Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20090025843 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/880,815
Publication dateJan 29, 2009
Filing dateJul 23, 2007
Priority dateJul 23, 2007
Publication number11880815, 880815, US 2009/0025843 A1, US 2009/025843 A1, US 20090025843 A1, US 20090025843A1, US 2009025843 A1, US 2009025843A1, US-A1-20090025843, US-A1-2009025843, US2009/0025843A1, US2009/025843A1, US20090025843 A1, US20090025843A1, US2009025843 A1, US2009025843A1
InventorsMichael Keeler
Original AssigneeMichael Keeler
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Protective vehicle cover
US 20090025843 A1
Abstract
A removable protective vehicle cover for motorcycles and similarly designed vehicles for protecting the upper surface of the vehicle from the elements. A cover sheet component protects vehicle structures disposed rearward of the handlebars and incorporates two front mounting elements for releasably receiving forward structures of the vehicle. The cover sheet is deployed in a generally horizontal plane and provides minimal wind resistance to any such lateral forces. An optional cover module protects vehicle components disposed forward of the handlebars and may be releasably attached to the front edge of the cover sheet. A storage pouch may be integrally incorporated with the vehicle cover to allow for compact storage and portability of the vehicle cover when not in use.
Images(8)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(20)
1. A protective vehicle cover, comprising:
a flexible cover sheet for protecting a vehicle and its components disposed rearward of the handlebars, wherein said cover sheet is weather resistant, lies generally in a horizontal plane, and has minimal vertical surfaces providing for low wind resistance;
two front mounting points having a releasable connection to forward structures of said vehicle, wherein said two front mounting points are fastened to a bottom surface of said cover sheet; and
a rear mounting point for providing a releasable attachment to a rear structure of said vehicle.
2. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, wherein said two front mounting points are selected from the group consisting of loop-shaped fasteners, pockets, and retention straps.
3. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, wherein said forward structures of said vehicle are hand grips.
4. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, wherein said rear structure of said vehicle is selected from the group consisting of the frame, rear fender, seat, rear wheel, tail light assembly, and turn signal fixtures.
5. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, wherein said rear mounting point comprises a communicable attachment.
6. The protective vehicle cover of claim 5, wherein said communicable attachment fastens a rear edge of said cover sheet to said rear structure of said vehicle.
7. The protective vehicle cover of claim 6, wherein said communicable attachment is selected from the group consisting of hook and loop fasteners, strap and buckle fasteners, tie-off straps, and hook straps.
8. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, wherein said cover sheet comprises an irregular hexagonal shape.
9. The protective vehicle cover of claim 8, wherein said cover sheet is symmetrical and comprises a linear front edge unequal in length and disposed parallel to a linear rear edge, two linear parallel side edges that are equal in length and perpendicular to said front edge and said rear edge, and two linear non-parallel side edges that are equal in length.
10. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, further comprising a cover module for protecting vehicle components disposed forward of said handlebars.
11. The protective vehicle cover of claim 10, wherein a releasable attachment connects a rear edge of said cover module to a front edge of said cover sheet.
12. The protective vehicle cover of claim 10, wherein said cover module further comprises a plurality of attachment members for releasably fixing said cover module to said vehicle.
13. The protective vehicle cover of claim 11, wherein both said cover sheet and said cover module are independently functional when not releasably attached.
14. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, wherein said cover sheet further comprises a top surface and a bottom surface with a peripheral edge there around, wherein said peripheral edge is folded to said bottom surface and fixed thereto by a fixation means thereby, forming a finished peripheral edge.
15. The protective vehicle cover of claim 14, wherein said fixation means is selected from the group consisting of stitching, heat seal, and adhesive.
16. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, further comprising an integrated storage pouch for compact storage of said vehicle cover when not in use.
17. The protective vehicle cover of claim 16, wherein said integrated storage pouch is disposed at the midpoint on a rear edge of said cover sheet.
18. The protective vehicle cover of claim 1, wherein an air-circulating space is formed between said cover sheet and said vehicle when said cover sheet is deployed.
19. A protective vehicle cover, comprising:
a flexible cover sheet of irregular hexagonal shape for protecting a vehicle and its components disposed rearward of the handlebars, wherein said cover sheet is weather resistant, lies generally in a horizontal plane, and has minimal vertical surfaces providing for low wind resistance, said cover sheet further comprising a symmetrical shape, a linear front edge unequal in length and disposed parallel to a linear rear edge, two linear parallel side edges that are equal in length and perpendicular to said front edge and said rear edge, and two linear non-parallel side edges that are equal in length;
two front mounting points having a releasable connection to forward structures of said vehicle, wherein said two front mounting points are fastened to a bottom surface of said cover sheet; and
a rear mounting point for providing a communicable attachment between said rear edge of said cover sheet and a rear structure of said vehicle.
20. A protective vehicle cover, comprising:
a flexible cover sheet of irregular hexagonal shape for protecting a vehicle and its components disposed rearward of the handlebars, wherein said cover sheet is weather resistant, lies generally in a horizontal plane, and has minimal vertical surfaces providing for low wind resistance, said cover sheet further comprising a symmetrical shape, a linear front edge unequal in length and disposed parallel to a linear rear edge, two linear parallel side edges that are equal in length and perpendicular to said front edge and said rear edge, and two linear non-parallel side edges that are equal in length;
two front mounting points for releasably receiving grip ends of said handlebars, wherein said two front mounting points are fastened to a bottom surface of said cover sheet;
a rear mounting point for providing a communicable attachment between said rear edge of said cover sheet and a rear structure of said vehicle;
a cover module for protecting vehicle components disposed forward of said handlebars wherein a releasable attachment connects a rear edge of said cover module to said front edge of said cover sheet, said cover module further comprising attachment members for releasably fixing said cover module to said vehicle; and
an integrated storage pouch for compact storage of said vehicle cover when not in use, wherein said integrated storage pouch is disposed at the midpoint on said rear edge of said cover sheet.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISK

