Motorcycle Market Update October 2020

Paul McDonald | 19 Oct 2020

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.

Following a significant year on year registration increase in July and August (up 42% and 32% respectively), data published by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) shows that registrations grew by a more modest but still impressive 11.7% in September. Six out of the nine sales categories recorded growth with mopeds enjoying the strongest increase, followed by scooters.

Glass’s Leisure Vehicles Editor Paul McDonald said, “Following a significant boost in registrations over the last few months, a slow-down in September was not unexpected, as recent growth was partly a result of pent-up demand following lockdown. So, to see the increases continue is great news”.

With the major auction groups continuing to hold only online sales, some buyers continue to be wary about spending substantial amounts of money on vehicles they have seen in person. However, this trust continues to improve as buyers become more accepting of the descriptions provided by the auction houses.

Engine band highest registered models – September 2020

Power Band Model

0-50cc Lexmoto ECHO PLUS 50
51-125cc Honda CB 125F
126-650cc Royal Enfield INTERCEPTOR INT 650
651-1000cc Yamaha TENERE 700
Over 1000cc BMW R1250 GS ADVENTURE

Data courtesy of the MCIA

The used car retail market is showing similar recovery behaviour to the wholesale market. The key measures – Average Sale Price and Days-to-Sell are both positive. Just like the auction market, their rate of recovery is slowing, suggesting they are approaching their natural level.

Glass’s Live Retail pricing tool reports on the average time a car spends on the forecourt, with lower days to sell indicating higher retail demand. The average for July of 59.1 days is still 30% higher than expected, but in the circumstances is a distinct improvement over June’s average of 81.9 days. If the decreases continue over the coming weeks the value for August will be similar to August 2019.

New motorcycle market

Sales and demand remained buoyant throughout September, although some dealers reported a slow-down towards the end of the month. Concerns remain regarding the economy, especially how additional COVID-19 restrictions will affect the industry moving into 2021. Despite this, given the average riding age of 56, there is optimism that a significant proportion of motorcycle consumers are financially stable enough to support sales momentum moving forward.

What can the industry expect moving forward?

The industry has already demonstrated its resilience with sales and demand exceeding expectations. However, COVID-19 continues to be a major issue. Given this, the outlook for the final quarter of 2020 remains uncertain.  The Glass’s editorial team will continue to monitor all of the market dynamics during the next few months.

Used motorcycle market

With autumn now fully with us, dealers are experiencing a slow-down in enquiries. However, the used market remains remarkably resilient, potentially even more so than new.  With consumers having more time on their hands, saving money not taking holidays and unable to participate in certain hobbies, some dealers hold the view that increased numbers have taken up riding as an alternative, contributing towards recent sales growth.

Top-selling models

For dealers with major cities in their catchment areas, scooters and 125cc machines remain in strong demand, a result of commuters choosing to ride to work as an alternative to public transport. However, demand continues to be largely buoyant across the board, with the adventure and naked segments being particularly strong.  


Glass’s has received mixed feedback regarding stock availability from dealers. Although there have been improvements, some dealers continue to find locating quality used motorcycle stock a challenge, particularly 125cc machines. Compounding this issue, some riders are choosing to privately sell their old machines rather than part-exchange. However, despite these issues, many larger dealers are currently satisfied with their stock levels.

Sales activity

Sales remained positive into October with no dealers reporting a significant decline. However, with October’s weather becoming more autumnal and the heightened economic uncertainty, many values have been eased back for the November guide, except where trade feedback and evidence from the market place has suggested further adjustment is necessary. Exceptions to this are mopeds, scooters and commuter machines where values have been held.

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