Product: BikeKini Waterproof travel cover
Supplier: Amazon UK (Black = £44.95, Red = £44.95
Purchase Price (as reviewed): £39.99
Purchase Date: 3rd August 2016
Review Date: 10th August 2016
Long Term Review: TBA
Reviewer: Tristan Findley
As I’m sure any of you riders out there know, when you store your bike at home you like to keep it clean and dry, but when we’re at our destination, that might not always be the easiest thing to do, especially when most of us aren’t afforded undercover parking while at work, or have a portable bike cover because let’s face it, you’d need to have an entire bag dedicated to it, and really, and who wants that?! On most bikes, space is at a premium, and until they manage to invent storage solution with the same properties as Hermione’s Beaded Bag, or the TARDIS, we’ll be looking for things that take up as little space as possible so a full motorcycle cover really isnt on the cards.
Enter the BikeKini Waterproof Travel Cover – a portable travel solution that covers the most important areas of your bike while it’s parked up, but doesn’t require a its own personal luggage rack to be installed on the back of the bike. In-fact, this solution is small enough that you could fit it under your seat (along with your wallet, house keys, disc lock, tool kit, first aid kit, spare gloves, and kitchen sink) or slot it into a tank bag, tail pack or even inside your jacket if you’re really traveling light.
After spotting this product on Amazon and looking for alternatives (without much success) I figured I’d try it out. At £39.99 (or £29.99 for some models) they’re not expensive for what they are, and seem like a bit of a bargain. I went for a Black / Silver model as both of my current bikes are blue, and black goes with everything!
Manufacturer’s Description of the BikeKini
- MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL COVER FOR ALL MOTORBIKE STYLES, UNIQUE PATENTED DESIGNS MANUFACTURED IN THE UK
- KIT INCLUDES COVER, MOTORBIKE TAIL PACK, COMBINATION LOCK, 2 X STORAGE POUCHES, HIGH WIND TOWING KIT
- PERFECT FOR RALLIES, TRIPS, COMMUTING, GARAGE DUST AND DAY COVERS
- POCKET SIZED COVER FOR TRAVEL. PACKS INTO A FIST SIZED POUCH
- WATERPROOF, HEAT REFLECTIVE, LOCKABLE AND SUITABLE FOR TOWING
This is our most popular travel cover and makes the perfect gift. All BIKEKINI travel covers are manufactured by hand in the UK to our unique patented protected designs. This model will fit ALL motorcycle models and brands due to its unique design. Tested on over 200 motorcycles to date. AVAILABLE IN BLACK / SILVER or RED / SILVER with a heat reflective side will keep seats -20 degrees cooler on a sunny day. Ideal for riding in hot climates. Fully waterproof with an HH rating of 5,000mm. They are perfect for light travel, commuting, parking under trees, bike rallies or just to keep the dust off in your garage. These are small enough to fit under your seat in the storage pouch or in the tailback provided and pack away again in under a minute due to their size. Because they are BIKINI styled, it does not matter which model year, CC or screen type is fitted to your bike. Also as they do not touch exhaust pipes, they can be fitted immediately after parking. This is a special offer which includes all our optional accessories: Kit includes the following:
- 1 x BIKEKINI travel cover.
- 1 x side strap / wind kit,
- 2 x STORAGE pouches (which can double as wing mirror protectors and great for storing small items with their elasticated toggle closure).
- 1 x TAILPACK carry unit which can be securely attached to the bike or removed and worn around the waist. This has two zippered compartments, perfect for storing essentials like phones, keys & sunglasses, plus your travel cover.
- 1 x WIRE COMBINATION LOCK. This securely locks the cover to the bike and you can also be used to temporarily lock your helmet or jacket to the bike.
Covers can be machine washed at 30 degrees and are easy to wipe clean. With the supplied side straps fitted, they are suitable for towing behind a vehicle. Bespoke printing is available at our main website. We are licensed by the Isle of Man TT races. Printing available for Rallies, Club Chapters,Events, Racing Teams, Sponsors, Showrooms or individual designs.
The BikeKini arrives in a standard white cardboard box with the color and model details on the side. Inside you have the BikeKini itself, already folded into one of the two mirror bag / storage pouches. The second mirror pouch contains the Fitting Instruction leaflet and the Side Connection Kit.
The first thing you notice when opening the product is how light it actually is. I mean it’s REALLY light. This makes traveling with the BikeKini incredibly easy as it has such a small profile. The storage bags / mirror pouches measure 230mm x 150mm, with square stitching at the closed end at 40mm. This probably all means that they’re slightly too big to fit flat inside your inside jacket pocket, but could be easily folded or scrunched up to fit. They’re also plenty large enough to hold a wallet, iPhone 6s Plus and other assorted bits.
The BikeKini itself is a good quality light-weight cover that has one colored side (black in my case) and one silver side. There are four sides as it is of (more or less) rectangular design to fit the contour of most motorcycles.The front (wide) end is elasticated and curved to allow it to fit over the fairings or contours of the front of most motorcycles, with the straps reaching forward and down toward the front of the bike. The rear is narrower than the front and not elasticated. It again has two straps which are designed to hook under the tail, tail tidy, luggage rack or onto the pillion sissy-bar.
The included Wind Kit comes in a separate bag. It consists of two elasticated tie-downs with sliders to adjust and two plastic ends to attach to the elasticated straps. The Wind Kit is considered an option when fitting the BikeKini, hence why its not attached by default.
