Keep it under wraps | Best motorcycle covers for indoor and outdoor use tested by us

Fitting a motorbike cover
Fitting a motorbike cover

There are lots of reasons for having a motorcycle cover – particularly if you have no garage and have to keep it outside. A cover can keep the wind, rain, and leaves off it so that you won’t need to clean your motorbike the next time you come to ride it.

It will also keep the prying eyes of bike thieves away – research has shown that the simple act of covering a bike makes it less likely to be stolen.

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If you keep your bike indoors, a cover will protect your pike from picking up scratches as you move past it or stop dust from settling in every nook and cranny between rides. It will also protect the paint and plastics if any sunlight can get to your bike where you store it. Here are MCN’s picks of the best covers for motorcycles.

Best outdoor motorbike covers

Price: £59.99 (was £99.99)
The Stormex from Oxford will protect a bike from rain, sunlight, snow, and dust. It's fully waterproof with externally-bonded seams and has a soft lining to protect the bike's finishes. There's a belly strap to stop it from riding up and a window at the front for a solar-powered battery charger. There's also a window at the rear for the number plate, though this can be covered.

The Stormex gained a Recommended award from our sister publication RiDE when the magazine tested covers.

They said: "The all-singing, all-dancing Oxford Stormex cover is the highest scorer in our test. While the Stormex is a little cumbersome to get on and into place, at least at first – which hits its ‘ease of use’ score – it offers serious protection against the elements. The material proved water, abrasion and heat resistant, and should last a good few years."
Price: £58.98 (was £64.19)
The R&G Adventure cover is designed primarily for adventure bikes but that makes it big and roomy enough to fit over pretty much anything in a pinch. There are plenty of other fits available to suit whatever style of bike you have.

Michael Neeves was seriously impressed with the R&G, giving it a maximum 5 stars for quality and value after three years of testing. He said:

"It was only after buying a scooter that I became a bike cover connoisseur. I’ve used thin, cheap and cheerful ones in the past, but they can rip easily when the wind gets underneath, but this R&G cover is different.

"Made from sturdy waterproof material with belly straps and an elasticated hem, it uses up more space under the seat when you’re storing it, but the reward is a snugger fit. Even after being left outside in the elements, my Yamaha TMAX still looks like it’s been kept in a garage and after three years of service the cover is still in perfect condition."

RiDE Best Buy

Price: £18.99 (was £24.99)
The Oxford Aquatex is a waterproof and heat proof cover that comes in eight different sizes so you can probably find a version to fit whatever bike you have. Our sister title RiDE Magazine made the Aquatex their best buy in a cover group test. They said:

“Stocked widely by motorcycle dealers all across the country, this is a lightweight, low-priced and highly effective cover that’s easy to put on and take off. It proved to be completely waterproof and heat resistant in our test, with the only reservation being some moisture forming on the inside of the cover, making it cling to the bike when wet.

“The Aquatex probably won’t last a lifetime, but it’s convenient to use, will protect your bike and is well priced – hence it being awarded our Best Buy triangle.”

RiDE Recommended

Price: £44.99 (was £69.99)
Oxford’s Rainex is the UK firm’s mid-priced bike cover offering, with more weight, substance and features than the Aquatex. It comes recommended by sister title RiDE and earns a coveted RiDE Triangle. They said:
“There’s a soft heat-resistant liner, taped seams, and a front window to house a solar battery charger. The fabric proved completely waterproof, but failed the highest heat-resistance test – the iron melting completely through at 200°C.
“Similar in use and performance to the GT Moto cover, but the Oxford did better in the abrasion test making it our pick of the two.”

Best indoor motorbike covers

Best indoor motorcycle cover
Price: £18.90 (was £29.99)
Tried and tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "Even indoors your bike needs protection, particularly if it's going to spend the winter months parked up collecting dust.

"Available in four sizes to fit machines from 203cm to 277cm in length, the Dormex is Oxford's best-selling indoor cover, costs less than £20, and has a RiDE Recommended triangle."

"It's made from a soft, breathable material, which means good airflow and a reduced chance of rust and rot setting in. A strap under the bike keeps it locked in place and it looks really smart."

"Downsides? The elasticated hem can be a bit clingy, so you need to be careful not to catch sticky-out indicators or pillion pegs - you can't whip it off like Tom Cruise unveiling his Kawasaki GPZ900 in Top Gun. A velcro flap to run trickle charger cables through would also be nice, but that's nit-picking."

"Otherwise it's a solid and good value alternative to the old, painty dust sheet you were thinking of using. Just don't put it on your bike while it's hot or just after washing it."

Seal of Approval - We've tested this product and have found it performs well. This indoor cover features super-stretchy lycra and satin fabric and 'clings' to the contours of the bike to protect against dust and UV rays. It's breathable so any moisture can escape easily and the soft material means no danger to the bike's finish. MCN Deputy Editor Emma Franklin described it as; "The nicest indoor cover I've used." It comes in black and red and a range of sizes.

Things to consider before you buy a motorbike cover

If you are lucky enough to have a garage or workshop to keep your bike in, then a more simple dust cover can help to keep it clean and tidy ready for your next ride, without having to keep the rain and wind away from it.

If you’re looking at an external cover, then breathability, to allow any built-up moisture to escape, will help enormously. You’ll also want to find a nice, soft liner to prevent damage to the bike’s paint or finishes if the wind gets up, and a slot for a chain or lock is also useful.

For an inside dust-cover, you want material that’s as soft as possible, to again prevent damaging the bike, though movement is less likely indoors.

There are also several folding outdoor shelters that are more than a motorcycle cover but less than a full garage, to increase protection from the elements as well as thieves.

It all depends on your budget, the space you have available, and how keen you are to protect your motorcycle.

About the author: After qualifying as a mechanical engineer, Jim Blackstock began working on magazines in the early 1990s. He remains passionate about product testing to ensure readers know what products offer good value and why. He relishes torrential rain to see if riding kit keeps water out and an hour or two to tinker on a project bike in his workshop.

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