Motorcycle Cover Buyer's Guide
Unfortunately, you can't be riding your motorcycle all of the time. And when those
moments arise that you need to take the car instead of your bike, you'll want to make sure
that your beautiful motorcycle is just as pristine when you can return to it as it was when
you left it. In order to avoid dust build up, the affects from the harsh elements such as the
sun or rain and the occasional greedy thief, store your motorcycle under a well-equipped
cover. There are a few different types of motorcycle covers depending on where you'll be
storing it and what you'll be protecting it from.
In a perfect world we could all have enough room in our garage just for storing our
motorcycles. Unfortunately, most of us don't, which means that our rides are going to
have to be stored outside. If you're lucky, you might be able to keep your bike stored in a
shed or under a port which is the next best thing to storing it in your garage. But not being
able to do either of these things doesn't mean that you can't safely store your bike and
keep it from being subjected to the unnecessary wear and tear of outside elements such as
the sun beating down on it or it getting drenched in a rain storm. Back in the day, people
would have to just toss a tarp over their bike to keep it protected. But these homemade
contraptions, like the one on the right, would still leave a bike's finish pretty beat up. Now, there are plenty of
motorcycle cover options that can make it easy to protect your bike in all conditions.
If you're one of the unlucky riders who are forced to store their bike right out there in the
open all year round, you'll need a cover with all of the bells and whistles. It shouldn't
come as a surprise to hear that moisture is not a motorcycle's best friend. Having your
motorcycle sit out unprotected in the rain just shouldn't happen. If your motorcycle has to
deal with rain, get a cover that has an additional 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."
Water resistance is good for keeping out a light drizzle or morning dew, but if you're
shopping for a cover to keep your motorcycle dry in a torrential downpour, make sure
that you pick up a cover that is not just water resistant, but is actually waterproof. This
Tour Master PVC Motorcycle Cover
is made of PVC and is 100% waterproof.
And just as you don't want water to get in, you'll need to allow for moisture to get out.
Moisture from the air will condense inside the cover naturally and you won't
want this condensation to build up inside your cover and rust your motorcycle. Still,
covers that have rust inhibitors will give you that extra little bit of protection from nasty
On the other hand, the sun is just as damaging. Direct sunlight can rob your precious
paint job of its color and shine. In order to protect your finish from the harmful rays of
our glorious globe, 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.
One of the biggest downfalls of the homemade tarp method for motorcycle coverage was
that the material of these covers would tear up the motorcycle's finish. And since a
cover's main purpose is to protect your motorcycle, this is the last thing you want your
cover to do. In order to make sure that your cover protects your motorcycle without
scratching up your paint job or chrome, buy a cover that has a non-scratch liner.
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
Dowco Guardian Traveler 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 but will cover just the most important parts. And since
they have less material, they're a lot easier to pack with you 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. With many full coverage covers you'll need to let your bike cool
after it has been ridden before you can cover it. Some covers, like
this Dowco Guardian Weatherall Motorcycle Cover, have
features that protect against hot
spots such as aluminized panels for hot pipes.
Otherwise, hotspots such as your exhaust pipes could melt a hole in your cover which is
both bad for it and your bike. 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. Just keep in mind that these covers still give less coverage and should be
used as a temporary cover in moderate to good weather conditions.
If you're one of the lucky riders who has a secure place such as a garage or shed to store
your bike in, celebrate for a moment and then go and buy a light dust cover like one of
these Dowco Guardian Storeaway Covers. Just because your
ride is mostly shielded from harsh conditions and the wrong kind of bike bandits doesn't
mean that it's fully protected from the havoc of those treacherous dust bunnies and
unexpected workshop spills. A loose and light fabric that can breath while keeping dust
and dirt off of your paint job is a must have. The fabric should be something that is
abrasion resistant, breathable to let out unwanted moisture and yet hefty enough to keep
dust off of your bike. But these covers can also forgo any kind of rain resistance or UV
protection and can loosely fit rather than have to be strapped down to keep out unwanted
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 someone's eye as it's sitting unattended on the street.
Unlike cars, motorcycles don't have a cage of metal and glass around their ignition
system that need to be broken through to steal it. A rather common problem with
motorcycles is that they not only catch attention (sometimes the attention that you don't
want) but they can also be stolen quickly and quietly if you're not careful. And, sure, an
alarmed disc lock can help to deter a thief from making off with your baby, but why not
just keep them from wanting your bike in the first place?
Motorcycle covers not only hide your bike from the elements but hide them from
unwanted eyes as well. Most thieves will be less likely to scope out your bike for the
taking if they can't see what it is in the first place. This also means that you don't want to
stash your motorcycle underneath a gaudy cover. If one of the reasons for a cover is to
help your bike go unnoticed, you want your cover to be unnoticeable. It might be hard
sometimes not to get the coolest looking gear for your bike, but in this case, avoid
anything that will bring attention to your ride.
If a thief happens to really want your motorcycle, a cover will also give them an extra
layer to get through. Your bike is important to you so make sure that it stays yours and
doesn't end up in the hands of someone else. Buy a cover that comes with safety feature
such as this Tour Master Select Motorcycle Cover that has a
bottom with 1" grommets that can accommodate a locking device for that extra
When shopping for a motorcycle cover, size does matter. Buying a motorcycle cover for
a Harley-Davidson that's fully adorned with a windshield and saddlebags is a bit different
than buying a cover for a Ninja 250. When shopping for a cover, keep in mind the
amount of area that you'll need to cover and buy accordingly. You'll need a big enough
cover to fit your bike and all of it's accessories but you don't want a cover that will be so
massive that it will drown your bike. A cover that is too big will not only be more
difficult to get on and off but could end up not giving you the proper coverage.
This is also important when it comes to wind. A slight breeze won't do much to your bike but
you'll want your cover to keep your ride safe from serious gusts and everything those gusts
might bring with them. But if your cover is too big, it will end up being your motorcycle's
work enemy on a gusty day. As the wind picks up, all of that extra material will just end up
whipping around on you paint job and end up scratching it rather than protecting it. It's also
a good idea to buy a cover that has tie downs that will keep your cover secure even on the windiest of days.
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.