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to protective vehicle covers, more specifically, the present invention relates to a lightweight protective covering for motorcycles and motorcycle-like vehicle.

2. Background Art

The deteriorating effects of direct sunlight and water are well known and much time, effort, and money has been spent protecting vehicles and other items from these effects. The detrimental effects commonly include fading, blistering, and cracking. The largest impact from these effects is often felt by the uppermost horizontal surfaces of vehicles.

Vehicles such as motorcycles, bicycles, motor scooters, all terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, and similarly designed vehicles are particularly susceptible to these effects since, by design, the vehicles are used in outdoor conditions and have no protective bodies or coverings inherently incorporated in their design. Due to their manner of use, such vehicles are typically exposed to atmospheric elements for extended periods of time.

More specifically, vehicle owners such as motorcyclists often desire to protect their vehicles from damage that can be caused by exposure to rain and, particularly, by exposure to the sun. Commercially available covers are customarily made of material such as vinyl or canvas which is essentially non-stretchable in character. Such covers are normally relatively large and cumbersome, typically making them non-portable for a motorcyclist.

Such covers are usually draped over the motorcycle and are relatively loose fitting, customarily being secured by ties or the like. In any event, such devices, being very loosely fit to the motorcycle, do not afford adequate protection from the elements. This situation is aggravated by virtue of the fact that motorcycles come in various sizes and configurations, while the conventional covers do not.

In addition, motorcycle riders utilize their motorcycles for many purposes, including pleasure trips, running errands, and riding to and from work. It is therefore desirable that the seat and fuel tank be kept free of dust, dirt, and moisture which may accumulate when the motorcycle is parked, so as not to soil the rider's clothes. In hot climates, the black vinyl material of which motorcycle seats are typically composed may become very hot, causing considerable discomfort to the rider when first mounting the motorcycle. In the most extreme cases, the heat may even cause bums. Such heat further serves to seriously degrade the vinyl material. Many motorcycle riders also take pride in the overall appearance of their motorcycle, especially in the cleanliness and shininess of the fuel tank. The intense sunlight and high temperatures that characterize the motorcycle riding season, rapidly oxidizes the paint or lacquer finish of motorcycle fuel tanks, providing a degraded appearance. Some examples of motorcycle coverings and protectors that have been granted patents include the following:

In U.S. Pat. No. 3,659,872, Warner discloses a foldable cover structure that completely covers a motorcycle. The cover has front and rear openings with fasteners and a top opening for the handlebars, with another covering portion that fastens over the top opening.

