Cycle Shell Motorcycle Garage Review
by "C.P." for webBikeWorld.com
The Cycle Shell is an alternative motorcycle garage.
It is semi-portable and it comes in three sizes to fit most motorcycles.
It has mildew-proof and waterproof fabric that is also resistant to ultraviolet light.
The garage is vented to prevent moisture buildup.
It can be permanently located and cover can be locked to base.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a garage to store their motorcycle.
I happen to live in a house without a garage. But I was reluctant to just keep my motorcycle under a traditional motorcycle cover.
One of my neighbors who has a garage was kind enough to let me store my motorcycle in his garage when we first moved into our house.
But I knew I couldn't impose on my neighbors forever and needed to come up with a better, long-term solution that didn't involve spending thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars to build a garage.
I thought about a shed, but didn't really have room for a big enough one given the landscaping and aesthetics of our backyard. The answer: the Cycle Shell motorcycle enclosure.
At $325 to $425 (depending on size) plus shipping, it's certainly more expensive than your average motorcycle cover but a lot cheaper than buying a shed or building a garage.
Cycle Shell is sold customer direct from Omnitrend in Boulder, Colorado. They don't have a web ordering system, but they do have a toll-free phone number and they accept Visa or MasterCard. It should take two weeks or less for your fully-assembled Cycle Shell to arrive at the door.
All you need is a firm, flat space at least 10 feet long and 4 feet wide and you have an instant motorcycle garage! I had a concrete slab on the side of my house that's just right, but a friend of mine actually built his own brick patio just for a Cycle Shell!
The best description of the Cycle Shell that I can think of it it's a collapsible clam shell that fits over the motorcycle. It comes in three different sizes to fit everything from a sportbike (like mine) to a big touring bike. Cycle Shell calls them the Sport, Cruiser and Tourer.
All three sizes share the same 10-foot long base, but vary in height from 60 inches to 67 inches. The difference between the Cycle Shell Cruiser and the Tourer is that the Tourer has two additional frame spars to create greater volume at the far ends of the enclosure.
The Cycle Shell base is made from a hard plastic. The weight of the motorcycle should be more than enough to keep the Cycle Shell in place, but the base can be anchored to the ground if a more permanent installation is desired, or if it just makes you sleep better at night knowing your Cycle Shell isn't going anywhere on its own.
My Cycle Shell is not anchored to the ground and it survived 70-90 mph winds during Hurricane Isabel in 2003 without a problem.
There is a large metal plate attached to the base to allow a motorcycle to be raised up on its center stand. A smaller metal plate is also provided for the motorcycle's side stand. Once properly positioned, the smaller metal plate can be easily screwed into the Cycle Shell's plastic base.
As you can see from these photos, I don't use the center stand or the side stand plates for my motorcycle. Instead, I use the BikeGrab (claimed to be the "world's safest wheel grab") to hold my motorcycle upright.
This is a pretty nifty device that really works. In lieu of a BikeGrab or another type of wheel chock, the Cycle Shell comes with a little wheel wedge that can be positioned so that the motorcycle is in just the right place every time it's rolled into place.
The base also has tie-down strap points that can be used to hold the motorcycle in place if desired. I actually use straps attached to the swingarm sliders (spools) for some added peace of mind, but I have complete confidence in the BikeGrab's ability to keep my motorcycle upright even without straps.
The articulated clam shell is made of a waterproof and mildew- and UV-resistant polyester material. I've had my Cycle Shell now for more than a year and can attest that the cover material can hold up to heavy rain and snow.
I have never cleaned the cover and it hasn't faded.
The cover is vented, which helps to prevent moisture from building up on the inside.
Velcro at the bottom of the cover seals the enclosure, and two pins are located on either side of the base to hold down the cover.
For added security, a padlock can be inserted instead of the pin. If that isn't enough, there are also two D-ring straps that also hold the cover down.
The Cycle Shell is pretty easy to use and everything can be easily figured out without the benefit of instructions. The whole thing weighs about 70 pounds. It arrives folded in half, and the only setup necessary is to unfold it.
Opening and closing the clam shell takes only a matter of seconds. Once the Cycle Shell is located where you want it, just open up the clam shell, roll in the motorcycle and put it on its center stand or side stand (or in my case, in the BikeGrab), and then close up the clam shell. It's really that simple.
Assuming you're not trying to stuff a fully decked out Gold Wing into a “sport” sized Cycle Shell, the cover shouldn't touch or rub against the motorcycle, including the exhaust – which means you don't have to wait for it to cool off to close it up.
The cover might rub against or touch the rearview mirrors though, so you might have to fold them back. But otherwise, it's really a no fuss affair.
I've had my Cycle Shell for about 18 months and have no complaints or problems to report. It keeps my motorcycle safe from the elements year-round, providing a level of protection comparable to a shed or garage.
During the winter, I attach my Battery Tender and keep it inside the Cycle Shell so I won't have a dead battery in the spring. It's not a heated garage, but it sure beats a motorcycle cover.
|wBW Review: Cycle Shell Motorcycle Garage|
|Manufacturer: Cycle Shell||List Price: $325.00 - 425.00 + S/H|
|Colors: Silver.||Made In: U.S.A.|
|Review Date: November 2004|
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From "B.B." (September 2012): "Thanks for the review about the motorcycle garage. I will likely by one, partly based on your review."