Adv riders in Colombia

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by theturtleshead, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Nonno Peppe

    Nonno Peppe Adventurer

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    hi all, I'm planning a trip in Colombia for one month in november/december and of course I would like to travel by bike.

    I'm from Italy and I sow that's almost impossible to ship my motorbike, so I'll probably rent something there in Medellin or Bogota or Cartagena.

    Do you think that's a good idea to rent an Xr 300 for TWO people? it seems to me that it is too small to travel with a passenger, but bigger bikes are ways too expensive for my pockets.

    Otherwise I could rent 2 XR150, one for me and one for my wife, but I'm a little worried because she is a good driver, also in simple offroad, but not use to heavy traffic, so I'm in a lot of doubts ...
  2. jtoro

    jtoro n00b

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  3. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    I don’t know about how people drive in Italy but its very unorganized in Colombia. Nobody obey the traffic law and many moto riders think they are invincible they are crazy. However it is still possible (very) to ride at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful scene of Colombia. Big city traffic can get crazy but just pace yourself out and enjoy the beautiful country outside of big city.

    2 150cc to 250cc may be logical for each of you. If still in doubt I probably would go with 650cc for 2up for better passing ability in the mountain or you will be stuck behind many slow moving trucks. Yes you will see plenty of 2up on 125cc bike but they go slow and pace themselves.

    No rental in Cartagena or Bogota that I know of. There is a good rental place in Santa Marta and in Cali. Mikkel, danish I think?, owns Motolombia rental and has few choices.

    And jtoro offered info on Medellin.

    Good luck and have fun! You will love Colombia..
  4. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    not much use if he's looking for cheaper options

    If you plan to travel between cities it's good to have at least 250cc each. For example, between Medellín and Cartagena is ~900km, so it will obviously take a long time on a 150cc. Having a slightly larger displacement also allows you to keep out of the way of other traffic.

    As already said most drivers in Colombia are terrible (there was basically no test until about 2 years ago), if your wife really lacks confidence/ability 2-up could be the safer option

    RE: rental companies, most major cities have some form of rental available: a simple google search reveals many.
  5. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    If you're looking for some great places to ride, I recommend La Guajira and Santander
  6. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    I have ridden thru Colombia twice on a 650 Vstrom (once two up and once by myself)

    I would hands down not hesitate riding in Colombia 1-up on a quality 150cc bike if you have one month to do a nice loop in Colombia.

    You aren't going to eat 800 miles of pavement a day down there. Riding thru the back roads a 150 will be adequate.

    You can hotel it for not much money over there so no need to carry a ton of stuff.

    In fact I met a traveler from Canada named Steve who after riding thru there on his dr650, bought himself a little 150 down in Colombia that he uses for his trips.
  7. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    I've been here riding down here for about the past 7 years, for about 1 year I had a 150cc. Whilst it's better than nothing, it's far too small to be ideal for anything over 100km. You don't have enough power to pass trucks and buses, this is a major problem when travelling in the mountains (like Medellín, eje cafetero, Pasto, Bogotá)- large amounts of very curvy single lane. The other problem with a smaller bike is the lack of injection, I can't think of any bike below 250cc that is injected in Colombia. Being as you can easily have a few thousand meters in altitude change in a single day, this could sap even more power.

    Saying that, it all really depends what your objectives on this trip are and where you'll spend most of the time riding. If you actually want to enjoy the riding and spend a lot of time in mountainous areas; a 150 will be thoroughly dissapointing. On the other hand if you aren't so bothered about the actual riding experience and just want to visit places or will perhaps spend more time in the coast or on gravel roads the 150s will be fine.
    WhicheverAnyWayCan likes this.
  8. Nonno Peppe

    Nonno Peppe Adventurer

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    TY all.


