6:20 AM 12/19/2020
Sri Lanka is one of the countries in the Asia region, where lot of people depends on motorcycles for their commuting between offices and homes. This tropical island doesn’t have winter or snowing. And that makes it to be a better place for riding motorcycles all over the island. The first motorcycles were introduced in Sri Lanka by the British rulers with and without side cars. Now with the current traffic conditions it is difficult to ride with a side car fitted to a motorbike. Later used motorcycles from Japan invaded the island around the year 1980's. They were sold at around US$ 50 - 200 nearly all the corners of the island. Lot of people who were riding bicycles turned to these cheap machines for transportation. In this period lot of people met with accidents too as they are new for riding and not much experienced with these machines on the road.
Before the Japanese machines came to this Island, BSA, Norton, Villiers, Triumph and Red Indian motorcycles dominated the market. These machines were heavy, had their gear changing levers on the right side, and had half compression lever for easy kick starting. Some even had by-hand gear changing levers located next to the petrol tank.
Currently Yamaha FZ series, Honda Shine, Suzuki Gixxer, TVS Apache, Bajaj Pulsar series are popular selling models in Sri Lanka. But the Honda Hornet 250cc is the dream motorcycle of nearly all of the Sri Lanka young men. Its price range is keeping them away from it. Indian manufactured Royal Enfield motorcycle is available in Sri Lanka, although its prices are little higher for the common man in Sri Lanka.
Whe the Japanese machines were introduced to Sri Lanka Honda motorcycles were marketed with light weight and enough power for comfortable riding, And they became very popular over here and they still leads in the two wheeler sector in Sri Lanka.
Later when the Sri Lanka Government allowed importing used motorbikes from Japan, tens of thousands of 50 CC and 90 CC bikes came in to Sri Lanka as Honda Super Cub, Honda Chaly and Honda C90 postman model. They were selling from each corner of the towns. Then Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki too came from there to dominate the local market. But Honda became the popular one over here and they introduced the brand new CD125, CD 185 and the CD 200 with 4 stroke engines and they ruled the roads of Sri Lanka. In all of this CD 200 became the popular one for its engine sound, separate seating and the shining metallic body parts.
At the mean time Honda 250 CC bikes too were brought in as used ones from Japan. There were CB 250N, Hawk and cruise. Later Honda VTR 250cc motorcycles were marketed as brand new ones. They had good sales all over Sri Lanka. Still CD 200, Honda Baja 250cc and Honda CB 250, Suzuki GN 125 have good second hand sales value in Sri Lanka. Later brands like Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and other brands entered in to the Srilanka market with shining and brilliant colored motorcycles.
In the year 2020 Corona virus infection and introduction of BS-6 norms in India had servely affected the youngsters getting their brand new motorcycle here in Sri Lanka. First there is travel restrictions in between districts. Secondly Sri Lanka Government had stopped the import of vehicles and motorbikes to save on foreign exchange. The BS-6 norms and new features had made the Indian motorbikes and scooters to be on high price.
On the cross country, Trail and for the off-road riding pleasure riding the Yamaha two stroke machines took the sales lead for their durability.
As the Japanese new machine prices started to climb up wards rapidly after the Dollar exchange rate increase and the Indian assembled motorbikes invaded Sri Lanka with their low price tag with high quality finishing along with freely available spare parts for them. Most of these Indian motorcycles spare parts match with the original Japanese motorcycle makers. So Bajaj, TVS, Hero, Royal Enfield and some other brands started to dominate the Sri Lanka two wheel markets. Bajaj is the market leader with their two wheelers and three wheels in Sri Lanka. Still the Japan machines are considered as the top purchase one by the local people, if they have the money to pay for it.
Sri Lanka allows 250cc motorcycle only for the road usage while previous regime under the ousted president did allowed importing 650cc to 1500cc motorcycles under the pre text of motorcycle racing purpose. Now there are large numbers of these kinds of motorcycles available in Sri Lanka and are not visible on the roads as the local Police used to catch them and seize them and prosecute the rider for violating the local law. In the year 2019 some motorbike riders had paid traffic violation fines up to Rs 80,000/- per rider in the courts.
Currently Yamaha FZ models are very popular in Sri Lanka. Honda Shine SP 125, Suzuki Gixxer 155, KTM RC125 and KTM Duke 125. KTM and Yamaha are little expensive models due to their new features.
You can read about the motorcycles that are called as popular, super, top 10 and dream motorcycles in the riders' world. It can be a cross country machine, cruise, speed star, highway rider or GP model. Read More
Here you can find the local and International motorcycle show and motorcycle related events information. These shows make links between Motorcycle enthusiasts, manufactures, dealers and media people. Read More
Top Selling Motorcycles in Asia region are here. This list didn't count on the Indian made machines although India got many special bikes. We will look at them in another sector.