Global Motorcycle Lubricants

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This study examines the global market for finished motorcycle lubricants. Products covered include:

  • engine oils
  • transmission and hydraulic fluids
  • gear oils
  • greases

Motorcycle markets are segmented by internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric motorcycles, including scooters, mopeds, motorbikes, light motorcycles, and medium and heavy motorcycles.

Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019, and forecasts for 2024 and 2029 are provided for lubricant demand by product type for six regions and 24 individual countries.

Tabular details may not add to totals due to independent rounding, and ratios may be rounded for clarity.


New Motorcycle Sales by Region

Global demand for motorcycles is projected to advance 4.3% annually to 128 million units in 2024. Multiple trends will drive market gains at the global level, including:

  • economic growth in a wide range of countries, which will increase both personal incomes and consumer spending
  • the growing availability of affordable models in developing countries
  • the increasing use of motorcycles for recreational (e.g., touring, racing, off-roading) and business activities around the world
  • surging sales of e-bikes and, to a lesser extent, electric motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds in mature markets, supported by subsidies, tax breaks, and other government supported initiatives (e.g., ride sharing schemes)
  • the introduction of new, top-of-the-line motorcycles, which will spur both new and replacement product sales globally

Demand by Lubricant Type

Global demand for motorcycle lubricants is projected to grow 3.8% per year to 1.6 million metric tons in 2024. Gains will be boosted by:

  • healthy increases in motorcycle production and ownership worldwide, most particularly in developing regions where the cost of passenger vehicle ownership may be prohibitive
  • growth in the annual distance traveled, notably in warmer climates that support a long riding season

Stronger gains will be limited however, by:

  • lengthening fill intervals and growing popularity of fill-for-life gear boxes
  • technological advancements in the motorcycle parc and increasing environmental regulations worldwide, benefiting synthetic lubricants, which will lengthen drain intervals
  • continued popularity of electric engine motorcycles, which do not require engine oils or gear oils

Demand by Motorcycle Type

ICE motorcycles account for a majority of demand for motorcycle lubricants, representing 98% of total demand in 2019. Demand for ICE motorcycles is projected to grow 3.8% per year to 1.6 million metric tons in 2024. Increases in the number of motorcycles with fill for life lubricants will limit stronger growth.

While ICE motorcycles use all lubricant types, electric motorcycle lubricant demand is mostly for transmission and hydraulic fluids, with smaller amounts of gear oils and greases. Engine oils are not commonly used by electric motorcycles. Additionally, a majority of demand for electric motorcycle lubricants is found in the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) market because engine oils are not used and the other fluids do not need regular changing. As a result, demand for lubricants in electric motorcycles will be below average, expanding 2.7% per year to 24,000 metric tons in 2024.


Demand by Region

Lubricant demand in the motorcycle market is expected to expand 3.8% yearly to 1.6 million metric tons in 2024. The main factors that drive demand for motorcycle lubricants are:

  • high cost of passenger cars, especially for low income households
  • lack of developed public transportation systems
  • warm climates that support long riding season

For these reasons, motorcycles are more commonly used for transportation in developing countries and recreation in developed countries. This helps explain why some developing areas have greater automotive lubricant demand than developed regions in spite of smaller vehicle parcs. The majority of motorcycle lubricant demand comes from the Asia/Pacific region, particularly China, India, and Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.


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