Motorcycle Market Overview April 2021

Paul McDonald | 22 Apr 2021

About the author

Paul McDonald

Leisure Editor

Paul has worked for Glass's since 2001 in various customer and vehicle valuation orientated roles, before becoming Leisure Editor just over a year ago. In his current role, he's responsible for keeping up to date with conditions and trends in the Motorcycle and Touring Caravan markets so we can provide accurate and reliable values to our subscribers. This means he's out and about a lot visiting dealers, manufacturers and auctions as well as analysing observation data.

Row of three motorcycles reflecting bright lights

Data published by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) shows registrations declined by 7% in March, although some sectors still recorded growth. Scooter registrations increased 25.9%, Touring machines were up 10.4% and Mopeds rose 8.5%.

With dealers reopening across the UK from 5 April in Scotland and 12 April in England and Wales as lockdown-3 restrictions ease, Glass’s expects registrations to recover.

Engine band highest registered models – March 2021   

Power BandModel
0-50ccVmoto SUPER SOCO CPX
51-125ccYamaha NMAX 125
126-650ccRoyal Enfield INTERCEPTOR INT 650
651-1000ccTriumph TRIDENT
Over 1000ccBMW R1250 GS ADVENTURE

Data courtesy of the MCIA

New Motorcycle Market

Feedback from dealers regarding activity in March suggests trading continues to be challenging.  A number of dealers experienced lower demand, but felt this was a result of consumers waiting until they are permitted to physically visit showrooms, instead of enquiring online. However, as has been the case in recent months, some dealers reported strong online and telephone enquiries.

Now that dealers have begun reopening across the UK as lockdown-3 restrictions ease, it will be interesting to see how sales and demand perform over the coming weeks. Opinions vary as to how the market will respond as lockdown ends. However, increasing daylight hours coinciding with the easing of restrictions will no doubt aid retail activity, and the reopening of test centres across the UK could also bolster sales.

A broad range of machines continue to sell well with the new Triumph Trident particularly well received. Meanwhile, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX and new Royal Enfield Meteor are also in strong demand.

Although stock availability remains challenging, new models should arrive in showrooms imminently.

What can the industry expect moving forward?

The next few months are going to be key for the season. Opinions vary as to whether the market will bounce-back similar to June last year, or whether it will be more of a slow burner. However, despite continuing concerns with the economic landscape, there are plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic. In view of certain sectors recording an increase in March registrations, early signs are promising and after a long period of not being able to ride for recreational use, many riders are keen to get out, further aiding sales.

Used Motorcycle Market

Recent feedback suggests that although used retail activity in March was challenging due to showrooms remaining closed, enquiry levels have generally been good with strong internet leads. 

A wide variety of machines are proving popular currently, in fact demand is generally strong across the board for clean machines. The Triumph Tiger 800 and BMW R1200 GS are particularly popular according to dealers, as is the Yamaha MT range.


Auction activity continues to be strong as dealers actively replenish their stock levels in the absence of part exchanges and lower levels of trade to trade transactions. However, recent very strong hammer prices have deterred some dealers from purchasing at auction.

Many dealers continue to be short of stock, however, there is hope that as dealers reopen to physical customers and purchasing activity gathers momentum, part exchanges will increase, improving stock availability.

Riding conditions

March benefitted from some very warm weather late in the month, making for superb riding conditions. However, as April arrived, winter returned, with snow and ice for some. At the time of writing, the weather is improving once again and looks to be predominately dry with fair riding conditions ahead.

In May’s edition of Glass’s data, the 2170 plates have been added for road bikes. Considering a likely increase in market activity and stock remaining at a premium, the majority of values have been held, except where trade feedback or evidence from the market place indicated models required specific adjustments.

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