Thomas Maloney is the MTA Institute Apprentice of the Month for October. The first-year motorcycle technology apprentice works for D&R Motorcycles in Roma and though he is only halfway through his first year, he is already proving to be a dedicated and gifted apprentice.

“Tom is already performing top-end engine rebuilds, suspension and final drive repairs,” said Zak Zuiderduin, his MTA Institute trainer. “He has a high level of energy and puts a lot of effort into his book work. He also helps people without being asked and has even made and laminated a list of torque settings commonly used on the motorcycles he works on.”

Attention to detail like that has marked 18-year-old Tom as an apprentice to watch.

Working with motorcycles was always on the cards. Growing up on acreage meant there was plenty of room for Tom to ride and he got his first bike at the age of six.

“I thought about getting into the industry for a long time because I was always around them,” he said. “I had a little Chinese bike that I was riding around on when I was younger and it was always breaking so I was constantly tinkering around with it.’

That experience led him to D&R Motorcycles.

“I was still at school when I first came here to do a traineeship,” he said. “After that, I came in to the shop after school from Monday to Friday, and then came on full time. When one of the fellows here left the business, I came on as an apprentice.”

With two years with D&R already under his belt and many more years spent ‘tinkering’ on his own bikes – including the four that he currently owns – Thomas said things were going well and he was really enjoying the job.

“I’ve been doing all the regular work such as servicing and top-end rebuilds,” he said. “And it’s a lot of fun to do – there is always something different coming through the shop.”