British people had introduced the motorcycles in Sri Lanka when they were ruling this land.
"The first motorcycle arrived in the island on January 20, 1903. Mr. C. Hahn of Messrs Bohirnger & Co. was the first person to introduce the motor cycle to Ceylon. These early motorcycles were belt-driven from the engine to the rear wheel and had only one speed and pedals were used to start it.
The first motorcycle ride to Kandy and back was undertaken by Mr. Fred Nell, the founder of Colonial Motors on a 'Noble' machine. His trip to Kandy and back in a day was a great achievement."
Later English motorcycles were imported by Sri Lanka users in the early years. Most of them were English makes namely Norton, BSA, Royal Enfield and Triumph and they were very popular here till 1960's. These English motorcycles had gear lever located in the right side of the engine. They had choke and half compression facility for easy kick start. Some models had gear levers that were operated by hand.
Later Japanese made Honda motorcycles were introduced in the 1970s. At first the small Honda motorcycles with less sound and gear changing levers on the left side didn't attract much attention against the British models. Later when the Government allowed importing used motorcycles from Japan, and the Honda's 90CC motorcycles became a hit in Sri Lanka. People were looking for less priced motorbikes from Japan with different engine capacities. After this Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and other companies started to open their marketing expansion here in Sri Lanka.
Anyhow Honda took the lead and all the other companies including the British too lost their market to Honda. Later the Indian motorbikes with the Japanese names like Hero Honda, Kawasaki Bajaj, and TVS-Suzuki started to enter the Sri Lanka market. Sudden changes in the used motorcycle import and the rising new Japanese motorcycle prices turned the Sri Lanka youngsters towards the less priced Indian manufactured motorcycles.
Still in Sri Lanka, riders prefer the Honda Hornet CB250, Road Master CD 200, CD 185 and CD 125 to be the best motorcycles. Even today you can see lot of them running here with little modification. Most of them are in immaculate condition and with their original exhaust sounds.
Currently Indian made motorcycles such as Bajaj Pulsar, Suzuki Gixxer, Yamaha Fazer, Honda CB Unicorn 160R, TVS Appache and Royal Enfield are very popular here in Sri Lanka.
In the year 2015 Sri Lanka was having nearly 2.9 million registered motorcycles in usage. Sri Lanka allows up to 250CC motorcycles for the general public. For the racing event purpose LK Government allowed the import of 650 CC up to 1,500 cc engines.
They carry the condition as they will not be allowed to run on the public roads.
Sri Lanka police have latest shaft driven 650 CC engine powered BMW motorbikes. Also they have high powered Suzuki and Yamaha motorcycles in their fleet. These are mostly deployed maintain the law and order on the streets. And to catch the law violating drivers in the country's express ways.
In Sri Lanka you can witness Annual Motorcycle Shows, motor cross racing and hill climbing races.
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.