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Expense Tracking for your bike - what do you want?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Mouth, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Got my bike serviced yesterday and a new tyre fitted. Was thinking on the ride into work this morning that I would like to have an easily accessible and maintainable list of the expenses and service items I have done on the bike. The km's done when the bike was serviced, how much it was, where it was done. Same with a tyre fitting .. how much, what km's, what tyre, and where.

    That way I can very easily see and track how many km's I got out of this tyre and when I got it fitted. Also with service, how many services I've had done, and how much they costed me, etc.

    Having a look around, there's only a few solutions around and they didn't really suit. Overbloated with heaps of extra stuff I wouldn't use (fleet management etc.) and I really have an adversion against paying for something too :)

    So I'm on a mission to code and create my own web based one. I'm going to architecture it in such as way that it will be available for everyone to use too - just logon and away you go. Of course, it will be a menu item on Netrider :)

    So, without getting too grandious and full of bloat, and presuming it's something that others would see themselves using, what features would you like to see in such a solution? I'm interested in all idea's, both of usage and presentation. Fire away with your thoughts.....
  2. Hey :D
    a Honda being a temporary item along the way to Suzuki-ownership, who gives a rats... :p :p :p :p

    Seriously, great idea. Been using a spreadsheet in the past, but it's getting out of hand, visually too big.
    Then again, once you start keeping track of things the realization of the cost of running a bike is truly sobering. factoring in things like gear-purchase/ maintenance items for that as well....better hide figures in some obscure format so the better half/ parents don't see it.

    Some will wish they'd never started it :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  3. I tried using some palm-based software to track fuel use on the Nullabor trip, ended up doing a simple spreadsheet instead.

    For long term use, I don't know that I'd be logging in every time I fill up. Maybe I would keep receipts and scribble odometer readings on them....

    I'd be interersted in a system that tracked fuel, oil, services, tyres, maintenance and repair costs, with configurable reminder for when a service is due, running fuel usage figures and something that analyses tyre usage. I can never remember how long my tyres have lasted, in terms of time or milage, so I don't really know which ones wear best.

    Whether or not I would actually keep putting data into an expense tracker for long enough to accumulate useful data remains open to question.
  4. Will the website have built in Valium shots when I see the total amount I'm spending per annum? :LOL:

    Seriously though, it's a good idea - Something where you could link in periodic services (what needs to be done at what km mark) so you can tell what is due and roughly how much to budget for it (ie tyres and other consumables). This is on top of tracking what you have actually spent.

  5. I'm looking to start with services, tyres, maintenance, and repairs initially and then perhaps expand it into the consumables like oild and fuel etc. at a later stage. I too don't think I'd have the discipline to accurately record the fuel to make it worthwhile.

    Any idea's on the presentation or operation of it that you'd like to see. Wat didn;t you like about the PDA version or would have preferred it have?
  6. feature wish list....
    the ability to have your data seperate to everone else, but with the ability to share it.

    Maybe when you log in to the tool everything you enter is stored under your personal profile.
    If you hit a "publish" button, it sends the info to a communal page where comparrisons can be made.

    And, just for wank factor, how about an index rating that you can use to compare? Would be hard to make it accurate and is prolly a waste of time. :)
  7. Why bother tracking expenses & such for your bike, sounds silly, bikes are an emotional purchase, they are not a necessity or a staple item that one needs to get by with, that very fact tells you that economically owning a bike makes no sense in black and white on paper.

    Financially you will look at the list and see things like tyres that you changed only 5000km ago because you get your jollies off on riding hard, depreciation numbers will have you crying your eyes out (esp. if its a jappa).

    what about insurance premiums, god forbid excess payments for offs that happen to be your fault, then there’s riding gear & accessories. so why bother, most people ride for pleasure & know its money well spent even if down the drain.
  8. It's doesn't have to be for financial reasons that you want to track expenses (and that is true in my case). I'm doing it because I'd like to more know how many km's and days was it since I replaced my tyre. How many km's did I get out of the Battleaxe 020? I can see if I got a full brake fluid flush at my last service (if I chose to enter my full service details) and when it was and how many km's since it was done, without having to locate and pull-out my service receipt. How many km's am I getting out of a set of front brake pads, compared to my rear pads, etc. It's for interested and tracking purposes, more so than financial reasons. I know my bike probably costs me more than public transport or even a small car ... but like you say, I ride because I want to. :) The geek in me wants to know how many km I got out of a tyre and how many km's out of a pair of brake pads :p
  9. Yes, it would all be seperate per login of course :) The publishing for sharing concept is an interesting one. Not sure that the sharing data would be too menaingful though without giving away too much information?
  10. You could have a simple table that showed the bike type and averaged the values for all owners of that bike type.
    or do it by login, or even anonoumously (I hate spelling that word!)

