Choosing A Good Motorcycle Cover for Less Money

By: On: November 26th, 20080 Comments »Updated: October 14, 2012

Why not protect your motorcycle investment by using a motorcycle cover? For a surprisingly small amount of money, you can purchase a fairly good quality motorcycle cover. Don’t buy one until you know what to look for or your effort to protect your motorcycle by covering it up might actually do more harm than good. How can this be? We investigated three types of common motorcycle covers and here is what we found.

Before we started shopping for motorcycle covers, we set three rules for ourselves. The main idea was to spend just a little, but get something good!

First, we decided we were going to avoid the high-end covers that come with brand logos since they look very nice, but we’d rather not spend hard our hard-earned money just to advertise what brand of motorcycle we have under the cover. Would you really want to tell potential thieves that you have a desirable Harley-Davidson street bike hiding under that cover?

Second, cheap single layer nylon motorcycle covers often are ruled out. Many of the really cheap motorcycle covers end up snagging and ripping on hardware when you try to take them off. They also don’t often breath, meaning moisture can get trapped under them, and in the right conditions, mildew could start forming on your motorcycle seat and other parts. Those cheap motorcycle covers might be ok for temporary use just to keep the dust off, but that’s not what we are going for here.

Third, we set a maximum spending limit of $50 US dollars for our motorcycle cover. Less would be better, but we had to get something that would last. This was a good challenge, but times are tough!

Dowco Storeway Motorcycle Cover

Dowco Storeway Motorcycle Cover

Dowco, Inc. is a manufacturer of fine quality covers for all sorts things, including for your motorcycle, atv, personal watercraft, boat, and snowmobile. The company began in 1975 making awnings. Their better (Dowco trademark names Guardian Weatherall Plus, and EZ-Zip) series of motorcycle covers come with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, and cost in the neighborhood of $75 to $135 US. Those are loaded with great features and materials, but unfortunately, today’s budget here doesn’t allow these.

Since we’re planning to store our motorcycle indoors in a garage, we realized all we need is a good quality cover that won’t scratch our motorcycle windshield and also won’t scuff the paint or our polished chrome exhaust pipes. The Dowco Gaurdian Storeway cover seems to fit all our requirements. It is less than $50 for the extra large size that will cover our bagger without problem. The Storeway is a fabric motorcycle cover that won’t scratch, and is breathable.

Motogear Motorcycle Cover

MotoGear Motorcycle Cover

Another fairly inexpensive motorcycle cover is from Classic Accessories and is their MotoGear Deluxe motorcycle cover. It is available for sport, cruiser and touring motorcycle sizes and sells for less than $50 US and is available at retail stores such as Target and at several online stores, including Amazon.

Some of the features of the MotoGear cover are a 2 year warranty for materials and workmanship, a heat resistant liner, a liner to protect the motorcycle windshield, air vents, elastic bottom hem, and hooks to keep it tied down. They specify that the warranty on this MotoGear motorcycle cover is void if you trailer your bike with this cover on. We assume they are referring to an open trailer.

One thing that concerns us is the “metallic” heat shield fabric inside the motorcycle cover to protect it from warm exhaust pipes. We’re not sure if we want metallic fabric rubbing on our shiny chrome exhaust pipes.  To be fair, we really do not know if it would actually scratch, but we did not want to test that on our motorcycle.  Also specified in the instructions is that you can not wash this motorcycle cover with soap or it will degrade the special coatings on the fabric.

Nelson-Rigg Cover

Nelson-Rigg Cover

Nelson-Rigg offers a wide variety of motorcycle covers, and one that caught our eye was their Premier cover.  Because of our self-imposed price limit, this cover just barely made it into our review .  Since we found a lot of positive feedback from customers, we thought it was worth looking at.

This motorcycle cover material is “top quality” polyester that has a Uvex coating to protect it and your motorcycle from sun fade damage.  While we plan to store our motorcycle in a garage, we figure it’s wise to get a cover that also can be used outdoors.  Like others, it has an elastic hem at the bottom  A nice feature is four large grommets near bottom of the front wheel, and more at the bottom middle for your tie-down bungee cords or motorcycle lock cable.

The soft lining for the motorcycle windshield will help us make sure we don’t scratch it.  Heat shield lower panels also are integrated into this waterproof motorcycle cover.  Two air vents help keep the cover from flapping around outside in the wind if you use it outdoors.

So, of the three different low-cost motorcycle covers we looked at, how did they rank?  For our bagger motorcycle, and using our very limited budget, we preferred the Nelson-Rigg Premier cover.  It met our needs for helping protect from scratches on our motorcycle windshield and to cover the entire motorcycle. We liked the over-sized grommets for securing it too.  The UV protection and waterproof seams are nice to have in case we need to use it outside and the elastic bottom keeps things covered.  The other two motorcycle covers came in tied for second considering what we planned to use it for and our budget.

If you use a low-cost motorcycle cover that you think is quite good, please share the brand and model of it with your friends at Motorcycle Info by adding a comment below!

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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