In U.S. Pat. No. 3,884,523, Allen describes another protective cover for a motorcycle that stores within the seat of the cycle. The cover encloses the entire motorcycle, with no openings, and must be stuffed back into the seat for storage and riding of the motorcycle.

In U.S. Pat. No. 4,171,145, Pearson, Sr. describes a retractable protective covering which may be unrolled from a spring loaded spool mounted in a housing attached to a motorcycle behind the motorcycle seat to cover the seat and the tank of the motorcycle. The covering has a long, rectangular top panel formed of heavy waterproof material, and two long, narrow upper side panels and two long, narrow lower side panels, with an upper and lower side panel on each side of the top panel. A pair of V-shaped bars, fastened to opposite sides of the housing, serves as guides in unfolding the upper and lower panels as the protective cover is extended. The covering is preferably fabricated from a nylon fabric.

In U.S. Pat. No. 4,283,084, Gallagher discloses a protective cover for a motorcycle that is pentagonal in shape. The cover has an elastic curved edge that fits the rear seat portion, a pair of elastic bands for engaging the foot posts, and a set of Velcro strips for joining the cover about the cycle frame between the engine and the front wheel. The cover is described as fabricated from a lightweight, flexible material such as “ripstop” nylon, polyester fabric or other materials which resist the effects of weather.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,062,560, Wasden shows a flexible protective bicycle cover that fits over the seat, crossbar, handlebars and the front fork of a bicycle. The covering is a contour fitted covering of stretchable material that provides aerodynamic features with little or no protection of the bicycle it is covering.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,562,139 by Cseri discloses a stretchable cover for providing a tight aerodynamic fit on the cycle to protect against the elements while the cycle is at rest or being transported. The cover is stretched over the front structure, the cycle frame and seat, attached to the front structure and seat and secured to the foot pegs to retain the cover on the cycle. Openings are provided in the cover for any side mirrors. The stretchable fabric material can be a nylon spandex fabric, known as Spandura®, which is commercially available.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,676,288, Spirk shows a portable protective cover for a bicycle adapted to be connected to the handlebars and seat of a bicycle. The protective cover is made of waterproof or water resistant materials to protect various bicycle components from the elements. The protective cover includes an elastic material design to secure the protective cover to the bicycle. The protective cover can include an integrated storage pouch to conveniently and compactly store the protective covering when not in use.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,795,009, Sack et al. describe a removable sun shade for motorcycles that includes a fabric sheet for extension over the upper part of the motorcycle, forming an air-circulating region between the motorcycle and the sheet. The sheet has a number of attachment members around its edge for securing the sheet to various parts of the motorcycle to hold the sheet in place. A storage pouch is attached to the sheet for reversible attachment to the motorcycle at various locations as most suitable for each model. The material of the fabric sheet is described as “weather resistant with breathability”.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,516,884, Henry discloses a sunscreen protector for motorcycles that covers the seat and fuel tank area to protect these components from the deteriorating effects of sunlight. The protector shade includes a rectangular sheet of tightly woven nylon/lycra elastomeric material sized to cover only the motorcycle seat and fuel tank. Four elastic strap members and a plurality of hook loop members with attached, coated J-hook members are employed for attachment to selected attachment points on the motorcycle.

Thus, there is an unmet need for a protective vehicle cover that covers the seat and fuel tank regions of the vehicle and which can be employed for a large variety of vehicle designs and sizes. The cover also needs to be easily attached to and detached from the vehicle while being small enough for convenient storage.

Additionally, many conventional protective covers envelope the entirety of the vehicle and are more suitable for long term storage. Everyday use of such covers requires more preparation by the user and subjects the vehicle to cross winds that may overturn the vehicle causing significant damage. Therefore, it is a purpose of this invention to provide a cover that protects the vehicle from detrimental environmental factors, while not subjecting the vehicle to destabilizing lateral forces.

