Buying the right motorcycle cover

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There are several things to think about if you want to make sure you buy the right motorcycle cover for your bike. Believe it or not there are lots of different types of bike cover and it pays to do a little research before you part with your cash to make sure you don’t end up wasting your money on an unsuitable one.

A good cover will protect your motorcycle from the elements, keeping it cleaner, preventing the paintwork from fading, reducing the chance of rust, and stopping dirt from causing increased wear and tear on the bike’s moving parts. If you have to keep your motorbike outdoors, a good waterproof motorcycle cover is the next best thing to keeping it in a garage. Even if you’ve got a garage, a motorcycle dust cover will help keep the bike in pristine condition.

Another point to consider is that a cover will hide your bike from prying eyes and reduce the chances of it getting stolen.

Motorcycle covers for different purposes

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As with most things, you get what you pay for and cutting corners will mostly likely prove to be a false economy. The cheapest you can buy are usually flimsy, paper thin rain covers, and while they’ll keep your bike dry in a light shower they are not very robust and will tear quite easily if they snag on a handlebar or footpeg. The only real advantages of light motorcycle covers like this is that they can usually be scrunched up into a small space, which makes them ideal for putting into a backpack or under the back seat if you need to carry them with you.

Another problem with thin motorcycle covers is that if you put them onto your bike immediately after riding, there’s a chance the hot exhaust pipe will burn a hole in them. In fact this can even be a problem with heavier bike covers, although the damage may appear over a longer period. A higher quality cover will usually feature a reinforced heat-proof panel where it sits over the endcan.

Thicker outdoor rain covers are usually made of coarse material like heavy weight polyester, and while this is durable and good at keeping the weather off your bike, the fabric can scuff polished paintwork. Better quality covers will have a lining made from softer cotton which will protect the motorcycle’s paintwork.

A good motorcycle cover will protect your bike from dirt and rain
A good motorcycle cover will protect your bike from dirt and rain

A common problem with motorcycle covers is that they either get blown off the bike in the wind, or simply taken off by vandals or thieves. When buying a bike cover, pick one that has a pair of eyelets at the bottom centre so that you can join them together underneath the bike with a small padlock – this will stop the cover from getting blown away, or removed by casual thieves.

These are all basic considerations for buying a standard quality bike cover, but if you want to look at the more expensive end of the market there are a few other things to think about. High end manufacturers offer covers that are tailored to fit specific motorcycle models. This can be especially important for large, prestige bikes, and you can often buy branded Honda Goldwing or Harley Davidson covers, for example.

If you’ve got specific requirements for a motorcycle cover, such as a heavily modified bike, you’ll find that the specialist cover manufacturers will be happy to make a customised cover for you, at a cost.