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Industry Insider: Global 2021 Motorcycle Sales Figures

A view of a motorcyclist looking into the direction of his route

In a report from AutoFinanceNews, we’re told that some odd 50–70% of powersport purchases were made by newbies to the Powersports Industry. That’s a massive influx of demand, and one that comes with a different set of demographics compared to the traditional buyer pre-COVID. 

“Many consumers were looking for other opportunities during the lockdown to be able to just live life. Powersports, RV, and recreation in general provided that outlet for folks,” Altieri says.

“We have a lot of brand-new entrants who are getting into Powersports and recreation. That really speaks well for our industry.”

“I think lenders are already starting to anticipate that, come this time next year, they could be entering a pretty tough marketplace,” Altieri continues. 

The end result?

New customers are excited about new products, meeting product shortages, and turning to the used market for consumer-to-consumer transactions – or grabbing what’s available. 

A view of a biker getting ready to head out on her two-wheeled machine

Source: Libby’s Motoworld

It’s a tricky market to measure, but David Gemperle, partner at Nisen & Elliott is right – the numbers themselves are the really exciting thing. With RideApart telling us that the surge of 2021 beat even the growth of 2020, we’ve really got the pandemic to thank for so many successes in the two-wheeled industry – perhaps even for the revival of brands such as BSA, Norton and Royal Enfield.

“Nobody would have thought that a global pandemic would have been the resurgence of our industry, but it has,” Gemperle reminds us. 

“I think the big thing is we can’t waste this opportunity. It’s really important to capitalize on all these new folks that have entered the industry.”

Here is what RideApart says we have so far for the sales of new machines in 2021 – and we’re not counting the East, for the time being, bar Australia:

A view of an off-roading motorcycle

Source: Australia


2021 saw 123,530 motorbikes of all kinds – a 13.4% increase over 2020, with the report telling us that almost 43% of those sales were off-road bikes (typical for the large landmass).


2021 saw 194,552 new bikes purchased, representing a 9.2% increase over 2020.

We’re also told that “France, in particular, noted supply chain bottlenecks that affected motorbike sales, and speculation remains high among local observers that even more registrations would have occurred, had the number of available bikes on the ground been greater.”

A view of several BMW Motorcycles going on a rumble

Source: Kiratas


2021 actually showed a slight decrease in numbers compared to 2020 for Germany, though it’s simply because 2020’s sale figures were so mind-boggling.  The report states that 2021 saw 197,387 new motorbike registrations – a 9.72 percent decrease from 2020, which in turn saw a 32% increase in bike sales compared to 2019.

Big step forward, little step back.


Scooters were the predominant in the sales for Italy, with 2021 showing 290,255 new motorbikes registered – 119,079 of which were motorcycle registrations and 151,153 of which were scooters.

A view off a motorcyclist making the rounds on a dirt circuit

Source: EnduroGP


For the country that nurtures its budding race talent most, we have 193,324 units sold for 2021 – a 5% increase compared to 2020, with 125cc models being the main contributor (we’re told that “in Spain’s top 10 models sold in 2021, eight of these were 125cc scooter models.”


2021 saw a rise in bike sales by 13% for Switzerland, with 56,375 new registrations logged (we’re including in here the fact that “new legislation allowing riders aged 16 and over to operate 125cc motorbikes seems to have positively impacted sales”)

This explains the 19.4% rise in 125cc unit sales for 2021, beating the 8,177 registrations for larger displacement machines. 


2021 saw a rise of 9.3% in bike sales – 114,371 units for the year, with “impressive gains…noted in electric registrations…[and] electric two-wheelers now representing 5 percent of the total U.K. motorcycle market according to the Motorcycle Industry Association.” 

A view of Harley-Davidson's Pan America being put through its paces



Of course, our own sales figures have yet to surface (fashionably late as per usual), but let’s join in the fun anyways. 

“In 2020, a total of 780,000 new motorbike sales were noted in the U.S…incidentally, that 780,000 number is the highest number of new bike sales recorded in the U.S. since 2008,” notes the report. 

“Back then, a total of 879,910 bikes were sold. Peak new bike sales in the past 20 years came in 2006 when 1,190,000 bikes made their way into American homes according to Statista.” 

“Considering that just 467,780 new bike sales were noted in 2019, it will be fascinating to see if the trend continues in 2021.”

What do you think? Be sure to drop a comment letting us know what you think, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

*Title media sourced from Best Beginner Motorcycles*