Motorcycle Cover Buyer's Guide
You might not have a garage or shed to park your motorcycle in - but that doesn't mean your bike has to suffer! From simple rain protection to premium, custom-fit, breathable, lockable covers, we've got what you need to keep your ride protected.
In a perfect world, we could all have enough room in our garage just for storing our motorcycles! But many of us don't, which means that, unfortunately, some of our rides are going to have to be stored outside.
However, that doesn't mean that you can't keep them from being subjected to the unnecessary wear and tear of sun, wind, dust and rain, along with the unwanted attention of thieves who see a nice motorcycle out in the open.
So sure, a garage is nice to have, but with all the advances in breathable, flexible, UV-resistant fabrics available now, there are plenty of motorcycle cover options that can make it easy to protect your bike in all conditions, no matter what your situation Here, we'll go over the things to look for in a cover that will be perfect for you, and what products are available that will fit the bill!
Man, that's a sweet garage...in our dreams. For us normal folks, a cover might be the best our bike gets - but with the covers that are out nowadays, that's not as bad as it sounds!
- Weather Protection
- Water-Resistant, or Waterproof?
- Sun/UV Protection
- Heat-Resistant Fabric
- Indoor Motorcycle Covers
- Motorcycle Cover Sizing
- Transporting Your Cover
If you have no choice but to store your bike out there in the open all year round, you'll need a cover with all the weather protection features you can get. Moisture, sun, wind and dust are unkind to motorcycles, and having your motorcycle sit out unprotected is something you should strive to avoid.
Water-Resistant, or Waterproof?
If your motorcycle has to deal with rain, get a cover that has a waterproof lining to keep out the water. With this said, be sure to read the description of a cover when searching for this quality. Many covers may be "water resistant," which is not the same thing as "waterproof."
Most covers will be “water-resistant,” which is usually a good thing. You want to protect your bike from moisture, but still retain some breathability in the membrane which will allow condensation to evaporate; remember, if water can’t get in, it can’t get out either, which creates the perfect recipe for rusting.
The Nelson Rigg Economy Cover: cheap 100% waterproof protection!
Water resistance is good for most uses, but if you're shopping for a cover to keep your motorcycle dry in a torrential downpour, you may want to pick up a cover that is not just water resistant, but is actually waterproof. This Nelson Rigg Economy Cover is made of PVC fabric and guaranteed 100% waterproof. The Dowco Guardian Weatherall Plus Motorcycle Cover is also truly waterproof, and includes some upgrades like moisture vents and grommets along the bottom to lock it down.
DowCo Guardian WeatherAll Plus Cover: a premium waterproof cover with all the bells and whistles.
Sunlight, on the other hand, is just as damaging. Direct sunlight can rob paint of its color and shine, and after a rain, can create some nasty water spotting as well. In order to protect your finish from harmful UV rays, get a cover that has UV protection. Much like UV sunglasses shield your eyes from the invisible but harmful UV rays that are seeping through our ozone, a motorcycle cover with UV protection will shield your motorcycle's finish and keep it looking just like new.
The Dowco Guardian Ultralite Plus Cover has a UV and water repellent coating in a lightweight shell thats great for home or travel use.
Typically, you'll need to let your bike cool after it has been ridden before you can cover it, to prevent the hot exhaust from melting a hole into the cover. But these days, many manufacturers are incorporating heat-resistant panels into covers to prevent this, so you can throw the cover on right after a ride while its still hot. Covers like fully featured Tour Master Elite Motorcycle Cover shown below incorporate this feature, but you can find it on more value priced options as well.
This Tour Master Elite Motorcycle Cover is one of the highest rated and most popular covers we stock. You can see the aluminized fabric panels displayed here, but this cover has just about all the features you could ask for!
If you opt to forego this feature, just make sure you let your bike cool completely before putting your cover on, because the thin plastic material can melt quickly, and when the plastic melts onto your pipes it’s a nightmare to remove (speaking from experience here!)
Remember the phrase "out of sight; out of mind?" Well it applies to your bike as well. You may want your ride to be noticeable when you're cruising around town, but the last thing you want is for it to catch a thief’s eye as it's sitting unattended on the street.
