Best Motorcycle Covers: Top Picks for Outdoor Motorcycle Storage
Protect your bike in the garage and outside with these top motorcycle covers
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PUBLISHED ON March 27, 2019
If your motorcycle sits for an extended period of time, or you store it outside, you will probably need a cover to keep it in good shape and to protect it from the elements. The best motorcycle cover will ward off dust, rain, sun, wind and other elements. Motorcycle bike covers also prevent scratches and other damage.
- Best OverallDowco Guardian 50124-00 Weatherall Plus Indoor/Outdoor Waterproof Motorcycle CoverSummarySummaryThis cover is waterproof, breathable, and resists fading from UV rays. A heat shield protects against hot pipes. It also has vents, an elastic cord, and a belly strap.ProsProsIt fits large motorcycles and keeps bikes dry during heavy rainstorms with gusting winds. The vents prevent moisture buildup, and the felt lining protects the paint finish.ConsConsThe cover is heavy and may lightly scratch some surfaces. Some water may filter through, particularly as the product ages.
- Best ValueXYZCTEM Motorcycle Cover – All Season Waterproof Outdoor ProtectionSummarySummaryThis cover is lightweight, waterproof, windproof, non-abrasive, mildew-resistant, and protects against UV rays. It has a one-year warranty and fits most standard-sized bikes.ProsProsThe cover has grommets near the wheels, which can be used to prevent it from coming off. The fabric is thick with a sturdy elastic band at the bottom.ConsConsA hot exhaust pipe may burn holes in the cover since it is not heat resistant. It may not fit extra-large bikes, and the straps may break over extended use.
- Honorable MentionNuzari Waterproof Polyester Outdoor Motorcycle CoverSummarySummaryThis cover is waterproof, breathable, and heat resistant. It has air vents, a soft screen shield, luggage strap, an elastic bottom, and reflective strips to make it visible at night.ProsProsThe vents allow air to pass through, and soaking rain doesn't penetrate. It is very durable and includes extra, soft panels for dual exhausts and the windscreen to prevent scratching.ConsConsThe cover tends to fade due to sun exposure. Over time, the fabric may get stiff and break down. It may not be as waterproof as comparable products.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy a Motorcycle Cover?
- Protect your bike outside. If you don't have room in your garage, you may need to park your bike outside. The best motorcycle cover for outside storage will ensure your bike is shielded from the weather, including the sun and rain.
- Protect your bike inside. Even if you do have space inside your garage for your motorcycle, it can still be subjected to dust, dirt, and grime. Plus, it's less likely to get scratched or dented if it's covered.
- Conceal it. Thieves are less likely to steal a motorcycle if it's hidden under a cover. Instead of leaving it outside in the open for prying eyes, cover it so no one knows exactly what type of motorcycle is stored underneath.
- Keep it clean. If you don't like washing your motorcycle all the time, a cover will keep a lot of dust and dirt away. A cover will save you the time you would waste washing your bike.
Types of Motorcycle Covers
Full-size motorcycle covers are designed to cover an entire motorcycle, from the handlebars and mirrors to the tires and wheels. They are intended to protect all the major components of the machine, exposing a few parts to the elements. Many all weather bike covers and waterproof motorcycle covers are full sizes.
As the name suggests, this type of motorcycle cover only covers half the bike, specifically the upper half that includes the seat, gas tank, and the area surrounding the handlebars. While just half the size of a full-size cover, they can still block UV rays and be waterproof. They are typically lightweight and easy to store.
Top Brands of Motorcycle Covers
Nelson-Rigg USA, Inc. is based in Santa Ana, California. The company has been producing motorcycle covers, luggage, and apparel since 1972. One popular product is the Nelson-Rigg UV-2000-04-XL Silver X-Large UV-2000 Motorcycle Half Cover.
Dowco, a division of Patrick Industries, was founded in 1922 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, designing products for the tent and awning industry. The 250-employee-strong company is mostly known for its boat covers. Its popular motorcycle cover is the Dowco Guardian WeatherAll Plus Indoor/Outdoor Motorcycle Cover.
