Adv riders in Colombia

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

  1. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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    Hi MandrillPie,

    Add Salento to your list of places to visit. I'll be back in Colombia Dec 17th so if you do come to Salento I can help you find a nice place to stay as I have friends from Canada and Colombia who own a few Hotels and Hostels there.

    Prices for motorcycles new in Colombia are mostly all the same no matter where you buy. Most dealers will take you to Transito to have all the paper work done and do everything else for you. It takes a day or two to get the motorcycle. The dealer delivered my motorcycles right to my place and I have had nothing but good service from Yamaha.

    It would be smart to buy two of the same motorcycles. Larger cc motorcycles hold their value more.

    The riding in Colombia is amazing you'll love it.
    Parcero and climberevan like this.
  2. MandrillPie

    MandrillPie CRF250L

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    Thank you all for pitching in, lots of valuable info there.
    There's a couple of limitations on what we can buy for my wife though:
    She has a license that only allows her to go up to 125cc, so anything else is pretty much out of the question
    The even bigger restriction is that she is 150cm (4 feet 11), so anything above 76cm (30 inches) is sort of off limits for her
    We know this because she tippy toes on the Grom (which is exactly 76cm in seat height) even with her big girl boots.

    The CB125F has a 77.5cm seat height according to what I can find online, that's why it's on the list.
    I'd love to buy 2 Yamahas, that makes the most sense, but I've yet to find something that fits.
    Edit: Even 2 Hondas would work, I guess. I haven't really looked at other brands.
  3. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    Honda have the XRE 300, XRE 190 or CRF230 in your price range available here, also the Yamaha Libero is also only 78cm
  4. MandrillPie

    MandrillPie CRF250L

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    Hello again, couple travelling to Colombia here, thinking about buying bikes there. We have a few more questions for the community, hoping to get some advice that helps us make some decisions about our trip.

    1. SIM card and internet: What's a good SIM card we could get as foreigners? We need 2 of them, and we would ideally need like 10GB of data per month each, but maybe that's asking for too much.
    2. Maps: What are good apps for navigation, both online and offline? Normally we do Google Maps (or Waze) for when we're online and maps.me for offline. I've also got OsmAnd installed but have rarely used it. Are there better alternatives for Colombia?
    3. Danger zones: Are there currently any special areas to avoid in Colombia? Political unrest, bandits or just generally areas better left untouched?
    4. Route planning: Could we just wing it? We'd really love to do that this time, if we could manage, because our natural tendency clearly steers us towards hyper-over-planning.
    5. Weather: We'll certainly do proper research on this, but being in Colombia from Nov 15, 2019 to March 15, 2020, what are areas to generally avoid if we generally love the heat and absolutely hate riding below 14 degrees Celsius (57 F) during the day?
    6. Bikes: We have not decided on the bikes, we only know we're shooting for a 125 and a 250, best candidates so far, based on recommendations we got here, look like the Yamaha Libero 125 and the Yamaha XTZ 250. What a reputable Yamaha dealer in Bogota?
    7. Gear: We're looking for less-than-fancy gear. Don't want to shake the hornet's nest here in terms of safety, but we're looking for vented summer jackets (that allow for light armor), normal jeans, full face helmets and gloves. We have the street boots. We think we'd also love to fit handguards and, maybe, crash bars to the bikes. Decent stores in Bogota?
    8. Luggage: We're looking to ride with one light backpack on our backs and one bag on the seat. We want to strap soft luggage (giant loop style, but not giant loop, about 7kg or 15lbs) right to the back of the seat. No metal racks or anything, just the bag and some cords. Recommendations for bags maybe?
    9. Storing the bikes: This just popped into my head, would it be possible, I wonder, to leave the bikes in a garage somewhere for like 8 months and maybe we continue the trip end of next year? Not selling the bikes would put a pretty big dent in our savings and the bikes would certainly drop in price a lot, but we could in theory continue where we left off. If everything went according to plan...

