Since 2009, the motorbike industry has been encouraging new riders to "Get On" two wheels with free first rides at training centres across the U.K. The pitch is engaging, given the fuel and road tax savings motorbike riders enjoy. The next important step is to protect the new motorcycle from dust and weather. An owner who is fortunate enough to have a garage may shelter his or his motorbike there, but those among the 60 per cent without a garage must consider alternate measures.
This is where a motorbike cover comes in. A cover that is well-fitted to the motorcycle and made of material that protects from heat, dust, rain, and UV rays helps protect the bike owner's investment. It also shields the bike from the prying eyes of potential thieves. Bike shops, other local sellers, and online markets, such as eBay, offer a good selection of covers for bikes of different sizes. A rider who thinks carefully through this selection can choose a cover to keep this economical and fun means of transportation in good condition.
1. Do Decide What Protection the Bike Needs
Depending on where the motorbike is stored, it may need protection from rain, snow, tree sap, falling mulberries, bird droppings, sun fading, or the corrosive effects of pollution in the atmosphere. If it is to be stored indoors, it mainly requires a dust cover. Choose a cover that is designed to protect accordingly. Covers range from a simple single layer of plastic to five cloth layers, with the inner layer fleece to protect finishes and waterproof outer layers. A motorbike that is stored outdoors where parking is crowded also may need protection from other vehicles. A cover with reflective panels can help other drivers avoid accidental collisions.
2. Do Consider Local Weather Conditions
If the bike is to be stored outdoors in the northern and western parts of the U.K., where prevailing winds are highest, and on gusty parts of the coastline, a secure fastener system is of particular importance. Elastic straps are the easiest to fasten and remove, but hook-and-loop fastenings may hold the cover more securely. Belly straps are a common fastening but so is a strap that wraps around the entire bottom of the motorbike.
The north, west, and the coast also tend to be where motorbikes require the most rain protection. A cover with a waterproof outer layer and waterproofing on any seams is a start. They also protect from snow should the bike be stored in a location where winter snow occurs. A club rider who makes a great many trips into other parts of the country may wish to consider a cover appropriate to the most challenging weather where the motorbike is to be ridden.
3. Don't Seal Moisture in With the Bike
Paradoxically, at the same time it is critical to protect a motorbike from rain and snow, it is also important that any moisture that accumulates on the motorbike be able to easily escape. Ventilation panels are a good solution to this concern. They are typically located high on the cover, for example, along the handlebar ridge.
4. Do Look for a Fabric That Stands Up to the Elements
Waterproof seams, an easily cleaned fabric, and a fabric that does not fade quickly all improve the performance and the appearance of your bike cover. Some manufacturers are now using antimicrobial fabrics to reduce the likelihood of fungi, mould, and mildew gaining a hold in a motorbike cover during wet seasons. Even if a cover made from such fabric is chosen, regular cleaning is important to remove any dirt or debris where mould could grow. Outdoor fabrics are not to be washed in the laundry but simply with a spray from the garden hose, plus a soft brushing in mild soap if necessary. After a rinse, let the sun do the drying.
5. Do Look for a Favoured Colour
Not every motorbike cover comes in every colour. The largest number of covers is offered in black or a silvery grey. Still, many two-tone covers are offered in more than one choice of colour. A favourite combination or even a colour to match the motorbike may be available.
6. Do Fit the Cover to the Bike
Some covers are designed to hang generously over a bike while others are made to fit specific models. Whichever is chosen, be sure the specific cover selected is the correct size for the motorcycle model. Even covers that are not tailored come in sizes from small to extra-large to allow for the many variations in motorbike sizes. To make the cover last as long as possible and to maximise protection, size the cover so the bike is covered without the cover touching the ground. This way ground moisture does not wick upward into the cover and damage the motorbike.
7. Don't Forget Aftermarket Add-Ons
When sizing a motorbike cover, compensate for any aftermarket add-ons. A windscreen can pop the cover a good bit higher than may be expected. If the bike has a set of saddlebags, they require a larger cover. A sissy bar or any other addition also needs consideration.
8. Do Realise that a Motorbike Cover Deters Theft
When a motorbike is covered, a thief needs first to decide whether the object under the cover is a valuable motorcycle or a kid's motor scooter. If there is an uncovered motorbike nearby, that is the one any thief goes for. Second, if a thief chooses to go after the covered motorbike, unfastening the covering requires extra time. Every moment fumbling with unfamiliar fastenings allows anxiety to grow.
Once the cover is off, the thief gets a first look at the sturdy lock and chain on the motorbike. By that time, any thief but the most hardened runs to the next block looking for something easier to steal. The motorbike with the cover is safe for the night. Therefore, covering a motorbike is an inexpensive theft deterrent.
9. Don't Fail to Lock the Bike
Covers are sometimes designed with an integral locking system. If not, remember to lock the bike. Some covers make it easier to remember the lock and chain by including a pocket in the cover for the motorbike lock.
10. Do Let the Bike Cool Before Covering
Most cover materials age more rapidly or even melt if the cover is put on a hot bike. Give the bike 10 or 15 minutes to cool before the cover is fastened over it. A few covers have heat resistant liners that can stand up to a few minutes of contact with a hot exhaust pipe, but doing so is always taking a chance.
11. Don't Forget a Cover Case
There are very few motorbike covers so small you can stick them in your pocket and carry them conveniently wherever you go. To be ready for the sudden downpour or unexpectedly dusty cinder-paved village, make sure there is a way to carry the cover along on outings. A bike with saddlebags always has a place for carrying a cover. A small handlebar bag can be another good solution.
Buying a Motorbike Cover on eBay
Motorbike owners who want to find a motorbike cover on eBay may begin first by using the search window and typing in "motorbike cover". If there are various other specifics to narrow down the search, they may be entered in the search window also. Those specifics might include the motorbike manufacturer or the manufacturer of the desired cover. If a buyer has a certain price range in mind, he or she may have the selections ordered by means of the sort menu according to price to make it easier to find covers at the preferred prices.
Reviewing Seller Feedback
When you are considering motorbike covers, one way to be confident in the purchase is to check the feedback that prior purchasers have left about the seller. Using the customise view option makes it possible to show feedback on the same page as the product selections. Purchasing from a seller who has received generally positive feedback or who is listed as a top-rated seller allows you to be confident that the seller has a history of providing good care of buyers.
As more people are discovering the fun and convenience of motorbike riding, more are also learning the value of properly caring for a motorbike. Those who, by necessity, are accustomed to parking vehicles on the street are learning that an uncovered motorcycle is not like a car left out of a garage. Leaving a motorbike uncovered more nearly resembles leaving the car's windows open and its doors unlocked. All of its critical systems are open to whatever damage the weather and thieves might do. Some 6 in 10 householders are without garages, so finding a way to protect a motorbike without a garage is essential.
To properly protect a motorbike, it is important to find a cover suited to the specific motorbike and climate. eBay provides a wide selection that allows the motorbike owner to identify a cover that is correct for the bike ridden and where it is to be stored.