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Fiat Ducato Maxi Professional | Gassit Garage | Long Term | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested

With room for bikes, bags and even beds, the Ducato has been doing plenty of weekend shifts

Our big white Ducato has been earning its keep lately ferrying bikes from all of manner of locations across Victoria for trackdays, trail rides, and even the odd interstate multi-bike test comparo! The cavernous 13 cubic metre (that’s 13,000L) storage bay easily swallows up four bikes at a time, with plenty of wall space left to hang riding gear.

With excellent off-roading only a 1.5-hour drive from Melbourne I’ve been taking every opportunity to load it up, set the cruise control and hit the highway with as many bikes as I can beg, borrow or steal for a weekend away. In fact, the big Maxi has even been called upon to act as a makeshift shelter on route to those extra special locations that can’t be reached on the same day as an event. So far, this massive mover has passed with flying colours – the most noticeable benefit being that it easily houses two bikes in the cube along with a double mattress, thereby dispensing with the need to leave our toys out in the cold after a long journey.

Our recent customisation with the Motexion unique van flooring continues to pay dividends for quick and easy bike loading. Sealing the floor with high grade 9mm or 12 mm birch plywood has made the Fiat more attractive as a campervan – much to the delight of Gassit HQ staffers who prefer to pay for more tyres and fuel than accommodation! So much so that we’ve enlisted the experts at Southern Euro in Dandenong South to install additional Motexion wall panelling work to further insulate the cargo area and protect the shell from wandering bar ends. Stay tuned for a full update on this when we delve deeper into project Motorhome in a few issues time.

Its been around four months since the Fiat Ducato arrived and already we’ve managed to rack up 4000km of travel, with no signs of slowing as we approach the warmer months of riding bliss ahead. In just the last few weeks we’ve filled the big Maxi to capacity for track tests at the Broadford State Motorcycle Complex and Mount Gambier Motorcycle Club’s MacNamara Park, and plans are now afoot to take advantage of the excellent mileage and smooth diesel powerplant for another foray up the Great Ocean Road for our coveted Motorcycle of the Year shootout.

But we’re not done yet – one eagle eyed staffer did note that the van’s commercial exterior could use some character more fitting with its role on the AMCN Long-Term fleet, so we’re now investigating some ways to spruce up this blank canvas with some AMCN signage to make it stand out from the crowd. Other mods still on our to-do list include some anchor points for hammocks so we can doss in the shade between track sessions, and a couple of shelves for extra storage up top – exciting times ahead!

By Paul McCann

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