motorcycle cover

Motorcycles hold this enduring magnetism born of the unique closeness of the rider to the road – a mystique of unbridled freedom draped in rugged kuttes and clothed in worn leather. They have to be authentically tough: by their very nature, motorcycles endure relentless environmental poundings to every vital working part even when at a standstill.

Protect your bike to an extra degree whenever you can, especially with a proper fitted cover when not in use. Setting aside even the wind, precipitation, dust, debris and other assailants that hammer a bike during any good ride, the same open-air freedom that makes a bike so desirable can also leave its critical moving parts vulnerable to damaging, invasive elements that can shorten its lifespan.

The good news is, a quality cover need not necessarily break the bank; a perfectly serviceable slip for your motorcycle can range from a Gears Travelex half-cover or this full-body nylon storage cover for under $40 up to a posh, deluxe Pro Shelter Garage for $210. Just choose wisely, and your motorcycle’s protective dressing should keep it free from non-use environmental damage for as long as you own your bike.

DOES “PRICY” EQUAL “PROTECTION?”

Take price into consideration when selecting a motorcycle cover, but do so with a grain of salt. Design features, fit and construction matter much more. A cover priced under $40 may suit your motorcycle better than one that will cost you over $200.

Your cover needs to protect your bike during Canada’s hottest and coldest seasons. The risks during Ontario’s notoriously brutal winters should be obvious – namely, metal warping in the cold and moisture seeping into places where it can rust, corrode and otherwise wear down a bike’s vital parts. While your cover can’t necessarily keep your motorcycle toasty when the mercury takes a dive, it can ward off dust and dirt that can prove just as damaging when you do seasonally store it someplace warm and dry.

Clogging caused by buildup of dust and dirt in an engine can tax and gradually wear down any machine, especially one such as a motorcycle that’s constantly exposed whether it’s in use or dormant. An appropriately fitting cover keeps it off. What’s more, if wet weather suddenly strikes during any season when your bike would normally be in use, the cover is your best friend keeping your motorcycle from taking a rain, sleet, ice or snow beat-down that can corrode, rust and break your bike.

Almost any cover will keep the dirt and dust away. Waterproofing, on the other hand, matters big time, especially if you’re a rural biker who may not have a garage to shelter your bike. Look for polyester, nylon or heavy-duty fabric covers that have specifically received water-resistant treatments and electronically sealed heat- and moisture-resistant seams. Additionally, it’s a good idea to favor covers made with UV-treated fabrics; the sun’s summer onslaught can be just as harmful in terms of both fading a bike’s paint and stressing metal by expanding it.

Just as importantly, consider the dimensions and style of your bike. You want a cover that comfortably fits the entire length. Obviously, a half-cover that has a properly snug fit over a medium sport bike or smaller cruiser won’t do for a touring model. Just the same, there’s no sense buying a longer full cover for a smaller bike, since you want a close fit.

Lastly, look at the features and think about what you really need. For many, a half-cover or lower-priced full will do nicely. On the other hand, something more posh like the Pro Shelter Garage has features such as mould and mildew-preventing ventilation flaps that keep air circulating, a steel-tube support frame and a built-in locking device. However, this is a model made for an extra layer of outdoor storage, whereas others are more generally suited for seasonal indoor protection instead of more intense conditions but should still hold up fine under normal weather.

Basically, buy your motorcycle cover the way you’d buy a fine suit: note the occasion for which you’re dressing your bike, then fit it accordingly.

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