Ever since I got my Ninja I’ve taken good care of it. I always keep up with routine maintenance which I find enjoyable even after two years. As a result the lil Ninja has taken good care of me. Along the way I record all the work I do, or have done by a mechanic. Here are a couple reasons why you should keep a maintenance log of the work done on your motorcycle:
- Scheduling future maintenance: Recording past maintenance helps schedule future maintenance. We can’t keep track of everything, so documenting what you’ve already done and when will help you figure out what you have to do in the future. Add future items according the mileage or time to remind you.
- Documenting part numbers: Recording particular part sizes or model numbers will come in handy when you have to replace those items in the future, such as chains or sprockets. Keeping an electronic copy online (like through Google Docs) can help you order parts while you’re out on the road too.
- Increase retail value: This list would provide some extra retail value, should you decide to sell it. It gives potential buys an idea of the amount of care that’s been put into the bike to have some sense of the current condition. Some buyers might demand further proof from receipts, so keep those tucked away in a file folder.
- Isolating problems: A log gives you a birds eye view of your motorcycle’s performance. We can lose track of the miles pretty easily after a while. Documenting when parts have been replaced will give you an objective view of how certain components are performing. For example, you notice that your chain needs replacing, and you check your log to find that it has only been 8,000 miles. This might draw attention to the front sprocket that you can’t always easily check, or maybe it will indicate that you haven’t been cleaning your chain as often as you should. In either case, more data gives you more insight.
- Sentimental value: I get some enjoyment over glossing over the lifespan of my bike. It gives you a sense of where it’s been and how good or bad your motorcycle has treated you. Like realizing that your pads lasted 30,000 miles or reliving the frustration of having to replace a tire after finding a nail after 76 miles 😡
If you haven’t started a maintenance log already here’s a way to get started. Break out your owners manual and create “scheduled tasks” according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. These may shift over time but it gives you a good starting point. The frequency at which you should revisit your log will be based upon how much you ride, but at least once a month should be good enough for most. Here is what my maintenance log looks like: