So, you’ve started to learn how to maintain your dirt bike for yourself, but you’ve noticed the requirements for most of your maintenance cycles aren’t expressed in miles on the bike, but in hours. Unless you’re regularly punching in and out of a time clock when you ride for some reason, it can be really tricky to add up and accurately track all the time you spend on your dirt bike, and you don’t want to be wrong because when you do, either you endanger the bike by waiting too long to do maintenance or you do it early and waste time and money.

Luckily, you don’t need to guess when it comes to your dirt bike operating time. All you need is a dirt bike hour tracker that clocks your operating time whenever the bike is running. This way, you know exactly how much runtime you’ve put between changing tires, oil, or anything else. Of course, with many different cycles running and each one needing a check-up or equipment change on its own time, you’ll still need a log to tell you how many hours were on the bike when you last performed each operation. Or will you? Manufacturer’s are so aware of this need the Yamaha YZ450F has an app to track your riding hours for better management.

How To Choose the Best Dirt Bike Hour Meter

Hour meters need to be accurate, and they need to be able to tell you how long the dirt bike has been operating. That’s really all the most basic ones do, and that’s all most riders ask for. You will want to decide whether you’re going for a hardline meter that activates when the bike is running or a manual meter. Whether you are tracking hours in an app or in a paper logbook, you’ll want something like the Pro Taper hour meter that is accurate and universally useful across dirt bike models.

Of course, if you want extra options, you are free to go looking for them. The fact is, though, you can get everything you need in terms of organizing the maintenance done with apps and other tools instead of spending extra on an hour meter that does more than it needs to do. Since your dirt bike is built to take rough treatment off-road, it’s a better idea to shop for a long battery life, dependable count time, and durability.

How To Install an Hour Meter on a Dirt Bike

If you’re using a meter that has manual activation, you can pretty much stick it where you like, because you’re pushing a button to turn the clock on and off, so you don’t have to connect it to your engine at all. If, however, you want to be sure you always get an accurate count because you can never forget to switch on your meter, you’re going to want one that you have to connect to your engine. That means you’ll need to know how to install it in a place that’s convenient for you and for your bike.

If you watch along with the video, you’ll see the first thing you need to do is get the seat and tank from the bike, even before you get the hour meter out of the package. Once you have that done and the part unboxed, you need to make sure you have your tools ready and in reach, to ensure you’re not doing a lot of stop and start. Then you’ll want to find the coil that’s built into your spark plug cap. It’s universal to all 4-strokes, so it should be easy to locate, and if you have ever seen one before it should be recognizable even on a different make and model bike.

Once you’ve found the coil and freed it up so you can work with it, the next step is to connect the wire from your meter to the coil. You can just wrap it around the coil a few times so the metal makes a firm connection that won’t break away. Basically, you’re adding to the original circuit so the hour meter’s clock will run whenever there is power to the spark plugs, to be sure it counts all your engine time. That’s how to track hours on your dirt bike with precision, so your logs and predictions about when to perform maintenance will be as accurate as possible.

So, now that you’ve connected the hard line to the coil, you need to put it back in place carefully, keeping the wires from getting tangled in a way that will make it hard for you to mount to engine hour meter in your choice location. Before you reconnect the spark plug cap, use some electrical tape to make sure your wire stays connected to the coil even on your roughest rides. Then it’s time to attach the meter to the frame. You’ll want a spot that allows you to do it without putting the seat and tank back on, so you can worry about getting everything mounted before you stop to reassemble to rest of the bike.

Once you have your choice location on the frame and you’ve cleaned it with contact cleaner, double-sided tape or a set of mounting screws provided with your meter should do the job. Most of the time these days, manufacturers count on the double-sided tape. You’ll need to connect the wire to the meter now, so trim any excess length to avoid having a lot of loose wire to secure. Then connect it to the contacts and secure it with electrical tape. Put the tank and seat back on, and then start your engine up to see if your hour meter activates.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the perfect hour meter, you need to look at the options available through your source for bike parts and gear online. When you shop the biggest curated collection of bike parts on the web, you are going to have the options that let you find a great fit for your needs.