Formosa Covers Company
Formosa Covers Company was founded in 1993 and is based in California. The company's covers protect golf carts, motorcycles, ATVs/UTVs, automobiles, outdoor BBQ grills, and patio furniture. One top product is the Formosa Covers Deluxe All Season Motorcycle cover (XXL) Black.
Motorcycle Cover Pricing
- Under $20: There are a select number of cheap motorcycle covers that cost less than $20. They may not be as durable as pricier products and often have fewer features.
- $20-$50: You can find a good-quality motorcycle cover in this price range, particularly if they're on sale. Good ones will include features such as vents and heat protection.
- $50-$100: Many high-quality motorcycle covers cost a little bit more money. They typically can be used for outdoor storage and are often waterproof and windproof with UV protection.
Waterproof or Water-Resistant Fabric
Water-resistant covers protect motorcycles from moisture and are breathable, allowing condensation to evaporate. This prevents rusting. A waterproof motorcycle cover offers more protection than one that is simply water-resistant. A cover with a waterproof lining is essential if you get a lot of rain. Some include features such as moisture vents and grommets that secure it to the bike.
Sun can damage a motorcycle as much as rain. Direct sunlight can fade the paint and finish. A motorcycle sun cover will prevent harmful UV rays from causing any harm. To shield your motorcycle from UV rays in the earth's atmosphere, look for a cover with UV protection.
Some all-weather bike covers feature heat resistant coatings. This is important because a bike generates a lot of heat through the engine and its exhaust, which can melt the fabric. A heat-resistant motorcycle cover will enable you to throw a cover over your bike even if it still needs to cool down.
- Reinforced Lower Half: Most motorcycle bike covers have reinforced lower skirts. This thicker fabric is often made with strong nylon that can keep the cover from chafing or marking up your motorcycle when it's struck by the wind. If the cover moves too much on your bike, it can scratch it.
- Grommets: If you want to ensure that the cover stays put during wind storms, look for one with grommets. They are located on the lower half of the cover, and you can use a chain or rope to properly secure it.
- Vents: Some covers feature vents that can be opened or closed. If they face downwards, the cover can still provide waterproof protection and simultaneously allow air to circulate. This prevents moisture from getting trapped inside.
- Material: Many motorcycle covers are made of nylon, which is lightweight and can be waterproof. Thicker polyester is usually more durable. Some covers have reinforced nylon on the lower half, which reduces abrasion to areas such as the pipes. Synthetic materials such as polyurethane help with waterproofing but may degrade in the sun.
- Reflective Strips: If you park your motorcycle outside at night, you may want a cover that features reflective strips. This will make it more visible to people and other vehicles, which you don’t want accidentally hitting your bike in its parking spot.
- Size: Know your bike's dimensions before selecting a cover because sizes can vary considerably. For example, touring bikes with bags and luggage racks require bigger covers than smaller sport bikes. Cruisers with windshields also usually require large covers. Many brands offer just one or two sizes.
- Portability: Covers with more features (i.e. heat protection) tend to be heavier. This is something to consider when you're taking a road trip. If you don't have a lot of space, you may want to purchase a half cover. As the name suggests, they only cover the top half of the bike. They are also smaller and easier to carry.
Best Motorcycle Cover Reviews & Recommendations 2019
The Dowco cover is waterproof, breathable, and resists fading from UV rays. A heat shield protects against hot pipes. The vents prevent moisture buildup, and an elastic cord and belly strap keep the cover from ballooning or coming off in high winds. There is a hole for a wheel lock and a separate hole for an alarm. It comes with a compression bag for storage and has a limited lifetime warranty.
It covers the bike down to the bottom of the wheels and has more than enough room to accommodate motorcycles with saddlebags. Also, the vents release moisture that can build up underneath. The cover keeps the bike quite dry and protected during heavy rainstorms with large wind gusts. The belly strap prevents the cover from shifting, and the felt lining prevents scratches on the paint. In addition, the lower part of the cover doesn't melt when exposed to hot exhaust.
The cover may lightly scratch a plastic sport bike windscreen. Also, some water does filter through to the bike if you store it outside, particularly as the cover ages. The buckles on the straps may scratch the paint if they smack against the tank or other areas. Another problem is the cover is heavy and only reduces to the size of a basketball.
