Written By
Published Nov. 9, 2021

If you’re a biker, your motorcycle is likely one of your prized possessions. But sometimes we don’t treat them as gently as we should. Sure, they’re tough and can be left outdoors uncovered for a night or two (or three). And they can take a little rain. But if you’re parking your bike outdoors on a regular basis, you need to invest in a motorcycle cover. A quality cover not only keeps your bike dry and clean but protects it from corrosion and rust. It also keeps your bike from catching the eyeballs of would-be thieves. The best part is, motorcycle covers run the gamut from inexpensive to pricey and there’s a cover for every budget, to suit every bike and every rider. These are some of the best motorcycle covers on the market today.

The Best Motorcycle Cover

We chose the Favoto as our Best Overall motorcycle cover because it includes several features normally found only on premium-priced covers. With three distinct lengths available, there’s one to fit most any kind of motorcycle, from sportbikes and naked bikes to touring models with windshields and saddlebags. Not only is it extremely affordable, coming in on the lower end of the price spectrum, it also includes lock holes, allowing you to string a cable or U-lock through the front wheel.

Made of polyester, it’s lightweight and easy to put on. But it’s lined with soft silver material to avoid scratches on paint and chrome. It’s waterproof, sealing out the elements to protect metal parts like your exhaust pipes, engine, and handlebar from wet weather and dust. Better still, it also protects your seat, grips, and other leather and rubber components from harmful UV rays.

Specifications
  • Brand Favoto
  • Item Weight 1.6 pounds
  • Product Dimensions (M) 104” x 41” x 50” (also available in 96.5” and 116” lengths)
PROS

Highly rated but reasonably priced

Includes lock holes near front wheel

Buckles front and rear keep it from blowing off in the wind

CONS

Polyester won’t last forever

Doesn’t quite cover a bike with a windshield

Designed specifically for cruisers, such as Indians and Harleys, our Best Value motorcycle cover is made of nylon oxford for fantastic protection from the elements and it’s very affordable. While it may not be ideal for all bikes, cruisers are the most popular motorcycle style in the U.S. and the 108-inch length means it’s not only long enough to fit most cruisers, customs, and choppers, but it should be roomy enough to work just fine for large-displacement motorcycles, and even dirt bikes with higher clearances.

The non-scratch and lightweight material means it won’t harm delicate finishes or chrome. But it’s also breathable, so it releases heat and moisture. That means it’s perfect if you live in a place with a warm, muggy climate. It only features one attached strap (with buckle), but an extra, loose one is provided along with a handy carrying pouch.

Specifications
  • Brand XYZCTEM
  • Weight ‎2.59 pounds
  • Package Dimensions 11.93 x 8.94 x 4.29 inches
PROS

Perfect for the most popular motorcycle style in the US

Roomy enough for dirt bikes with high clearances

Reinforced lock holes and reflective strips

You could pay more for less

CONS

“Breathable” construction might compromise weather protection

Won’t fit very small or very large motorcycles

The WeatherAll Plus costs a lot more than its competition, but it comes from one of the most recognizable names in the industry. Better still, there’s one for nearly every kind and size of bike, from little Honda Groms and Monkeys to adventure-ready BMW GSes. Constructed of heavy-duty ClimaShield Plus, a 300 denier solution-dyed polyester fabric with a durable water-repellent top coat, it also sports taped, double-stitched seams as well as a polyurethane and mildew-resistant undercoating.

The reflective Moisture-Guard vent system gives added nighttime visibility and allows moisture to escape. A soft cotton interior protects windshields, while a heat shield keeps the fabric from burning on hot exhaust pipes, which means you don’t have to wait long after a ride before putting it on. An elastic shock cord and polyester belly strap are sewn into the bottom to provide a snug fit.

Specifications
  • Brand Dowco Guardian
  • Weight 4.9 pounds
  • Package Dimensions 15.6 x 12 x 5 inches
PROS

Limited lifetime warranty

Quality materials and construction

Multiple size and color options

Includes a sewn-in hold for a wheel lock and an alarm pocket

CONS

Prohibitive cost

Once the cover is saturated, its waterproof-ness can be compromised

If you commute on your bike, or just like to go for day rides, you don’t want to lug around your whole bike cover along every time. That’s when this top-end “bikini” cover from reliable Nelson-Rigg comes in handy. It covers your handlebars, grips, and seat and while that’s it, sometimes that’s all you need. No, it won’t protect your engine and lower half from the elements but it’s more compact and easy to carry than a full-sized bike cover. And it comes from Nelson-Rigg, a brand renowned for quality motorcycle gear and accessories.

While it doesn’t cover the bottom end of your bike, it’s not meant to so we won’t deduct points for that. Still, its main drawback is its size. While the Defender Extreme is compact, it’s really made to quickly and easily cover cruisers and larger touring and ADV bikes with windshields and/or saddlebags. In a pinch, it might suffice for sport and naked bikes but that’s not what it’s designed for.