One often-overlooked benefit of a motorcycle cover is that it can hide your bike not only from sun and rain, but from unwanted eyes as well. Most thieves will be less likely to scope out your bike for the taking if they can't see it in the first place.
This also means that you don't want to stash your motorcycle underneath an extravagant cover. If one of the reasons for a cover is to help your bike go unnoticed, you want your cover to be unnoticeable as well. We know you’re proud of your bike, but having a top-of-the-line cover with the manufacturers name boldly printed across it is like having a "look under here" sign to a motorcycle thief!
The Rapid Transit Deluxe Commuter Cover is 100% waterproof, has heat resistant panels so you can throw it on your bike as soon as you get to work, and has oversized grommets to make using a cable lock easy!
Another way to prevent thieves from “shopping” your bike (or even from stealing the cover itself) is to buy a cover that comes with safety feature such as this Tour Master Select Motorcycle Cover that has grommets along the bottom so you can thread a cable lock through it.
Indoor Motorcycle Covers
If you're one of the riders who has a secure place such as a garage or shed to store your bike in, you’re one of the lucky ones! But just because your ride is mostly shielded from harsh conditions and unwholesome attention doesn't mean that it's fully protected from garage dust and unexpected workshop spills.
For indoor storage, a loose and light fabric that can breathe while keeping dust and dirt off of your paint job is perfect; most of these covers have soft, abrasion-resistant liners on the inside to keep your paint scratch-free when putting it on and off. These covers usually forgo any kind of rain resistance or UV protection however, so be aware of that if you end up using it outdoors.
Our top-of-the-line indoor cover is this Dowco Guardian Indoor Dust Cover, with a plush napped interior, breathable fabric, and a lifetime warranty.
The perfect budget option for interior storage, the Nelson Rigg 505 Dust Cover is and indoor cover that is water resistant and breathable!
Motorcycle Cover Sizing
When shopping for a motorcycle cover, size does matter. You'll need a big enough cover to fit your bike and it's accessories, but you don't want one so big it will droop down onto the ground, picking up dirt and water and flapping in the wind, scattering dirt and debris all over your bike.
Ideally, you will have a cover that is not only fitted to your bike, but has elastic around the bottom edge for a snug fit to keep it secure. Elastic hems can make for a nice, tight fit, but they can be a bit of a pain to get on and off as well (like getting a fitted sheet onto a mattress.)
If that sounds like a hassle to you, you’re not alone! Consider a zippered cover like the Dowco Guardian EZ Zip Motorcycle Cover, which has all the features of their Guardian series, but with a zipper at the rear for easy installation and removal.
Ever fumbled with getting a fitted sheet on a mattress? Well getting a motorcycle cover on can be a little like that. But not with the Dowco Guardian EZ-Zip cover, which uses a waterproof zipper to make getting it on fast and easy!
Transporting Your Cover
Of course, the more protection that your cover comes with, the heavier it will be. This can get a bit annoying if you're going to be taking your cover on a touring trip with you.
For covers on the go, you might want to snag a motorcycle cover like this Covermax Motorcycle Half-Cover that is a little lighter and better for temporary storage. Many touring riders love taking half-covers with them. These covers don't cover your entire motorcycle, just the most important parts. And since they have less material, they're a lot easier to pack with you on the go.
This Covermax Motorcycle Half-Cover is light and water-resistant, and comes with its own storage pouch to stuff it into on the go.
One other upside to these half-covers is that they don't cover the parts of a motorcycle that get hot after riding. If you're on the go and don't want to have to wait for your motorcycle to cool off before covering it, a half-cover will allow you to just throw the cover on and go.
The Ultragard Classic Half Cover is one of our highest rated covers, with all the features of high-end covers packed into only half the size and weight!
Motorcycle covers are a great tool for those moments where you can't be enjoying your ride. They'll protect your motorcycle from the sun, rain and dirt while deterring those pesky thieves. Depending on when and where you'll be storing your ride, buy a cover that suits all of your needs at BikeBandit.com's Motorcycle Cover Section.