Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Brookfield, MA
Thanked 422 Times in 266 Posts
My bike is stored in a relatively inexpensive, unheated, metal garden shed where it sits for at least 4 months of the year during winter. It's completely out of the elements except the cold. I also rarely, if ever, ride in the rain.
The reason I don't ride in the rain is that I no longer have to.
I used to commute to work every day for years when I lived closer to the city and a lot of that was in the rain. While it wasn't that much of a bother (I had a GREAT TourMaster one-piece rain suit), the wet and especially the road grime definitely had an adverse effect on my bike's finishes and components. Just keeping it clean and free of rust was a full-time job. The really fine grit that you pick up on a wet road gets into everything, not just your chain and hubs. God, I hated having to clean that stuff off the bike all the time.
Is there any way you could erect a small shed big enough to fit your bike? Perhaps custom build one just big enough to fit your bike and a little gear next to your house? You're never going to keep the bike from getting wet with just a cover or using a plastic or fabric lean-to. I also think that having the bike enclosed in even the simplest of structures might cut down on some of the condensation caused by sudden temperature changes and help stave off some of the humidity a bit.
At one point I had a Yamaha that I bought new and really loved. It spent it's first year garaged, but I had to move to a new place where the only option was parking it outside on the street under a cover. I decided I couldn't treat such a beautiful bike like that and sold it just before I had to move. While I've regretted selling it ever since, I know having to watch it rust away under that cover would have been a far more excruciating for me.