The 10 Best Motorcycle Covers
This wiki has been updated 37 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Whether you ride for fun or commute to and from work or school on two wheels, if you protect your bike from dirt, dust and the elements with one of these motorcycle covers, it will serve you well for years to come. The options in this selection come in a variety of styles designed for sports bikes, cruisers, and scooters, at a range of prices that will be suitable for any budget. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 23, 2021:
Even if you keep your motorcycle indoors (as many of us do during those seemingly-endless winter months), your bike will still benefit from being covered while it's in storage. In garages where space is limited, they can often succumb to knocks and scrapes, and these environments are often dusty, susceptible to mold or mildew, and home to cobwebs and other pest-related deposits.
As mentioned previously, the elements can take a severe toll on your machine, especially in areas where road salt is scattered liberally, or coastal areas where the air has a high salt content. This is particularly punishing and can deteriorate chrome and paintwork over the course of a single season. With that said, rain and ultraviolet rays will also significantly affect your vehicle's bodywork and upholstery over time.
It is for these reasons, we recommend covering your bike, even if left overnight between daily commutes. For a relatively low investment, you can not only preserve a motorcycle's value, but also keep it better-maintained and road-worthy for many years to come, while helping to ensure it always looks its best.
January 09, 2020:
Unlike cars, motorcycles cannot sit out in the rain or direct sunlight without sustaining damage to its upholstery, finish, and engine over time. While the occasional storm or a few hours in the sun every so often shouldn't present a problem, a cover is necessary for your bike's long-term maintenance. They also act as a deterrent to thieves, who won't be able to see if your motorcycle is worth stealing without going over and taking a peek. Since many covers are lockable, fiddling with one can draw considerable unwanted attention to a crook. When combined with a good lock and alarm, a cover can help keep opportunists at bay.
We prioritized items that provide excellent protection against rain, snow, pollution, droppings, and harsh sunlight, as well as smart designs that prevent condensation buildup inside. We looked for heavy-duty fabric, items like buckles, bungees, and elastic hems that ensure a good fit, and additions like pockets and reflective accents so that other drivers can see where your bike is parked at night.
We let the TMS XLarge and Classic Accessories MotoGear go due to availability concerns, and said goodbye to the Dowco 26034-00 Guardian UltraLite and UltraGard 4-444AB because of quality complaints. To fill the void, we added the Nuzari Premium, a quality model with a middle of the road price, and the Badass Motogear Ultimate, a high-end cover with meticulous attention to detail that was designed by American bikers. This one is a bit of an investment, but it's built to last for years, so we think it's worth the cost.
When we realized this list had no half covers, we brought on the UltraGard Touring and Nelson-Rigg Half. These types of covers are especially well suited to people who ride their bikes to work every day or go on lengthy trips, as they fold up small and are lightweight. And since they have no bottom panel, you can put them on your bike immediately after parking without having to wait for it to cool down. They are ideal for daily protection against sun, dirt, debris, and rain, as well as for garage storage. That being said, you might be better off with full coverage if you're storing your bike outside through a harsh winter or extreme elements, as the more protection the better.
Covercraft Form-Fit The Covercraft Form-Fit uses a body-hugging polyester knit outer shell made with spandex to provide stretch and recovery, clinging to the lines of your bike for a custom fit. It has a sheared cotton loop fleece interior and overlapped, double-stitched seams for strength. It is machine washable, comes with a storage bag, is backed by a four-year warranty, and is available in six colors. The design takes saddle bags, sissy bars, and backrests into account. covercraft.com
Specialised Covers Tailored Solutions This Yorkshire, UK-based company has been making high-quality vehicle protection for over 35 years. They provide both indoor and outdoor covers that are tailor-made to fit your bike, using durable materials with well-crafted finishes. They can include soft inner linings, piped seams, and custom printed logos, are machine-washable, and are available to suit all types of two-wheelers, including cruisers and sports models. specialisedcovers.com
Why Motorcyle Covers Are Essential To Motorcycle Maintenance
Long periods of sunlight, high wind exposure, and excessive rain or snow can take its toll on the bike's finish and seat upholstery.
