Saturday, July 18, 2009

Documenting your Wrenching

I try and do what I call basic services on my motorcycles. Part of it is that I am cheap and owning beemers tend to get expensive in terms of maintenance at times. Part of it is the satisfaction of knowing the services was done and done right. Part of it is not liking to leave my motorcycles in the hands of others, and the logistics of bumming a ride from/to the mechanic/dealer to drop off or retrieve ones pride and joy.

Source: California Motorcycle Adventures (googled)
Click the above for a snapshot of Maria's log as of today

So where am I going with this you ask? Doing your own basic stuff, in my opinion, is all well and good but you must also be a zealot about documenting said services! Not only to track and schedule the next required work to keep your motorcycle humming along but also to prove to a buyer that you're steed was well taken care of in case you decide to sell it in the future.

I don't see myself selling Brigitta anytime soon but Maria? Maybe.

I spent part of this morning updating my documentation. The small little space in the owner manual that came with Maria is ludicrous for documenting work, works great for the BMW dealer to check off but that's it. I use an Excel spreadsheet to track my work on my motorcycles.

What do you use on yours?

Note: Yes, I do backups of my computer data monthly and nightly. Do you?


Arizona Harley Dude said...

Great idea on the spreadsheet, as I currently log everything in a spiral notebook. Truthfully, I was just to lazy to fire up the computer, but I'm thinking I will transfer everything onto a spreadsheet this weekend. Thanks for the kick in the pants!!

Stacy said...

tshawn tipped me off to Mileage Tracker, which not only can be used to track gas mileage but also maintenance. You can even enter in the service intervals for your vehicles and it will remind you when you are overdue.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Domingo):

I envy anyone who can do their own work

The maintenance records for my motorcycle are more carefully tracked than spacecraft over Washington, DC. And while I will put off going to the dentist, I never put off going to the mechanic, nor forking over the bucks he demands.

He is the legendary Tom Cutter of the BMW MOA fame (the mechanic who teaches seminars at their events and who restores bikes for their grand prizes). I have no mechanical aptitude and will not save a few bucks trying to develop one.

By the way, I attended the MOA Owners News Dinner in Tennessee and was offered a regular monthly column in the magazine. I have accepted.

It would have been swell to run into you there. The next rally will be on the West Coast, in town called Redmonton. Maybe our paths will cross there.

Fondest regards,
Jack "reep" Toad

Charlie6 said...

AZ Harley Dude, you're welcome

Stacy, good idea as well, thanks for the link.

Jack, congrats on the regular monthly column in ON!

bobskoot said...

I am a lot like Jack r, mechanically inept, although I can do the trivial stuff, like oil changes, chain/lube & adjustment, and hook up my electrical gadgets. I use a local MC mechanic who works out of his private garage and has pick up and drop off service which is very convenient for me as he usually comes after dinner, so no need to get rides to and from.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

ps: to Jack, congrats on your column in the ON's

Ray said...

Jack, trust me, your bike does not know who is doing the service. I believe a person is not a complete motorcyclist if they do not have skills to maintain their motorcycle. Saving money is only part of the equation.

irondad said...

I do a lot of my own work. I'm mechanically minded. Of course, if you ask my wife, she'd say maniacally minded. Heck with her.

We Rednecks don't use PDA's. We use PADS ( personal analog devices ), otherwise known as spiral notebooks. An old grease stained notebook looks so much more authentic for a mechanic, don't you think?

I totally agree on the value of records for selling bikes. The guy who bought Sophie kept asking about the records right from the first conversation. You should have seen his eyes light up when I pulled out the folder with the notebook and receipts! The records sold the bike as much as the appearance.

Rick said...

I have seen all types of programs for record keeping. My preferred method continues to be a notebook.

Chris Luhman said...

I prefer a notebook to the computer. It handles grease and dirt a bit better, so I can leave it in the garage near the bike.