in their bikes understood the pro’s and cons because they would do their own work. There’s a lot of people who have grown up on dirt bikes and thrashed hell out them and now these same people thrash the hell out of their Harleys and expect to blame everyone else except themselves!” Mild to wild specialize in all custom and standard work servicing and modifications, insurance and pre purchase inspections. You’ll find Mild and Wild at 2/92-94 Jedda rd Prestons (30 minutes from the Sydney CBD up the M5 just near Liverpool. PH 9607 2960

The new website does have a shopping cart where you can pick up new and secondhand parts and be able to contact the boy’s.

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