Motorcycle covers are critically important for the motorcyclist, as they protect the bike from all the elements when it is not in use. A good motorcycle cover made from the proper material will protect not only from precipitation but also from harmful UV rays or dust build up – both of which will certainly wear away the paint finish. As we know, motorcycles can endure just about anything, but that doesn’t mean that this is a good thing, by any means. Motorcycle covers are essential as consistent exposure to the elements is a sure-fire way that will eventually cause the bike to break down, so having one (or a few) is a great idea if you want to protect and increase the lifespan of your prized motor bike.
There is a whole industry dedicated to manufacturing and producing motorcycle covers. Not all of them in the market are of a good quality, however, and can be expensive. In this featured instructional blog, we will teach you how to craft your very own customized cover, and the highest quality materials required to produce it. Producing your very own will also significantly drive down the total cost and end up saving you a lot of money (which is always an added bonus). Rest assured, at the end of this process, you will know exactly how to create your very own waterproof motorcycle cover and general bike rain cover. Incidentally, you can also follow these same defined steps below to craft your very own Snowmobile cover as it’s the exact same process, only the dimensions and size of your pattern panels will change due to different specs of the snowmobile from the motorcycle.
Materials List for this DIY Project:
- Filament strapping tape to measure the motorcycle
- Pencil/ marker for marking lines and dimensions of skrim modeling material
- Chalk piece to trace the 1000 denier from the skrim
- Cutting shears/ scissors
- Nylon thread
- 2 “sew in” reflective strips
- Elastic shock cord for a snug fit
- 1000 Denier Nylon fabric – 11 yards
- Sewing machine
- Skrim patterning material
- Double sided basting tape
Steps to Make Your very own Motorcycle Covers:
- Determine the required fabric
- Fabric type and yardage – for this project we are using 11 yards of 1000 Denier Nylon
- Create and determine the patterning frame
- There will be 5 panel pieces that will be sewn to complete this cover: one from the bottom of the ground below front tire to the handle bars – this will be marked #1; one panel piece from the handlebars to the back of the seat edge – this will be marked #2; one from the back of the seat to the ground below back tire – this will be marked #3; and then the 2 side panels which will run from the front of the front tire to the back of the back tire – left side will be marked #4, and the right side will be marked #5). Also measure in inches the distance from handle bar hand grip end to the other handle bar hand grip end.
- Right down all these measurements/ values down and add them up. Divide this total amount of inches by 36 inches to determine the total # of fabric yards needed.
- Note: 11 yards is what we have determined would be a standard motorcycle’s fabric yardage requirements for this cover. 11 yards would be the ideal 1000 denier yardage amount for a motorcycle cover.
- Production of the patterns
- Using your filament strapping tape, place the tape along the perimeters of these 5 different parts of the bicycle (note: imagine that you are making squares/ rectangles). Lay out your “see through” and clear skrim modeling material over the bike, and mark the lines formed by the filament strapping tape with a marker).
- Adding the proper 1” seam allowance and cutting patterns
- Ensure that you are allowing for a 1” overage for each of the edges of the marked skrim modeling material.
- Creation of the pleats
- Cut along the marked lines of the skrim modeling material (and again, giving yourself a 1” seam allowance or overage along each of the seam edges). These will be tucked and sewn together using your sewing machine shortly.
- Sewing the panels pieces together
- After you have clearly marked and defined/ labeled each of the skrim material panels by placement and position on the bike, (e.g. Front panel, right side panel, back 1/3 panel, etc…) you can begin sewing the panels together.
- Panel #1 will be sewn to panel #2, then the back edge of panel #2 will be sewn to panel #3. After completing the sewing of these 3 panels together, then sew the left bottom edge of this panel to the top edge of panel #4. Then sew the bottom right edge of this panel to the top edge of panel #5.
- Test fitting the motorcycle cover
- To get a good visual and sense of this early stage complete cover made from the 5 sewn panels, place this over and around your motorcycle and adjust for an even balance so that no one side is falling too far below the other sides. If after determining that the even-ness and balance of the cover is good, then remove carefully from over the bike. If it looks as if one side is too long, then now is the time to cut away any additional 1000 denier fabric to make the cover exactly even.
- Creating the pocket sleeve for the drawstring/ elastic cord
- Remove the motorcycle cover and then take back to the sewing machine.
- Turning the cover inside out, now mark 1” all around the bottom edge of the cover. This will be the pocket sleeve for the elastic shock cord (or drawstring, if you prefer). Insert the elastic shock cord, and then sew the edge around to create the pocket sleeve (which will look like a tube).
- Pulling over the cover on the bike
- After completing the creation of your pocket sleeve/ tube, remove from the sewing machine and take back to the bike.
- Carefully cover the entirety of the bike. By now, it should fit well and provide complete coverage of the motorcycle.
- Adjusting the tension drawstring for a snug, taut fit if you have selected a drawstring; if not the elastic shock cord will work perfectly to provide the nice snug fit around the bike.
Quick notes: Make certain that when you are covering your motorcycle with your customized cover, that you ensure that then elastic at the bottom provides a taut and snug fit. This is the added protection and security needed to so that it is never exposed to the elements, especially in high winds. Finally, what might be considered obvious but is often not the case – be cautious when placing the motorcycle cover over just used exhaust pipes due to the extremely high heat level.
A motorcycle is most likely an expensive toy for you, so it makes sense to protect this big of a financial investment. A motorcycle cover is the ideal method to protect this investment, then, and aside from normal and scheduled maintenance. This motorcycle cover is easy to travel with and then store for future use, and it will always be there for when you need it to protect your ride!