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Do bring a bike cover while on Tour?


robofavo

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robofavo

I'm planning a multi-day "out-west" trip this June through the Black Hills, into Wyoming & beyond this Summer from the midwest. The thought crossed my mind to bring a bike cover for over-nights, for both weather protection & maybe soft-security for overnight parking at motels & hotels. Do you bother covering your steed at night and if you bother with other soft-security items like disk locks? This is my first multi-day trip with a newish '19 RT so, I'm feeling somewhat protective. Thanks for any and all responses.

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Oldrider51

When I have traveled long distance I always take at least one disc lock and sometimes two. You don't say if the bike has an anti-theft system, so I assume you do not. As to a cover it is a good idea both for safety and to keep it dry if it rains or there is heavy dew. 

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I carry the Nelson-Rigg UV-2000 half cover, which packs pretty small.  When I'm travelling, the panniers and trunk are full, so there is no storage for helmet, jacket, or air vest if I want to park the bike and get away on foot for a while.  I lock up my gear on the seat with a cable lock through the grab rails, cover it all with the half cover and everything is out of sight, while being protected from sun and rain.  I don't use disc locks on the bike, just rely on insurance and the fact that an RT is pretty low on the thieves list of desirable bikes.

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Mine came in a belt pack, I think they come with a stuff sack now.  The belt pack is probably twice as big as it needs to be, I don't use it for the cover.

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Yes, I usually carry a cover. I’ve heard over the years that it can deter thieves, but truthfully I’m not so sure about that. It’s not like a potential thief is going to think, “Gosh, there’s a motorcycle I can swipe, but I’d better not because it’s under a nylon cover.” Mostly I do it to have a clean, dry ride when I hit the road in the morning.  

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robofavo

Glad to hear this - I was perhaps thinking maybe I would be showing a bit much of motorcycle vanity... My 2019 RT has an alarm, but I've yet to use it. I'm worried someone will accidentally set it off in the middle of the night... (I used to have a car w/ an alarm that suffered false alarms and became a headache.)

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robofavo

Also, thanks for the suggestion of the Nelson Riggs half cover - I like the idea of covering too - especially in the summer if the bike is parked for hours (while I go for hike) in the blazing sunshine. 

 

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I'm on the other side.  I figure if the bike is ok being subjected to 70+ wind and the dirt carried by said wind for hours on end, it should be just fine sitting outside the motel.  As for locks, I did that on my first long tour back in the 70s, but that was the one and only time.  I can't recall ever reading about a member on this or other motorcycle boards ever having a bike swiped while on a trip in the US or Canada.

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Michiganr80rt

I carry a seat cover that I got for the R80RT with a Russel seat. I am not worried about weather for the bike but I like a dry seat in the morning

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always cover my bike when on the road even if in a garage as already noted it keep curious folks away. 

 

I've seen a nice Nelson Ring 1/2 cover at numerous BMW events which I am sure packs up nicely. I use an EZ-Tour cover.  They last a lifetime and made right here in the USA.  They make a nice 1/2 cover as well and even the full cover I use packs up nice and small. 

 

https://eztouring.com

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I use a full nelson-rigg cover when I travel unless where I overnight has covered parking.  My babies sleep inside at home, so I don't want them to get home-sick.

 

With respect to theft....while on a trip a theft would really suck, but that's what insurance is for.  I use a cover just to keep folks/eyes away....

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Rider1260

I use the BMW Large Travel cover , I use when commuting or traveling its around $50 for the large and if folds really small fits the bike ( RT ) really well 

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Joe Frickin' Friday

My Corbin saddle loves to hold moisture, so if it's parked outdoors overnight I cover it (the saddle) with a square of plastic sheeting cut from a heavy-duty trash bag.  It tucks in around the edges of the saddle to hold it in place, and takes almost no space in my luggage during the day.

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dirtrider
3 minutes ago, Joe Frickin' Friday said:

My Corbin saddle loves to hold moisture, so if it's parked outdoors overnight I cover it (the saddle) with a square of plastic sheeting cut from a heavy-duty trash bag.  It tucks in around the edges of the saddle to hold it in place, and takes almost no space in my luggage during the day.

Evening Mitch

 

I do the same thing, cover just the seat with one garbage bag & cover the windshield with another. I usually use one of the garbage bags to clean up the camp site &  use the other for my wet dirty ground cloth. 