In densely packed cities with street-clogging traffic, motorcycles are the most practical means of single rider transportation. They combine the power of a motor with the agility of a bicycle, and allow riders to effortlessly slip through traffic and drastically cut their transit time down. An important part of having a motorcycle is knowing how to best care for it, so that it can last for years to come. While it is best to take the bike in at least once a year for maintenance from a skilled motorcycle mechanic, there are many personal steps to be taken that ensure the rider's safety and the proper functioning of the motorcycle.
One of the important things to remember about motorcycles is to change the oil and air filters, just like an automobile. The oil in a motorcycle needs to be checked every 3,000-5,000 miles, while the air filter should be cleaned every 5,000 miles. A dirty air filter should never be overlooked as it decreases airflow to the engine; cutting off the supply of clean oxygen, which is an integral part of internal combustion engines.
An often overlooked, yet very beneficial aspect to motorcycle care is protecting it from the elements using a motorcycle cover. Motorcycle covers can stand up to harsher elements than the average motorcycle. Long periods of sunlight, high wind exposure, and excessive rain or snow can take its toll on the bike's finish and seat upholstery.
While riding, the elements are not major problems. If the motorcycle is to be left out for long periods of time, such as 40 hours a week at work, then the finish can be compromised. Excessive sunlight can fade paintwork through the effects of UV damage, while snow and rain water can leave stains on the bike. Wind can blow dust, stones, and other particles onto the bike, potentially damaging the finish or simply contributing to a dirty looking bike; both of which are undesirable outcomes. The best way to protect a motorcycle from these problems is to cover it whenever parked with a quality motorcycle cover.
The Motorcycle Cover As A Theft Deterrent
There are many ways to prevent motorcycle theft, yet none of them are foolproof. Motorcycles are commonly targets of theft, especially models that can be quickly disassembled and sold quickly before anyone comes looking. This is not a hard and fast rule, however; any motorcycle can be stolen. A combination of effective motorcycle protection methods is the best way to keep a motorcycle safe from career thieves and opportunistic amateurs alike.
Using a lock is the first step in the anti-theft plan of any motorcyclist. A lock will deter most joy riders and opportunistic thieves, though skilled thieves can simply use the leverage of the ground to break locks. When using a lock it is extremely important to keep it away from the ground. Advanced locks such as disc locks are much less appealing to amateur thieves, as there is no place to gain leverage in hopes to pry the lock. Multiple methods of deterrent will always work best. While it can seem like a lot of work to use various methods to protect a motorcycle, it is worth it in the end if it keeps the bike safe.
Another great step to keep a motorcycle thief at bay is to simply keep it covered up with a motorcycle cover. Many motorcycle covers can also be tied down or looped through a lock, making them harder to remove. Though a knife can easily tear through most motorcycle covers, the bike itself has much less curb appeal when underneath a generic looking motorcycle cover.
The First Motorcycle
The first working motorcycle was developed by the same man who created the world's first internal combustion engine, Gottlieb Daimler. Daimler and his partner Wilhelm Maybach took their combustion engine, added a flywheel to it, and attached it to a modified wooden bicycle-like frame. The creation was dubbed the Reitwagen.
The reason Daimler is credited for the invention is that his model was powered by gas, which remains the industry standard to this day.
The Reitwagen boasted a 1 horsepower engine, was equipped with two outrigger wheels for stabilization, and utilized a hot tube ignition system. In its first ride, Maybach rode the motorcycle for two miles, reaching speeds of up to seven miles per hour.
Though his was the first true motorcycle, he was not the pioneer of this movement. Many believe that the credit for the invention of the motorcycle should go to Sylvester Roper, who invented a steam-powered two wheeled bike almost 20 years before Daimler's patent was accepted. The reason Daimler is credited for the invention is that his model was powered by gas, which remains the industry standard to this day.