While the invention is amenable to various modifications and alternative forms, specifics thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the intention is not necessarily to limit the invention to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an aspect of the present invention to provide a protective vehicle cover adapted to be releasably connected to both the handlebar region and a structure located rear of the seat of a vehicle to protect vehicle components from the elements when the vehicle is not in use.

It is a further aspect of the present invention to provide a protective vehicle cover having minimal vertical surfaces thereby reducing wind resistance and lateral forces that may damage the vehicle.

Yet another aspect of the present invention is to provide a protective vehicle cover with a cover sheet that lies generally in a horizontal plane and further allows air to circulate between the cover and the vehicle.

A still further aspect of the present invention is to provide a protective vehicle cover that further includes an optional cover module that protects vehicle components located forward of the handle bar region of the vehicle.

In accordance with one embodiment, there is provided a protective vehicle cover, comprising a flexible cover sheet for protecting a vehicle and its components disposed rearward of the handlebars, wherein the cover sheet is weather resistant, lies generally in a horizontal plane, and has minimal vertical surfaces providing for low wind resistance, two front mounting points having a releasable connection to forward structures of the vehicle, wherein the two front mounting points are fastened to a bottom surface of the cover sheet, and a rear mounting point for providing a releasable attachment to a rear structure of the vehicle.

The scope of the present invention may further include a cover module for protecting vehicle components disposed forward of the handlebars wherein a rear edge of the cover module is releasably attachable to the front edge of the cover sheet and both the cover sheet and the cover module are independently functional when not releasably attached.

Further, the present invention may incorporate an integrated storage pouch for retaining the vehicle cover when not in use. The integrated storage pouch may preferably be disposed at the midpoint along the rear edge of the cover sheet.

The above and other aspects of the present invention will become more readily appreciated and understood from a consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred form of the present invention when taken together with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a top view of a protective cover of the present invention.

FIG. 2 depicts a bottom view of the protective cover depicted in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 depicts a top view of the rear edge of the cover sheet of the present invention.

FIG. 4 depicts a bottom view of the rear edge of the present invention.

FIG. 5 depicts the protective cover of the present invention folded into a compact storage pouch.

FIG. 6 depicts an attachment means between the cover sheet and the cover module of the present invention.

FIG. 7 depicts a top view of protective cover of the present invention further including a motorcycle shown in phantom for illustrative purposes.

FIG. 8 depicts a left side view of a protective cover of the present invention.

FIG. 9 depicts a right side view of a protective cover of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings, wherein the drawings are for the purpose of illustrating preferred embodiments of the invention only and not for the purpose of limiting the same, in FIGS. 1, 2 and 7-9, there is shown a protective vehicle cover 10.

The protective vehicle cover 10 is primarily intended to shield the upper portions of a vehicle from the detrimental effects of sun, heat, precipitation, and other elements. Accordingly, the vehicle cover 10 is preferably composed of a lightweight weather resistant material that may be resistant to sun, ultraviolet rays, various forms of precipitation, and/or any other known causes of weathering. The vehicle cover 10 material may further possess characteristics of breathability to permit air circulation there through. Suitable materials may include, but are not limited to, nylon, ripstop nylon, vinyl materials, polyester fabrics and other materials known within the art. In use, the vehicle sheet 10 may protect the handlebars, hand grips (HG), hand brakes, headlight (H), instrument panel (IP), fuel tank (FT), seat (S), and other central components of the vehicle. A taut fit ensures both maximal stability and protection for the vehicle. When the cover sheet 20 is extended over the vehicle and attached as described, a space will be formed between the cover sheet 20 and the upper portion of the vehicle permitting air to circulate beneath the cover sheet 20. Further, it is important that the vehicle cover 10 material be thin and pliable so that it can be readily folded into a package corresponding in size to one's hand (as shown in FIG. 5).

