Bikes refer to both bicycles and motor bikes. Businesses that sell bicycles and replacement parts like tubes and tyres, brakes, spokes, rims and other accessories are in every city and town in Zambia, as bicycles are the most common type of transport. And in the major cities of Zambia, there is at least one motorbike sales company that will also stock bike parts and accessories for sale. Often these shops provide bike service and maintenance packages for their customers.
All bikes need servicing and maintenance from time to time. This will prevent wear and tear and extend the life of your bike, whether it's a pedal bicycle or a motor bike.
Bicycles are imported from China and Western countries and assembled here in Zambia.
There are different models of motorbikes in Zambia, including off-road and racing bikes as well as quads and standard town bikes. And there are different brands including Yamaha and Honda. Due to the favourable weather in Zambia, motorbikes are used for both commuting and leisure or both.
With such a diverse selection of brands and products now available in the marketplace, it can be a daunting task to make sure that you make the right choice when buying your new motorcycle or scooter. Here's a guide:
Standard - a common favourite because it has a simple design and is suited for all purposes. It has variations from 125cc up to 1,000cc and can be fitted with luggage holder, tank bag and passenger seat.
Sportbike - meant for speed and agility with forward-leaning ergonomics ready to carve some corners while riding. One of the largest differences with a sport type motorbike is its weight. They are generally one of the lighter motorcycles made from aluminium and other light materials to increase the side-to-side manoeuvrability. The seat height is usually on the higher end to be able to lean the motorcycle farther without scraping footpegs or fairings.
Chopper - also called a cruiser bike, designed for cruising, hence its name. It usually has a little lower seat height, making it good for “cruising” around town, but with a little added luggage capacity, perfect for a good weekend ride. Engine sizes are varied, from a small displacement engine through 1,000cc or more depending on the brand. You may feel more like you’re sitting in a cruiser than on it, but it’s a great option for both new and experienced riders.
Touring - this type of motorcycle is typically larger than most other bikes and it’s meant to have the amenities for cross-country touring. It may offer a large amount of storage with easy ergonomics that allow you to ride for hours at a time. They have the largest fairings to block the wind and weather while riding. Engine sizes are typically large to be able to keep up highway speeds and carry a large amount of extra gear and clothes.
Dual Purpose (also known dual-sport or adventure sport) - these bikes are meant to go anywhere and do anything. They bring the road features of lights and a horn but have more aggressive off-road suspension and possible knobby off-road tires. The seat height is generally a little taller to navigate the backroads and off-beaten paths you can find on the backroads. They typically have limited storage options, but can be fitted with a number of extra bags to carry quite a bit of item.
Off-road - exactly what it says - for going where no bike has been before! These bikes have taller seat heights to accommodate deeper brush and high suspension that can handle a few bumps along the way. They won’t typically have any lights or turn signals, so they will probably be trailered to the weekend riding spot. Most are fairly lightweight, ready to ride the back trails.
Scooter - these bikes can get you around in safety and style just like their bigger siblings. Scooters are best suited for city riding with no demand for highway speeds. They are lightweight and low to the ground which makes them easy to navigate through city streets. They come in varying sizes, from 50cc through 500cc, and will have enough power to get you around your commute or a fun night on the town. Scooters offer a smaller fairing with a little storage for a few items, making them great to cruise around on.