In a welcome move the Indian government has reduced the import duties on bikes brought into India as CBUs. According to the new amendment the import duties will now stand at 50 percent as compared to the earlier 65 per cent for bikes below 800cc and 75 percent for bikes above 800cc. Other amendments in the Customs notification include a 15 percent customs duty on completely knocked down units (CKD), up from the earlier 10 percent; and 25 percent customs duty on semi knocked-down units (SKD), down from the previous 30 percent.

India has been one of the countries levying the highest amount of import taxes on both cars and motorcycles. One of the reasons for this was to promote local manufacturing of automobiles. This has led to a number of auto manufacturers getting their bikes in as CKDs and SKDs as well as select CBU trade routes. High-end bikes however still come in via CBU and hence command astronomical prices. The new move should provide respite to these bikes.

What does this mean for imported bikes?

Now, the ex-showroom price of an imported bike includes custom duties and taxes and does not include RTO, registration and insurance.

Bikes brought in through the CKD route will attract a marginal hike. For example, the Triumph Street Triple S which currently costs Rs8,71,500 (ex-showroom) could see a price hike of around Rs30,000.

While most manufacturers prefer to get in their bikes via CKD, some bikes are brought in via the SKD route and these bikes will benefit marginally. As an example, take the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 that currently retails for Rs9.98 lakh (ex-showroom). Post the new amendment, the prices might drop by as much as Rs40,000. 

The biggest beneficiary of this new amendment would be manufacturers getting their bikes into India via the CBU route. This includes Aprilia, BMW Motorrad, Moto Guzzi, Indian Motorcycles and Yamaha.

One prime example is the newly launched Ducati Panigale V4, which currently goes for Rs20.53 lakh (ex-showroom). That price is expected to drop by around Rs3 lakh.

We expect all big bike manufacturers to send in their updated prices soon. Stay tuned for more information.