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Who Keeps Track? - Ride Logging

Paul Olesen


Do You Keep Track?

How many of you regularly keep track of the number of hours or miles that have accumulated on your engine since the last time you performed any type of service on it? How helpful would it be if you had a designated place to log any riding, maintenance, and suspension tweaks? Between riding and maintenance there is an awful lot of stuff to keep track of. The last thing I want to do is complicate the matter any further by having to try and remember in my head when the last time I did some work on the bike was. So what is the best way to keep track?

Having a simple ride log/service sheet is a great way to keep track of your machine’s maintenance and stay ahead of any potential problems. Another awesome device to pick up for your machine is an hour meter. Hour meters are great since they only record actual engine running time, which gives you a more realistic time value than estimating how long your engine ran while you were out on your ride.

I wanted to share with you the log I use to keep track of the time I put on my bikes. Click this link to download a free copy. I have set up three versions, one for Excel users, one for Google Docs users, and a PDF that can be printed for the folks that like to document their riding on paper.


Shown below is an example of the log I keep for my YZ250.


The log is simple to use and helps document basic settings, maintenance, and engine run time. I like to keep track of location and weather conditions so I can document any variation in engine performance. This is particularly useful for carbureted machines since jetting is dependent on temperature and atmospheric conditions. Once you start to build a database of information you will start to notice trends that emerge based on where you are riding and the temperature. These trends will help you determine the proper jetting for given conditions more quickly and save you a large amount time in the long run.

Keeping track of any maintenance you do on the bike along with the number of hours on the engine is a no brainer. Not only will this Ride Log help you determine when certain services are coming up, it will be a major confidence boost to a potential buyer concerning your maintenance of the bike if you ever decide to sell, and ultimately help you retain a good resale value.

The suspension column I will use occasionally if I make a minor tweak, however the bulk of my suspension documentation goes into a suspension log. I added this column for those of you who do not change your suspension too often. I am going to discuss suspension logging with all of you coming up soon so stay tuned.

I hope that you find the rundown of the riding log beneficial and that you decide to start keeping track of your riding to improve your maintenance practices! Keep in mind I tailored this to as many of you as I could. If you want to customize it for your specific discipline, feel free. Once you get into the habit of keeping track of these things you will end up taking better care of your machine and ultimately save yourself a huge chunk of time and money in the long run.

Moto Mind - Empowering and Educating Riders from Garage to Trail

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Ride Log example.jpg

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