How to Make a Custom Motorcycle Cover?

How to Make a Custom Motorcycle Cover?

If you’re the handyman and have got an hour or so to spare, why not come up with your own motorcycle cover from scratch? Think about it; a DIY cover allows you to use a fabric of your own and customize it according to the specific size of your motorcycle.

This guide gives you a complete step by step guide on how to come up with a custom motorcycle cover that perfectly and snugly hugs your motorcycle to keep its parts from harsh weather elements that can end up damaging it.

Ready for the DIY guide? let’s go…

Why Make Your Own Motorcycle Cover?

Though there are many manufacturers out there dedicated to producing the for all bikers, most of them sell their product at high prices.

Products from some of these manufacturers aren’t of good quality too. This means that you might end up with a poorly constructed cover that doesn’t as long.

Getting the best motorcycle cover for your bike depends on your ability to know how to choose the best ones from the rest.

Fortunately, producing your own motorcycle cover gives you total control of its overall quality as you get to choose the best materials out there.

You’ll also get to come up with a cover that’s custom to your bike size for the ultimate protection against elements.

Making your own cover also significantly cuts down the total cost compared to buying a commercial cover, saving you money in the process.

How To Make Your Own Custom Motorcycle Cover

Now that you understand the benefits that come with a motorcycle cover, let’s start our guide on how to come up with your own custom cover from start to finish.


List of tools and supplies:

  • 1000 Denier nylon fabric
  • Skrim patterning material
  • Filament strapping tape measure
  • Pencil/marker for making lines on the patterning material
  • Making chalk
  • A pair of sharp fabric scissors
  • Elastic shock cord
  • Nylon thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Double-sided basting tape
  • Two sew-in reflective strips

Step by step guide:

Step 1. Measure the size of fabric you need

The first step is to determine the type as well as the size of the material you need to get the job done.

To do this, you’ll need to obtain the measurements of your motorcycle, the length, and height. For the height, you’d want to take two measurements—from the ground to the top of the handlebars (or windshield, if installed) and from the ground to the bike seat.

Note down these measurements and remember to add an extra 4 inches to each of them.

As for the type of material, we decided to go with 1000Denier nylon due to its incredibly tough nature and excellent resistance to abrasion, fading, rot, mildew, and other elements.

Step 2. Prepare the patterning frame

The next step involves creating a patterning frame for your cover. For beginner sewers, a pattern is a template from which you’ll be tracing parts of the cover onto the fabric before cutting and sewing them together.

For a typical motorcycle cover project, you’ll need to create a total of 5 panel pieces as we have outlined below:

#1: a panel piece running from bottom, below the front tire, to the handlebars

#2: a panel piece from handlebars all the way up to the seat edge

#3: a panel piece from the back of the seat all the way to ground below the back tire

#4 and #5: two side panels running from the front part of the front tire to the back of the rear tire. (the two panels will be for the right and left sides of your bike).

You’ll also need to measure the length of your bike handlebars, from the end of one hand grip to the other.

Step 3. Create the patterns

Place the filament strapping tape along the perimeter of the 5 different parts of the bike we have outlined in the previous step. When done strapping, lay out your clear skrim modeling material and use a marker to trace the liners formed by the tape.

Motorcycle Cover

Be sure an inch worth of seam allowance for all the edges of your patterning material.

Lastly, trim off the excess patterning materials so that you’re left with an outline of the various panels.

Step 4. Create the pleats

Now that you have marked the patterning material, it’s time to transfer it to your cover fabric to come up with pleats.

Place the skrim material on your fabric, and along the lines you have marked, and keep in mind the 1-inch seam allowance.

Step 5. Sew the panels together

Here, you need to be careful how you sew the panels as making a single mistake will lead to an ugly looking cover. The best way to sew them is by following the order in which you created them in step 2.

Sew panel #1 to panel #2. Sew the rear edge of panel #2 to panel #3. Having sewn the first 3 panels together, you can sew the left bottom edge of the panel to panel #4 and the bottom edge of edge of the same panel to panel #4. And you’re done!

Step 6. Test fit the cover

Place the almost complete cover over and around your motorcycle to see how it fits. If you’re satisfied with how the cover fits your bike—including in terms of evenness and balance—carefully remove it from the bike and head over to the next step.

If you find out that your cover isn’t your bike, however, be sure to correct that in this step. For instance, if one side of the cover is too long, cut away the excess fabric to ensure both sides are even.

Step 7. Insert the electric shock cord

After you have confirmed that the cover fits your bike well, you need to do one more thing to make it complete and ready for use.

Turn the cover inside out and mark a 1-inch around its bottom edge to act as the sleeve for the elastic shock cord or drawstring (which of the two do you prefer?).

Insert the elastic cord and sew the edge of the cover around the sleeve you have market above to secure the cord in place. Remember to add a bare lock cord closure to help you tension the cord.

Place back the cover over your bike and pull the elastic cord to ensure it gives it a truly snug all around.

Use the cord closure to adjust how tight you want the bottom edge of the cover to fit your bike. You’ll also need to use this closure to loosen then cover when taking it off your bike.

That’s it! You have successfully made a cover for your motorcycle!

Final Verdict

If you want to avoid the high cost of commercial motorcycle cover or you’re simply a DIY enthusiast who likes trying out new things, you can use this step by step tutorial to come up with a custom cover for your motorcycle.

By making your own cover, you’ll get to choose the quality of materials to use and create a custom cover that perfectly fits your specific bike size. You’ll also get to save a significant amount of cash that you can channel to other essential motorcycle accessories.

joshua mattie

Joshua D. Mattie

My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!

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