A top view and a bottom view of one embodiment of the vehicle cover are depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively. Protective vehicle cover 10 may comprise a flexible cover sheet 20 and an optional cover module 50 that are each composed of a lightweight flexible material, as described above. Cover sheet 20 further comprises a top surface 21 and a bottom surface 22 having a reinforced peripheral edge 23 folded upon the bottom surface 22 and fixed thereto by a fixation means 24 thereby forming a finished peripheral edge (best shown in FIG. 2). Preferably, the fixation means 24 is embodied by stitches 24 that allow for sufficient stretching and will not break when used for their intended purpose. The stitches 24 may comprise nylon thread or any other suitable materials known within the art. Additionally, the method of stitching may include box-stitching, zig-zag stitching, or any forms of stitching known within the art that preferably adds strength and/or durability to a stitched connection. While stitching is the preferred method of reinforcing the peripheral edge 23 of the cover sheet 20, any conventional material edge reinforcing methods (e.g. adhesives, heat seal, etc.) may be employed.

The preferred overall shape of the cover sheet 20 is best described as an irregular hexagonal shape, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 7. Cover sheet 20 may comprise a front edge 25 that is parallel but unequal in length to a rear edge 26, a first parallel lateral edge 27 equal in length to a second parallel lateral edge 28, and a first non-parallel lateral edge 29 equal in length to a second non-parallel lateral edge 30. Both the first parallel lateral edge 27 and second parallel lateral edge 28 may be disposed perpendicular to both the front edge 25 and the rear edge 26 of the cover sheet 20.

The primary mounting points for attaching the cover sheet 20 to a vehicle form a three point mounting system. The mounting points may be constructed of materials including, but not limited to, a flexible nylon band, a web strap, a pocket, an elastic cord, line or strap, and any other similar materials which may further incorporate beneficial features such as snap-fastening means, hook and loop fasteners, buttons, various types of clips, clasps, belt means, buckles, and the like. Preferably, the primary mounting points are comprised of a cut-resistant material.

The three point mounting system preferably comprises two front mounting points 31 and one rear mounting point 32. The two front mounting points 31 are preferably disposed at or near the forward corners 33 of the cover sheet 20 and preferably attach to the hand grips (HG) of the vehicle. Alternatively, the two front mounting points 31 may attach to any other convenient forward components of the vehicle such as, but not limited to, the handlebars, hand levers, instrument panel (IP), mirrors (M), and mirror stem (MS). The two front mounting points 31 are preferably disposed on the bottom surface 22 of the cover sheet 20 via a stitched connection, an adhesive connection, a heat seal connection, or any conventional connection means known within the art. The configuration of the two front mounting points 31 may include, but is not limited to, loop-shaped fasteners, pockets, elastic retention straps, and the like. A pocket mounting point may be formed by sewing extra pieces of stretchable material onto the bottom surface 22 of the cover sheet 20. Such pockets may serve to enclose the handle bars and hand levers of the vehicle. Preferably, the two front mounting points 31 are of a generally looped-shaped configuration so as not to necessitate the tying of each individual front mounting point 31 to a forward component of the vehicle, such as the hand grips HG.

The rear mounting point 32 may be disposed between the rear corners 34 along the rear edge 26 of the cover sheet 20, and may be attached to the top surface 21, bottom surface 22, or the peripheral edge 23 of the cover sheet 20. The rear mounting point 32 provides the third primary point of contact with a rear structure of the vehicle such as, but not limited to, the frame, fender (F), seat (S), tire (T), tail light assembly (TA), turn signal fixtures, and the like. The rear mounting point 32 may comprise a loop-shaped configuration for attachment around an appropriate rear structure of a vehicle, such as those enumerated above. This configuration may be formed in a wide variety of embodiments including, but not limited to, a strap fixedly attached at both its ends to the rear edge 26, a strap fixedly attached to the rear edge 26 at one of its ends and communicably connectable 35 to the rear edge 26 at its opposite end, and two respective straps each having one end fixedly attached to the rear edge 26 and each strap having a free end communicably connectable 35 to the free end of the other strap. Such communicable connections 35 are fully releasable and may include, but are not limited to, hook and loop fasteners, snap-fastening means, buttons, various types of clips, clasps, latches, belt means, buckles, hooks, hooks and D-rings, tie off strap ends, and the like.

