I have a confession to make, a dirty secret...I don’t keep maintenance records!

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by canoeguy, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. canoeguy

    canoeguy Long timer

    Jun 14, 2011
    SW Virginia
    Apparently I am the only motorcyclist that doesn’t keep records from what I read on ADVrider.

    I do meticulous maintenance in reality and likely go above and beyond what a dealer would ever do. I just don’t worry about charting it and I don’t worry about a used bike having it because I don’t trust them anyway. I do have a drawer that most of my receipts end up in.

    what’s worse, despite buying many, I have never had a used bike that came with records.

    I have never had a dealer ask for records on a trade in nor provide any on the other end.

    I just needed to get that off my chest as I think about replacing the rear tire and adjusting the valves on my ‘16 GSA soon.

    There, it’s out open now ;) Am I really the only one?
    JaySwear, slow&fast, NoelJ and 18 others like this.
  2. HuntWhenever

    HuntWhenever Motorcicle Commuter

    Jul 31, 2017
    SW Ohio
    I keep a simple text document just as a personal reminder of when I've changed transmission oil and tires 'n such...but that's it. I don't save oil recipes. I've never had a dealer ask for records during a trade-in. On my car and truck, I don't even keep a text document. I do all my own maintenance on all three.
    Traxx likes this.
  3. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

    Aug 5, 2012
    Monroe, GA
    Just you, I think everyone here has a cloud based maintenance and farkles spreadsheet so we can pivot table useless data.
  4. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

    May 14, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    This is how I do records on my bikes. I have a few, so this let's me keep track of what I've done to all of them and when they're due.

    Richarde1605 likes this.
  5. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Supporter

    Feb 11, 2007
    Mineral Point, WI
    I jot down oil changes and new tires in the notes section of each bike’s manual. It’s more for me than anything. My V-Strom gets new oil and filter every spring. On my 450L I change the oil based on the air filter, and how I ride the bike, rather than the suggested interval. I ignore those. I don’t even check valves. I’ll probably replace the piston before I will check the valves. We’ll see.
  6. TripleTriples

    TripleTriples Long timer

    Feb 6, 2019
    I'll take notes if I do something that deviates the bike from stock, but don't track normal maintenance. Why bother when the intervals address in the manual? Just follow the schedule.
  7. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

    Mar 19, 2008
    Between the Great Lakes and Appalachia
    Each motorcycle gets a book with four sections: Oil changes, tires, other maintenance and the 4th section has tools needed for some repetitive jobs and some capacities. Entries get month and year, miles rounded off, sometimes will enter the brand/part no. of a part or fluid. Each section gets a small tab made of blue painter tape with a label in ballpoint pen; all kept in a small bound (not spiral) notebook from the grocery store school supply section. Complete enough, but pretty casual.
    Road Program likes this.
  8. Mrstig

    Mrstig Been here awhile

    Jul 24, 2020
    Crescent city california
    Nope. I change the oil every few rides. Most winters I pull it apart and check valves, break pads, grease stuff. If I do a bdr or more serious miles I will go through it sooner.. I enjoy maintenance more than fixing broken stuff. So I check over stuff regularly. If I had more bikes than I would keep some kinda record. But I have vehicles, not children. So I usually know where they are that. In hundreds of thousands of miles in performance machines, some track days, and alot of hooligan moments, ice never had serious failures.
  9. radmann10

    radmann10 Old fart Supporter

    Apr 29, 2014
    Valley of the Sun/hot part of AZ
    I simply have a memo on my phone of what I feel is important for each bike, date purchased, price, miles, hours and condition.

    Then notes on the used bike's condition and things needing attention before the next BDR, RTW trip or group ride.

    The next note is miles when I service the bike and what was done.
  10. emti

    emti Been here awhile

    Aug 26, 2010
    northern n.y.
    I used to write it down on the cardboard sheeting on the inside of the barn door, but we tore the barn down, now its on the back pages of the shop manual, or on the lid of the box the parts came in, and shoved in the manual. I write the mileage of the oil change on the engine cases with a marker. emti
    Gone in 60 likes this.
  11. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Sep 6, 2011
    Long ago, I kept no records either. I had few machines to maintain, a pretty good memory, and I didn’t much care.

