Motorcycle Market Overview May 2021

Paul McDonald | 19 May 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.


Motorcycle registrations increase 570%

Data published by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) appears to show that motorcycle registrations surged 570% in April, with all sectors recording significant growth over April 2020. However, it is important to remember that the UK was in full lockdown last year with dealers closed, click and collect not yet available and very little online activity. As a consequence, registrations in April 2020 fell short of those in 2019 by 83.5%. Significant recovery was therefore expected, however, April’s registration haul which was 10.7% up on April 2019s pre-pandemic total, was still more than many predicted.

Engine band highest registered models – April 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

Since dealers began reopening across the UK as Lockdown-3 restrictions eased, the market has enjoyed a bounce-back similar to that in June last year. The high level of pent-up demand is leading many dealers to experience exceptionally busy periods, with little sign of the market slowing down. Indeed, some dealers sold five or six machines a day during their first week back. However, long lead times are currently an issue with some dealers suggesting they could have sold more machines if availability was healthier. Despite this, the stock is arriving, albeit at a slower pace than normal and enquiry levels continue to be very strong.

In line with the latest registration statistics, demand remains strong across the board, with the Honda CRF300L and the new Yamaha Tracer 900 generating very high levels of interest.

What can the industry expect moving forward?

Due to the economic landscape, there were concerns that the market might have been slow to recover once dealers reopened to the public. However, there is very little evidence of this so far. Coupled with a huge increase in registrations and restrictions easing further, the outlook is now optimistic. However, with new mutations of COVID-19 remaining an issue, there are still risks to the freedoms we have begun to get back.

Used Motorcycle Feedback

Recent dealer feedback suggests that stock supply continues to be a major concern. Turnover has been very rapid with machines selling even before dealers have had the chance to advertise them with fine weather conditions during April aiding the recent surge in demand. Workshop activity continues to be very strong too, resulting in some long lead times for those wanting their machines serviced and MOT’d.


Throughout the pandemic, sourcing reliable stock supplies have been difficult. Since dealers reopened showrooms, stock sourcing has become ever more challenging. As a result, competition at the auctions is high, with very strong hammer prices.

Riding Conditions

Although April was cold, a combination of very dry weather and high levels of spring sunshine resulted in superb riding conditions. However, the weather in the early weeks of May has suffered a deterioration with predominately cool and showery conditions. Despite this, it’s early days with the full summer season yet to arrive.

Considering strong market activity and the ongoing stock shortages, values have been increased across the board in Glass’s June edition, except where trade feedback or evidence from the marketplace indicated models required specific adjustments.

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