    I was thinking along the lines of showing that for bike_type1 person 1 gets ?km per tire change, brake change etc. and person2 with the same bike gets.... you get the drift.
    If privacy is an issue make it "Person 1" instead of "mouth"
    If space is an issue (such a table may get out of control) make it the average. :)

    The reason is so that if you are getting a LOT less Ks than other people this would be an easy way to identify it and in some cases could lead you identifying a fault on your own bike.
  11. I like the idea of being able to compare your own data against (say) an average of other bikes of the same type.

    So I could see how much I spent per year on service costs, compared to the other Across owners on the site.

    And the Viffer owners could all compare the number of k's since their last crash! :p
  12. I'm with the geek......

    I have been GOING to raise a spreadsheet for precisely this purpose, but, like everything else, it gets pushed to the back of the desk.
    I've kept all my receipts since March purchase, and while I couldn't track fuel purchases, at around $11 a go, they are the lowest of expenses anyway, with the mileage (why isn't it kilometrage?) that I do.

    For people who are single and don't have high household expenses, I doubt if this matters, but for those of us who need to know at the end of the F/Y how much we have spent, I think it's a great idea.

    Also, of course, it will enable you to track how much mileage (there I go again) you get out of a set of tyres, etc. {I always tell my customers when they buy a new toner for their printer to do a config page print and stick the results to the side of the printer so they can track useage and how soon they are going to need to buy again, same idea}
  13. I'm with you on this one, If I can keep my bike in good enough condition for my P's period to be able to sell it for enough to buy a set of leathers at the end of the day I'll be happy.
  14. I have a spreadsheet which my serviceman gave me and it has tracked the expenses on my bike since before I owned it, way back to April 1998.

    It's not especially complicated and I don't use it for tracking fuel costs, etc, but all servicing details and costs plus parts and spares purchased goes in there.

    I like to keep track because it tells me about pad wear, tyre wear etc.

    Plus, because I also do a lot of short runs on my bike, I do an oil change every 3000k's and a full service every 5000k's and the spreadsheet helps me keep track of that.

    (Yes I know that's pedantic, but....)

    I also have a separate record whch I have been keeping since 1981 (yes, you read right) of all the tours I have done. In it I document all expenses and mileage, fuel costs and any additionals. It's really cool to look back on all the tours I've done and see the details of them. This is kept in a little note book that lives in the lid of my tank bag.

    Motorcycling IS a passion thing, of course it is, but I figure that I want my bike to last and keeping a record of my expenses is a big step towards achieving that goal.
  15. i own a bike as my only form of transport, they are a necessity that i need to get by with, and are much more economical than a car.


    ive also got something like this on the lan at work which is not finished yet, but its all sql database and php. let me know if you want to take a look.
  16. What ever happened to pen & paper? I myself live month to month off my credit card. (paying it off in full each month so no interest) With everything you buy you get a receipt. Stick it in your pocket & when you get home you write it into a book along with the date & exactly what it was. When you buy tyres, write down the mileage. Same with oil, filters, fuel etc. If you want to get really carried away you can highlight bike specific stuff in a particular colour. A word of warning -never add up what you have spent on the bike/s especially if you have a weak heart :LOL: :LOL: I can go back about 4 years now & see how many tyres I've shredded & how much fossil fuel I've burnt hehehehe. Works for me.
  17. Or throw all that info into a personal finances package and you then get the ease at which you can generate reports that shock you about your bike outlay.
  18. Yes, you are right there matt -but my book doesn't "crash" & leave me wanting to kill someone or something, or require a printer so I can casually browse through it. And a new one only costs me about a dollar :D :D
  19. The computer thing is easy to deal with, its this whole ink in a tube with a ball in the end that I don't get.
  20. Same...could never find the on button