Oxford Protex Stretch motorcycle cover

Keep the elements off your bike – as well as prying eyes – with this cover from Oxford

Oxford Protex Stretch motorcycle cover in use

by Jim Blackstock |

There are two main reasons to keep your bike under a cover. The first is if you don’t have anywhere ‘indoors’ to keep your bike, such as a garage, workshop or shed. A cover will keep the worst of the weather away from your bike and help protect it when not in use.

The second is to also protect it but not from the elements but prying eyes. While a cover will not prevent a thief actually stealing the bike any more than if it were not fitted, it will hide the bike from casual glances so they don’t know whether it is valuable or not and potentially, will move on to the next target.

There are cheap covers and there are more expensive – and feature-packed – covers and this Protex version from Oxford Products is unashamedly in the latter category. It is available in different sizes to suit a wide variety of bikes, from sports to adventure and with or without luggage. It is also formed in stretch material to ensure that it fits snugly to keep the bike protected.

1. Oxford Protex Stretch

Oxford Protex Stretch

1. Oxford Protex Stretch

Oxford Protex Stretch

It uses a waterproof outer layer with a softer lining to protect the bike’s paintwork or screen. It is ventilated to allow moisture or condensation to dissipate, and it also comes with apertures at both the front and the rear to allow a chain to be passed through to secure the bike when the cover is fitted. There are also pockets to house the padlock for relevant chains used at the front and the back.

There’s more; there is a removable panel at the rear to allow the numberplate to be seen through a clear window in case you want to leave the bike’s registration to be seen for identification and another at the front, to house a solar charger if the bike is to be stored for a period of time. There are also reflective sections for night-time visibility and it comes in five sizes to suit different bikes.

I stared with a Large example to keep my Royal Enfield Himalayan protected from the worst of the winter’s wind and rain. However, this proved too small for the diminutive adventurer with its factory-fitted panniers. The front would only come part-way down the front wheel, leaving it and the brakes exposed when pulled down (very tight) just below the rear numberplate.

Oxford Protex Stretch unsecured in bad weather
©Photo: Bauer Media

Swapping for an Extra Large, this is a much better fit lengthways but the issue with the Himalayan is that while it needs the length of the XL cover – and the height - it doesn’t have the girth of other adventurers that would necessitate the XL cover.

So this means that when the wind gets it, without a chain through the front-wheel sections, it tends to act like a parachute and pull the cover back off the front of the bike, exposing the brakes and up to the headlight. However, passing another chain (I use one at the rear) through the front, or even a strap, prevents this from happening.

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It does remain secure at the rear, as I use a hefty chain and padlock to keep the bike safe at this end and the width is about right across the RE panniers. The cover is kept secure on the bike overall thanks to the elasticated bottom section and the adjustable strap that passes under the bike but again, because of the RE’s skinny nature, there is a lot of spare material here.

Oxford Protex Stretch security chain holes
©Photo: Bauer Media

Once secured at each end, it’s the additional material that is an issue. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the cover per se – it’s more down to the compatibility of the XL version and the long and tall but skinny Enfield.

The top sections of the cover sit on the mirrors but there is a lot of spare material around the front of the bike and in high winds, as I have experienced throughout the winter, it moves around a lot.

While the soft lining has help up pretty well, there are a few marks on the Himalayan’s screen that would appear to come from the edge of the solar-panel window retaining Velcro. This was fastened with some of the former part exposed and I didn’t realise until the marks had appeared.

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I re-secured the Velcro and it has been fine since; the marks aren’t massive and look as though they will polish out so no massive issue but a little annoying nonetheless.

Verdict

The Oxford Protex cover has done a perfect job of keeping rain and wind away from my bike. The water beads well off the outer layer and the inner layer has kept the majority of the bike protected well.

Oxford Protex Stretch underbelly strap
©Photo: Bauer Media

The XL version I needed to cover the length of the Enfield leaves some spare material that the wind moves around as it’s a skinny bike and this has left some light marks on the screen from exposed Velcro sections but these should polish out once the weather improves. A good cover but sizing needs to be right.

Pros:

Keeps bike dry

Allows use of locks and chains

Soft lining

Cons:

Edge of solar-window Velcro marked screen

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