Additional secondary attachment members 36 may be used to supplement the three point mounting system. As depicted in FIGS. 1, 2, and 7-9, secondary attachment members 36 may be fixedly secured to the cover sheet 20 along its lateral edges 27-30. Preferably, the secondary attachment members 36 may be disposed at the lateral corners 37 which are located at the intersections of a parallel lateral edge 27, 28 and the respective non-parallel lateral edge 29, 30. Secondary attachment members 36 may also be disposed along the front edge 25, front corners 33, rear edge 26, and rear corners 34 of the cover sheet 20 if a more secured attachment to the vehicle is desired. Configurations of the secondary attachment members 36 may include, but are not limited to, loops, straps, lines or elastic cords which may further utilize hook and loop fasteners, snap-fastening means, buttons, various types of clips, clasps, latches, belt means, buckles, hooks, hooks and D-rings, and the like to provide attachment to structures of the vehicle.

Referring to FIGS. 1-5, the vehicle cover 10 may further comprise an integrated storage pouch 40. The storage pouch 40 may be integrated along any available surface or peripheral edge 23 of the cover sheet 20. Preferably, the attachment point for the storage pouch 40 is at the midpoint of the rear edge 26 of the cover sheet 20. The pouch 40 may be configured in any general shape, with preferred embodiments having a rectangular or square shape. The pouch 40 may be formed by overlaying two layers of material and fixedly fastening the two layers to each other around their respective peripheries, leaving one edge unfastened forming the mouth of the pouch 40. A portion of the mouth of the pouch 40 may be integral with or attached to cover sheet 20, preferably along a peripheral edge 23, so that the cover sheet 20 will remain attached to the pouch 40 in both the stored and deployed positions. As shown in FIG. 3, each adjacent material layer at the mouth of the pouch 40 further comprises a complimentary closure means 42a, 42b for releasably closing the mouth of the pouch 40 when the vehicle cover 10 is deployed. During cover 10 deployment, the pouch 40 is empty and may be temporarily used to store incidental items.

As depicted in FIGS. 3-5, when storage of the vehicle cover 10 is desired the cover 10 may be compacted, rolled, or folded into a size and shape insertable within the pouch 40 via folding cover 10 over integral closure means 42 a. With cover 10 folded over closure means 42 a and into the pouch 40, the mouth of the storage pouch 40 may be releasably fastened, as depicted in FIG. 5, by complimentary closure means 42 b, 42 c. Complimentary closure means 42 a, 42 b, 42 c may include a wide variety of closure structures including, but not limited to, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snaps, buttons, clasps, clips, or any other means known within the art. The storage pouch 40 is preferably composed of the same materials described in detail above regarding cover sheet 20. Utilizing water resistant pouch material prevents liquid and other matter from penetrating the pouch 40 and moistening or soiling the flexible cover sheet 20 stored therein. As shown in FIG. 5, protective cover sheet 20 is collapsible in a convenient and easily transportable pouch 40 when not in use. In this manner, the protective vehicle cover 10 can easily be stored in a bag, a user's pocket, or conveniently carried by the user when the cover 10 is not in use.

As depicted in FIGS. 1, 2, and 6-9, the present invention may further comprise a cover module 50 for protecting vehicle components disposed forward of the handlebars. Such a cover module 50 may overlay the instrument panel (IP), headlight (H) and other forward vehicle components, depending on the design and styling of the vehicle. Preferably, the cover module 50 may be of a substantially rectangular configuration having a front edge 51, a rear edge 52, and two side edges 53, 54. Depending on the contours of the vehicle, the cover module 50 may be relatively flat, dome-shaped, or similarly adapted to fit the specific contours of the vehicle forward of the handlebars. A cover module 50 constructed of stretchable material may fully conform to a wide variety of vehicle components and contours. Cover module 50 may be comprised of the same materials as described for the cover sheet 20 above including, but not limited to, nylon, ripstop nylon, vinyl materials, polyester fabrics and other materials known within the art. Similarly, cover module 50 may further incorporate the same manner of a reinforced peripheral edge (i.e. stitching, etc.) as described above.

As depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7, the rear edge 52 of the cover module 50 may be releasably attached 55 to the front edge 25 of the cover sheet 20. Releasable attachment 55 comprises complimentary structures disposed on the aforementioned rear edge 52 and front edge 25 which may include a wide variety of structures including, but not limited to, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snap-fastening means, buttons, various types of clips, clasps, latches, belt means, buckles, hooks, hooks and D-rings, and the like. Alternatively, attachment 55 may be of a fixed nature such as, but not limited to, using stitching, adhesive, or the like. Depending on the design of the vehicle, mirror stems (MS) or other protruding vehicle structures may project through the point of releasable attachment 55. When a cover module 50 is to be used in conjunction with a cover sheet 20, the dimensions of the integrated storage pouch 40 may be increased accordingly to accommodate the storage of both the cover module 50 and the cover sheet 20 within the pouch 40 (see FIG. 5). Alternatively, an integrated pouch 40 may be disposed on any available surface of cover module 50 in instances including, but not limited to, desired independent use and/or storage of cover sheet 20 and cover module 50.

In use, as depicted in FIGS. 7-9, the protective vehicle cover 10 may be installed on a vehicle by slipping the two front mounting points 31 attached to the bottom surface 22 of cover sheet 20 over the hand grips of the vehicle. Alternatively, two front mounting points 31 can be attached to the handle bars or any other convenient forward vehicle structures. The cover sheet 20 may then be pulled or stretched rearward along the central axis of the vehicle (e.g. over the fuel tank (FT) and seat (S) of a motorcycle). Next the rear mounting point 32 may be attached about the rear taillight assembly (TA). Alternatively, the rear mounting point 32 may be attached to the vehicle by passing around, under, or through any other convenient rear structure of the vehicle including, but not limited to, the fender (F), the tire (T), the rear border of the seat (S), the frame, and the like. As described above, the rear mounting point 32 may be either a static structure or an adjustable element that allows further tightening of the rear mounting point 32 to the vehicle. Rear mounting point 32 may include a variety of embodiments, with a preferred embodiment being a strap and complimentary buckle configuration as depicted in FIGS. 7-9.

Optional secondary attachment members 36 may be employed and preferably do not distort cover sheet 20 causing significant vertical surfaces. Secondary attachment members 36 may attach to available vehicle structures including, but not limited to, the frame, seat (S), fuel tank (FT), foot pegs, cleat, or any other convenient point of attachment. Such attachment members 36 may include, but are not limited to, loops, straps, lines or elastic cords which may further utilize hook and loop fasteners, snap-fastening means, buttons, various types of clips, clasps, latches, belt means, buckles, hooks, hooks and D-rings, and the like to provide attachment to structures of the vehicle.

The protective vehicle cover 10 is shown in the functional state in FIGS. 7-9. As disclosed above, an optional cover module 50 may be utilized either in conjunction with cover sheet 20 or independent of cover sheet 20 as desired. Cover module 50 may be constructed in a variety of shapes to accommodate the wide variety of vehicle designs in the marketplace. Cover module 50 may comprise stretchable material, wherein the module 50 may thereafter stretch and conform to an unlimited number of vehicle designs. When used in conjunction with a cover sheet 20, the rear edge 52 of the cover module 50 and the front edge 25 of the cover sheet 20 may each incorporate respective complimentary releasable attachments 55. In this manner, the abutting edges 25, 52 of the cover sheet 20 and module 50, respectively, may be joined. Releasable attachments 55 may allow for the passage of vehicle structures including, but not limited to, mirrors (M) and mirror stems (MS), windshield sections, and the like (see FIGS. 8 and 9). Further, the cover module 50 may utilize attachment members 56 about the edges of the module 50 to provide additional points of attachment to the vehicle. Attachment members 56 may be disposed on any edge of the cover module 50, with attachment members 56 preferably being disposed along the front edge 51 as depicted in FIGS. 7-9. Attachment members 56 may include, but are not limited to, loops, straps, lines or elastic cords which may further utilize hook and loop fasteners, snap-fastening means, buttons, various types of clips, clasps, latches, belt means, buckles, hooks, hooks and D-rings, and the like to provide attachment to structures of the vehicle. If the cover module 50 is to be used independent of the cover sheet 20, the rear edge 52 of the cover module 50 may incorporate attachment members 56 instead of a releasable attachment 55. Alternatively, both releasable attachment 55 and attachment members 56 may be simultaneously disposed upon the rear edge 52 of the cover module 50 to allow for cover module 50 use both in conjunction with and independent of the cover sheet 20.

