The Government will allow the import of high powered motorcycles -from 450 cc to 1001 cc — upon payment of duty.
The decision by the Cabinet of Ministers overturns objections earlier by the Police that they did not possess such high capacity motorcycles to cope with an influx.
Ministers have decided to lift the restrictions imposed on the import of high powered bikes up to 1001 cc. They can now be imported legally and registered with the Department of Motor Traffic.
Last year the Government granted permission to register motorcycles with high capacity engines only for sports purposes. The approval of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence was needed for such imports. Prior to that, the import of motorcycles with a capacity higher than 350 cc was banned.
Earlier, the police had expressed concern over granting of permission for high-powered motorcycles as they could be used for criminal activities and they could escape as the police did not have such powerful bikes. However, recently, the Police imported some 230 bikes of 600 cc capacity. But most of them have been distributed in and around Colombo.