The thrills and spills of riding on the open road are undoubtedly the best part of owning a motorbike but there is much more to making the most of your bike than just the rides. Thought and attention must be given to caring for your wheels whilst not riding too. Not only will this help to keep your bike in tip-top shape but also helps to prolong its lifespan, often saving you valuable pounds in repair bills as your bike ages. One of the best ways to care for your motorbike is to ensure you have somewhere safe and secure to store it when it is not in use.
If you don’t have a brick built garage or outbuilding, fear not - the good news is there’s a whole host of different options out there to protect your bike from the outdoor elements to suit your individual needs, such as your budget and the amount of space you have.
In this article, we offer some ideas on our favourite shelter options to suit a large range of needs and considerations.
A bike shelter doesn’t necessarily mean blowing the budget. At the lower end of the scale, you could consider a bike cover. These resemble a tent-like canvas and provide adequate protection from dust, rain and extreme weather conditions. Some will even fold small so that you can take them with you on long-journeys and adventures. A slight increase in budget could see you benefit from a range of additional features including ventilation, UV protection or a steel structure to the canvas. You should also ensure the cover features a lockable system. Importantly, with so many options available, make sure you check the size of any cover so that it fits your bike before you buy!
Whilst a bike cover meets the needs of owners with minimal storage space, there are some other options for a semi-permanent structure that optimise small spaces. A lean-to shelter for example will sit beside the external wall of your house or garage. Usually lean-tos wouldn’t have windows, which some owners prefer as it protects your vehicle from prying eyes or worse, opportunist burglars, but if this is the case, make sure you have adequate ventilation to prevent moisture building up if your motorbike is left standing for long periods of time. You could utilise the length of the external wall in the size of your lean-to, which would allow for greater storage perhaps for your bike tools or other garden items.
Ease of Assembly
When it comes to structured shelters, you may want to consider how confident you are with your DIY skills and whether you have the time to assemble a building yourself. If you are able, purchasing a flat pack shelter to assemble yourself will save you money but many suppliers will offer assembly (at an extra) cost, should you require it. So, if this is your preference, check that it is a service they offer before you buy.
With self-assembly projects, consider also the material of your building. A steel shelter, for example would be quick and easy to assemble and mostly maintenance free; a plastic shed would be lightweight and easy to clean but as is the case with steel, plastic is not breathable so susceptible to a build up of moisture – not ideal for storing your motorbike. A wooden building may take multiple people to assemble but has many advantages for bike storage. These include the fact that wood is breathable, robust in high winds, and there tends to be a greater variety of choice for size and shape of your building depending on your needs. For most structured shelters, remember you will need a solid base to build it on – not usually a requirement for a motorbike cover.
A semi-permanent structure such as a shed or outbuilding will of course provide more robust protection than a cover, particularly important in high winds. At the lower end of the budget a cover can also have the disadvantage of trapping condensation between the material and your bike, something you need to watch out for to prevent rust. So, for maximum protection look for covers that include mesh panels, which are designed to prevent humidity from building up.
Ideally, a garage or brick building is the most sturdy shelter, but as well as considering the conditions inside the shelter- dry and well ventilated - the locking mechanism should also be an important aspect of your choice of shelter for maximum protection and security.
With a little extra research, it won’t take you long to find a bespoke solution to your storage needs. You could have a professionally insulated build that combines a shelter for your bike with storage for your tools and other garden items or even have an extra room or office space attached to plan your next biking adventure in! With bespoke builds you are often able to consider having an electrical output and/or lighting installed, allowing you greater ease in cleaning and carrying out general maintenance work on your motorbike.
When it comes to the care and maintenance of your motorbike, an appropriate garage or shelter is vital in maintaining rust-free paintwork that shines. Our top tip is to ensure that whatever shelter you invest in, make sure it is ventilated and secure.
Motorbike Cables and Accessories with Venhill
Whilst appropriate storage will reduce the risk of damage and protect your bike from the elements, inevitably, general wear and tear will always be a part of owning a motorbike. Here at Venhill, our products are designed to combat common cable problems such as catching, wear, stretching, bowing, bursting, leaking and many other issues.
With over 50 years of experience in developing and manufacturing cables and hoses for modern, classic and vintage motorbikes, we are committed to using the highest quality materials and make safety and reliability testing an absolute priority. For more information on any of our products, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly, experienced team today.