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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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON April 16, 2021
If you want your motorcycle to stay in good shape, you need to maintain it. In addition to changing the oil and tires regularly and tuning it up as required, you need to protect your ride from the elements. This is particularly important if it sits for long periods or you don't have covered storage.
A good motorcycle cover will protect your bike from sun damage as well as bird droppings, acid rain, tree sap, and other pollutants. If you store it inside a garage, a cover will protect it from dust and accidental scratches. There are so many motorcycle covers available that it can be challenging to choose the best one—check out our top picks in the buying guide below.
This cover is designed for all seasons but does particularly well in sunny climates. It's made of polyester with a reflective urethane coating
- Fleece liner protects bike from scratches
- Protects against sun damage
- Mold- and mildew-resistant
- Not waterproof
- Not ideal in extreme weather conditions
This polyester cover is available in several sizes. It is 100 percent waterproof and can be used for long-term outdoor storage.
- Features secure, sewn-in elastic
- Double-stitched seams for durability
- Storage bag included
- Elastic makes it a struggle to put over a bike
- Material is thin
This cover is available in several sizes for cruisers, adventure touring bikes, sport bikes, and more. It comes in black or gray.
- Heat shield protects against hot pipes
- Hole for a wheel lock
- May scratch windscreens and paint
- Less waterproof as it ages
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy a Motorcycle Cover?
- Protection against the elements. If you don't have a garage or don't have space in there for your motorcycle, it's probably going to stay outside. A high-quality motorcycle cover will protect it from all types of weather. Plus, it will provide UV protection against damaging sun rays.
- Protection against scratches. If you store your motorcycle inside a garage, it may accidentally get bumped, particularly if it’s close to other objects. It's less likely to get scratched or dented when it’s underneath a cover.
- Protection against thieves. People will be more interested in your bike if it's left out in the open versus under a cover. If you don't want to attract the attention of looky-loos, invest in a high-quality motorcycle cover that conceals the type of bike you have.
- Protection against dirt. Motorcycles that sit for a certain time can get dusty and dirty. A cover keeps dirt and dust out, so you won't have to clean your bike as often.
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 few parts to the elements. Many all weather bike covers and waterproof motorcycle covers are full size.
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, Calif. The company has been producing motorcycle covers, luggage, and apparel since 1972. One popular product is the Nelson-Rigg Half Cover.
Dowco, a division of Patrick Industries, was founded in 1922 in Manitowoc, Wis., 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 Motorcycle Cover.
Based in Pittsburg, Calif., CarCovers.com makes covers for all types of vehicles, including motorcycles, trucks, SUVs, and vans. Its products are designed to provide a snug fit and protect against sun and weather damage. We recommend the Platinum Shield Motorcycle Cover.
Motorcycle Cover Pricing
- Under $20: You can find a selection of cheap motorcycle covers, but they simply won't last very long and aren't as durable as products that have a higher price point.
- $20 to $50: If you spend a little more money, you can still find an affordable motorcycle cover. If you're lucky, you'll find one on sale, and many have features such as air vents and protection against hot pipes.
- $50 to $100: Expect to pay a premium price for a premium motorcycle cover. Those on the higher end of the price range are better for outdoor storage and can withstand damaging UV rays and various weather conditions.
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 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 sportbikes. 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 Covers Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- 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 rainstorm, 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?
That depends on the type of cover you choose: some are designed with grommets or holes to add a lock and secure the cover in place. Just make sure to secure the lock's chain through the frame or other area on the bike that can't be easily removed (such as the wheels).
Q. Do I need a cover for my bike if it’s stored in a garage?
You should cover your bike whether you store it inside or outside. A cover keeps out dust and dirt, which is unsightly and will require a good cleaning to remove. A cover also keeps prying eyes from looking at your most prized possession.
Q. What size motorcycle cover should I get?
Make sure to measure your motorcycle and check to see that it aligns with the cover's dimensions. It should fit snugly but shouldn't snag on your bike when you put it on or remove it. If it's too large, it may blow off in the wind.
Q. Can I put a motorcycle cover in the washing machine?
See what the manufacturer recommends. Many waterproof motorcycle covers require hand washing. Do not use abrasive brushes or cleaning formulas. It's also a good idea to let it air dry.
Our pick for the best overall motorcycle cover is the Platinum Shield Motorcycle Cover. It does a great job of protecting against sun damage and is lightweight, durable, breathable, and mildew-resistant. Plus, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Budget Sportsman Motorcycle Cover