motorcycle covers

The Best Motorcycle Covers Keep Your Bike Safe From Rust and Corrosion

May is motorcycle safety awareness month, and spring marks the start of prime riding season in many areas of the U.S. It’s a good time to note that keeping your bike road-worthy is key to ensuring safety on the streets. Beyond routine mechanical maintenance and cleaning, that means proper motorcycle storage – with a decent cover. The best motorcycle covers on the market are those that not only deter theft and prevent damage caused by direct exposure to the elements, but also safeguard against rust and corrosion. Make sure when you buy that it offers VCI – vapor corrosion inhibitor.

Why Motorcycles are at Risk of Rust

Many types of corrosion – rust included – are chemical reactions triggered by the trifecta of metal + oxygen + moisture. Other elements, like salt and mud, can act as accelerants.

Rust is like a cancer for motor vehicles. Motorcycle rust can creep up quickly, be tough to spot, and do notable damage before you realize what’s wrong.motorcycle covers

As mentioned in a previous blog on our motorcycle covers, bikes are often made with numerous components that contain ferrous metals (those containing iron, and thus susceptible to the specific form of corrosion we all know as rust.) This includes the cast iron brake shoe liners and the steel camshafts, gears, sprockets, oil tanks, headlamp housing, exhaust valves, and mudguards.

While many of the visible metal parts on a motorcycle are likely lined with ceramic coating or other protective compounds, that’s not always true with interior workings. Beyond that, all it takes is a few stray pebbles to scratch and pock a metal surface, making that area especially vulnerable to corrosive damage.

Why Basic Motorcycle Covers Can’t Prevent Corrosion

Most motorcycle covers are made of some type of polyester fabric, sometimes with an inner fleece lining and/or a UV reflective coating. Most also have elastic hems to ensure they fit snugly at the bottom.

The problem with basic covers is what they can’t do – and that is prevent moisture from being trapped between the surface of the bike and the material of the cover. Remember: Moisture is the driving force behind rust. The wrong motorcycle cover can actually hasten corrosion – especially if you store your bike dirty or wet – because the moisture underneath has nowhere to go.  That’s why the best motorcycle covers must do more than merely cover your bike.

Zerust motorcycle covers defend against rust and corrosion because the material fibers are woven with vapor corrosion inhibitor, also known as VCI. Basically, VCI molecules form a hydrophobic (water-repelling) barrier that blocks moisture, water, other corrosive contaminants from the metal components of your motorcycle. The vapors, which are non-toxic, odorless, and colorless, are released into the air underneath the cover, settling on any exposed metal in a molecule-thin protective barricade. It essentially prevents your metal from meeting with moisture.

A decent cleaning and adequate drying of your bike after each ride is a smart idea, but it won’t be enough to ward off ambient humidity and moisture in its immediate surroundings – whether that’s in a garage, car park, driveway, or the street.

Zerust VCI motorcycle covers help ensure your bike is safe from rust for up to five years – no matter what your storage setup.

At Zerust, we understand that motorcycles aren’t just an investment, but a lifestyle – one we want to ensure you can safely engage in for many years to come without the worry of creeping rust and corrosion.

Additional Resources:

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, May 2022, U.S. Department of Transportation

More Blog Entries:

Choose a Motorcycle Cover That Shields Against the Insidious Forces of Rust & Corrosion, Oct. 30, 2021, Zerust Motorcycle Rust Prevention Blog