I won’t go into what is included in the box as the manufacturer’s description lists it precisely, with one two things missed out. The BikeKini itself comes with an extra strap, probably for attaching to larger bikes (I needed this with my Triumph America LT, but didn’t for my Suzuki GSR-750). The other thing that isnt mentioned are the three little socks that are included in the pack –
these are designed to go over the quick release buckles to stop them scratching the bike. It’s a very small touch, but such a thoughtful one.
Fitting the BikeKini
Fitting the Bikekini to the bike is a straight-forward process. Simple remove the BikeKini from the protective pouch and lay it over the top of the bike with the wider end goes at the forks and the narrow end at the tail. If you’re not using the extension strap, I suggest starting at the front of the bike as your only adjustment is at the rear. If you have a larger bike and/or need the extension strap, try attaching the rear first and adjusting the overall fit using the extension strap.
Attach the wide end to the front of the bike, taking the two strap down and around the forks and under the lights. This is where the extension strap comes in handy for larger bikes – attach this if necessary. Securing the BikeKini to the front of the bike can be done with or without the extension strap. the standard straps are not adjustable, so try to see if they’ll close in front of your forks (if they’re slightly loose, don’t worry as you can tighten everything from the rear or from the sides). If they don’t fit, try the extension strap, which can either be secured around the front forks or using the included loop to go over your front mudguard. Once everything is fitted, close the buckles and adjust the extension strap. Once the buckles are closed, slide the protective socks over the buckles to prevent it from rubbing against the paintwork.
At the bag of the bike, simply attach the straps underneath the tail light, mudguard, rear seat, luggage rack, sissy bar, or tail tidy. Adjust the straps to get a good fit, but make sure it’s not tight. At this point you could call it a day for most bikes, as the general shape of the BikeKini tends to shape nicely to the tank. If you wish to make the fit even better, you can use the Wind Kit to secure the sides.
If you’ve not fitted the Wind Kit yet, refer to the included instructions for how to thread the kit and which set of holes to choose for which type of bike you have. From my experience, I opted for the pair closest to the rear of the BikeKini, giving me the ability to use it with the rider pegs or the pillion pegs. To fit, release the two sliders on the elasticated straps and extend the straps as far as needed. hook them over the pegs or desired attachment point and tighten the sliders. Just tuck the remainder of the elastic away somewhere appropriate.
Fitting the BikeKini – Suzuki GSR-750 motoGP
For my GSR-750 I secured the strap under the headlight for which I didn’t need the extension strap, next I secured the rear strap around the pillion seat and rear light, using the buckle sock to ensure no scratching. Next I used the Wind Kit to secure the sides to the pillion peg pylons as they have included hooks for attaching cargo-netting.
The BikeKini is a perfect fit for my Suzuki GSR-750, and the primary reason I purchased it.
Fitting the BikeKini – Triumph America LT
To fit my Triumph America LT, I first started by attaching the rear of the BikeKini behind the Sissy Bar. Next I went to the front, and using the extension strap, fastened the front of the strap under the lighting bar. For the wind kit, I secured both tiedowns under the passenger footboards.
The BikeKini fitting on the Triumph America is not quite as good as on the Suzuki GSR-750, however it perfectly achieves its purpose of covering the saddle and most of the tank. It would be nice to have a pouch that could be sat over the Sissy Bar to keep the backrest dry / cool. Maybe BikeKini could come up with a Cruiser specific model?
UPDATE: BikeKini have now released the BikeKini V-Twin (Review coming soon!), which is a much better fit for my Triumph America!
BikeKini in the sun
As mentioned at the beginning of this review, the BikeKini has two sides, a black water-resistant side, and a silver reflective side that is designed to keep the top of your bike a number of degrees cooler. Having parked my bike in the hot sun for most of a working day, then coming back to a roasty-toasty saddle, I can attest to the need for this feature. To test, I decided to park my bike on the drive for hottest period of the day with the BikeKini attached.
Fit for all?
In the world of marketing, we’re often told that ‘one-size fits all’, and within the confines of the pocket universe within which exists said marketing department, I’m sure that rule applies 100% of the time. However in the real world, this mantra simply does not apply. The BikeKini is a product that ‘could’ fall ever so slightly into this trap. It really does seem to fit every bike, but with one or two minor caveats. If you have a rear seat with a tail pack attached (like I sometimes have on my GSR-750) you will probably need to remove the tail pack before fitting the cover, as will Tank Bags. Removal of bags really is a very small price to pay, and honestly if you’re leaving your bike for any length of time you’re almost certainly going to remove them, so really this scenario should never occur.
Now If you have a cruiser with a sissy bar for the pillion and for the rider, you might struggle getting the BikeKini to fit over the saddles and the whole tank. As you can see from my test with the Triumph America LT, it does not cover the two panniers.
These are very minor exceptions, and as you can see I’ve tried it with two very different bikes – a superstreet and a cruiser, and it fits both perfectly
So would I recommend the BikeKini? Absolutely! To me it’s one of those things that I’d carry with me in almost all situations. It has a permanent space in either my tank bag, under the seat on my Suzuki GSR-750, or in a pannier on the Triumph America LT. It is one of those things that you probably won’t fit to your bike every single time you leave it, however it’s one of those things that I’d rather have with me in case I’m going off and leaving the bike for any length of time. I can already foresee using this on rides down to the South Coast where seagulls and other poopers of the sky are out in force, and it’s being used regularly on my commuting days.
Long Term Review
Once Autumn truly hits here in the UK, a long term review of the BikeKini will be posted. I will test the waterproofing, windproofing, and general wear and tear. Keep checking back for updates, or drop a comment below to find out how it’s going so far.
This review of the BikeKini is not sponsored or commissioned. The product was purchased privately for use by Tristan Findley.