Earlier this summer I had to deal with the sad reality that my CBR 600RR would no longer be inside when I wasn’t riding it. In preparation for the move to my “newly renovated” apartment (which is a story for another time), I purchased the Small/Sport Bike size Dowco Weatherall Plus Motorcycle Cover and the Dowco Weatherall Plus Cover Alarm to go along with it. The idea was to get a cover that would protect my bike from the elements, and to deter someone with the idea that they could buy my bike with a “5 finger discount”.
So far the results have been very pleasing. When I first got the cover it came inside a nice storage bag. The bag has a big zipper that seems to be of good quality so I don’t have any concerns that it would ever come apart. The storage bag also has loops on either side so that you can hang it somewhere, or tie it down on your bike if you needed to take it with you on a trip. The cover itself was clean, neatly folded, and easy to pull out from the bag. I laid the cover out on my kitchen table and checked all the seams and stitches. Every seam was properly sealed, and all the stitches were evenly spaced. There was no excess thread hanging off the cover anywhere, so quality control was spot on it seems. The inside of the cover has a nice soft lining to prevent scratches of the paint, and there are four pockets that you can pick from to put the alarm inside of. Each pocket has small holes punched into it so that the sound isn’t muffled from the alarm, and there are velcro closures at the top of each pocket so that the alarm cannot fall out at some point.
The actual alarm is made from a nice sturdy plastic as well. Upon removing it from the packaging I set it down on the table and my overly curious cat nudged it off the table while sniffing it and pawing at the alarm. It landed on my tile floor from about 4 feet up and showed no damage at all. After removing the battery cover (screw driver required) I popped a 9V battery in and closed everything back up. I pulled on the tether cord to set the alarm off and was pleased with the ear bleeding loudness that followed. It was also nice to see that tether required some decent force to set the alarm off.
I’ve been using the cover and alarm every night for the past 3 months now. During the first month it rained pretty hard a few times and the cover absorbed some water. While the bike never got wet underneath, the cover took a couple hours of direct sunlight to really dry out. The only thing that I’ve done to make the cover better since then was to spray it with some 3M waterproofing spray. The instructions that come with the cover actually recommended this because it helps to prevent the cover from soaking up water.
During the following 2 months I noticed that it no longer absorbs water, but instead allows it to bead up and then just roll off the cover. The cover also fits my bike very well. There is no sloppy excess hanging anywhere, and it goes all the way down to the bottom of the front and back tire. The cover has a strap located at the center so that you can tie it together, but I’ve never used this and found that because it fits the bike so well the wind has no chance at pulling the cover off (it helps that the elastic around the bottom is pretty tight too). They also include two heavy duty grommets at the bottom so that you can lock the cover onto the bike if you really wanted to. While I may lock the cover down eventually, I think that would prevent the alarm from working. Once the cover is on the bike, you just need to reach up under the cover and attach the clip from the tether to something on your bike. That way, if someone pulls the cover up the alarm goes off and there is no easy way to shut it up without sticking the tether back into the alarm. After accidently pulling the cover off without unclipping the tether early one morning I learned that the alarm is not only extremely loud, but it also invites neighbors to give you the stink eye. If you are looking for a good way to keep your beloved bike out of the elements, and you want a cheap theft deterrent, look no further.
-- Mario R.