Motorcycle market update - September 2020

Paul McDonald

23 Sep 2020, Editorial

Significant year on year increases in motorcycle registrations in July and August are boosting the motorcycle market following the national lockdown. Data published by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) shows that registrations grew 32% compared to August 2019, with all categories recording an increase. Once again it is the scooter category recording the strongest growth.

Glass’s Leisure Vehicles Editor Paul McDonald said, “After a huge boost in July registrations, further growth was hoped for in August, albeit not quite to the same level.  However, a 32% increase was incredible news. The question today is will this resurgence last in the face of recession and an uncertain UK job market?”

Engine band highest registered models - August 2020

Power Band



Lexmoto ECHO 50


Honda PCX 125


Royal Enfield INTERCEPTOR INT 650


Yamaha TENERE 700

Over 1000cc


                                                                        Data courtesy of the MCIA

New market

Sales and demand remained strong throughout August. The main focus continues to be the 125cc and commuter markets, although middle weights and larger machines also did well. However, the main issue is a shortage of new machines, with uncertain factory lead times, and some dealers quoting dates early next year for deliveries of certain models.

What can the industry expect moving forward?

Forecast demand is likely to create challenges for dealers into next year. The Glass’s editorial team will follow the market with interest over the final quarter, as summer turns to autumn and the furlough scheme closes with the inevitability of redundancies. Glass’s view is that while there is a reasonable chance commuter and 125cc sales will remain buoyant for the rest of the year, demand for the higher end of the market could decline more rapidly than typically expected during autumn.

Used Market

Since motorcycle dealers reopened following lockdown, the used market has remained busy with strong sales and enquiries throughout August. However, dealers are starting to experience quieter periods, typical in a ‘normal’ year, with August and September holidays. As increasing numbers of employees return to work they continue to seek alternatives to public transport raising expectations that for the remainder of the year, the commuter market will remain buoyant in the used market too. CBT training centres remain busy, good news for the industry’s future, with the potential of at least some new riders progressing to full licences. With the average rider age now approximately 55, this fresh interest is welcome news.  

Top Selling Models

Scooters and 125cc remain in high demand, driven by the increase in interest from commuters, however, a broad range of machines including higher priced examples continue to enjoy strong demand.

Used Stock

Supply continues to improve due to increased new sales generating more part exchanges. Larger dealers report having a good selection of stock and are satisfied with their stock levels, although it remains challenging sourcing quality scooters and 125cc machines. To supplement part exchanges, most dealers continue to proactively maintain stock levels to match demand.

Sales Activity

Today, the market continues to be buoyant, with autumn approaching and the furlough scheme drawing to a close, the next few months are looking increasingly uncertain. The weather in the first half of September provided excellent riding conditions, growing the chances of an extended sales season. Taking this into account and after some careful consideration, many values have been eased back for the October guide, except where trade feedback and evidence from the market place suggests further adjustments were necessary.  Exceptions to this are mopeds, scooters and commuter machines where values have been held, due to strong demand.

About the author

Paul McDonald

Paul McDonaldLeisure 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.