The protective vehicle cover 10 is quickly and easily installed or removed from a vehicle using the described three point attachment system. It is important to appreciate that the vehicle cover 10 is not permanently attached to the vehicle and that the cover 10 can be entirely removed and carried away from the vehicle itself. The protective cover 10 readily folds into a small size for easy storage and transport. Removal of the cover 10 from a vehicle is preferably accomplished via the release of the rear mounting point 32 followed by the release of the front mounting points 31, respectively. With the cover 10 disengaged from the vehicle, closure means 42 a, 42 b may be spread apart to reveal the interior of the integrated pouch 40. The user may then fold, compact or otherwise insert the cover sheet 20 and/or the cover module 50 into the integrated pouch 40. As depicted in FIG. 5, closure means 42 b, 42 c may then be placed in communication to fully enclose cover 10 within the integrated pouch 40.

For deployment of the cover 10, closure means 42 b, 42 c are disengaged and the integrated storage pouch 40 is opened to allow the user access to the cover sheet 20 and/or cover module 50 therein. Once the storage pouch 40 has been opened, the protective vehicle cover 10 may be unfolded and positioned on the vehicle, as described above and depicted in FIGS. 7-9.

It will be appreciated that no attempt has been made to cover the entire vehicle. Rather, the parts which are most desirably sheltered from the elements, namely the seat (S) and fuel tank (FT) areas are protected. In this manner, a cover 10 having less material can be constructed. Additionally, the cover 10 of the invention is provided with the above-described attachment means which may be simple to use, rust proof and adapted to be securely engaged to the vehicle in such a manner that the cover 10 cannot be readily blown from the vehicle. In this manner, less bulk is required while covering the critical features of a vehicle. Also, one can readily foresee the advantage of having a cover 10 that can be compacted or folded into a size and shape roughly equivalent to the palm of one's hand. It is within the scope of the present invention to further provide an integrated storage pouch 40 for the folded cover 10 such that the entire package may be placed in one's pocket. While FIGS. 7-9 depict a cover sheet 20 in use with a cover module 50, each of these separable components may be independently deployed without requiring the use of the complimenting component. In such a manner, vehicle structures disposed forward of the handlebars and vehicle structures disposed rearward of the handlebars may be independently or conjunctively protected.

It is important to appreciate, however, that the present invention is not permanently attached to the vehicle and can be entirely removed and carried away from the vehicle itself. The present disclosure will afford significant protection for a wide variety of vehicle, as well as accomplish the other aspects of the invention set forth above.

While the above description contains much specificity, this should not be construed as limitations on the scope of any embodiment, but as exemplifications of the presently preferred embodiments thereof. Many other ramifications and variations are possible within the teachings of the various embodiments.

Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, and not by the examples given.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8905095 *Sep 7, 2011Dec 9, 2014Angela TeskeDay motorcycle cover/blanket
US20110100517 *Nov 4, 2009May 5, 2011Sandra Bobi MerrittScooter cover
US20120055598 *Sep 7, 2011Mar 8, 2012Angela TeskeDay Motorcycle Cover/Blanket
US20120145292 *Dec 9, 2010Jun 14, 2012John Jay SaggauVehicle cover
WO2014177827A1 *May 1, 2014Nov 6, 2014Robert Taylor-HughesA cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification150/167, 150/166
International ClassificationB65D65/02
Cooperative ClassificationB62J19/00
European ClassificationB62J19/00