Inside the motorcycle market in Bangladesh
People often ride motorcycles for the sake of riding and safety gear plays a big role in the community
In the past, the motorcycle was strictly a means of transportation. But now it has become a favorite pastime in Bangladesh.
People often ride motorcycles for the sake of riding, and safety gear plays an important role in the community. Meanwhile, the market for this equipment is opening up with advanced products from overseas.
Some gear is worth a fortune these days. However, the market is saturated with low end products with good credibility to meet market demands.
Bikers think a lot more about gears and spare parts. People want the best and the market can offer them.
According to a 2015 market share analysis, 53% of the entire local motorcycle market was occupied by Bajaj, which is an Indian country.
The total market size was Tk 4,000 crore, according to the analysis, with over a thousand motorcycle sales per day. The good thing is that 60% of the total number of motorcycles sold are made locally.
It helps the industry thrive by circulating money in the economy, providing employment opportunities for thousands of people, and increasing GDP.
Even though manufacturers currently source 30% of raw materials from Bangladesh and import the rest, selling the bicycles in the country keeps our currencies within the border.
Ridesharing services also increased sales of bicycles in the 110-125 cc segment.
According to a study based on surveys of 368 Dhaka residents, 46% said they would start riding a motorcycle to get to work. 31% wanted to buy motorcycles for convenience, while only 23% said they would not use any motorcycles in any way.
This shows that people are more and more interested in buying or just riding a motorbike. Support is cheaper and faster, and available in the capital. People are more and more inclined to ride a motorcycle.
Pathao and Uber urged non-bikers to buy motorcycles. People who have never tried motorcycles have started using ridesharing apps. As a result, getting on a bicycle gave them a new perspective.
The motorcycle equipment market
Safety is a big concern for everyone. And with the awareness of the safety measures that every cyclist should keep in mind, the demand for safety equipment has increased.
There are over 2.9 million motor vehicles registered under the BRTA and 65% of them are motorcycles.
It is a clear reflection of our roads and the cheap market that motorcycles are. However, the increase in the number of motorcycles on the roads has increased the number of accidents.
Worrisome as it is, studies have shown that 74% of deaths occur in rural areas. 45% of deaths occur on highways and 22% of the victims of these accidents were between 26 and 30 years old.
According to an ARI report from BUET, 88% of those involved in these accidents were not wearing helmets. To get a better idea of the crashes, 49% were head-on collisions, 29% rear-end collisions and 12% side collisions.
All of these numbers raise the question of whether protection is really that important. And therefore, it further emphasizes the importance of driving equipment.
The community is more aware now. People want to buy certified helmets and gloves, especially those with graphics.
Motorcycle jackets cost between 8,000 and 25,000 Tk, while helmets can range from 5,000 to 45,000 Tk.
A rider needs a good helmet, a certified jacket, boots and gloves. In today’s market, a full set of gears would cost a minimum of 20,000 Tk and a maximum of 80,000 Tk. That’s about 40% of the cost of a mid-range bike.
However, runners need speeds. The gear is for protection, and Dhaka bikers need protection due to the appalling traffic conditions, unpredictable drivers on the roads, and horrific road conditions.
The importance of having materials outweighs any bizarre costs that one may have to incur in obtaining them.
The basic equipment a cyclist needs is a pair of gloves, an all-season jacket and a good DOT or ECE certified helmet preferably.
Now, as mentioned earlier, helmets vary between 5,000 and 45,000 Tk depending on the make and model. Helmets such as MT Stinger cost only 5,500 Tk and Axor Apex Venom 6,000 Tk.
However, a good carbon version of a helmet can cost over Tk 20,000. Caberg’s Drift Evo Carbon Pro is a fan favorite, but Nexx, KYT and other brands are also introducing carbon helmets at reasonable prices.
As for the jackets, Venom Asphalt with level 2 protection is available at a price of 8,990 Tk. Other jackets such as Venom Wheelie are cheaper.
The gear market is starved by many popular brands such as Taichi, Alpinestar, Dainese, AGV, and these products, if imported, are exorbitantly priced.
So are equipment prices going up?
Yes, the popular products are now coming with a higher price. But new products are introduced every month.
The market for premium products based in Thailand or Malaysia is high because these products are cheaper but well constructed. When MT and Bilmola hit the market, they stole a lot of it. These brands are always flying off the shelves and importers are bringing in full containers.
Is the cheaper equipment dangerous?
No, low-end equipment is not dangerous if it is certified by a leading company, such as DOT, ECE, Snell.
These products are made with low cost materials. But this does not deteriorate performance since certification companies rigorously test them in their laboratories.
The runner’s firm hold on the market
Runner, being the first company to export locally made motorcycles, approached the Chinese and Indian market with quality.
They categorically test their motorcycles for defects and stop shipping if the end product does not meet company standards.
Runner has done BTL and ATV activities to promote his brand. The slogan, for obvious reasons, has been kept “Made in Bangladesh”, which they proudly claim.
Company owners say 100cc bikes at reasonable costs are more in demand. Especially after the introduction of carpooling apps, these bikes are leaving showrooms more often.
Runner sells bikes that cost between Tk 60,000 and Tk 260,000. They meet the market demand for racing and commuter bikes.
Yamaha and Suzuki take the lead in the sport and racing segments. While Bajaj and Hero occupy the commuter segment.
Runner, on the other hand, has diversity in its catalog. This helps them expand and respond to all types of riders.
The CC Upgrade Dilemma
Bangladesh is not going to get higher cc bikes anytime soon. This news will upset many people as rumors have risen about a government cc upgrade.
350cc bikes were supposed to be legalized which put businesses on the verge of exploding as the community desperately wanted higher cc bikes.
Importers are assured that customers will come once cc limitations are lifted.
However, it never did. After months of persuasion, the government decided to increase the cc limit to 165 cc, which brought the 165 cc bikes from Lifan, Honda and Yamaha into circulation in the community. But current runners are desperate for an upgrade.