10-Day Sri Lanka Motorcycle Tour

Island of Dharma

The motorcycle tour crew have their Royal Enfields fully fueled and ready for flight.
The definitive Sri Lanka motorcycle tour. Follow the coast in a massive loop of the island, through lagoons and over huge mountain passes. Visit awesome locations like the colonial old town of Galle, Sirigiya Rock Fortress and Udawalawe National Park, and test your riding skills on the insane Devil’s Staircase switchback.
Sri Lanka Motorcycle Tour Map - The Island of Dharma - Black - ADV Outriders

Location

Sri Lanka

Distance

1400 km

Duration

10 days

Difficulty

Intermediate

Pillion

pillions welcome

the beautiful golden sands of Kalpitiya Beach, Sri Lanka
From the beach town of Negombo, head north along the coast towards Kalpitiya. There, we’ll check out Kalpitiya Lagoon, which consists of 14 little islands over an area of about 16 kilometres. Being on the west coast of the island, it’s famous for its sunsets and is home to some cracking seafood restaurants.
A view of the imposing Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Now it’s time to head inland. Wind your way over little countryside roads, over farmland and through some gorgeous forests. On the way, stop to check out Thabbowa Tank, a large reservoir famous among bird watchers. It’s a great place to take a few photos, but our next stop, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, is even better: in fact no Sri Lanka motorcycle tour is complete without checking it out. The ancient stronghold was built in the year 5 A.D. on a monolithic rock pillar that rises to an elevation of more than 1,000 feet.
There are elephants galore all over Sri Lanka
At this point, our route starts increasing in elevation. Ride the winding Gonawawa mountain pass south through the mountains overlooking our destination, Wasgamuwa National Park. Entering the park itself, there’s another gorgeous pass that follows the Kalu Ganga reservoir.
Riders starting out for the day on their motorcycle tour of Sri Lanka
The Knuckles mountain range is definitely one of the highlights of our adventure. We spend some time in its foothills before ascending via a massive series of switchbacks. The views up there are incredible, and there are some fantastic waterfalls to stop off at along the way, one of which is right near a crazily big tea plantation.
Taking a trip on the Nuwara Eliya Train through the tea fields in Sri Lanka
The big industry up in this area is tea: Sri Lanka’s famous for producing some of the best in the world. Ride some scenic, sometimes fairly technical mountain roads, and perhaps even stop off at one of our friends’ factories to learn how the stuff is processed.
A view across Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya
Spread out over the two highest mountains in the area, UNESCO World Heritage Site Horton Plains is one of our favourite places in the country. It’s on a massive plateau, filled with grassland, forests and lakes and looks like something out of Jurassic Park. The area is also home to the Devil’s Staircase, a steep, challenging zig-zag trail. We’ll definitely hit it up if you’re up for it!
Feeding time for the elephants in Udawalawe Elephant Transit home
After descending from the plateau onto the plains, we’ll be riding through Udawalawe National Park. This place was set up essentially as a new home for the wildlife displaced by the Udawalawe Reservoir (which we’ll also check out). There’s a really cool, humanely-run elephant sanctuary there, too, and it’s honestly awesome to get up close with those massive beasts.
The lighthouse in Galle Old Town
Out of the plains, we head for the coast, on our way to Galle, the capital of Sri Lanka’s southernmost province. The coastal road’s great, and there’s some fantastic seafood to be eaten along the way, but the town itself is gorgeous and has so much history. With Dutch, Portuguese and Jesuit influences, it’s a great place to take some photos and check out the architecture.
A handful of gems in Ratnapura the glittering city of gems
From Galle, the coastal road’s actually quite busy so we head back into the hills. The road takes us through lush forests and past grand country estates, and we actually get back up to a pretty high elevation. There’s an interesting gem market in Ratnapura, our destination: while we never buy anything there, it’s a pretty cool sight.
Old boats moored in Negombo Lagoon
There are some really fun little forested mountain tracks on the way back to Negombo, and we’ll take full advantage. They’re not as crazy as the ones in Horton Plains, but that does give us the opportunity to open up a bit. We’ll have our farewell dinner in one of our favourite of the town’s many awesome restaurants.

Pricing X Availability

  • Honda XR 250
    Honda XR 250 $2200/rider
  • R.E. Classic 350
    R.E. Classic 350 $2200/rider

Inclusions X Extras

Each of our guides has years of experience running motorcycle tours and is an expert on the local area.

All speak English and the local language, and guides who can speak other languages are sometimes available on request.

The cost of hiring your motorcycle is included in that of the tour. All running expenses, including fuel, are included as well.

All meals are provided, as are drinks and snacks along the way.

You’ll dine sometimes in your accommodation, sometimes at quality local restaurants.

Let us know in advance of any preferences or dietary requirements and we are happy to cater for these.

Accommodation is minimum 3-star quality.

Standard is a twin share room but on occasion (due to remote location) we will share one large, dorm-type room: in a stilt house or a yurt, for example.

All locations have been scouted beforehand and checked for cleanliness and good service.

Conditions in many of our destinations, in Asia, for example, may be really different from your home country.

Rain can be heavy, and start falling at a moment’s notice.

We’ll sort you out with a waterproof rain poncho and overtrousers where necessary.

We offer twin-share accommodation as standard. In most locations, though, we can arrange single occupancy if you prefer.

This comes at a small surcharge, but in most tour destinations is quite reasonable.

While most riders prefer to bring their own gear, we do have a limited range of extra gear (boots, gloves, armour and helmets, for example) in most of our tour destinations.

Naturally, whether or not we’ll be able to supply you with gear depends on size and availability.

