October 01, 2015
HOW DOES A PREMIUM COVER COMPARE? A cover for your scooter is important, particularly if you don’t have an indoors spot to park. Without one you’ll be dealing with a rusty scooter and fading paint - not great for resale value. I’ve tried quite a few covers over the past decade, but always of the ultra low cost variety because I’ve been a poor student and I wasn’t sure what spending more would achieve.
My most recent foray into the world of cheap covers was last fall when I bought a $9 cover from eBay. It claimed to be for a scooter, but when it arrived it was labelled as a bicycle cover. Hmm.... No surprise it didn’t fit my scooter. I had to slit the back to stretch it on since it wasn’t worth shipping back. Even then it would blow off on windy days because it lacked an elastic bottom or any straps. One such windy day was enough to poke my handlebars through the cover because the material was so thin, at which point I decided the cover was trash. I’ve used other cheap covers that weren’t quite this bad, but they’ve always been the sorta where you know the lifespan is going to be a year max.
Recently I’ve been using a higher end scooter cover from CarCovers.com. They sent me their Ultimate Shield Scooter Cover (USSC), which despite the superlative name is actually their second best option. The most striking difference from covers I’ve used in the past is the fabric, which is far thicker and doesn’t feel like it’s going to tear when you’re pulling it on.
I expect it’ll last years instead of months and it has a 7 year warranty if it doesn’t. CarCovers calls the material fleece lined polypropylene, which is a fair description. Polypropylene provides a waterproof and breathable barrier, while the fleece lining adds some strength, ensures your scooter isn’t scratched and helps it slide on.
The other important feature of the USSC is a bottom strap and buckle, so there’s no chance it’ll blow off in the wind. This is also helped by the fit, which is the best I’ve had in a cover. Unlike a baggy cover, it doesn’t catch a lot of wind. The USSC only flaps minimally in the wind and definitely isn’t going anywhere. Apparently CarCovers has researched the size specs on every scooter out there, so you can simply type in your machine and it’ll set you up with the right size rather than guessing.
A couple other nice features on the USSC are nylon reinforced areas along the engine and exhaust, a clearly labelled front and back and an elastic bottom hem that squeezes around your machine well. There’s also covered vents along the handlebars to increase airflow so your wet machine can dry out faster.
My main criteria for a cover are fit, durability and security in the wind and the Ultimate Shield Scooter Cover scores high marks in all these areas. The main drawbacks are twofold: cost and bulk. The USSC lists for $165 but it seems to always be on sale at CarCovers.com for $89. Even at $89 it’s a decent outlay of cash (hey that’s 18 tanks of gas @ $5 tank), particularly if you’re used to paying in the single digits. In the long run though it’s money well spent as it preserves the condition of your scooter.
The other downside to the Ultimate Shield Scooter cover is bulk. If you want to bring this cover on the road you’ll need to free up some extra space in your backpack. With thicker material comes a larger packed size, so the USS cover packs to the size of a well fed house cat. It doesn’t weigh much, but the space requirements are double what a thin plastic cover needs. Also, the storage bag that’s included with the cover is twice as big as needed, which exaggerates the bulk as the cover doesn’t stay tightly rolled. Finding a smaller bag would be a good start if you want to take the cover on the road.
Overall, the Ultimate Shield Scooter Cover does all the important stuff very well. It’s durable, secure and fits great. Price sensitive buyers might want explore for cheaper options, and commuters that need to pack the cover along might want something smaller, but for 80% of scooterists that need a cover for at home this one does it very well. If you’re on the fence on the price or need a smaller cover, CarCovers offer the Deluxe Shield cover that foregoes the fleece and thus costs $12 less and presumably packs smaller.
Disclosure: This cover was provided by CarCovers.com under no obligation to review it.