By July 17, 2006

Nelson Rigg Defender 2000 Motorcycle Cover Review

We don’t have a garage at our house. I keep Cylon, my 2005 Yamaha FZ6, covered at all times to protect him from the rain and dust. There are some overhanging oak trees near our driveway, and a cover keeps him safe from tree sap as well.

When I got Cylon last fall, I bought a cheap vinyl cover from Tour Master. It did the job, but the heat-welded seam in the rear of the cover soon split. It was time to get a more heavy-duty cape for my superhero motorcycle.

The Tour Master Cortech Defender 2000 is made of a thick, treated nylon with a laminate underneath to help keep the rain out. An inverted pyramid-shaped vent on each side helps keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. The bottom of the cover is elastic, with plastic eyelets for securing the cover tightly to a bike.

Fit
Unlike my cheap-o vinyl cover, there is a right way and a wrong way to put on the Defender 2000. The rear of the cover is indicated by a tag clearly stamped “REAR.” The front of the cover is wider than the rear to accommodate handlebars.

Putting the cover on the bike took some getting used to. It was frustrating, especially compared to my vinyl cover. For some reason you’d think that establishing the front and the rear of a cover would be easy, but damn if I didn’t tug, tug, tug trying to get the cover to fit only to realize that I had it on backwards.

Sizing
Going off of the Nelson Rigg sizing chart and my prior experience with the vinyl cover, I ordered a size large for my FZ6. A large is too small for anything but a stock bike devoid of bike luggage. I have a taller Puig windshield and nylon tailbag and saddlebags. The cover definitely isn’t big enough to cover the bike. I have to choose to leave one side of the bike more unprotected than the other. I choose to protect the swingarm side, but I’d rather just cover the whole fucking thing almost down to the ground. If you are coming from the Sportbikes.net FZ6 forum, definitely get an XL if you have luggage or aftermarket accessories on your bike.

Performance
We’ve had some gnarly rainstorms this year out in Richmond, and the Defender 2000 hasn’t failed. I’m not sure how to rate the cover’s UV/sun defense. The cover has faded significantly since I purchased it in January of this year. I don’t know if that means that the cover is performing well by absorbing UV light and keeping it from getting to my bike, or if the cover is performing poorly and allowing UV light to bleach the cover and transmitting through to my bike. Maybe one of my readers will have a good explanation.

Duck and Cover

  • Heavy duty cover keeps rain and other environmental nasties off of my precious.
  • No signs of wear and tear, this cover looks like it will last for multiple seasons.
  • Brand agnostic cover reduces advertising what make and model of bike you own. This may benefit those who live in shared-parking areas, like apartments.

Cover-up

  • I hate the elastic at the bottom. I have now learned to remove the cover from the rear first so that the elastic doesn’t pull my mirrors out of alignment. The elastic catches on everything — my pegs, my pillion’s pegs, the handlebars, everything. It’s fucking annoying. I would cut the elastic off if I weren’t concerned about the cover fraying apart.
  • The directional tag is only on the inside of the cover — having an orienting graphic (such as a Nelson Rigg logo) would make things easier.

The Defender 2000 cover is available from the fine folks at NewEnough.com and other major retailers.

Nelson Rigg Defender 2000 cover, I award you:
Four out of five STFU mugs!

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Posted in: motorcycling, review

2 Comments on "Nelson Rigg Defender 2000 Motorcycle Cover Review"

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  1. Ctrix says:

    “The directional tag is only on the inside of the cover — having an orienting graphic (such as a Nelson Rigg logo) would make things easier.”

    DIY with Sharpie?

  2. drfaulken says:

    Honestly, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never thought of that. 🙂 Good idea, wonder what I should scribble on the side.

    Maybe FRONT —->