This lightweight, all-season, waterproof, and windproof cover is made of breathable nylon and protects against UV rays. It also repels heat, moisture, and condensation. The cover is non-abrasive and mildew-resistant. It can be used for most standard-sized on/off-road bikes, including Harley Davidson, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha models. It comes with a one-year warranty.
This cover is large enough for a motorcycle with a windshield and saddlebags. It features grommets that snap around the wheels, preventing the cover from coming loose. It protects against rain and sun damage, and the fabric is thick with a sturdy elastic band at the bottom. In addition, the cover is lightweight and easy to store.
One downside is a hot exhaust pipe may burn holes into the cover because it is not heat-resistant. Also, the cover may not fit large bikes, and the straps may break during high wind conditions or over extended use.
Honorable Mention: Nuzari Premium Heavy Duty Outdoor Motorcycle Cover
This Nuzari cover is made of waterproof, breathable, heat-resistant polyester. It features air vents and a soft screen shield. Reflective strips make it visible to other vehicles in parking areas. A luggage strap and heavy-duty elastic bottom keep it securely in place, while an interior heat shield prevents burning and melting caused by a hot exhaust. Cutouts allow for the use of cable locks, and the cover comes in sizes medium to XXL.
The vents allow air to pass through the cover so it doesn't balloon or tip over in high winds. Also, the cover is well constructed and made of thick and durable material. It includes two soft panels for dual exhausts and a soft panel for the windscreen to prevent scratching.
The biggest complaint is the color (camouflage, red, etc.) may fade over time due to sun exposure. Also, after a few months, the fabric may get stiff and break down. Other cover options are often more waterproof as well.
Tips & Advice for Motorcycle Covers
- Wait until your bike cools down before you cover it. Unless the cover has heat-resistant qualities, the hot exhaust could melt a hole in the cover. Worse, the plastic cover itself could melt onto the pipes.
- Keep a motorcycle cover in one of your bags so it's always accessible. This will allow you to throw it on top of your bike no matter where you park it.
- If you are covering your motorcycle to repel the rain, make sure the elastic at the bottom is secured around the bike. This will prevent the wind and rain from coming into direct contact with the motorcycle.
- After a big rain storm, you may need to remove your waterproof cover to let the motorcycle dry out. Even with good vents, moisture can still penetrate the cover, and condensation can build up.
- Keep your cover clean. After each use, be sure to wipe it down and dry it. This is particularly important if you fold it up for storage because you want to prevent the growth of mildew.
- Consider putting a tarp on top of the cover. This may repel additional moisture that can build up, particularly if your motorcycle sits outside for a prolonged period of time during the winter.
- The cover may attract a lot of dust and pollen, so make sure you shake it off after removing it from your bike and before you store it.
- Take your time covering your motorcycle. If you pull the material too hard and too fast, you may rip it. Instead, be patient and methodical.
Q: Can I lock my motorcycle cover?
A: Some brands make lockable motorcycle covers. If the cover has grommets or holes, you can use a chain to lock the bike securely. But be sure to pass the chain through an area other than the wheels, which thieves can easily remove.
Q: Do I need a cover for my bike if it’s stored in a garage?
A: It's a good idea to cover your motorcycle whether it is stored inside or outside. It can prevent dust and dirt from covering your bike. It's also a deterrent to thieves who may want to steal your motorcycle.
Q: What size should I get?
A: You need a cover that will encompass the whole motorcycle and has a snug fit. If it's too large, it will offer less protection from elements such as the wind. If it's too snug, it may snag when you try to put it on or off the bike. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Q: Can I put a motorcycle cover in the washing machine?
A: Check the cleaning instructions first. If you have a waterproof cover, it's best to wash it by hand. Avoid abrasive brushes and substances so you don't damage it or put a hole in it. Also, let it hang dry instead of putting it in a dryer.
Our top pick for the best motorcycle cover is the Dowco Guardian WeatherAll Plus Indoor/Outdoor Motorcycle Cover. It fits large bikes, offers good waterproof protection, and protects paint finishes.
If you’re looking for something that costs a little less, consider the XYZCTEM Motorcycle Cover – All Season Waterproof Outdoor Protection.