what is a roll chart

A roll chart is a set of routing instructions used in enduro, dual sport, and adventure motorcycle rides for navigating the desired course.   They are sometimes referred to as Route Sheets or Road Books.   In rally racing they might be referred to as Pace Notes.   A roll chart consists of a sequence of detailed course instructions accurately describing the route to be followed in terms of turns, junctions, etc.   All notable features of a course which might affect the way it is driven at speed are included.   These features can include one or more of the following: the distance between each feature, the total distance on the leg, the degree and severity of bends, adverse camber, GPS coordinates, the crest of hills, road or trail surface type and conditions, potholes, cautions, special instructions to the driver, etc.   Roll charts and road books have been used in road rallies since at least the 1930's. A finished roll chart for a complete day of riding may include as many as one hundred turn instructions and may be in excess of fifteen feet in length.

Sample Roll Chart Segment

In order to pack more information into an instruction they are sometimes written in a form of shorthand.   A number of systems have been devised, and there is no single standard.   In practice there are a number of standards which are typically used (ie R means turn Right).   More detailed roll charts include ball and arrow drawings to show the route.   These drawings are called tulip diagrams.   The name comes from the Tulip Rally (Tulpen rally) of the 1950's in which they are reported to be first used.   The diagrams give you a schematic representation of the course instructions.

In order to use a roll chart, a rider needs a roll chart holder.   A roll chart holder is device to contain the roll chart and allow the rider to sequence through the route instructions.   There are several common designs for roll chart holders on the commercial market and vary from inexpensive plastic holders that one turns a knob to advance the roll chart to expensive aluminum or even titanium units with electric motors used to advance the roll chart along with back lighting.

Roll Chart Holders

  1. Enduro Engineering Roll Chart Holder $23.00
  2. Four Strokes Only $26.00 - $34.00
  3. Cycle Gear - MSR Countdown Route Chart Holder $28.00
  4. Touratech Roadbook Holders $120 - $905