Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best motorcycle covers

Few things are more invigorating than cruising down the highway on a motorcycle. But when you’re not riding, where do you keep your bike? Whether you store it in the garage or your driveway, it’s a good idea to place a motorcycle cover on it.

If there’s something all bike owners can agree on, it’s that keeping a motorcycle clean is a labor of love. The typical motorcycle cover shields the bike from the handles down to the wheels, keeping out dirt, dust, pollutants, and even critters. For those who store their bikes outdoors, there are waterproof and weather-resistant motorcycle covers. Some even offer UV protection.

At BestReviews, we think a motorcycle cover is an essential accessory for every bike owner, and we created this buying guide to help you find the right product.

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Motorcycle covers are sold in sizes S through XXL. The range varies considerably among manufacturers, so make sure you refer to the sizing chart for exact dimensions.

Finding the right fit

How do you find a motorcycle cover that fits your bike? After all, a motorcycle cover is only effective if it fits your bike properly. Otherwise, dirt and water can enter the cover through gaps and exposed areas. Fortunately, most motorcycle covers specify the types of bikes they fit.

Universal fit covers

Some covers are described as having a “universal fit.” This term can be a bit misleading. Rather than fitting every bike, these covers fit a category of bikes. As far as categories go, this could refer to bike size, height, or type. More often than not, universal fit covers have bungee or tie-down edges that allow you to fully wrap and secure the bike.

Make-specific and model-specific covers

If you prefer a near-custom fit, it’s better to spend a little more money on a motorcycle cover that is make-specific or model-specific. These covers are designed to hug the silhouette of a particular bike. Some covers in this category have bungee or tie-down details, but the majority have elastic edges.


Protection against the elements

Motorcycle covers are designed to protect bikes from one or more of the following: sun, water, moisture, and UV rays. The more protection a cover offers, the pricier it will be.

Waterproof: The shell material of a waterproof motorcycle cover won’t let rain, snow, or moisture penetrate it. Water beads up and slides off the cover.

Water-resistant: “Water-resistant” is not the same term as “waterproof.” A water-resistant motorcycle cover only repels a limited amount of water. Oversaturation will eventually lead to water penetration.

Weather-resistant: Covers with this designation have a collection of protective features that help them fare well in challenging weather conditions such as wind, rain, and snow. For that reason, they’re often chosen for motorcycles that are kept outdoors.

Wind-resistant: These covers are designed to protect your bike in windy conditions with ventilation cutouts or mesh for enhanced airflow. By facilitating airflow, the cover actually reduces the bike’s chance of tipping over in whipping winds.

UV protection: These covers are designed with fade-resistant UV-blocking materials. The materials help keep the bike’s paint intact and prevent sunlight from beating down on tires, which dries them out.

Heat shield

If you’ve been out on a long ride, your pipes are hot. Manufacturers take this into consideration when producing styles with heat shields. A motorcycle cover with a heat shield has a high heat tolerance. It won’t melt or warp when exposed to hot pipes.

"If your bike has a helmet case, you may need to invest in a special type of motorcycle cover to accommodate the added bulk."

Hem detail

The hem of a motorcycle cover may consist of bungee cording, elastic, or materials for another tie-down method. The purpose of the hem is to envelope the bike so there are no openings at the bottom. Some hems have multiple tightening mechanisms including snaps, grommets, or Velcro closures for a tighter fit.

Chain and lock cut-outs

If you leave your motorcycle outdoors, you probably secure it via lock and chain. Some motorcycle covers have cutouts that allow ample space for and easy access to chains and locks. Some pricier covers have an alarm that will sound in the event that someone tampers with the bike.

Popular materials

Outer shell: The outer shell of a motorcycle cover may be made of polyester, polyurethane, nylon, denier, or a blend of materials. In addition to their protective properties, the shells typically have high-tensile strength. This means they are highly resistant to tension-related rips and tears.

Lining: Motorcycle covers are lined with soft, scratch-free material to protect the bike’s paint, mirrors, and seats. More often than not, linings are made of cotton, felt, or microfiber.


Helmet cover: Raider Motorcycle Helmet Bag
Keep your helmet free of dirt and debris by storing it in a full-coverage case. This helmet bag by Raider is weather-resistant and lined with ultra-plush fleece.

Motorcycle tail bag: AmazonBasics Motorcycle Tail Bag
It’s easy to store your motorcycle cover on the road with this convenient, affordable tail bag. The bag is made of weather-resistant materials to keep the cover dry while you ride.

Motorcycle cover prices

Motorcycle covers are available in a broad range of prices, so there’s definitely a cover to be found for every budget. On average, they range from $20 to $150. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for with covers; low-priced options often don’t last as long as pricier ones.

Inexpensive: Basic motorcycle covers that offer modest coverage and protection cost between $20 and $50. These include a variety of universal-fit designs, though fit quality can be hit-or-miss. Many covers in this category are water-resistant but not waterproof.

Mid-range: Motorcycle covers in the $50 to $80 range tend to offer a better overall fit. Quality is superior to lesser-priced counterparts, especially in terms of tensile strength and weather resistance. Some covers in this category come with bonus accessories, such as a carrying case or alarm.

Expensive: If you’re in the market for a near-custom fit, chances are you’ll spend up to $150 on a motorcycle cover. In addition to a superior fit, covers in this price bracket tend to have longer warranties and an excellent roundup of protective features.


  • Consider a cover with reflective detail. Some covers have reflective logos or stripes. This helps automobile drivers park or maneuver around your bike at night.
  • Don’t force the fit. Some motorcycle covers are just too small. It’s better to invest in a larger cover with tightening mechanisms than a cover that isn’t large enough.
  • Look for reinforced seams. If you want a motorcycle cover with zipper closures, consider one with reinforced seams. If the seams aren’t reinforced, water could penetrate the zipper and transfer to the bike.
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If you get a new bike or make major modifications to your current one, there’s a good chance your motorcycle cover will fit differently. As a result, you may need to upgrade to a new one with a more suitable shape.


Q. How should I store my motorcycle cover when it’s not in use?
It’s common for motorcycle covers to come with soft carrying cases for storage. While you could simply stuff the cover inside the case, more often than not, you’ll need to fold it a particular way for the cover to fit. In the event your motorcycle cover isn’t packaged with a case, consider storing it inside a soft backpack.

Q. What does it mean if a motorcycle cover is considered an “outdoor” item?
This usually refers to superior water, weather, and wind protection. Outdoor motorcycle covers tend to be thick. Many have a UV-protective material or coating.

Q. How far down will the motorcycle cover reach on my bike?
While there’s no standard length, many motorcycle covers nearly reach the ground. These styles completely cover the bottom of the tires or expose just a few inches. However, there are products that only cover the frame, leaving the bike exposed from the seat to the ground.

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