We are happy to provide suggestions on pre and post-tour bookings in accommodation: knowing the area well, we know the best places to stay at all price points.

We can even book for you as an added extra without any service fee, sometimes even at a discount.

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Island of Dharma Motorcycle Tour

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4 riders

R.E. Himalayan 400

Royal Enfield Himalayan 400 motorcycle rental
Royal Enfield’s first adventure bike: the Himalayan is a reliable, capable all-rounder.

Engine Type

air-cooled, single cylinder, SOHC, 4-stroke

Displacement

411 cc

Bore X Stroke

78 mm x 86 mm

Ignition

Digital Electronic Ignition

Fuel System

fuel injection

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

telescopic, 41 mm forks, 200 mm travel

Rear Suspension

monoshock, 180 mm travel

Front Brakes

disc

Rear Brakes

disc

Front Tyres

90/90-21

Rear Tyres

120/90-17

Wheelbase

1465 mm

Seat Height

800 mm

Ground Clearance

220 mm

Kerb Weight

199 kg

Fuel Capacity

15 litres

Dimensions

2190 mm (L) x 840 mm (W) x 1370 mm (H)

Honda CRF 300

Honda CRF 300 motorcycle rental
The perfect balance between size, weight, power and handling.

Engine Type

single cylinder, DOHC, Liquid cooled

Displacement

286 cc

Bore X Stroke

76 mm x 63 mm

Ignition

Full Transistor Digital

Fuel System

PGM-FI electronic fuel injection

Compression Ratio

10.7:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

43 mm Telescopic upside down

Rear Suspension

Prolink Mono with 5 stage pre load adjuster

Front Brakes

256 mm disc, 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

220 mm disc, single piston caliper

Front Tyres

80/100 21

Rear Tyres

120/80 18

Wheelbase

1455 mm

Seat Height

880 mm

Ground Clearance

285 mm

Kerb Weight

142 kg

Fuel Capacity

7.8 litres

Dimensions

2230 mm (L) x 820 mm (W) x 1200 mm (H)

Honda CRF 250

Honda CRF 250 motorcycle rental
Replaced in 2021 by the CRF 300, this bike remains a great choice for thrill seekers.

Engine Type

liquid cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke

Displacement

249 cc

Bore X Stroke

79 mm x 50.9 mm

Ignition

computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance

Fuel System

PGM-FI

Compression Ratio

13.9:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

49 mm leading-axle inverted, 12.2-inch travel

Rear Suspension

single shock with spring preload; 12.3-inch travel

Front Brakes

single 260 mm disc

Rear Brakes

single 240 mm disc

Front Tyres

80/100 21

Rear Tyres

100 / 90 19

Wheelbase

1445 mm

Seat Height

875 mm

Ground Clearance

333 mm

Kerb Weight

145 kg

Fuel Capacity

7.7 litres

Dimensions

2,195 mm (L) x 815 mm (W) x 1,195 mm (H)

Honda XR 150

Honda XR 150 motorcycle rental
Inexpensive, comfortable and reliable, yet surprisingly capable off-road.

Engine Type

air cooled, OHC, single cylinder

Displacement

149 cc

Bore X Stroke

57.3 mm x 57.8 mm

Ignition

CDI

Fuel System

20 mm piston valve carburettor

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Starter

electric with kick starter backup

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

telescopic fork, 180 mm axle travel

Rear Suspension

single shock swing arm, 150 mm axle travel

Front Brakes

dual piston caliper, 240 mm disc

Rear Brakes

mechanical drum

Front Tyres

90/90 19

Rear Tyres

110/90 17

Wheelbase

1362 mm

Seat Height

825 mm

Ground Clearance

243 mm

Kerb Weight

129 kg

Fuel Capacity

12 litres

Dimensions

2091 mm (L) x 811 mm (W) x 1125 mm (H)

R.E. Classic 350

Royal Enfield Classic 350 motorcycle rental
Wide handlebars and upright seating position, with classic styling.

Engine Type

4 stroke, air-cooled, single cylinder, SOHC

Displacement

349 cc

Bore X Stroke

72 mm x 85.8 mm

Ignition

Digital Electronic Ignition

Fuel System

fuel injection

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

telescopic, 41 mm forks, 130 mm travel

Rear Suspension

twin tube emulsion shock, 6-step preload

Front Brakes

disc, 300 mm

Rear Brakes

disc, 270 mm

Front Tyres

100/90-19

Rear Tyres

120/80-18

Wheelbase

1465 mm

Seat Height

805 mm

Ground Clearance

170 mm

Kerb Weight

195 kg

Fuel Capacity

13 litres

Dimensions

2145 (L) x 785 (W) x 1090 (H)

Honda XR 250

Honda XR 250 motorcycle rental
One of Honda’s older dual sport offerings, replaced in 2004 by the CRF 250.

Engine Type

Four Stroke, air cooled, SOHC, single cylinder

Displacement

249 cc

Bore X Stroke

73 mm x 59 mm

Ignition

CDI

Fuel System

32 mm Keihin carburettor

Compression Ratio

10.2:1

Starter

electric with kick starter backup

Gearbox

6-speed

Front Suspension

41mm telescopic, air assisted fork

Rear Suspension

Pro Link adjustable

Front Brakes

dual piston caliper, 240 mm disc

Rear Brakes

single piston caliper, 220 mm disc

Front Tyres

80/100 21

Rear Tyres

100/100 18

Wheelbase

1400 mm

Seat Height

920 mm

Ground Clearance

315 mm

Kerb Weight

104 kg

Fuel Capacity

9 litres

Dimensions

2110 mm (L) x 830 mm (W) x 1215 mm (H)