Specifications
  • Brand Nelson-Rigg
  • Weight 2.55 pounds
  • Package Dimensions 9 x 6 x 6.5 inches
PROS

Trusted brand name

Taped seams and soft windshield cover

Lightweight and compact

Waterproof

CONS

Won’t cover your bottom end

Pricier than some full-sized bike covers

Motorcycle covers are fantastic short-term solutions to protect your bike from rain, wind, snow, etc. When you want a more permanent solution, a place to keep your bike secure in your driveway or yard without putting it in the garage, the Quictent is amazing. Just ride right into its footprint, put the kickstand down, and pull the cover up and over your entire bike. At 136 inches long, 75 inches tall, and 54 inches wide, it’s large enough for even big touring bikes.

It really is a tent for your motorcycle, and includes stakes to keep it in place if you put it on soft ground. It also comes with a handy carrying case for travel. Made from 600D oxford fabric with a watertight PU coating on the inside, and constructed with a heavy-duty black powder coated steel frame, it provides maximum water repellency and protects your bike from UV rays for weeks on end — maybe even months. If you need a long-term bike storage solution but don’t have access to a garage, the Quictent might be the best motorcycle cover for you.

Specifications
  • Brand Quictent
  • Weight 43.7 pounds
  • Dimensions 136 x 54 x 75 inches
PROS

Steel powder coated frame

Secure long-term storage solution

One-year warranty

CONS

Might be overkill for many riders

Can catch the wind and blow away if not secured to the ground

Somewhat confusing instructions

How We Selected The Products

As a longtime rider, I know how much it sucks to go jump on your bike, only to discover it soaking wet. And as a city dweller, I also know that an uncovered bike can be a magnet for thieves. We surveyed the motorcycle cover landscape and found numerous options at a surprisingly wide variety of price points. So for this list, we chose covers from up and down the price range, providing some high-end options from trusted brands as well as offshoot brands that provide comparable features and similar protection at far more friendly price points. We selected only motorcycle covers made from quality materials, with tape-sealed seams and double-stitching. We opted for brands that offered a variety of sizes to suit multiple bikes. Finally, gave special consideration to fully weatherproof and lined options, as well as those with a warranty.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

bake covered with waterproof cover

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

When choosing a motorcycle cover, it is good to think about a couple of fundamental requirements before settling on one for purchase. First, decide whether you need your cover to be used either indoors, outdoors, or both. 

Second, consider the size of your bike. Some of us will only need a small bike cover, as our motorcycles are just a little urban runabout. Cruising, touring, and adventure bikes need a larger cover. Take the time to measure your bike and always be sure to check the measurements of the motorcycle cover you have in mind. Many offer various size options; be sure to select the right-sized cover for your bike.

Finally, opt for waterproof, high-quality materials that won’t tear in strong winds. There’s no point in buying a cheap motorcycle cover that doesn’t keep your bike dry, and no one likes to spend money on a product that won’t last. Also, look for tape-sealed and double-stitched seams, elastic or drawstring bottom hems, and belly straps (preferably with buckles) to connect the sides to one another. Lock holes are a nice feature, as is a handy carrying pouch for storage.

Types of Motorcycle Cover Materials

Motorcycle covers vary greatly from one manufacturer to another, and the main reason they vary so wildly in price is because of the materials used to make them. The best covers will use nylon, polyester, or oxford fabric with a high — over 400 — denier (thread) count and tape-sealed, double-stitched seams. You want to avoid materials that can become soaked, as this can compromise its waterproof capabilities. A material that’s been top-coated will allow rainwater to bead off.

While material quality is important, you also need to consider the size and weight of any motorcycle cover. A good cover will be waterproof and sturdy, but will also fold up tightly and easily, and not take up too much space in storage. 

Best Motorcycle Covers FAQ:

Q: How much do motorcycle covers cost?

That depends on a variety of factors but as in most things, you usually get what you pay for. Simple covers can run from as little as twenty bucks up to about $100. Tents, shelters, and sheds can cost twice that much.

Q: How do I clean my motorcycle cover?

A good wipe down with a dry cloth is all you usually need. Once you have wiped it down and removed any dirt from the surface, dry it in fresh air or give it another wipe with a soft, clean cloth. If any water is left on your motorcycle cover before it is folded up, mildew can attack even a heavy-duty motorcycle cover.

Q: Do I still need a motorcycle cover if I keep my bike in the garage?

While your garage is much safer from the elements as well as thieves, covering your bike will add an extra layer of protection from dust and any other nasties that can get into even the best-maintained garages. Especially if you’re storing your bike for months at a time, covering it even indoors is highly recommended.

Q: Are motorcycle covers waterproof?

While most motorcycle covers will claim to be waterproof, in practice not all of them are. Some can get soaked in rain, compromising their waterproof abilities. Others may not have tape-sealed or double-stitched seams, allowing water to seep in. Check for testing, and always consider the type of materials used in construction. Opt for high denier (thread) counts.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a motorcycle cover. If you just need something to keep your bike dry or protect it from the elements overnight or for a few hours, you can get away with an inexpensive one. If you only ride your motorcycle occasionally, you should spend a bit more on a higher-quality cover or perhaps a tent or shed. Something like the Favoto Motorcycle Cover should be enough for regular riders. Those who store their bike for longer periods of time between rides may want to consider a higher quality cover like the Dowco Guardian 50124-00 WeatherAll Plus Waterproof Motorcycle Cover, or even a more permanent solution such as the Quictent Heavy Duty Motorcycle Shelter Shed.

MORE TO READ