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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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! :D

-John
 

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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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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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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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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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If you want to stay on the cheap side, go to Walmart. They generally have a selection of decent bike covers for considerably less than the bike shops. The one I'm using currently (I don't recall the make), is a heavy breathable nylon (so heavy it feels like canvas) with flap vents and enough straps and snap clips you can actually trailer the bike with the cover on. It cost me about $45. I don't use it religiously. If it's going to sit idle for several days, or if there's heavy rain in the forecast I cover it. And of course during off season storage. My '07 900 Custom still looks nearly new after 11 yrs in the driveway.
 

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If cost is the issue I’d use wish.com to get a cover. They will be cheap and cheaply made. I have one for my bike from there it’s is not to bad quality.
 

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I wouldn't use a rain tarp. I had one on my bike once on a road trip and I pulled it off to ride and the bike was wet underneath from the sun hitting the tarp and creating condensation. the bike was "sweating" under it with tiny beads of moisture running down it. I invested in a nylon motorcycle cover that breathes instead that I kept on the bike when I had an uninsulated garage. Since we built a new house I have a finished insulated garage for the first time in my life. The furnace and hot water heater are in a closet in the garage too, so they keep it reasonably warm. In the winter my garage seldom drops below 40 degrees when it's 15 degrees outside, so I don't bother with a cover anymore.
 

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If your that cheap then don't worry about any cover. Ride it till it falls apart and then sell the bike for parts and go to another auction and buy another one.. :surprise:
 

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If your that cheap then don't worry about any cover. Ride it till it falls apart and then sell the bike for parts and go to another auction and buy another one.. :surprise:
My wife thought I was nuts spending over $100 for a cover, for a $1,200 bike. I like my toys shiny :D

Heck, I have my 2005 Vulcan 800 in a Cycle Shell (around $500), and it's worth less than $3,000. Then, I bought a 7x14 enclosed V-nose trailer to store my 2016 Vaquero in... a $5,000 (I got it used) "cover" for a $9000 bike :D

I don't intend to knock the OP, but when you've got an expensive (or even cheap) toy, I think it's important to protect it.

-John
 

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Count me as one in the cover it camp. I keep mine in the garage but I have a cover for it if I go on trips or park it over night at friends houses. I figure it keeps dust and gunk off it as well as rain, pollen, bird bombs 🙂 etc.

You can get good ones relatively inexpensively on Amazon.
 
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