    It's impossible for me to spend more than 120$/day for a bike, so almost certainly we will go with a couple of xr150. Here some of the offers I found,

    https://bikesbooking.com/it/search/?begin=2019-11-25T16:00:00.000Z&bikeTypes=3&country=150&dropOfCity=2710&end=2019-12-18T16:00:00.000Z&pickUpCity=2710&returnAtSameCity=true

    To be honest, I like driving small bike because they are so little, lightweighted and underpowered that you don't even have to think about them, you are free of enjoying landscapes and everything around you.

    The macro idea is to have a mix of bike and plane: rent a bike in Medellin for 2/3 weeks, then go to Cartagena by plane, look around there and close the trip n Bogota, or better viceversa, Bogota before Cartagena ... we would like to spend a bit of time on a warm beach just before come back to the Rome's winter ...
  9. Quindio

    Quindio Adventurer Supporter

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    The Honda XRE 300 is a great bike and is big for a 300cc. 2 up is not a problem if your both normal size. The beaches around Cartagena are not the greatest. So if your looking for a few nicer beaches to visit just let me know?

    Cheers
  10. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Put me into the group that wants a little more power, my 250 was struggling high in the Colombian mountains but was sufficient, a 150 would have me nervous with so many buses and trucks begging to be passed.
  11. Nonno Peppe

    Nonno Peppe Adventurer

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    But do you think that an XRE 300 2Up is more responsive than an XR150 alone? We don't have that model in Italy, I don't know anything about it. Is it possible to mount soft bags?
  12. Quindio

    Quindio Adventurer Supporter

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    The XRE 300 is made in Argentina I believe. My friend has hard luggage on his XRE and my friend is big around 6'3" and 250 pounds and he has no problems. I know Motolombia had luggage racks on the XRE 300 but I'm not sure if they still rent them now?

    Like "WhicheverAnyWayCan" said, riding in Colombia has no rules most of the time. It's really not the place to learn if your not comfortable riding in traffic. You do need to watch out for cars and trucks of course but it's all the motorcycles and scooters on the road you really need to watch out for.
  13. Quindio

    Quindio Adventurer Supporter

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    The XRE is fuel injected so in the mountains is not a problem too much. I remember riding with some friends a few years ago in Colombia and at 12,000 feet Ed on his Italika 180cc was in 1st gear.
  14. Quindio

    Quindio Adventurer Supporter

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    Your typical day of riding in Colombia if your staying out of the cities.
    BryanQ and Secret Agent Man like this.
  15. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    Talking purely about size: I parked my versys 650 next to an XRE300 yesterday. They are pretty much the same size.
  16. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    20190907_150541.jpg 20190907_150554.jpg As luck would have it, another one parked next to me today. Here's an XRE300 compared to a mark I Versys 650
    Quindio likes this.
  17. Nonno Peppe

    Nonno Peppe Adventurer

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    Ty all.

    I'm studying. Colombia is too big and beautiful to visit all in one month.

    Probably we will come in Colombia twice, this first time limiting our bike trip in two weeks around Medellin, going by plane to bogota and cartagena.

    This way we could rent an f700 ... I'm pretty worried about driving my wife, mainly because of the trucks, she's not very used to making aggressive overtaking and driving could become a pain.

    And above all we would easily face off-road. What do you think?
  18. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    Not really sure what you're asking. Is your plan feasible? Yes, very. depending on what you are looking for in a trip, there are many better locations than the 3 that you mentioned
  19. pepelopez

    pepelopez Been here awhile

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    there are lots of options for roads, i always choose a route not so direct to avoid the heavy truck traffic, and when trucks are a problem, it's easy to pass because they are going 10kmph,, just choose a good place to pass, watch the buses too,, they are crazy, but they know where the police are, i don't pass when they don't,,
  20. Nonno Peppe

    Nonno Peppe Adventurer

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    Hi all :-)

    I'm back with a more detailed program.

    By now I'm planning to rent an F700 in Medellin for a bit more than a couple af weeks, and my trip could be this one. Then give back the bike, take a plane from Medellin to Cartagena and spent another 10 days around north Colombia, maybe by bike, maybe by bus, maybe by car ... I'll see.

    Any suggestion?