    Today, my fleet is much larger, my memory isn’t great, and I do care. I actually like being able to see when I last replaced the tires (time and miles). I do like experimenting with tire pressure and having notes in a book to reference later. Stuff like that.

    Im still not that good at keeping all my receipts.
  12. Traxx

    Traxx Taxation is Theft Supporter

    May 14, 2016
    No records kept here, not for a fleet of one.
  13. HaveTwo

    HaveTwo n00b

    Sep 26, 2019
    Casual records kept. Pretty much for myself only. I have a terrible memory, and it adds up... Wife's car, my truck, daily bike, project bike, then the lawnmower, tiller, chipper, etc. Okay, the last two just get yearly stuff, but still, I like writing stuff down, usually in a computer spreadsheet in order to jog my memory.

    Same place I keep the parts numbers of consumables, like my mower blades. Way easier than looking it up every time.
  14. Old_Fat_and_Slow

    Old_Fat_and_Slow Adventurer

    Jul 24, 2018
    I haven't historically but just bought a used FE 350 and the owner of that kept such meticulous records that it's inspired me to give it a go. Also, I have a fair amount of vehicles and keeping track of all of them in my (quickly aging) head isn't that easy anymore.
    Vertical C likes this.
  15. John Q. Torque

    John Q. Torque Adventurer

    May 30, 2018
    Bend, Oregon
    Like Foxtrapper, when I only had one car and one motorcycle, I could tell you right away when I last did an oil change or adjusted the valves on either one, but those days are long gone. I own four motorcycles because I can't afford five. I have a roll of the old fashioned lube reminder stickers that we used to put on the inside of the driver's door when I worked on cars for a living, and I put one on some clean, non-violent area of the motorcycle (like the inside of a side cover) and when I do maintenance I write the date and mileage IN PENCIL, and the next time I need to do a service on that vehicle I can just erase it and start over. That's about as particular as I get about it.
  16. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Think for yourself

    Jul 21, 2006
    Simple Excel spreadsheet - cars and motorcycle data included.
    Gone in 60 likes this.
  17. PeterTrocewicz

    PeterTrocewicz Long timer

    Nov 18, 2009
    Kincardine Ontario
    I don't keep records either. Since my bike calls for 10000 km oil changes, I round all my mileage based service up or down to 10k km intervals, so that the odometer is my reminder. Time based intervals are done in the Spring before I get the bike out anyway. Chain and tire maintenance are done on a weekly check over and when I wash the bike, which is regularly. I don't keep keep track of replacement of wear and tear items like tires, brake pads or chains. I do have a rough idea of when they were done though.
  18. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air.

    Jan 19, 2014
    Lancaster County, PA
    When I bought my current bike (only bike) I received a folder with the paperwork in it, inside a manilla envelope. Receipts and records get stuffed in there. Offhand I think I've referred to them once in four years.
  19. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

    Dec 10, 2005
    Maine, USA
    I have recently started keeping better notes.

    I formerly kept none. I have all the receipts, but a receipt for oil doesn't tell me which bike it went into or when.

    It's tires that caused me to start keeping more detailed notes. How long did those knobbies really last? Those other tires? Other notes are helpful too. This bike is using a little oil, when exactly did I change and top off to the proper level? Now I find records helpful.

    As with @canoeguy , I've never bought a used bike that had maintenance records.
  20. greycountyduc

    greycountyduc Adventurer

    Apr 7, 2012
    grey county, on
    I'd put a slightly different spin on this in that I do keep record of my higher mileage street bike odometer reading for oil changes,
    but the thing I will do is for example as I tear down the racebike I will take notes of all the things I notice that need attention and write that down, to remind myself of what is needed and also to keep an eye on something I may have overlooked or could have done better.