    We ask these to keep the conversation going and because we're generally excited (and new) to the advrider forums. I know the answers we get from you guys are not a replacement for proper research, we are fully aware of that. But, honestly, we usually don't ask for advice, so this type of interaction is new to us. We usually plan meticulously ahead and mostly do not rely on what people say. We're stubborn and independent and, usually, over-prepared. But we're trying to shake things up a bit :)

    Thanks
    Davidprej likes this.
  5. youngforever

    youngforever Adventurer

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  6. youngforever

    youngforever Adventurer

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    You don't need a carnet de passage in any south american country. Custom are not that bad, don't expect them yo run. For storage check at the port of cartagena, If you don't find anything there check at paraguachon at the colombia/venezuela not to far from Crtagena ( no car can go true the border, it's possible that the storage is closed) if not your best bet could be at the border with Ecuador. Check here https://www.desktodirtbag.com/long-term-vehicle-storage-colombia/
  7. youngforever

    youngforever Adventurer

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  8. youngforever

    youngforever Adventurer

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    bring your gear from home because you may have a hard time to find what you look for, and above all expect to pay way more than in your home country.
    Parcero and tkdcol like this.
  9. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    muchos gracias, senor mexico!
  10. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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    Hola Mandrillpie
    1. You can buy data sim cards from Claro you just need a unlocked cell.
    2. Google maps, just download the areas you want to travel for offline use.
    3. Most all areas of Colombia are safe and like everyplace the larger cities you need to be aware of your surroundings. Talk to the locals each morning.
    4. I have never planned a ride in Colombia just the general direction of N,S, E or west.
    5. Pack rain gear as the weather can change very fast. In the mountains if can cool down so it's good to carry a few layers of clothes.
    6. Most all the motorcycle dealers I have dealt with are nothing but helpful. Prices are most all the same no matter who you deal with.
    7. I would bring your own riding gear. Finding quality riding gear is hard to find and expensive.
    8. Buy a Giant loop and bring it with you.
    9. My friend has a storage area for motorcycles at his Hostel. A storage locker in a large city would work too.

    Cheers

    PS,
    If you don't bring any riding gear I have a friend who owns a motorcycle gear store, jackets&pants, helmets, soft luggage, hard luggage. I can give you his contact number if you wanted to order ahead so he has the right sizes.

    I also have a friend who works at Del Cafe Yamaha in Armenie. If you want I can find out the total cost of buying 2 Yamaha's?

    Tip, when you buy a motorcycle in Colombia you need to keep your Passport number. Because if you decide to sell your motorcycle a few years later and have a new Passport you won't be able to sell it. You need to keep the Passport you bought the motorcycle with.
    tkdcol likes this.
  11. tkdcol

    tkdcol Been here awhile

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    Quindío hits the nail on the head with most of what he says here.

    Definitely go with Claro as they have the best reception around all of Colombia. I also echo what others (including my self have already said about bringing your own gear). If you don't already have the gear I find mesh gear works well with option to add a waterproof layer (which also works for the cold).

    RE: maps, if you're more interested in the destinations than finding good dirt rds google is fine. If finding good dirt rds is important, I recommend using a combination of bing maps and google earth (they have different satelite imagery) and some planning. You might also hear recommendations for maps.me, in my experience this is very poor on a more local/detailed level here in Colombia.

    A point to be aware of is that you will have to pay a yearly tax on the 250 if you keep hold of it, it's probably less than 100USD (based in commercial-not real- bike value) if you don't pay it intime (normally first half of year) it starts to accrue interest and can get quite expensive (this is a problem when you try to sell.
    Quindio likes this.
  12. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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    also when you ride in Colombia you need to keep you eye out for photo radar. They have warning signs posted ahead of photo radar. But if you do get one and don't know that you got one it can be a real hassle. You will not be able to renew your insurance or sell the bike. The tickets have to be payed in the area where you got the photo radar ticket so again a real problem. You can check online to see if you have one or go to a Transito office and ask. If you do get one you need to contact the office that issued the ticket, they most likely will tell you to go to one of the banks to pay the fine then you wait until they remove the fine from your license.
  13. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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  14. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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  15. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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  16. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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  17. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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  18. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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  19. Quindio

    Quindio Been here awhile Supporter

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  20. MandrillPie

    MandrillPie CRF250L

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    Thank you all for the advice, it's really helpful!
    We'll keep you posted on whatever we decide and maybe ask for more info along the way.
    Maybe we'll also throw a ride report in there, just for fun, because the world certainly needs more of those.
    Thanks again!
    Quindio and ScotsFire like this.