How to Read Motorcycle Odometer Mileage – In-depth Guide

Have you got a second-hand motorcycle? If so, you should do some basic checkup on certain parts, but you should also know how to read its odometer.

It’s good to know how to read it, although people tend to overlook it altogether. It can be a bit confusing, especially if it’s your first bike and you’ve never read an odometer.

Plus, there are so many bikes that have different odometers; some of which are easier to read than others. Either way, take a moment to read the text below as we discuss how to read both analog and digital types.

What is an Odometer?

It’s a meter showing the total distance a vehicle has traveled, and it’s found on cars, trucks, motorcycles, and all others. It can be electronic, mechanical or a combo of both.

Whatever number it shows is the distance your bike has covered. If the right number is in a white dial, it means that it shows the meters in 100s covered. So, if it shows 22595 with 5 being in the white dial, that means the distance covered is 2259 km and 500 m.

image of Analog and Digital speedometers

Difference Between Analog and Digital Speedometers

Analog speedometers show the total distance covered. The number can be displayed in kilometers or miles, depending on the standard measure in your country. Sometimes, they have built-in odometers that you can use to calculate your trip distance. Write down the number displayed and once you reach the desired location, check and write the new number.

Find the top rated speedometers here.

Subtract the first reading from the second, and you’ll get the distance you’ve traveled.

If you have a digital speedometer, the first thing you should do is check the owner’s manual you got with your vehicle. Digitals meters tend to differ and offer several functions, so you might need some instructions to understand how it works.

It can also feature an odometer where the highest figure is the total distance the motorcycle has covered. There’s also one trip meter that you can set to zero with the toggle switch. Once you reach your desired destination, the odometer will show the trip distance.

Learn if your mileage can ever be too high.


Odometer is a crucial piece of your motorcycle that’s helpful in more than one way. Still, many novice riders don’t know how to read the data shown. The digital odometer can also be a bit tricky to experienced bikers when they come in contact with it for the first time.

The difference between digital and analog isn’t as significant though you should know how to read both. They work in the same way, which means both have to show distance traveled one way or another.

Keep in mind that mileage isn’t the most important thing to pay attention to when buying a motorcycle. For this reason, don’t focus too much on what the meter is showing. Other things like maintenance and care history are somewhat more crucial.

Additional Resources

The team at Road Racerz aims to be a source of knowledge for all riders, whether they are beginners, intermediate, or have been riding for 20+ years. We want everyone to enjoy safer rides and have access to rider-specific content to get the most out of every mile.

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