Are Motorcycle Covers Worth It?

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Anyone who owns a motorcycle, or would like to own one some day, has an understanding that a motorcycle will require some basic maintenance. Taking good care of the motorcycle means it will take good care of you.

A lot of people wonder, though, if whether or not a motorcycle cover is worth it. Cars sit out in all weather conditions and seem to do fine, so it would make sense that a motorcycle would be find without a cover, too.

Are motorcycle covers worth it? It would be worth purchasing a good quality cover for a motorcycle whether it’s stored indoors or outside. A motorcycle cover is beneficial because it protects a motorcycle from water damage, UV rays from the sun, dust, and keeps it inconspicuous to possible thieves.

Motorcycle covers can be a bit pricey, so it’s no wonder that motorcycle owners contemplate whether or not it’s actually worth getting one. But the price of a motorcycle cover doesn’t compare to the price of damages caused to a motorcycle by not having one. This article will explain why a motorcycle cover is worth it and what could happen if you don’t use one.

Why You Need A Motorcycle Cover

Motorcycle covers are an excellent accessory to have while owning a motorcycle and every owner should plan on investing in a good one. Many people don’t realize that owning a cover is a large part of basic motorcycle maintenance.

One of the biggest reasons that makes a motorcycle cover worth it is because of the protection it provides against water and condensation. This is especially true if the motorcycle is kept outside. It’s true that most cars do just fine when left outside for long periods of time exposed to the elements. But the basic and vital parts of a motorcycle are exposed and therefore are much more susceptible to damage.

Water is especially detrimental to a motorcycle and it has a tendency to find itself in places it shouldn’t be. While it’s just fine for a motorcycle to sit in the occasional rain storm or be ridden in a storm, continued exposure will have a lasting effect. Water may find it’s way into the carburetor and engine and can begin the process of rusting.

A motorcycle cover will repel most, if not all, water from ruining a motorcycle while it’s sitting in wet weather. A cover also helps protect a bike during freezing temperatures and can help keep condensation out. Click here to see my other article that discusses more in depth about the damage water can do to a motorcycle.

On the flip side, the sun isn’t too friendly to motorcycles either. The UV rays from the sun can damage many components to the motorcycle that can be expensive to fix. While occasional exposure to the sun is just fine for a motorcycle, excessive amounts of sitting in the sun will start to take a toll.

A good motorcycle cover would block these UV rays. The lack of a cover during a hot summer would cause the clear coat on the tank to start to chip, exposing the paint underneath. Once that paint becomes exposed, it starts to fade and discolor.

The rubber and plastic will also be impacted without coverage. UV rays from the sun has a tendency to break down the elements of these parts which means handle grips, gaskets, and side panels may become damaged. See my other article here to learn more about the damage the sun can to do a motorcycle when left out in the sun.

Dust may not seem like it can cause damage to a motorcycle, but over time it can. If enough dust and dirt accumulates, water is likely to be absorbed through it and will speed up the rusting process. This is why you need a cover over a motorcycle whether it’s stored inside or outside since dust and dirt and prevalent to both places.

Lastly, a motorcycle cover is worth it because it can help prevent potential theft. While the cover itself won’t stop a thief from stealing a motorcycle, it does make it inconspicuous to potential thieves who are on the prowl. Thieves want an easy target and having to investigate by looking under a cover with the risk of getting detected isn’t big on their radar.

When To Use A Cover

Understanding how to use a motorcycle cover will have a huge impact on it’s effectiveness. A motorcycle cover is worth it when it’s used right and used at the appropriate times.

There are thousands of ways to store a motorcycle, but it all boils down to whether the motorcycle is stored indoors (such as a garage, shed, storage unit, etc.), or if it’s stored outdoors. Either type of storage is completely doable and a motorcycle can last just as long one way or the other; doing it right is key.

A motorcycle should be covered any time it is stored outdoors. It will be exposed to all elements and is more susceptible compared to being stored indoors. But occasional exposure should be just fine. If you leave your motorcycle out in your driveway for a day or two without a cover, your motorcycle won’t be impacted too much.

Taking your motorcycle out on errands and leaving it parked in the parking lot should also be just fine. Some motorcyclists take a cover with them while taking it for a ride, but the little while a motorcycle is parked in the open like this shouldn’t be concerning.

If you store your motorcycle indoors, you will still need to use a cover. As it was previously stated, a motorcycle cover can prevent dust and dirt from getting on it. And with the right cover, it will repel condensation from building up underneath.

In addition, it’s worth using a cover on a motorcycle stored indoors to prevent any scratches it may get. The most common place for a bike to be stored is in a garage. Most owners are probably doing other activities in their garage which puts potential damage risk to their bike and a cover may help prevent some of that damage.

The Best Type Of Cover To Get

When looking for the right motorcycle cover to use, there are a few things about the cover you’ll want to watch out for. It’s probably best to not get the cheapest cover out there. It’ll provide some protection, but you’ll likely have to replace it within a year. It would save you money investing in a quality cover that will last a long time and provide the coverage your motorcycle needs.

First, you’ll want to look for a cover that is water-resistant. Note that water-resistant is different from water-proof. Water-proof motorcycle covers do an excellent job at repelling water, but it does have a tendency to trap condensation underneath it. A water-resistant cover will repel most water and won’t trap condensation.

Next, you’ll want to look for a motorcycle cover that is UV ray resistant. UV ray resistant doesn’t mean your motorcycle won’t get hot underneath the cover, but it will block the damaging rays from the sun that breaks down the rubber and plastic as well as the paint on the tank.

There’s an array of different materials motorcycle covers are made out of. If you store your motorcycle indoors, it would be worth getting a cover made out of a cotton or cotton/poly blend. These types of covers are not water proof which obviously isn’t needed indoors, but it does provide protection against dust and dirt while also making it breathable so condensation doesn’t get trapped underneath. See my other article here that discusses the motorcycle cover I recommend.

Make sure to get the right size of cover for your bike. Too big or too small of a cover will possibly do some damage to the bike and defeat the purpose of having the cover in the first place. Do some research about what size your motorcycle needs before purchasing one.

Regularly using a motorcycle cover means you’ll need to clean your motorcycle frequently. Don’t leave it dusty or dirty because that could mean scratches each time you put your cover on. This is especially true if you leave your motorcycle outside on a windy day; the constant movement of the cover could cause scratches from dirt if your motorcycle isn’t rinsed/clean regularly.

Kyle Cannon

Kyle currently works as a mechanical engineer and graduated with a minor in automotive engineering. He loves restoring motorcycles, has a vast knowledge of how they work, and has sold his restoration projects to customers from all over the United States.

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