Motorcycles represent freedom, independence, personal style and, for many bikers, a significant investment. While those without the luxury of a garage may be forced to leave their motorcycles outside in the elements, a number of outdoor motorcycle covers can help protect the investment from the harsh effects of rain and sun.
For bikers who want to invest in serious protection for their machines, the CycleShell from Omnitrend offers the ultimate in protection and security. This lightweight but sturdy cover uses an aluminium frame and machine-woven synthetic fabrics to simulate the conditions of a garage or indoor storage area. According to the company's web site, CycleShell.com, the CycleShell collapses to a portable 5-inch package and requires no assembly to expand to its full size. In addition to protection from the elements, CycleShell offers security from thieves and vandals through its motorcycle-specific locks and anchor points. Priced at upward of £260 as of January 2010, the CycleShell may lie outside the budget of some casual bikers, but its full range of features and tough design qualify it as one of the best motorcycle covers in the industry.
Guardian All-Weather Plus
That Covers It, an online vehicle cover review site, describes the best covers as ones that offer weatherproofing and security in a lightweight and portable package, and the Guardian Weather-All Plus motorcycle cover from DowCo excels in those areas. The product's official web site, DowCo-Inc.com, describes the cover as "the ultimate in weather protection," and the double stitching and individual sealing on the cover's seams appear to back up the claim. Special heat panels throughout the cover protect the bike from the sun's harmful rays, and the company's "Moisture Guard" ventilation system help protect the vehicle from mould, mildew and frost. For theft prevention, the Guardian Weather-All Plus offers reinforced grommets suitable for most padlocks, and an adjustable fitting around the bottom helps ensure a secure seal around the entire bike. When not in use, the cover folds away, and the manufacturer provides a zippered bag for easy transport.
Serious bikers who want the best for their machines may consider Maidenhead International's CycleVault, an all-encompassing outer shell designed specifically to protect bikes from the environment. In designing the CycleVault, the manufacturer incorporated polyethelyne, a common element in motorcycle cover materials, and Zerust, a rust-prevention and anti-moisture chemical typically found in electronic devices. To test the company's claims about unmatched moisture protection, reviewers at Motorcycle Cruiser magazine blasted a covered bike with a water hose; after removing the cover, the reviewers found no signs of moisture had penetrated the protective covering. For additional security, according to the product's web site at CycleVault.com, CycleVault designers provide a hard base for placement between the motorcycle and the ground; when this base connects to the upper protective element, the CycleVault fully envelopes the motorcycle to deter the efforts of thieves. The CycleVault costs nearly £130 as of January 2010, but serious bikers may consider this price a bargain when compared to the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged machine.