 

I also use a shower cap to cover the tank bag if the weather looks iffy.  

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dduelin

I travel with a Oxford half cover because I also like a bike dry in the morning. It packs to 9" x 7" x 3".

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robofavo

Those of us who don't have the privilege to travel a lot (me) probably tend to over-think the travel portion which can, sadly, lead to over-packing.  I plan to travel much more, once retired i (a few years off yet) , in the meantime all your comments I have found useful, and some quite entertaining. Thanks to all. 

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Twisties

Two RT's between us, both approaching 100k miles mostly on tour in the Western US and Canada.  We don't use covers or locks.  At BMWST meets I would say you see one or two bikes covered.  The only problem I ever had was when a hotel in Page, AZ ran the sprinklers in the night and there was a hard freeze.  I couldn't get a side case open as it had 1/3rd of an inch of hard, clear ice on it.  Took me a few minutes to clear it.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
34 minutes ago, robofavo said:

Those of us who don't have the privilege to travel a lot (me) probably tend to over-think the travel portion which can, sadly, lead to over-packing.  I plan to travel much more, once retired i (a few years off yet) , in the meantime all your comments I have found useful, and some quite entertaining. Thanks to all. 

 

On my first RT ('99 R1100RT), I bought the top case, but hardly used it.  I did buy a tank bag though.  

 

My current RT ('09 R1200RT), I don't have a tankbag or a topcase.  Somehow I seem to get by, although I do find myself strapping one or two small items to the rear rack.

 

5 minutes ago, Twisties said:

The only problem I ever had was when a hotel in Page, AZ ran the sprinklers in the night and there was a hard freeze.  I couldn't get a side case open as it had 1/3rd of an inch of hard, clear ice on it.  Took me a few minutes to clear it.

 

Reminds me of the '05 spring El Paseo in Blairsville, GA.  Saturday evening it rained, and then overnight things froze hard.  A lot of us had trouble getting into our luggage (or getting the key in the ignition).  

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Bought a 96 RT new and rode it until 2018 when I bought another new RT.  I have about 120K on BMW's.  Never used a cover.  I've seen the spectrum of weather.  If you are staying in motels you can towel off seat/tank with a towel in the AM.  At campgrounds it's paper towels or TP.  I use aerostich pants so seat moisture doesn't get to my bum no matter what.  Like someone above mentioned, if you're going to ride in all sorts of weather during the day, who cares if it rains on your bike at night?  In some situations, you may get more moisture under your cover than had it not been covered.  That said, I do keep my bikes garaged and covered when not in use.  On the road, I've got better things to put in my limited storage space other than a bike cover.  When the cover is wet in the AM, where do you stow it?  With all the other stuff you're trying to keep dry?  Ride it and fagetaboutit

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Skywagon

I carry and use a half cover when it rains. I don’t think it is good to soak the seat, dash, engine, etc. That said I guess I’m a tiny bit hypocrite as I have no issue riding in the rain 😁

I’ve been lucky as many motels/hotels will let me park upfront under the car park overnight. I’ve actually had a couple let me park it in their lobby

 

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Hosstage

Mine just sits out in the elements when traveling, and I ride a brand that is known to be stolen often. No problems in 30 years.

We always ask the motel if they have rags we can use to wipe the seats and windshields, so we don't use their room towels. They are always more than happy to provide some for us, and thank us for not ruining their good ones.

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Rob Nowell

Half-cover, as well.  Additionally, I use the cable lock idea to secure my jacket to the bike (through one sleeve) when I wander about to stretch my legs, eat lunch, etc.  A disc lock helps me sleep better, so it comes with me everywhere.

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Bill_Walker

I bought a cover, and tried it a few times.  I eventually decided it was too much trouble and took up space that was better used for a rain suit.

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  • 2 months later...
louisvillebob

I know this is after your trip, but this is my 2cents.  I usually use a Nelson-Rigg cover at the motel.  This just me, but I hate to climb on a seat wet with dew or overnite rain.  Doesn't hurt to roll cover up wet and dry it later.  Theft: I try and park where I can see bike out the window.  Other than that, don't worry.  BMWs are very low on the steal list of the bad guys.

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I always take the cover and the disk Lock as well.

Never had a problem, and when it rained- I was happy it was undercover.

(It also keeps the family kids from playing with your stuff in the parking lot)

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