To cover or Not To Cover, That is the question - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Question To cover or Not To Cover, That is the question

I am 57 and just getting into riding but I am also very cheap. I bought a 2008 500 EN with 4000 miles in an auction recently, also relatively cheap. I live in the mid- atlantic and do not have garage space for the bike so it is outside all of the time.

I do not really know any other bikers so I was wondering what are your opinions about covering the bike?

Right now I am hit or miss with it. I have a 10'x10' tarp that I, sometimes, tie to the front and back wheels and around the under carriage. Are there any advantages to making sure it is covered all of the time?

We have been having some 90+ degree days with high humidity. Could covering it cause more substantial overheating of components?

Thanks, in advance.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:22 AM
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Buy a cover if your leaving it outside. It will never get as hot as when your riding it so don't worry about heat. The cover will keep the rain off the bike, keep the sun off the bike, and snow off the bike if you leave out during winter.
And most of all people can't see what it is and are less likely to mess with it or steal it.

The cover is not neccessary but I will always have one if I have to store my bike outside

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 02:02 PM
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I highly recommend Dowco Guardian covers. You'll probably need a medium or large (check before ordering) for your VN500. As D0ncH said, a cover is a must if it's gonna sit outside. I left my VN800B outside one summer for a couple of months, and it aged a lot of the components. I wasn't happy with myself. The cover I mentioned is about $80 on Amazon, so not dirt cheap but not expensive, and they're easy to use, can be put on a hot bike (I let my bikes cool a bit before covering, just in case), and fit well. Plus, they have a strap that runs underneath to keep the cover on during windy days.

I keep my 79 KZ650SR under a Dowco Guardian cover all spring/summer/fall and then store it in my trailer with my Vaquero over winter. My Vaquero sat outside for 2.5 years under another Dowco Guardian cover, and it kept the bike well protected.

-John

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the input. It makes sense to protect in from rain and sun so that the paint, chrome, and leather do not prematurely wear.

Since it is not a closed bag, and I am cheap, AND I am not too concerned with aesthetics, it sounds like my 10x10 tarp will cover it and protect it from weather & sun damage just as well. I tie one corner to the front wheel, the diagonal opposite corner to the back wheel and the other 2 corners together underneath. Did I mention that I am cheap?

Thanks again.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmzajic View Post
Thank you for the input. It makes sense to protect in from rain and sun so that the paint, chrome, and leather do not prematurely wear.

Since it is not a closed bag, and I am cheap, AND I am not too concerned with aesthetics, it sounds like my 10x10 tarp will cover it and protect it from weather & sun damage just as well. I tie one corner to the front wheel, the diagonal opposite corner to the back wheel and the other 2 corners together underneath. Did I mention that I am cheap?

Thanks again.
You did mention that you were cheap, and the tarp will work in a pinch, but I much prefer dedicated covers, because they're built to not scratch your paint as much. (I can see slight wear on a couple of painted parts of my Vaquero where the cover rubbed on it when installing/removing) What happens if you have a windy day and the tarp flaps around in it, whacking your paint job? Just sayin' - it's your bike, you do what you want with it.

Also, I think the time involved with tying your tarp down may be more than the time to install the cover.

At least you're protecting your bike!

-John

2016 Vaquero (mostly stock)
2005 VN800B Bobber (Blue Collar Bobbers kits)
1979 KZ650SR
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 03:23 PM
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Something to keep in mind regarding using a tarp vs. using a cover designed for that purpose is that covers typically have linings that will prevent scratching (like when the wind kicks up) and some will also have a heat-resistant lining by the exhaust to keep from melting. Also, covers will typically have vents and breathability to limit moisture build up.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:17 PM
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Riding can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. If a cheap cover, cheap gas, cheap oil etc. is the way you want to go - so be it.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 10:26 AM
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Also, a tarp does not breathe, and, unless you add them, will not have vents. A good cover should either breathe or have some vents. Either will help prevent moisture buildup.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 10:49 AM
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Also a tarp will act like a sail in the wind because there are no vents and it won't be cinched at the bottom

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:42 PM
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I even cover mine in the garage. Keeps eyes and other things off it.
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