Showcase: 10 outdoor motorcycle covers

As the weather draws in, keeping your bike dry becomes an increasingly pressing concern - here are ten outdoor motorcycle covers for your perusal

That ought to cover it...

SADLY, for us bikers, winter happens.

Leaving your motorcycle exposed to the elements will not only cause it to rust-up, it'll devalue the bike and make it a more obvious target for thieves.

With this is mind, it is important that you protect your bike. Just because you don't have access to the luxury of off-street, garage or indoor parking, however, does not mean that your pride and joy has to sit outside, wet and dejected.

The simple answer is to cover it up. But with what we hear you ask? With any one of the carefully selected and various covers we have reviewed here, of course!

With a vast array of covers out there we selected ten, from £20 to £58 across ten different brands, to compare. For very little, it is possible to get your hands on a very solid, workable cover that will protect your bike from the dirt and grime. However, if you fancy more luxurious swaddling for your machine, we have reviewed some covers at the more expensive end of the spectrum. Here, you can expect a range of exciting features including all manner of 'high tech' fabrics and pleasing little bonuses; security loops, form-fitting shape, mirror and number-plate cutouts.

Security loops are generally featured around the wheel allowing you to secure the cover using your existing lock system. A well-tailored shape reduces the chance of pockets of moisture getting trapped or the cover scratching your bike, whilst mirror cutouts increase air flow and reduce the likelihood of moisture retension beneath the cover and therefore the chance of unwanted corrosion developing.

So without further ado, from least expensive first, the covers...

Argos Deluxe motorcycle cover

At £21.99 this cover is the cheapest of the bunch - a third of the price of our most expensive. It is certainly a no-frills choice - unlike other covers on this list, it doesn't boast a liner, security loop or a pre-curved shape. However, it is thin and lightweight (the lightest cover we tested, in fact), well-fitting and offers good coverage - it also comes with a carry case.

Price: £21.99
Security Loops: No
Weight:
419 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: www.argos.co.uk

Bike It premium motorcycle cover

At £39.99, the premium cover from Bike It falls somewhere in the medium range for price and features. The cover feels thick and sturdy (it is one of the heaviest covers tested), it also features a non-abrasive backing to avoid scratching your paintwork, as well as a solid case. We were sent an extra large cover, hence it sits quite loosely over the bike, less 'tailored' than others on the list - whether or not this matters is probably down to personal preference. The Bike It also has very good security loops.

Price: £39.99
Security Loops: Yes
Weight:
2766 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: 02380 355 123 or www.bikeit.co.uk

Specialised Storm Shield Lite

At £55, the Storm Shield Lite from Specialised Covers is approaching the premium end of the covers here, but we feel the price is justified. The material is waterproof but breathable, lightweight and sturdy. Non-abrasive backing protects your bike from scratches and a very smart case (the best we've seen) keeps your cover tucked neatly away. The only possible negative is that, while it does have security loops, they could perhaps do with being larger in order to accomodate a bigger chain. Overall though, we feel the Storm Shield Lite provides everything the average user could ask for - everything from the way it sits on the bike to the presence of two neat clasps and a security loop indicates quality and usability.

Price: £55
Security Loops: Yes
Weight:
844 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: 01943 864 646 or www.specialisedcovers.com

Oxford Stormtex

The Oxford Stormtex represents the high end of the covers we tested. It is definitely the thickest of the covers - it has a really heavy, 'all seasons' feel. This is reflected in the weight. It also boasts dual front and rear security loops and cut outs for the mirrors to improve fit. The Stormtex really is impressive. Additionally, it features soft anti-scratch lining, reflective external panels for night visibility, rear number plate window, solar panel window, rear vent for removing hot exhaust gases and best of all a lock pouch to keep padlock off the ground (a great little feature that we think should others should note).

Price: £58
Security Loops: Yes
Weight:
2346 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: 01993 862 300 or www.oxprod.com

R&G Racing Superbike Cover

The R&G Racing Superbike Cover, at £42.99, sits at the more expensive end of the scale and is fairly feature-light. It features internal foam padding to protect your tank and is well-fitted to the bike, it also sports the vital security loops. However, at the price we would have expected it to be heatproof - its not. The case that comes with it is poor compared to rivals - a surprisingly important factor to consider unless you fancy stuffing five square metres of wet fabric into a drawer. When packed away, the case remains the size of a large pillow...

Price: £42.99
Security Loops: Yes
Weight:
1055 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: 01420 89007 or www.rg-racing.com

Silvertech Motorcycle Cover (1100cc)

Relatively expensive compared to better-featured rivals, the Silvertech is none-the-less a very respectable offering. Thick and double-stitched, the quality is certainly high. It also sports a decent case and extremely good security loops, again double-stitched, which could easily accomodate a thick chain. The Silvertech comes in six sizes, ours is the second largest and we feel a size down would fit our 750 better. It is machine washable.

Price: £44.99
Security Loops: Yes
Weight:
870 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: 0117 971 9200 or www.thekeycollection.co.uk

Held 9003

The Held 9003 is well-fitted and feels rugged. It is one of the most 'tailored' of the covers we have tested. Featuring a dual-fabric construction, with heat resistant walls (up to 250 degrees celesius) and a lighter weight upper section that is gentle on paintwork, the Held is certainly well appointed. If we were to pinpoint one major drawback of the Held, it would be the absence of security loops - a feature so useful and valuable that its ommision is really quite staggering. This is a shame, because the Held is otherwise a handsome and good quality cover.

Price: £47.99
Security Loops: No
Weight:
622 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: 01423 790121 or held-uk.co.uk

Dust-Off heavy duty bike cover

The Dust-Off cover presents a very good mid point between cost, quality and features. The cover is split into two, featuring non-scratch material on upside to protect the screen, and a heat-proof bottom half - the Dust-Off also comes with an excellent storage case. The construction quality is very high, it feels tough but is still light enough and portable. It can also boast very good security loops. We feel that this cover offers you all the features you might reasonably need whilst still remaining in the middle range in terms of price.

Price: £39
Security Loops: Yes
Weight:
1590 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: 01530 224474  or www.dustoffcovers.co.uk

dbcovers waterproof cover

DBCOVERS offer their basic cover at £35, making it a mid-priced option. Manufacturer dbcovers are keen to emphasise that their covers are customisable. The basic cover boasts a good fit and decent quality and is secured underneath with a clasp - it also includes a more than adequate case. A very good no-frills option, but if you want the extra feature of security loops, you may have to spend slightly more.

Price: £35
Security Loops: No
Weight:
1172 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: 01782 857 393 or www.dbcovers.co.uk

Maypole Motorcycle Cover

The Maypole cover, at £29.99, is approaching the less expensive end of the spectrum. Frankly, this is reflected in the slightly flimsy quality, lack of security loops (this cover is secured underneath only with a cheap-feeling clasp) and lack of coverage. There is no doubt that this cover would provide adequate protection from rain, but any more serious weather would present a challenge. Ultimately this cover is no better than other, cheaper, rivals. It does, however, come with a case.

Price: £29.99
Security Loops: No
Weight:
568 grams
Case: Yes
Contact: www.halfords.com

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