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Cycle Trader shares new and used motorcycle market insights

In the world of powersports sales, buyers often face a key decision: whether to buy a new or used unit. This choice can affect everything from the cost to maintenance needs. Cycle Trader’s detailed marketplace search data shows how the market for new and used motorcycles is changing. By looking at this data, dealerships can understand what customers want and improve inventory mixes, marketing, and customer service to make their business more successful.  

Used motorcycle registrations

Throughout 2023 and continuing into 2024, registrations for used powersports vehicles consistently outpaced those for new models every month. According to motorcycle registration data from Statistical Surveys Inc., Cycle Trader’s sister company, there was a 14% increase in used motorcycle sales by February 2024 .

Top Powersports Brands on Trader Interactive marketplaces by Search Results Impressions / Jan- April  2024


Consumer brand preferences have remained impressively consistent, with Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha emerging as the trio of frontrunners in the most-searched powersports listings. This trend spans the entire Trader Interactive network, including Cycle Trader, ATV Trader, PWC Trader, and Snowmobile Trader, holding strong since 2022. These powersports brands haven’t just captured the most searches, they’ve also seen impressive growth relative to other manufacturers. Kawasaki’s searches grew by 1 million from 2022 to 2023, Yamaha’s by 22 million, and Can-Am’s by 14 million during the same period. Between 2022 and 2023, there was a 19% increase in Can-Am unit listings, a 16% increase in Kawasaki listings, and a 12% increase in Yamaha listings on our marketplaces. Leveraging premium advertisements for these brands’ listings has shown that dealers focusing their marketing strategies on these leading models have gained significant visibility, sparking more interest from prospective buyers—a momentum that could extend into the 2024 to 2025 period. 

Top 5 Powersports Categories Based on SRP Jan- Apr 2024 

  1. Cruiser 
  2. Sportbike 
  3. Touring 
  4. Standard 
  5. UTV/Utility 

Although Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha are popular among consumers, there is a growing opportunity to capitalize on the increasing demand for Off-road units, particularly Polaris and Can-Am, which have consistently ranked in the top five since 2022. With brands expanding their product offerings and the versatility of ATVs for both leisure and work purposes, consumer interest in Off-road vehicles has surged, making UTV/Utility a top 5 category in 2024. By showcasing and promoting these brands, dealers can tap into new possibilities to meet changing consumer preferences and drive sales. 

On the flip side, the used market showcases a slightly different pattern in brand preferences when compared to new vehicles. Since 2022, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Honda have maintained their positions as top picks among used units. However, BMW and Harley-Davidson have remained in the top 5 searched brands on the Cycle Trader marketplace for used units, with Harley-Davidson consistently capturing the top spot as the preferred choice for used units since 2022.

Top Powersports Models on Trader Interactive marketplaces by Search Results Impressions / Jan- April  2024

In examining the trends for new model combinations, there’s a notable shift towards new Honda and Yamaha units for 2024, marking a significant departure from 2022’s preference for Kawasaki and Polaris models, and a subsequent shift in 2023 towards Kawasaki and Honda. In the realm of pre-owned motorcycles, Harley-Davidson models have consistently dominated the marketplace, year after year. Notably, the Glide series from Harley-Davidson has surged in popularity, outpacing all other used make/model combinations in demand for the year 2024 so far. 

This data illustrates how even though the popularity of certain models shifts from year to year, consumer loyalty consistently gravitates towards the top five brands. This highlights the critical need to regularly analyze data to pinpoint which models from these premier brands are on the rise, reflecting the subtle yet significant shifts in consumer preferences annually. 

Staying attuned to search trends unveils promising opportunities for dealerships. With both new and used market segments experiencing significant growth, dealers can capitalize on the surge in monthly searches. Brands like Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Polaris, and Can-Am are fueling interest in new vehicles, while Harley, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and BMW are commanding attention in the used vehicle market. By aligning inventory and marketing strategies with these brand preferences, dealerships can position themselves for success in meeting evolving consumer demands. 

Written by Nicole Schantz, Vice President of OEM and Strategic Partnerships at Trader Interactive, parent company of Cycle Trader. Nicole and her team are continually optimizing the online marketplace experience for both dealers and OEM partners. She has been a valuable member of Trader Interactive for 18 years and played a vital role in the ongoing success of Cycle Trader.   

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