Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 6th August 2014

The worldwide market for motorcycles is expected to see strong demand over the next couple of years, rising by around 7.2% each year to 134.5 million units in 2016, according to new research.

This figure includes internal combustion engine motorcycles (scooters, mopeds and motorbikes, light motorcycles and medium/heavy motorcycles) as well as electric motorcycles.

Internal combustion engine motorcycles are set to keep their dominance in the global market. Sales are projected to rise by 7.9% through to 2016, when they will account for 71% of total demand. Demand will be strongest for light motorcycles, which will remain the single largest internal combustion engine product segment in unit terms.

Overall, motorcycle industry revenues are expected to increase by 8.7% annually to $90.1 billion (£53.4 billion), RnR Market Research said.

The Asia/Pacific region will continue to dominate global demand, accounting for 84% of all motorcycles sold in 2016. In terms of growth, however, it will be outpaced by North America, the Africa/Middle East region and Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, China will remain the largest national market.

Various factors drive demand for motorcycles in different markets around the world. In developing nations in particular, sales are fuelled by rising income and standards of living. In emerging economies motorcycles are an attractive alternative to walking, riding a bicycle or using public transport, and sales are triggered once certain per capita income thresholds are reached.

Worldwide, the superior fuel efficiency of motorcycles compared with other vehicles means that demand is supported by higher fuel costs. And in developed countries, as patterns in consumer spending change following the economic downturn, higher sales are expected, especially of medium and heavy motorcycles.